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Langue – How to say language, tongue in French

Langue – How to say language, tongue in French

In today’s lesson, we’ll have a look at the French feminine noun langue, which means both language and tongue. J’adore la langue française – et vous ? (I love the French language – and you?). Let’s jump right into the lesson!

la langue

language, tongue

Word origin

According to, the French word langue (tongue) comes from lingua in Latin.

Example sentences

The most common use of langue is to refer to langauges, such as French, Spansih, Italian, etc. Combien de + noun translates to “how many”.

Combien de langues parlez-vous ?

How many languages do you speak?

In French, langue maternelle translates to “native langauge” or “mother tongue”.

Ma langue maternelle est le français.

My native language language is French.

Langue also means “tongue” in the sense of the anatomy part. The expression for “to stick your tongue out” is tirer la langue – literally “to pull or draw out the tongue”. Beurk is a fun little word meaning “yuck”.

Je ne mange jamais la langue de bœuf. Beurk !

I never eat beef tongue. Yuck!

For this final example sentence, le langauge is also means language. However, it’s more of an anthropology term meaning refering to the means of communicating. For example le langage corporel (body langauge) or le langage informatique (computer language, source code).

This sentence uses the preposition chez. The most common use of chez is “at the home of”. However, here we’re using chez to mean “among this group of people”. The expression avoir du mal à means “to have a hard time”.

J’ai du mal à comprendre le langage chez les jeunes.

I have a hard time understanding young peoples’ languge.


Et voilà ! Now you now how to use langue (language, tongue) in French! Now check our lesson covering the word français, which explains the various ways of using the word “French” in French.

J'adore la langue française ! I love the French language!
J’adore la langue française ! I love the French language!

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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