What is French slang LE VERLAN

What is French slang LE VERLAN

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Added by November 6, 2017

WHAT IS FRENCH SLANG “LE VERLAN”

Learn French backward way of speaking

TRANSCRIPT: FRENCH “VERLAN”

Hi guys !

Today I thought I’d teach you some fun French slang called LE VERLAN. Have you ever heard of it ? Basically LE VERLAN is the word L’ENVERS read backwards.

VERS – L’EN.

Got it ? Yes, LE VERLAN is a type of slang that consists in reading the syllables of a word backwards.

WTF ?!! Why do we do that ? Isn’t the French language difficult enough ? I can just hear you right now.

Let me explain. LE VERLAN was a way for youngsters in the suburbs of Paris, drugs dealers in particular, to understand each other. So that whenever the police was around they could just shout Y A LES KEUFS and everybody knew that LES FLICS were around.

KEUFS being the VERLAN of FLICS. Ok, LES KEUFS is not exactly LES FLICS read backwards. There are some variations on words and an evolution of slang words through time too.

That’s how the word REBEU, the slang for BEUR originally comes from the word ARABE.

ARABE – BEUR – REBEU

And this way of talking has been around for a looong time. In the 1980s there were a couple of movies made under the title of LES RIPOUX.

Can you guess what it means ? Come on, give it a go :

LES RI-POUX means LES POU-RRIS.

The rotten ones. In the movies, the cops. These are comedies that have become classics in France.

Today LE VERLAN is widely used in music, RAP in particular, but not only. You may know the French singer STROMAE – if you don’t, check him out, he’s amazing. Well, his stage name is the VERLAN of MAESTRO. Cool, isn’t it ?

VERLAN is not only used in the suburbs of Paris today guys. In fact, some VERLAN words are now commonly used by most people all over France really.

LAISSE BÉTON = LAISSE TOMBER – Let it go

This was actually the title of a great song by French singer Renaud. It’s obviously helped to make this expression more popular.

FAIRE LA TEUF = FAIRE LA FÊTE – to party

ÊTRE À DONF = ÊTRE À FOND – to be going hard

C’EST UN TRUC DE OUF = C’EST UN TRUC DE FOU – That thing is crazy !

C’EST CHANMÉ = C’EST MÉCHANT

Watch out here, MÉCHANT means « mean » but if you say that something is CHANMÉ, it is wicked, it’s great.

Are you getting the hang of it ? Let me give you some words in VERLAN, and you try to find their proper equivalents. These are very common words.

LA MEUF… LA MEUF

LA FEMME – the woman

LE KEUM… LE KEUM…

LE MEC – the guy

ZARBI… ZARBI…

BIZARRE – strange

ZYVA… ZYVA…

VAS-Y – go/go ahead

Let’s switch it around now. DONNEZ-MOI L’ÉQUIVALENT EN VERLAN DE :

T’ES BÊTE – You’re silly

T’ES TEBÉ

MON PÈRE – my father

MON REUP

MA MÈRE – my mother

MA REUM

C’EST LOUCHE – It’s shady

C’EST CHELOU

The last one…

T’ES LOURD – You’re heavy, in the sense of boring

T’ES RELOU

You see how it works now, let’s illustrate that with a short scene in VERLAN followed by its conventional version. I’m using very familiar words, not necessarily the most polite ones in the slang version. You’re warned.

INSERT : SCENE USING VERLAN

MERDE ! OH, FAIS IÈCH. J’AI PROMIS À MON REUP ET MA REUM QUE J’IRAIS LES VOIR AUJOURD’HUI. MAIS Y A LA GRÈVE ET L’TROMÉ MARCHE PAS.

LAISSE BÉTON, TU ME DIS ?

ÇA CRAINT QUAND MÊME.

NON MAIS, T’AS RAISON. JE LES VERRAI DEMAIN.

AH OUAIS, Y A UNE TEUF CE SOIR ? OH, C’EST CHANMÉ ! AVEC UN PEU DE CHANCE, JE POURRAI PÉCHO UN KEUM CANON.

OK, ZYVA. À TOUTE.

INSERT : SAME SCENE SAID PROPERLY

MERDE ! OH FAIS CHIER. J’AI PROMIS À MON PÈRE ET MA MÈRE QUE J’IRAIS LES VOIR AUJOURD’HUI. MAIS Y A LA GRÈVE ET LE MÉTRO MARCHE PAS.

LAISSE TOMBER, TU ME DIS ?

ÇA CRAINT QUAND MÊME.

NON MAIS, T’AS RAISON. JE LES VERRAI DEMAIN.

AH OUAIS, Y A UNE FÊTE CE SOIR ? OH, C’EST GÉNIAL ! AVEC UN PEU DE CHANCE, JE POURRAI CHOPER UN MEC CANON.

OK, VAS-Y. À TOUTE.

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