One of the most overused and mispronounced English expressions I hear right now in the French media is ‘best of’. Literally this translates in French as ‘meilleur de’ which strikes me as a perfectly acceptable French phrase. So why use the English? Like so many examples of franglais, this remains a mystery.
In summer and over the year-end holidays, all the major networks and radio stations run ‘best of’ programs – essentially repeats of the most memorable moments from live shows broadcast during the year. The expression can be found in everything from publishing to fast food menus.
As you know in France the year runs from September to June, just like the school calendar.
I suppose the news and entertainment media are entitled to a summer vacation just like the rest of us. Also, they need some time to prepare the new line-up that will start in September when we all rush back to school and work. Still, it seems a little slack to simply repackage content that is déjà vu and rerun it for July and August.
But as the saying goes, when in Rome…
This summer I am inspired to do as the French do with my own blog ‘best of’. So I’ll repost some old favourites as well as link to fellow bloggers’ best-loved pieces. While adding new posts as the spirit moves me.
I’ll start my ‘Best of’ with a throwback to this post about franglais from my early days of FranceSays. Check out the video of former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin trying to use English to make a point in a campaign speech. It was a source of razzing and ridicule that carried my favourite French puppets, Les Guignols, now sadly defunct, through many a sketch.
Note that the French say ‘best off’. This makes me smile as it seems somehow appropriate: everyone is ‘off’ on holiday. Perhaps even at their best when off on holiday. In that case, I’d best be off!
Do you have a ‘best of’ example of franglais?