Getting to Know French — A la rencontre du français
You already know some French! Maybe you've had a chance to eat Brie, a French cheese? Or have you gone to a matinée?Do you know any brunettes? And you certainly know what dessert is, don't you? How about a chocolate éclair?
Some French words are so much a part of English that we don't think of them as French; we think of them as English. The two languages are old friends, after all. Both English and French partly grew out of an ancient language called Latin, spoken over two thousand years ago.
As English developed over the last 600 years, it borrowed a lot of words from French. Some of them, like “imagination,” are so familiar it's hard to “imagine” they were ever French! But many English words that we use all the time have French origins.
Luckily, the shared words usually mean the same thing in both French and English. Here is a list of some you know:
Can you think of other words from French that we use in English? You know a lot more than you think you do!