Argot Français
French Slang
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 Short address for this website

( Level: intermediate / advanced )


This is the first website on the internet, if not the only one, where you will  atually improve you fluency in French slang, or, as it is called,  L'argot.

L'argot is a very casual way of speaking French. You should not use it in a formal situation where politeness and good manners are required. But with good friends, with family, in a relaxed context, you can use it to create a more friendly linguistic environment. But beware, not everybody has the same understanding of l'argot. Some people may use it quite casually every day, others will avoid it in general. 

Originally, l'argot was a secret language invented in the 17th century by robbers in the city of Paris, in order not to be understood by police spies. Today, it means «special language», parallel to standard French. All French people, at all socio-economic levels in France, know or use some argot, even the president of France, or famous writers at the Académie française! 

In the province of Québec (Canada), and in the city of Trois-Rivières, where this website is located, the local argot also exists, under the name of joual - mispronunciation of the word cheval (horse). You will find a good sample of this "lumberjack talk" in the Canadian CD-ROM La chaise berçante / The Rocking chair where, among other interesting exercises for learning standard French, you will hear a legend narrated in this very familiar level of speech. The address for the CD-ROM is: 

The main goal of this site is to increase your proficiency in understanding l'argot so you won't be at a loss the first time you hear it around you during a trip to France. 

To begin, click on leçon 1 and follow the lessons and the exercises, beginning by a dialog in  Argot - Slow speed. Improve immediately your aural skills by listening carefully to the dialogs with MP3 while reading the texts.  
After having worked strenuously at this site, take a rest by reading the words of 254 excellent songs in argot by the famous French argot song-writer Pierre Perret, at this address:   (and buy his CDs; the songs, poetic and funny, are worth the price).

The linguistic content of the site owes everything to David Burke's excellent book Street French 1, published in 1996 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., which I highly recommand. With the author's authorization, for which we are very grateful, we borrowed five chapters of David Burke's book to create this website. You will find a lot more information about David Burke's publications on slang at this address: .

Also, you may watch David Burke  at this adress on a Canadian TV program by Journalist Vicki Gabereau, recorded on September 26, 2003, in Vancouver, Canada. You may also type ' Argot-Burke' on Youtube to find this interview.

For more information about French slang, please read also Georges Pilard, Rude French, Harrap, 2003, a very rich phrasebook, with many phrases in context. 

We are very thankful to Anne-Laure Debin, Céline Muller and Gilles Triouleyre for lending their voices for the dialogs. The author of the website, André Bougaïeff, can also be heard in some dialogs.

This project was made possible by the financial support of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.  
We gratefully acknowledge the help provided by the computing team of the university, and particularly by Liette Pothier. Also a big thank you to Jessie Boulanger for the very nice design of the website. Thank you  to Hélène Beaulieu for the nice graphics.

A+ les mecs! -- See you later, guys!
( 'A+' is short for ' A plus tard ' in SMS writing - SMS is ' Texto ', in French)

André Bougaïeff, Ph.D. 
Professeur titulaire 
Département de Lettres et communication sociale 
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
Trois-Rivières (Québec) 
September 2003-2015 
Email ( ' courriel ' in French) 
Personal website

Dernière mise à jour | 2017-02-28