Want to be come familiar with French social media vocabulary? Do you use social media? Do you text or use FaceTime? As you can imagine there’s a whole set of vocabulary to know around these things in every language, so let’s take a look at them in French.
Anglicisms, mais bien sûr!
Tech-related words in French are created quickly, often borrowed and adapted from English. Despite the best efforts of institutions like the Académie Française to offer French equivalents, a lot of people – young people especially – tend to use anglicized words in their French social media vocabulary. For example, English verbs turn into French verbs with the addition of the infinitive –er ending: to like becomes liker (li-keh); to tweet -> tweeter; etc.
- J’ai liké ton post sur Facebook. (I liked your post on Facebook.)
- Je vais tweeter un lien à cet article. (I’m going to tweet a link to this article.)
Of course, linguistic purists may want to avoid the anglicisms, and instead might say:
- J’ai aimé ton post sur Facebook. (I liked your post on Facebook.)
- Je vais partager un lien à cet article sur Twitter. (I’m going to share this link on Twitter.)
Let’s break down French terms for social media, réseau social in the singular and réseaux sociaux.
If you have a Facebook account, that’s un compte Facebook. On your compte, you have all the information that makes up your profile ton profil. No profile is complete without a flattering profile pic, une photo de profil. You also have your amis (friends), and if you send a friend request, that’s faire une demande d’ami. Hopefully the other person will accept, and you will become friends, devenir amis.
Once you’ve got your profil and your amis, it’s time to post something: mettre un post, or poster. People may liker (or aimer) your post, and the may comment, commenter or mettre un commentaire.
You probably also like a few Facebook pages (des pages Facebook), and if you’re not too shy you may even share (partager) or upload (télécharger) things for other people to see.
If you have un compte Twitter, a Twitter account, unless you’re just a lurker you probably tweet (tweeter – je tweete, tu tweetes, elle tweete...) a bit. Or maybe a lot. If you see other tweets that you like, you can liker them, or if you really like them you can retweet (retweeter) them. If someone has something to say about one of your tweets, hopefully nice, they can answer your tweet (répondre à ton tweet).
Part of using Twitter is choosing people to follow (suivre). If someone follows you, you may want to follow them back, which in French would probably be explained (suivre quelqu’un qui vous suit, follow someone who follows you.) Then you’re both a follower – un/une abonné(e) – of each other, although you might also hear follower. Inevitably, you may see a tweet that makes your reconsider whether you want to follow or unfollow (désabonner) this person. If things get really bad, you may even need to block (bloquer) them. It can get pretty rough out there…
Instagram may be more to your liking. There usually aren’t arguments, and all you do is post a pic/photo (poster une photo) after choosing a filter (un filtre). You can also to edit a pic/photo (modifier une photo) to get it just the way you want it. Your followers (abonné(e)s or followers) will aimer/liker (like) your photo, and maybe even leave un commentaire (a comment). And you probably scroll through the people who you follow – qui tu suis – to see who’s traveled where and eaten what.
If you upload a video (télécharger une vidéo) to YouTube, you may get some commentaires, or if if ta vidéo is really popular and gets partagée (shared) a lot, it could devenir virale (go viral.)
Texting / WhatsApp / Facetime
Texting is just as popular in France as anywhere else. A text message is called un texto, un sms, or just un message. The most common way to say to send a text or to text is envoyer un texto / un sms / un message. You might start to hear texter, textoter and even smser, but these really haven’t quite taken hold yet, so stick with envoyer.
A great way to be in touch with your friends in other places is to have a video call (un appel vidéo). It’s even better if you have WiFi (le wifi). If you’re not in a place with le wifi, you need to have a signal – avoir le réseau (lit. to have the network). You still could have a good connection (avoir une bonne connexion) or have a bad connection (avoir une mauvaise connexion.) You’ll probably go somewhere where you lose the signal – perdre le réseau. In which case you might say:
- Je n’ai plus de réseau. (I don’t have a signal any more.)
- Il n’y a pas de réseau ici. (There’s no signal here.)
Of course, the other person will not be able to hear your cries about a lost signal. They’ll be wandering what happened, and waiting for you to call back, while you’re waiting for them to call back. Technologie!