I was recently asked by one of my English students whether or not the English expression “Excuse my French, but…” is actually insulting towards the French.
I replied that I’d never really thought about it but that I didn’t think it was meant to aim any negative vibes at French people… or indeed the French language although on second thoughts it is rather insulting to the French language that it be associated with swear words.
The expression is used (as in the title of this post) to “apologise” in advance for using a swear word.
Apparently, the same expression exists in Italian and must go something like “excusi mi francese” (I don’t speak Italian so I don’t know how that’s spelt) but according to my student’s Italian informant on this, it’s actually quite complimentary towards the French in Italian.
What do you think ?
Posted by: Paul