1 – Avoid a Terribly Embarrassing Mistake When Saying “A Pin” in French
Saying the English word “a pin” could get you in big trouble in France.
I don’t mean to be vulgar and I hope I won’t offense you but I thought this information was worth sharing….
In French, we have a slang word for penis: “une pine” (feminine). It is rather common.
“Une pine” is not pronounced like the tree pine in English, but just like the English word “pin”, like a pin on Pinterest, so more like “pean”. So you can see how problematic this could be!
Now, that’s where the French are ticky. Pinterest users do actually say “UN pin” (pronounced like the English word, like “pean”). Note how the article is MASCULINE though…
So make sure you do say this article (and the adjectives to go with) correctly, in the masculine, or you are in for a bit of embarrassment…
If you are talking to people new to Pinterest, you may get a few smiles, even when using “un pin” correctly… Just like the planet “Uranus” may make some people new to astronomy giggle.
However, once the context is set, or when talking to frequent users, saying “un pin” should fly.
2 – So “A Pin” in English is “Une Épingle”, “un Pin” or “un Pins” in French?
- Une épingle – a pin.
This is the official French Pinterest word for a pin, but nobody uses it (I’ve checked with people in the industry).
- Un pin, pronounced with a nasal “in” French sound is a tree: a pine tree in fact… So nothing to do with Pinterest! How confusing.
- We talked about “un pin”, pronounced like in English “pean” and the fact that it is masculine in French… Do remember that please!
- I have heard people say “un pins”, pronounced the English way with the S pronounced as well (so “peans”)… Maybe to make is less close to the slang French word for penis “une pine”… Pinterest is new enough… we will see what the French choose to say as it develops :-)
3 – More Pinterest French Vocabulary
- Épingler – to pin. This one is used frequently.
- Pinner – to pin – used as well – Regular ER verb.
- Réépingler – to repin.
- Repiner – to repin
- Un pinner – someones who pins. Pronounce “eur” like “chanteur”.
- Un tableau thématique – a board.
- Une invitation – an invitation
- S’inscrire – to register
- Un thème – a topic
- Faire un commentaire – to comment
- Une image – an image
- Un dessin – a drawing
- Une vidéo – a video
- Suivre quelqu’un sur Pinterest – to follow someone on Pinterest.
- Un abonné, un fan – a follower
Here again, whenever you are using a “pin” (“pean”, English pronunciation) derived word, make really sure you’ve established the context first or you may get some surprised looks!
4 – Typical Conversation About Pinterest In French
Here is a typical conversation with my sister Laure, who has a beautiful Pinterest page :-)
– Salut Laure, dis-moi, je suis allée l’autre jour voir ton Pinterest ; c’est vraiment super.
Hi Laure, say, I went the other day to see your Pinterest; it’s really great.
– Merci Camille, tu es gentille – j’adore épingler des trucs, je crée des thèmes qui m’inspirent, ça me plaît vraiment.
Thanks Camille, it’s nice of you – I love to pin things, I create topics that inspire me, I really enjoy it.
– Oui, j’aime beaucoup ton tableau “nuages”, j’ai même trouvé une photo artistique dessus que j’ai tellement aimée que je l’ai commandée à l’artiste aux Etats-Unis. Mais tu as plein de pins, c’est vraiment génial.
Yes, I really like your board “clouds”, I even found on it an artsy picture that I liked so much that I ordered it from the artist in the States. But you have lots of pins, it’s really wonderful.
– Je me promène souvent sur Pinterest, et donc je réépingle les pins des autres. Beaucoup de gens me suivent : j’ai trente-deux tableaux et environ deux mille quatre cents abonnés.
I often surf Pinterest and so I repin pins from other people. I have many followers (lit. many people follow me): I have thirty two boards and about two thousand four hundred followers.
– Et ben dis-donc, tu es célèbre !
Wow, you are famous!
– C’est ça les réseaux sociaux !
That’s social media for you!
I hope this will be useful to you. If you can think of other common French Pinterest words, please leave them on the comments or send them to me at Camille@www.frenchtoday.com and I’ll add them to the list.
I will soon be adding an article about Twitter, register to my newsletter to stay tuned.
For more info about French social networks – what’s hot or going down in 2014, read this article (in French).
And of course, you should try my own social network pages – I’m very active so you should follow the links to my pages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and post one mini lesson daily, tips and more. See you there!
If you enjoy learning French in context, check out French Today’s downloadable French audiobooks: French Today’s bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation.