Many French students are puzzled when it comes to translating “I’m excited” in French. It’s such a common expression in English! And since the verb “exciter” and the adjective “excité(e)” do exist in French, it seems logical to simply translate.
Unfortunately, in the case of “to be excited” in French, translating word by word is going to mean trouble.
1 – “I’m Excited” Translated in French Means “I’m Horny” For an Adult
Here you have it. “To be excited” in French used for adults has a sexual meaning. It means turned on, horny…
This could lead to a big misunderstanding.
If you meant to say to a friend:
- I’m excited to see you tonight.
And translated “I’m excited” in French to “Je suis excité(e)… de te voir ce soir”
You’d be saying:
- I’m turned on to the idea of seeing you tonight.
Hum… Quite embarrassing!
Ok, now, if you’ve said that to a French friend, no need to freak-out and applogogize. Chance is that they got that it was a poor translation.
It happens! You can’t take yourself too seriously when you are learning a language… You are going to make mistakes: sometimes it may even be embarrassing… It’s OK: we’ve all been there. (Just don’t do it again!)
2 – “I’m Excited” Translated in French Means “I’m Hyper” For a Kid
The only time we’d use “I’m excited” in French would be to describe kids being hyper, over-active.
In this case of course, it won’t have a sexual meaning.
- Arrête d’exciter ton frère
Stop provoking/pestering/ making something to make your brother react and lose his cool!
- Les enfants étaient tellement excités après avoir mangé des bonbons qu’ils couraient partout dans la maison.
The kids where so hyper after eating candies that they ran all over the house.
Keep in mind that this is not a calm excitement linked to joy such as in “I’m excited” in English.
Here, it’s “crazy,-jumping-all-around-hyper-screaming” kind of excitement…
3 – How to remember to not use “to be excited” in French
To remember how to translate “to be excited” in French, just bring up the image.
Link the word “excité” to a mental image of someone horny, or a hyper kid – like on the pictures of this article.
Don’t link the word to the English word: since you can’t translate “excited” in French with “excité”, if you link the two words together, it won’t work.
4 – Translate “to be Excited” in French = Content, heureux, ravi, enchanté…
I know this sounds quite “flat” in English… “I’m happy to see you” lacks enthusiasm. Could it be that the French are less emotional than the English speakers? I don’t think so… But the language here sure doesn’t translate the notion of cool excitement of “I’m excited”!
So, use a French adjective to say happy, delighted etc… and add an adverb to make it stronger
- Je suis vraiment contente de te voir ce soir – I’m excited (really happy) to see you tonight.
- Je suis très heureuse de vous revoir – I’m excited (very happy) to see you tonight.
- Il est ravi d’être ici – He’s excited (enchanted…) to be here.
5 – Translate “Excited” in French = Impatient
Often, in the notion of being excited is a notion of being impatient. So we’d use that in French to say “I’m excited”.
- Je suis impatiente de la recontrer – I’m excited (impatient) to meet her.
- Nous avons hâte d’y être – We’re excited (looking forward to… but very used in French) be there (to a place in the future).
6 – Translate “It’s exciting” in French = C’est cool, génial, trop bien, super, génialissime…
If you want to translate “it’s exciting” in French, again, “c’est excitant” is going to sound weird (although, it’s slowly but surely making its way in the French language under the English influence of “how exciting”).
Here again, use French adjectives to show your enthusiasm.
- C’est trop cool de partir demain en vacances
It’s exciting (super cool) to leave tomorrow for our vacation
- C’est génialissime d’avoir gagné
It’s so exciting (awesome) to have won.
6 – The French Verb for “to Excite”
Take the following with a grain of salt – we do use the verb “exciter” and the expressions below: however aren’t they going to confuse you and entice you to use “excited” in French?
You need to understand them, but maybe not use them yourself…
- Exciter – as we’ve seen, we’d use it mostly to describe kids interacting.
“Arrête d’exciter ton frère” – stop irritating/ provoking etc… your brother
And then there is also the sexual meaning: to turn someone on.
- S’exiter – to get hyper, to have a strong reaction to something
It’s used for kids, and also when someone is getting angry in front of your very eyes, you could say “arrête de t’exciter”: stop getting all worked up about it.
Here again, “s’exciter” as a reciprocal or reflexive verb could also have a sexual meaning: to get horny.
7 – Être surexcité
This is to be over-excited.
And that one we do use in French…
So if you are going to use “excité” to translate “excited” in French, if you draw a total blank and nothing else comes to mind, then add a “sur” in front, and you’ll be kind of safe :-)
- Je suis surexcitée à l’idée de partir à Paris demain
I’m beyong myself when I think I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow
However, it’s really a strong emotion. Again, it’s not a perfect fit to translate “I’m excited” in French because it’s just too strong. We use it, but not that much.
8 – The French expression “Être excité comme une puce”
“Une puce” is a flea. So… Can you picture yourself jumping around like a flea out of crazy excitement? Then use this expression.
- Je suis excitée comme une puce à l’idée de sortir mon nouveau livre audio.
I’m pumped/ stoked to release my new audiobook.
Voilà – now you have many options on how to translate “to be excited” in French.