French Mistake: Translating I’m Excited in French ⚠️

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

How to translate “I’m excited” in French? This common expression gets really lost in translation. Here are solutions + many examples on how to translate “I’m excited” in French.

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 may create quite an embarrassing misunderstanding.

A Big Mistake When Translating “I’m Excited” In French

“Je suis excité(e)” in French used for adults often has a sexual meaning. It means turned on, horny, aroused… so translating word by word ‘I’m excited’ in French could lead to a big misunderstanding and quite an embarrassment.

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

This could be understood as:

  • I’m turned on by the idea of seeing you tonight.

Ok, now, this being said, “je suis excité(e)” seems to be switching meaning lately.

I’ve heard it used in 2021 in both the Netflix series “Lupin” and “Call My Agent” without a sexual meaning… So maybe it’s changing.

Yet, I’d be careful before using this expression in French as a grown up when the context is not absolutely clear.

For sure, stay away from saying to someone : “il m’excite”… unless you do mean ‘he turns me on’.

I'm Excited in French Means I'm Horny

2 – “I’m Excited” In French 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 any sexual meaning.

  1. Arrête d’exciter ton frère
    Stop provoking/pestering/ making something to make your brother react and lose his cool!
  2. 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 it can be the case in “I’m excited” in English.

Here, it’s “crazy,-jumping-all-around-hyper-screaming” kind of excitement…

13 Ways to Translate “to be Excited” in French

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

  1. Je suis vraiment contente de te voir ce soir. 
    I’m excited (really happy) to see you tonight.
  2. Je suis très heureuse de vous revoir. 
    I’m excited (very happy) to see you tonight.
  3. Il est ravi d’être ici.
    He’s excited (enchanted…) to be here.
  4. Elle est emballée à l’idée de cette soirée.
    She is thrilled by the idea of this party.
  5. Nous sommes fous de joie de partir en vacances.
    We’re thrilled to go on vacation.
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How To Translate “Excited” In French

Often, in the notion of being excited is a notion of being impatient. In French, we’d say:

  1. Je suis impatiente de la rencontrer. 
    I’m excited (impatient) to meet her.
  2. Nous avons hâte d’y être !
    We’re looking forward/ impatient to being there.
    Note this sound quite formal in English but it’s commonly used in French.

How To Translate “It’s Exciting” In French

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 other French adjectives to show your enthusiasm.

  1. C’est trop cool de partir demain en vacances !
    It’s exciting (super cool) to leave tomorrow for our vacation.
  2. C’est génialissime d’avoir gagné !
    It’s so exciting (awesome) to have won!

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…

  1. 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.
  2. S’exciter – 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 aroused.

How To Say To Be Over-Excited In French

We do use the same word: être sur-excité(e). It doesn’t have a sexual meaning but it’s quite strong in French and we don’t use it all that much.

  • Je suis surexcitée à l’idée de partir à Paris demain
    I’m beyond myself when I think I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow

The French Expression “Être Excité(e) 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.

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 I carefully choose to illustrate this article.

Chose a French expression I offered to link to that picture…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.

Voilà – now you have many options on how to translate “to be excited” in a none sexual manner French ! Can you think of other ways? Leave a common below!

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Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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