BOF! Gallic gestures …

Even while typing the ‘bof’ word, I can feel my shoulders moving into (what I imagine to be!) a Gallic shrug. I find I can’t speak French without using my hands – much more then when I’m speaking English.

As a French teacher, I used to encourage my students to try to ‘be’ French through their gestures and general body language. It’s part of getting the ‘feel’ of a language, as well as being fun!

My sons have commented that when I’m in France, my personality changes and I must admit that I do feel as if I ‘morph’ into a different person! Does this happen to you, too?

Other sounds, accompanied by the appropriate gesture, that I enjoy include: Bon, Hein and aie! Do you have favourite sounds, expressions etc in French? I’d love to know. 

To find out more have a look at this clip from ‘Comme une Française’, in which the delightful Geraldine demonstrates ‘Speaking French without words: facial expressions’. 

3 thoughts on “BOF! Gallic gestures …

  1. I’m partial to the shrug and the “sigh”–but that sigh where you are just shy of saying “puh”. I’m also quite used to the hands almost in a “priest-at-the-altar-raising-his-hands-midway-to-heaven” gesture with a look up to the ceiling!


    • I just found your blog and I love it! I definitely morph into a different version of myself when I go back to France to visit my relatives. It’s not so much that I develop another personality, more that there are aspects of myself that are dormant or generally underused in the UK, that I find myself naturally leaning towards more once I am in France because the culture is more receptive to it. I become slightly more expressive, blunt and outwardly opinionated, I think because it is more normal and I am less likely to be thought to be ‘argumentative’. I also drink a lot more coffee!


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