The majority of examples of It Is Pronounced Tro PAY are based on French pronunciation of non-French words, including the title if you want to spell it with an accent.
Commonly seen in Quebec due to the province's language laws, leading to, for instance, Italian or Asian restaurants advertising their French names and signage in English-language ads running on Plattsburgh/Burlington or Ottawa (or English Quebec) TV stations, since Anglophones have to find the place in French.
German has many French loanwords, often with the spelling "Germanized". (friseur —> Frisör; bureau —> Büro; meuble —> Möbel)
The English language itself uses a lot of words that are either French or of French origin, due to the Norman invasion, 1066, Battle of Hastings and all that.
As said in the introduction, French used to be the lingua franca of the Western world. It was mostly spoken by educated and noble people. For example: Beef is the culinary name for bovine and cattle meat. Beef comes from "Boeuf". This is due to the fact that those who had enough money to buy and cook beef were mostly rich and noble, so they spoke french and didn't use the common name of the animal (cow, bull, etc...).
During some historical periods, French became so dominant among European nobility and academic circles that it often replaced the native languages in public conversation. For example, when King Gustav III of Sweden was shot in 1792 (in Sweden, surrounded by Swedes) his reaction was: "Ah! Je suis blessé. Tirez-moi d'ici et arrêtez-le". (I am wounded. Pull me out of here and stop him.)
Indeed, England's national motto is "Dieu et mon Droit." (God and my Right) Yes, the motto of England, as well as the English Sovereigns, is in French.
In Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) it is still common for people who consider themselves to be upper class to speak French amongst each other. Most other people look down on the bourgeoisie for that.
Anthropologie (aside from its name) tends to sell products with nonsensical French brand names like "Moulinette Soeur" (Little-Windmill Sister)
In translations of letters and speeches by Romans their own Gratuitous Greek is sometimes replaced by French, as it has the same connotations but readers are slightly more likely to know what it means.
Les Dessins Animés Occidentaux
The Simpsons loves to go about Frenchifying the characters' dialogue. Bart, for example, once described his mischief as being "Bartesque" (which is actually a "Franglish" neologism, but we'll let it slide). When taking the family to see an artsy-fartsy French-Canadian circus, Lisa mentions that "We've had tickets since septembre!" (which, if you're curious, is pronounced something like "set-OM-brrr"). And Marge actually once said "Tres bien" after hearing a menu item described to her by a waiter - somewhat justified since she's in a fancy restaurant, and really justified when you remember that Marge's family (the Bouviers) are of French ancestry.
The song "Valse de la Lune" from the Wolf's Rain soundtrack is also completely in French.
In the Magical Heart Kokoro-chan OVA, Setsuna (who leaves to study abroad in the main series) plays the part of a mad scientist with a penchant for French phrases.
In GaoGaiGar Final, after literally burning Mikoto due to her overheating body, Rune Cardiff Shishioh just walks off saying "Nice to meet you" in French ("Bonjour-something..." anyone wanna fix it?). She also adds "Au Revoir" in Super Robot Wars W.
"Bonjour. Merci. Comment allez-vous?" Hello. Thank you. How are you?
Worse: In the omake Yumi's seiyuu pronounces "(Rosa foetida) en bouton" better than Yoshino's, who "corrects" her, since she is supposed to be bilingual French-Japanese. Well, suppose.
Likewise, Strawberry Panic has this all over the place. Tamao often cites brutal Flench phrases related to the Etoile system. (Fortunately, most of the girls at least say "Étoile" passably.) French is actually a required subject at Miator, but this hasn't helped Shizuma and Rokujou's pronunciation much; pity poor Nagisa, who's getting extra help from them.
Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club is half-French, half-Japanese, and loves to say how Kyouya is "[son] ami!!!!" With the tonic accent on "a" instead of "mi". French speakers appreciate the subtitles.
Then again, the rhythm he was singing to didn't allow much of a change in pronunciation. Plus it was adorable.
IIRC, subverted for the anime-only character Eclair who only spoke Japanese despite the fact she is actually FROM France and didn't explain how she can speak fluent Japanese like a native.
Sherry Leblanc from Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's. Her name is bad enough, but her cae monster's name is "Fleur de Chevalier", which (because it is grammatically incorrect) literally means "Flower of Knight" "Fleur du Chevalier" is the corrent name. The English game translates it as "Chevalier de Fleur", or (again, due to grammar) "Knight of Flower".
Marginal Prince features Henri-Hugues de Saint Germain, Paris-born member of a French noble family. In an international boarding school surrounding where English is presumed to be the language of consent, he throws in some French here and there, most notably when drawing his tarot cards (which are in French, of course) or when commenting on other characters' behaviour. The latter makes him much a French Jerk, especially in Alfred's eyes.
Star Driver has a number of French terms: all the Star Swords are named after precious stones in French (Emeraude, Saphir, Diamant, etc.), all pilots activate their Cybody with a cry of "Apprivoiser!", and several characters have French-derived names, such as Ivronge and Simone.
Les Bandes Dessinées dans les Journaux
Roz Chast drew "The Man who was Admired for his Lack of Lack of Pretense", depicting a man decked out in smoking jacket, ascot and cigarette holder, in his apartment scattered with objets d'arte on pedestals - he's saying to us "Let's only speak French for a while."
Les Bandes Dessinées sur le Net
Aimee Mouffette from Monsterful, justified since she seems to come from a fictional version of Paris, the monster city of Vamparis, in other words she's french so to speak.
The title of the comic, although French, is justified in that it has a long history of use by English-speakers.
Darths & Droids made the decision to give Count Dooku an atrocious faux-French accent. This reached its height when he tried to say coup de grâce...with a French pronunciation. Ben was quick to point out the redundancy.
In The Word Weary, John speaks French during the characters' Dungeons and Dragons game. The other players are quick to make fun of him for trying to sound pretentious.
A common cliche among terrible rage comics is the overuse of the word "le" in front of every other word. Parodies of sites like 9gag or Reddit that are known for making large amounts of these rage comics will almost always involve taking this usage of "le" to absurd levels◊.
The Merovingian:"Château Haut-Brion 1959, magnificent wine, I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favourite - fantastic language, especially to curse with. Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d'enculé de ta mère. It's like wiping your ass with silk, I love it."
For French Cursing 101 and an analysis of this sentence, just check here.
This is easily the Merovingian's, the whole movie's) Crowning Moment of Awesome. Just watching that scene is like wiping your ass with silk.
In the french version of the movie, the Merovingian still speaks French. (Cue most French viewers almost expecting the characters to look at each other, giggle and go, "Yeah... And?")
Spoofed in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: "He has what the French call a certain... I don't know what."
Fridge Brilliance: "je ne sais quoi", used to mean "An intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive" in English directly translates to "I don't know what" in French.
Intolerable Cruelty: Heinz, the Baron Krauss Von Espy says Marilyn Rexroth (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) asked him for "a man whom she could herself brazenly cuckold, until such time as she might choose to, we would say, 'faire un coup de marteau sur des fesses.'" (Intended translation: nail his ass; actual literal translation: do a hammer blow on butts; Baron's own translation: Make hammer on his fanny.)
To get the effect of French Creole speakers in The Feast Of All Saints without using subtitles, the characters speak predominately English with French accents, liberally sprinkled with French/Creole.
It's generally the opposite in Canada where French Canadians have traditionally been an underclass. This leads to an inversion in The Rocket when the Anglophone coach congratulates his Francophone players for winning the Stanley Cup in French. It's seen as a surprising moment of him lowering himself to show his appreciation.
In Kate and Leopold, Leopold hears that Kate's boss speaks French fluently, so he says something in French to show that the man doesn't know what he's talking about. Then Leopold says that he doesn't know that much French actually so he had probably said the only line in French that he knows.
Averted in Django Unchained: Plantation owner Candie has a Foreign Culture Fetish for the French, demanding to be called "Monsieur" Candie, but doesn't speak it at all (and doesn't like people speaking it to him). The only French sentence spoken in the movie (by Dr. Schultz) is perfectly correct.
Princess Of Thieves: Milder than most, but the Baroness, who is loyal to Prince John, speaks with a French accent and threw in the occasional French term.
For reasons attributable only to indie film quirkiness, the entire soundtrack of Ruby Sparks consists of French songs.
"Ou est la plume de mon oncle?" "La plume de mon oncle est bingy bongy dingy dangy..."
"By the way, if you don't speak French, then all that was fucking funny"
Averted by George Carlin during the introduction to his album Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics, where he makes a point to tell us that he will not be using the French adverb très to modify any English words.
Les Jeux Vidéo
Mid-Boss from Disgaea is fond of using "moi" in place of "me" during his dramatic speeches, simply because it sounds exotic.
The original script had him using Gratuitous English as well, which obviously wouldn't work if translated literally.
Not-gay-at-all chef Jean Armstrong speaks almost exclusively in these in the third Ace Attorney game. Played with when he begins to break down on the stand — he throws "Por favor" into the mix, only to find out that The Judge speaks Spanish and calls him on it.
Of course, he mostly adds "le" before nouns, even nouns that are feminine in French.
Waka in Ōkami uses French cliché phrases from time to time in the American translation. In the original Japanese version, he used Gratuitous English, but that wouldn't have translated well.
Ruby Heart in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Or at least it's supposed to be French. You can barely tell.
Fantina speaks gratuitous French in the English version of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. In the original Japanese version, her name was Melissa and she spoke gratuitous English.
The Belgian Jeanette "Angel" Devereaux of the Wing Commander series often inserts French words and phrases into her speech, (for example, "Oui, mon colonel") and commonly refers to people as "monsieur" or ("mademoiselle" for Spirit).
The Spy in Team Fortress 2 uses a heavy French accent and numerous gratuitous French lines (and one or two Gratuitous Spanish lines as well). As part of a running development theme, his lines have numerous grammar errors ("ma petit chou-fleur" would be used to refer to a man, not a woman), and his voice actor isn't French.
"Mon petit chou-fleur" could very well be used to refer to a woman, but the grammar mistake remains, as chou-fleur is a masculine word.
The Coin Block people in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story speak in a French accent. Broque Monsieur might count as a French Jerk in that he hates Mario for "lowering the value" of Blocks and will tell him to scram if he comes by his shop.
The Metal Gear series throws this around a little: The 'Les Enfants Terribles' project and 'Militaires Sans Frontières' to name a couple of instances.
Neither of these really qualify as gratuitous en soi. Les Enfants Terribles is named after Jean Cocteau's novel of the same name and the Médecins sans Frontières pun wouldn't really work in any other language.
Yoh from Starry Sky, who is a half, occasionally spouts a few lines of French. Although they might be grammatically correct for the most part, the pronunciation and spelling are terrible.
Might also be added in that category his full name, Henri Samuel Jean Aimée... Which is a great name, given you're 200 years old.
LOL.◊ Tell me they did not just translate "Track list" as "Truck list" right there.
They did. Trust me, there is no known translation of "track" that can end up even remotely like "camion".
Solatorobo is an interesting example: while all the written dialogue is in whatever language you choose, the voice clips (exclamations, etc.) are in French, but with obvious Japanese accents (i.e. Japanese Ranguage). Some of the expressions used come off more as Curse of The Ancients than a real insult. Signs, however, are written in perfectly correct French.
Sadly, the French version doesn't keep the Canada, Eh? accent of Viszla's inhabitants.
In English Literature it was pretty common up until the 1980's for authors to regularly throw in a few French phrases here and there. It was a sign of an educated person to "know a bit of French". If you didn't, tant pis - too bad for you.
Lolita. Good luck trying to figure out what they hell everyone's talking about if you aren't bilingual, because occasionally plot-relevant information is given only in French. Humbert is particularly given to this, and he gets kinda snooty when other characters use bad French. This is one of many traits that lead the reader to conclude that his self-image boils down to, "Oh, I may be a pedophile, but at least I'm a sophisticated pedophile."
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot is Belgian and doesn't speak English fluently, so that character's use of French phrases is justified. Except that he actually uses less French than Christie's sympathetic English characters, who pepper their speech with French phrases. The reason is that Christie associated the use of French phrases with intelligent sophistication, not with arrogant pretension.
Most characters in 19th century Russian novels are either fluent in French or follow this trope. Of course, French was the official language of the court of Imperial Russia.
For example, the opening of War and Peace is in untranslated French.
Lord Peter Wimsey of the Dorothy L. Sayers crime novels frequently indulges in them. However, he a) IS not only sophisticated but also fluent in French and b) is usually conversing with other English people who can be expected (in the '20s) to have had significant French-language explosure at school.
Partly because of his admiration for French Enlightenment writers, partly because his native German sometimes lacked just the right word or phrase, Friedrich Nietzsche sometimes used French words and phrases (as well as ones from other languages) in his books. The most famous of these is undoubtedly ressentiment, and the penultimate section of Ecce Homo concludes with a motto from Voltaire.
In the original Ian FlemingCasino Royale novel, M is reading a report by Head of S in which the latter states that Le Chiffre is in the mess he's in because the chain of legal brothels he was running using embezzled party funds were closed by a 1946 French law usually referred to as "la loi Marthe Richard", which criminalised them. Head of S gives the full French title of the law*
Loi tendant à la fermeture des maisons de tolérance et au renforcement de la lutte contre le proxénétisme
. M rings him up, asks what (it is implied) "proxénétisme" means — pimping (literally, "procuring"). M then responds:
"This is not the Berlitz School of Languages, Head of S. The next time you want to show off your knowledge of foreign jaw-breakers, be so good as to use a crib. Better still, write in English."
In Young Adult Novel, when Horace Gerstenblut, the Lord High Executioner (i.e. vice-president) of Himmler High School, tells the Wild Dada Ducks that since they are not a recognized student activity they effectively don't exist, they decide to retaliate by printing a few hundred cards reading "Horace Gerstenblut n'existe pas" and distributing them in the school bathrooms. The cards were highly popular, though dozens of students had to ask what the words meant.
Bertie Wooster in PG Wodehouse's novels often uses French phrases, sometimes wondering if they're correct (according to the footnotes, usually yes).
Tact, of course, has always been with me a sine qua non;*
This one is latin
while as for resource, I think I may say that I have usually contrived to show a certain modicum of what I might call finesse in handling those little contretemps which inevitably arise from time to time in the daily life of a gentleman’s personal gentleman.
In the Discworld novel Hogfather, a fancy restaurant names all their dishes in the pseudo-French language Quirmian. It's amazing how many fancy French titles they can give to dishes made out of mud and old boots.
A running joke in Fool, a book by the same author as Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, concerning the fool from King Lear as the protagonist, is the main character's fondness for the following phrase: "'Moi!?' I said, In perfect fucking French."
The Spanish Language Novel Aura by Carlos Fuentes includes whole segments in French, segments that apparently provide important clues to the plot.
The character of Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series is very, very guilty of this.
It's really funny, when you do speak French as a first language, you know that most of what he says is complete bullshit, as a result of the author's sloppy research.
In Jane Eyre, Adele almost always speaks in French. Justified as she is, after all, a French girl, but the multi-paragraph chunks of French can be daunting to the non-bilingual reader.
Charlotte Brontë did the same in The Professor: set in French-speaking Brussels, the English protagonist maintains several conversations with non-anglophones in French.
This trope is played with periodically in the case of Nell Harris. She is depicted as unworldly, verging on CloudCuckoolander-territory, but is in fact both intelligent and wise. In Aunt Dimity's Good Deed, she disguises herself as a French girl who is Willis Sr.'s ward and speaks French as a part of the cover, getting information from locals about Gerald Willis. Years later, she falls for Kit Smith, then her father's stable master and twice her age (She's 16, he's 32). He doesn't want to take advantage of her youth and tells her so, but he sneaks into her grandfather's estate to see her after her riding accident in Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday. When he goes to leave her bedside, he says, "I...I should go. Good-bye, Nell." She replies, "Au revoir, Kit." The French phrase can be literally translated as, "until our next meeting," making it clear she still loves him and intends to pursue the relationship.
Appears occasionally in the Red Dwarf novels by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, where the narration will occasionally use a French adjective. For example, Rimmer once gives a false smile which is described as trompe-l'oeil.
Appears frequently in Fancy Nancy's book series. Using French in order to look sophisticated is an essential trait of Nancy's personality.
The second verse of Electric Light Orchestra's "Hold On Tight" is in French; more specifically, it's the first verse translated into French.
The first half of Les Étoiles by Melody Gardot is in French.
The Beatles song "Michelle," which is about professing love to a non-Anglophone French girl. (Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble and translated by the Beatles as "These are words that go together well.")
Cole Porter liked having portions of his songs sung in French, often for no other justifiable reason than Everything Sounds Sexier in French. In "It's De-Lovely," one of the singers chides the other for "falling into Berlitz French."
The Michelle Branch song "Till I Get Over You" has some gratuitous French in the chorus. It's coherent enough unless you read the album notes, which transcribe it wrong and then translate it wrong.
Minako Aino's song "C'est La Vie ~ Watashi No Naka No Koi Suru Bubun" in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is a bit off in its understanding of the phrase "C'est la vie." "C'est la vie" means "That's life" but in a way roughly analogous to "shit happens", so the sentance "Atsui kimochi wa C'est la vie (This warm feeling is C'est la vie)" is a bit odd.
The Police song "Hungry for You (J'aurais Toujours Faim de Toi)", as you can probably tell by the parentheses, is almost entirely in French (one lone chorus gets sung in English towards the end).
In Aine Furey's haunting song "13 wishes" most of the last verse is sung in French; even for high school speakers, "Elle est la fille, elle est la fleur... La bohème qui vive pour l'amour" is clear enough; the intervening line, not so much.
311's song "Salsa" lampshades this in the line "Je vais à la plage parce que le guignol est chouette! I kick nonsense in French tasty like Crepe Suzette". This translates to "I go to the beach because the Punch and Judy show is cool!"
Judas Priest's 1977 song "Saints In Hell" has Rob Halford randomly howling: "Abattoir!Abattoir!Mon Dieu, quel horreur!" (Abattoir roughly means "slaughterhouse.")
Shakira does this in her song "Something" (first verse, repeated later in the song).
Soup du jour! ...Camembert! ...Jacques Cousteau! ...Baguette!
The chorus of Rush's "Circumstances" has the line "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" followed by the English translation, "The more that things change, the more they stay the same."
In an episode of Revolting People, Joshua attempts to sound sophisticated by adding gratuitous French expressions to his speech, despite having no idea what any of them mean (and thus invariably using them inappropriately). When Sam points this out, Joshua responds that everybody knows French is just decorative and it doesn't matter what the words mean — and anyway, he doesn't know what most words in English mean either, and he's never let that stop him.
Much less frequently, but the Swedish Chef will occasionally add some French to his Foreign Sounding Gibberish (i.e. "où est la banananana").
Subverted in Only Fools And Horses, wherein Del Boy tries to use French to seem intelligent, but constantly, CONSTANTLY gets it wrong... to the point of saying bonjour to mean "goodbye" and au revoir to mean "hello".
Lampshaded in one of the last specials in which they actually go to France:
Del: One of my favourite French dishes is duck à l'orange. [...] How do they say "duck" in French? Rodney: It's "canard". Del: You can say that again, bruv.
In Doctor Who, the Tenth Doctor has a habit of using the phrase "Allons-y!" ("Let's go!") every now and then in both the show and the new novels. This and his use of "molto bene" (Italian for "very good"/"very well") end up saving his butt in "Midnight" when the Hostess recognizes the words are coming out of the wrong person.
The critical work "Inside the TARDIS", describing the Male Gaze of the camera when Zoe's around, drops into French to name which area of her body it keeps lingering on. Her "derrière".
Dollhouse plays this one to a regrettable T. In eipsode 8 (Needs), doll Tango appears with her handler during a tense escape scene. She's speaking French, but instead of a Bilingual Bonus, it ends up causing unintentional levity for some tropers, because the dialogue is stiltedly written and painfully delivered. In heavily American-accented French, Tango remarks:
"Chaque mot que tu dis c'est comme un [?] mes oreilles." ("Every word you say it is like a [?] my ears.")
"Les véhicles [?] c'est dégoûtant." ("The vehicles [?] it's disgusting.")
"Je ne sais pas pour qui j'ai [sic] continué à employer ce service de voiture en Los Angeles." ("I don't know for who I've continued to use this vehicle service in Los Angeles.")