Language Learning, Not a movie review

French 101 with the Minions (Despicable Me 3)

There’s a scene in Despicable Me 3 where the Minions are comparing some pictures of Gru.

The Minions’s voice is made by the director, who is French. It’s complete gibberish but if you pay attention, you can hear real words, mostly borrowed from romance languages such as French, Spanish and Italian. One of my favorite sentences is “c’est la casa des minions”, a mix between French and Spanish meaning “it’s the house of the minions”.

They were happier before, when he was a vilain. And they’re saying “bueno” each time a picture of him as a vilain appears.

They’re not too pleased with their current situation, where Gru is just a father, and not a vilain anymore. And they’re saying “pignouf” each time a picture of him as a father appears.

While “bueno” is well known (Spanish for “good”), the word “pignouf” is more obscure.

Actually, this is a French word. And it’s a slang word meaning “imbecile” or “idiot”. Wordreference also says “knucklehead” or “lout”.

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