Ross O'Carroll Kelly: Enough French to Get By


Some useful phrases you might need as an Irish fan travelling to the Rugby World Cup. 


1. The most important thing you’re going to need to know is obviously how to order a drink. Try saying, “Une pinte de Heineken,” adding “s’il vous plait” if the bar person happens to be a woman. The reply will usually be, “Bon choix, moinseur!” which – roughly translated – means, “You are clearly a man of taste and sophistication.” In rare cases, you may hear, “Nous n’avon pas de Heineken. Nous avons Carlsberg,” which means, “This pub is a complete an utter dive. I suggest you leave and find a hostelry that better suits someone of your evident class and stature.” 


2. Okay, the game itself. If Ireland have scored a try but the decision is thrown to the old TMO, you can put pressure on the decision-makers by shouting, “C’est un essai!”which literally means, “Are you stupid – what the fock!” Alternatively, if one of Ireland’ Opponents score an apparent try and it’s being looked at, you can shout, “Ce n’est pas un essai!” which means, “That’s never a try, you cheating fockers!” 


3. If someone boos the kicker from either team as they step up to take a conversion or penalty, you can pull them into line by reminding them, “Respectez le kicker!” which means, “Cop on, will you? You’re not a Croke Pork now!” 


4. For various reasons, you may find yourself getting angry with the referee, in which case you might consider shouting, “L’arbitire est un branleur!” which means, “The referee habitually engages in a practice that was once popularly believed to cause blindness.” 


5. And finally a phrase you’re very likely to need in Paris on the evening of 28 October: “Nous sommes les champions du monde!” which means, “I am drunk out of my mind and I am not going home to my wife and children!” 


Bon voyage! (Which means Come on Ireland!) 


Camino Royale by Ross O’Carroll-Kelly is published on the 17th August and is available to pre-order now