That’s a real French sentence guys. For real. I am not making this shit up. I saw it spammed in the Trade 42 times in the space of 15 minutes. “fufu up tora 10”

Okay, says I, staring the “sentence” down like it’s a rabid bear. I’ve made it all the way to level 13 with halting translations, hasty dictionary work, and angry French friends who are tired of telling me over and over again what “souhaitez” means.

Okay. I got this. I totally got this.

10 probably means 10 man. Tora is either Toravon or a French word, but most likely the former. That’s half the sentence right there.

Fufu up….

Fufu up….

WTF?

I got nothing.

I ask the closest francophone I can find. She stares the sentence down like it’s a rabid bear. I watch her eagerly, attempting to discern the translation from her eyes. The suspense builds to an unbearable point, when she finally announces: “WTF? I got nothing.”

We are obviously dealing with a master of the language here, if even my French-is-her-mother-tongue friend can’t tell me what the Hell fufu up means. This guy knows his shit. That is some obscure syntax right there.

I go back to questing. A while later I’m back at the Exodar (as a gnome, because…gnomes.) and I see someone in the trade looking for somebody’s transmute cooldown (translated that one all by me onsies). But in his statement, he uses that mysterious “up” again.

“Demande,” says my French friend. I stare blankly at her and she blinks. “Ask,” she says, remembering belatedly that for all I’ve been buried on a French server for the last couple days, I don’t actually speak it.

“Oh,” I say. So I whisper the guy and ask him what it means in a decent impression of an unnecessarily formal French sentence. He whispers me back and explains what a cooldown is. My friend promptly takes over the keyboard since I am apparently less comprehensible in French than in English. She clarifies that I’m actually wondering what “up” is, since I’ve seen “fufu up” in places and I don’t know what it means.

“mdr up —> prêt” he says, which is just the most helpful thing I’ve ever seen. Truly revelatory. Seriously.

“Well,” I say, considering that. “Prêt is ready. Oh, I get it. ‘up’ is like the English ‘up’. Is your CD up. Oh. It’s English. Fuck.”

My friend is once again staring down the sentence like it’s a rabid bear. “What the fuck is mdr?” she says, making a face at the trade chat as though it’s causing her physical pain to watch these people mangle her language to the point where she no longer recognizes it.

“I still don’t know what fufu is,” I add, somewhat mournfully.

We swap places again and I whisper the guy sitting at his computer somewhere in France and tell him merci.

Google, I think. Google will have the answer.

I find mdr with relative ease – morte de rire: death by laughing. It’s the French equivalent of LoL.

Oh good! He was laughing at me! So glad we had that clarified.

Fufu is harder to find. I eventually manage to stumble across a forum post from some poor fool who’s trying the same thing as me. Via this thread I get the belated advice to go on an RP server for this kind of thing, as the grammar is better on average – the sentences less riddled with incomprehensible acronyms and random, improperly used English words.

Note to self, says I, transfer to an RP server if I get higher level.

Buried in this thread I find an impressively helpful list of common acronyms. For instance, apparently in French, a warrior is referred to as a Wawa. I can’t…quite bring myself to use that. It sounds like either a baby crying, or a euphemism, and I just…no.

A fufu, it turns out, is a rogue. Apparently it’s a bastardization of “furtif”, the French word for “furtive; stealthy; sneaky.” Fufu. Rogue.

I have no words.

At least no French ones.

Other useful stuff I’ve learned

I’ve managed to learn several words I will never be able to use in a real conversation, unless I’m talking to a gamer or a serial killer:


  • Tuer (verb) – to kill
  • seigneur de l’effroi – Dreadlord
  • maudite – cursed
  • âmes – souls
  • mâcheroc – Rock Eater
  • souffrances – suffering
  • assassiner – murder (I’m guessing assassinate probably counts too)
  • parade – parry
  • esquive – dodge
  • nain(e) – dwarf
  • etc.

I’ve also learned some more useful ones, and am slowly starting to be able to piece together the meaning of various sentences with less help required. And I mean very slowly. Like…there’s been a 1% reduction in the number of “somethings” I have to throw in when I’m translating out loud.

I’ve learned that a lot of words are the same:


  • Tank – tank
  • heals – heals
  • dps – dps
  • need – need (seriously. They say stuff like “need tank et heals pour aleatoire hero”)
  • up – up in the sense of “ready” (apparently)
  • plz – please, same as in English (though I do see stp and svp as well)

By the same token, a lot of the slang is very different:


  • Jojo = JCer. Joaillerie is Jewelcrafting.
  • Fufu = rogue. Who knew?
  • Comp = skill (from “competence”)
  • JCJ = PvP
  • LQR = BoP (lié quand ramassé)

I’ve learned that when the French decide to mangle their own language, they take it even farther than the English do. My friend understands perhaps two thirds of the trade channel, total. For instance, they randomly replace the “qu” that occurs so frequently in French with a “k” (which, for the record, totally fucks me up. I don’t know the words well enough to recognize a mangling).

They don’t appear to have the equivalent of “WTB” or “WTS” acronyms. They just preface an item link with either “vend” (sell) or “achete” (buy).

I’ve learned that sometimes the French words can be awkward, because my brain tries to read them as English first before trying to translate. If they actually match an English word it can take me a moment:


  • “Parade” means “parry”. “Rate” means “miss.” So what keeps happening, is I hear the parry noise, followed by a swoosh, and Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text informs me that my combat skill is so terrible, the battle is like unto the chaos of a parade, and follows it up by telling me it is going to rate me based on this.

    I know that’s not what it’s actually saying, but my brain momentarily interprets it as such and I get really offended.

  • “Râpé” means “worn out.” But when I see the following:

    my brain automatically translates it as “Rape Cape” and I feel really awkward. Why is there a cape for that, I wonder. And, more importantly, why am I wearing it?

  • Lame = blade. But that’s not when I’m thinking when I see these guys:

  • “Bague d’oeil de tigre” = Tigerseye Ring. But I automatically read Bag of Tiger Oil. Judging by the AH, I’d say the Tiger population is in steep decline.


It is simultaneously completely different and undeniably the same. Since I started playing on the French server I have seen people LFGing in the Trade, gotten randomly dueled by three, unconnected high level characters while waiting for a boat, had my kills ninjaed, gotten randomly buffed, and been killed sixty-three times by various bears.

When all is said and done, the game and the community (so far, anyway) are exactly the same – they just speak a different language. It’s a curious thing to experience. The words are foreign and unfamiliar, but no matter how you translate them, they’re always saying the same thing:

Looking for group/gear/guild/recognition/fun/company.

fufu up tora 10.