Controversy of “excité(e)”

futurefrenchprof:

26/7/2018

I’m sure that if you have studied French at all in the past, your French prof has inevitably said “you can’t say ‘excité(e)’ because it means ‘aroused/horny.’” 

While this used to be the case, the word is actually changing to mean “excited” because of the English influence over the language (however sad that might be). With that being said, it can still mean “aroused” depending on how you use it so you should always be clear with the meaning.

This situation really shows why it’s important to keep up with shifts in language and why it’s important to visit a country where your target language is spoken every so often. Language is an ever-changing phenomenon and while we like to think of it as stagnant, it’s quite the opposite. 

As for this case, I’m sure your French prof still prefers that you use “j’ai hâte de…” instead of “excité(e)” but just know that in everyday conversation, you can use “excité(e)” if you want. 

Huh from a French native speaker POV (mine, which is an individual POV) “excité-e” in everyday conversations is just not used a lot and sounds strange. Also, as I’ve just checked with another French native speaker, it sounds forced.

The only “every day” setting of the verb “exciter” we could find was a pejorative one. Like “il s’excite tout seul” (meaning: “He’s getting worked up on his own over nothing”) or “Oh c’est bon t’excite pas!” (meaning: “You’re getting on my nerves because you’re getting angry over nothing”). 

“J’ai trop hâte de” to express “I’m excited to” is much better. Or “j’en peux plus d’attendre”, “j’ai trop envie qu’on soit à [event you’re excited for]”.

If you are in a formal setting, NEVER use “excité-e” (for example, to your boss/a recruiter, it would sound so bad) but use “J’ai hâte de” (and don’t use the other examples above, of course). 

There is no notable English influence on this tbh?? Most French people don’t know much about English except from the obvious and the teasing about “marketing vocabulary”… The English influence is a known phenomenom, but I don’t think it affected this word?

If you must use “excité-e” for whatever reason, don’t say “Je suis excité-e de [verb]”. “Je suis trop content-e de [verb]” seems more lively and less stilted.
“Je suis excité-e à l’idée de” is already a bit better, but then again it doesn’t sound very natural.

Tl;dr: “Excité-e” still very much means “aroused” in French and in my native French speaker opinion sounds fake in informal conversations. You can use “J’ai trop hâte de [verb]” or “J’en peux plus d’attendre” instead. In formal conversations, you can use “j’ai hâte de [verb]”.