On a parlé de choses et d’autres.
aw nah paar-lay duh SHOWZ ay DOH-truh. Click below to hear this pronounced.
We talked about this and that/one thing and another.
Are French speakers more talkative than English speakers? Or more fickle in their choice of conversation topics? Surely none of the above, but it’s still interesting to note that in English we talk about only two things: this and that, or one thing and another. In French we talk about many topics: choses (things) and autres (others, that is, other things).
Of course this is a completely irrelevant observation, but it’s fun to know anyway. You’ll notice that the French expression uses no articles before the noun (choses) and the adjective (autres). That’s because they are indefinite; no one is admitting what they talked about, nor even how many topics were covered.
If you are using this sentence in response to a question, from a parent for example, you can omit on a parlé and accompany the rest with a very Gallic one-shoulder shrug (and tilt your head down a little towards that shoulder), turn down the corners of your mouth, and raise your eyebrows. It’s body language for Je ne sais pas!