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I have come to understand that excité is strictly wrong, but truthfully I've never gotten a good answer to what's right. If I'm excited to go see something, what is the most natural way of saying that? I've been told j'ai hâte de le voir is one option, but I don't know if that's really the best choice.

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Excited has many meanings in English, from happy to agitated, and including aroused. The is no single French word that covers all of them so you should pick one of the meanings that best match the idea depending on what context you would use that verb in English.

  • J'ai hâte de le voir would indeed translate "I'm excited to see him."

Other translations might be

  • Je suis content/impatient/enchanté/ravi de le voir

or even

  • Je kiffe [de] le voir (slang)

  • Je (ne) tiens plus de le voir (colloquial)

Excité should not necessarily be ruled out, especially when "softened" by a preceeding tout :

  • Je suis tout excité(e) à l'idée de le voir

While it is correct excité doesn't properly translate excited when it is used to mean happy, enthusiastic about doing something, and in such case, people often make fun of TV interviews simultaneous (mis)translation, it is nevertheless exaggerated to reduce its French acception to sexual arousal.

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    I see you're hinting about different meaning of "excité"... We probably should not pass in silence that using "excité" if the context is not cristal clear is a risky move. "Je suis tout(e) excité(e) à l'idée de le voir" can translate to "I'm really [sexually] aroused at the idea of seeing him"... – Jylo Aug 8 '16 at 8:12
  • @Jylo I'm hinting about different meanings of excited. The OP poster cleary knows excité is risky. I just stated it shouldn't always be rejected, especially when preceded by tout which removes most sexual connotations. – jlliagre Aug 8 '16 at 13:10
  • J'ai jamais entendu "je kiffe de" perso – Teleporting Goat Oct 20 '16 at 16:13
  • @TeleportingGoat Oui, ça n'est pas encore reconnu par l'Académie :-) – jlliagre Oct 20 '16 at 17:08
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    @Frank « kiffe » est un argot à l'origine très marqué géographiquement, socialement et en d'age. Il s'est popularisé et est devenu compréhensible pour une tranche plus large de la population, en particulier grace à son utilisation dans des chansons (rap surtout), son utilisation dans la télé-réalité ou par quelques animateurs de talk-shows. Il est cependant loin d'être d'un usage généralisé, et c'est bien pour ça que j'ai mis slang. Il est d'ailleurs probablement en perte de vitesse et deviendra peut-être bientôt ringard, comme par exemple "c'est bath" qui a disparu il y a environ 40 ans. – jlliagre Jan 20 '17 at 2:04
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"Excité" is quite common in French but limited to a real excitement. I would relate it to the idiom "je (ne) tiens pas/plus en place" meaning that you cannot stay still because you are too excited.

Je suis tellement excité(e) que je ne tiens plus en place !

Of course it can be interpreted in terms of being "sexually aroused" in some contexts but, at least in France, it is an advantage as we are really prone to make sexual jokes. And this not a troll, it truly is a way of life.

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