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i've studied this verb and know that it's not used to express payment.  recently i walked into 

a store in tel aviv and caught the end of a transaction between a french customer and an israeli  salesman.  when the latter handed the customer's phone back, the customer said "vous ne chargez?"  

my theory is that the israeli spoke enough french for them to communicate in french, but that the french customer intentionally used the incorrect word "charger" cuz he knew most people in tel aviv speak passable english and would therefore know the english word which he also knew, but not the correct french word.   i've googled "charger" to see if it can be used in commerce, but nothing has indicated it can.  is it creeping in?  if it's not heard in france, then my theory is the only explanation  i can come up with.  merci d'avance  

 

 

     

  

 

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George, you're right: In the case of "C'est à ma charge", the notion of responsability with its moral implications is not really present (and felt by french speakers), it simply means "I have to pay". You would say "at my expense" in english.

But of course, indirectly, this use comes from the  word "charge", meaning  "what you have to do" (litterally "what you're loaded with") in a very general sense. Another application of this sense is indeed "avoir des enfants à charge", here there's obviously the connotation of responsibility.

Anyone thought it might just be related to the phone battery ?

For a french speaker from France (not sure about Quebec, Belgium or Switzerland) "charger" when we are talking about phones or just in a phone shop is related to the battery. The correct word would be "recharger" but we never use it in everyday live.

May be you just heard "vous me le chargez ?" = "can you recharge it ?"

Without more context it's hard to be sure....

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