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Lesson Transcript

Virginie: Bonjour tout le monde! Hello everyone!
Eric: Eric here!
Virginie: Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 1, Bistrot Français: Easy Self-Introductions in French.
Eric: Hello, and welcome to the FrenchPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn French!
Virginie: Hi, I'm Virginie, and thanks again for being here with us for this Absolute Beginner, Season 1 lesson.
Eric: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask someone's name and tell your own name.
Virginie: And you will soon listen to a conversation. Where does it take place, Eric?
Eric: It takes place in a classroom at the Sorbonne.
Virginie: Oh, at the Sorbonne,. Well, this will involve students I bet.
Eric: Right. The conversation is between Rob and Giulia, two students.
Virginie: Yeah, Rob, freshly arrived from the U.S. to study in France for a semester.
Eric: It's the first day of school, and Rob sits by Giulia, an Italian student.
Virginie: The speakers are young and soon to be friends, therefore they will be speaking informally.
Eric: Now, before we listen to the conversation.
Virginie: We want to ask...
Eric: Do you read the lesson notes, while you listen?
Virginie: We received an email about this study tip.
Eric: So we're wondering if you've tried it, and if so,
Virginie: What do you think of it?
Eric: You can leave us feedback in the comment section of this lesson. Okay, let's listen to this conversation.

Lesson conversation

Rob : Bonjour.
Giulia : Salut !
Rob : Je suis Rob. Tu t'appelles ...?
Giulia : Je m'appelle Giulia.
Rob : Tu es française ?
Giulia : Non, je suis italienne.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Rob : Bonjour.
Rob: Hello.
Giulia : Salut !
Giulia: Hi!
Rob : Je suis Rob. Tu t'appelles ...?
Rob: I'm Rob. Your name is...?
Giulia : Je m'appelle Giulia.
Giulia: My name is Giulia.
Rob : Tu es française ?
Rob: Are you French?
Giulia : Non, je suis italienne.
Giulia: No, I'm Italian.
Virginie: So Rob and Giulia in our dialog meet for the first time.
Eric: Right, and since they are both young -- they're college students -- they use the informal you.
Virginie: Which in French is "tu".
Eric: And that's spelled T-U. So what are the contexts for using tu are there in French?
Virginie: In general if you are among friends and family.
Eric: And to say hello, French people also tend to kiss, right?
Virginie: Yes, for example our two characters Rob and Giulia, next time they meet, they will kiss.
Eric: That's sort of a hello kiss. It's usually one kiss on each cheek.
Virginie: Yeah, and you don't need to be very good friends to do that.
Eric: So in what context can we give someone a kiss?
Virginie: Well, you give a kiss each time you meet a friend, and also the first time you meet a friend of a friend.
Eric: And you will give a kiss to say bye too?
Virginie: Absolutely.
Eric: What if I don't feel comfortable kissing someone I don't know?
Virginie: Well, you can always offer your hand to shake, but the person in front of you might just say "hey, let's kiss".
Eric: Wow, a little pushy. If I recall well, men usually don't kiss other men though?
Virginie: No, they only give hello kisses to women, and among men, they just shake hands.
Eric: Okay, we'll talk about French greeting habits more in our lessons to come.
Virginie: So what's next Eric?
Eric: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Virginie: Bonjour [natural native speed].
Eric: Hello.
Virginie: Bonjour [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Bonjour [natural native speed].
Eric: bonjour The next one.
Virginie: Salut [natural native speed].
Eric: Hi or bye (informal)
Virginie: Salut [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Salut [natural native speed].
Eric: And next.
Virginie: Je / j' [natural native speed].
Eric: I.
Virginie: Je / j' [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Je / j' [natural native speed].
Eric: And next.
Virginie: Tu [natural native speed].
Eric: You (informal)
Virginie: Tu [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Tu [natural native speed].
Eric: So what do we have next, Virginie?
Virginie: S'appeler [natural native speed].
Eric: To be called.
Virginie: S'appeler [slowly - broken down by syllable]. S'appeler [natural native speed].
Eric: And next.
Virginie: être [natural native speed].
Eric: To be.
Virginie: être [slowly - broken down by syllable]. être [natural native speed].
Eric: être The next one.
Virginie: Non [natural native speed].
Eric: No.
Virginie: Non [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Non [natural native speed]
Eric: Okay, next.
Virginie: Français(e) [natural native speed].
Eric: French.
Virginie: Français(e) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Français(e) [natural native speed].
Eric: And finally.
Virginie: Italienne [natural native speed].
Eric: Italian (female).
Virginie: Italienne [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Italienne [natural native speed].
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Virginie: The first word we're going to look at is.
Eric: Bonjour, B-O-N-J-O-U-R. And that's "hello".
Virginie: Yes, bonjour is said anytime during daytime.
Eric: So, how would we say hello at night?
Virginie: You need to say "Bonsoir".
Eric: Bonsoir, B-O-N-S-O-I-R. Does it matter if I mix them up?
Virginie: Not really, people will understand that you're saying hello.
Eric: Now in our dialog, Giulia says salut to say hello to Rob.
Virginie: Yeah, and that's spelled S-A-L-U-T. "Salut" is casual.
Eric: So that's used among friends?
Virginie: Yes, among friends, relatives, and friends of your friends, and young people.
Eric: And you can say salut to say goodbye too?
Virginie: Yes, like, I'm leaving now, salut!
Eric: Now at the end of the dialog, Giulia says: "Je suis Italienne".
Virginie: Which is "I am Italian".
Eric: So to say your nationality, you just need to say "I am", "je suis" and then just add on your nationality.
Virginie: Yes, while we're at it, let's take a look at some French.
Eric: Well, why don't we start with American?
Virginie: Of course.
Eric: How would I say that?
Virginie: Americain, Americain.
Eric: And that's the masculine version, right? But, would it be different for women?
Virginie: Yes, absolutely. French language has genders.
Eric: Right, masculine and feminine.
Virginie: Yes, just two genders. And French adjectives agree to the gender. And nationalities are adjectives.
Eric: So if that's neat, you were going to say you're American, how would you say it?
Virginie: I would say, "Je suis Americaine".
Eric: Repeat the male version one more time.
Virginie: "Americain", this is male. "Americaine", this is female.
Eric: Can you hear the difference? Let's try one other nationality and see if we can hear the difference.
Virginie: Sure.
Eric: Chinese.
Virginie: Okay, Chinese for men is "Chinois". Why don't you say, "I am Chinese", Eric?
Eric: "Je suis Chinois".
Virginie: And for female, it will be "Chinoise". To say, "I am Chinese", I would say, "Je suis Chinoise".
Eric: So if it's "Chinois" or.
Virginie: "Chinoise".
Eric: And then finally, what about French in French?
Virginie: Oh, that's important, right?
Eric: That is.
Virginie: Why don't we start with the male?
Eric: "Je suis Français".
Virginie: And for me, it would be, "Je suis Française".
Eric: And don't forget the cedille when you write that down.
Virginie: Yes, you know, the cedille is the little hook underneath the letter c. Well, you can check the lessons notes to figure that out.
Eric: And that makes your c sound like s.
Virginie: Exactly. I think that's enough vocabulary for now.

Lesson focus

Eric: Well, the focus of this lesson is on how to ask and tell your name.
Virginie: In the dialog, Rob says, "Je suis Rob".
Eric: And that means "I am Rob".
Virginie: Then he asks Giulia, "Tu t'appelles?".
Eric: He's asking "Your name is?". You've got to watch your intonation here. You literally are saying, "you call yourself?"
Virginie: To which Giulia answers, "Je m'appelle Giulia".
Eric: My name is Giulia, or literally, "I call myself Giulia".
Virginie: Let's focus on "je m'appelle" and "tu t'appelles" for today.
Eric: Okay. And what verb is this, Virginie?
Virginie: It's the verb "s'appeler".
Eric: S apostrophe A-P-P-E-L-E-R. Note the s apostrophe is in the infinitive.
Virginie: Now in order to say my name, I will say, using the verb "s'appeler" - "Je m'appelle".
Eric: And "je" is "I".
Virginie: And see how the s apostrophe of the infinitive became a "m" apostrophe, "m'appelle".
Eric: The m apostrophe stands for "myself" - "I call myself".
Virginie: So "je", "I", "m" apostrophe -"myself", and "appelle" - "call". "Je m'appelle."
Eric: So these are reflexive verbs. The verb is following and changing based on the subject.
Virginie: Exactly.
Eric: So see how the "m" relates to the subject "je", but it won't be the same for "tu". The verb changes slightly for the subject. So if it's a you, we will say.
Virginie: "Tu t'appelles..." - "Your name is..."
Eric: "Tu t'appelles..". So now you have in your French bank my name is, your name is. What about his or her name is?
Virginie: "His name is" is "Il s'appelle". And "her name is" is "elle s'appelle".
Eric: "Il" is I-L, is "he". And you’re doing the "s" apostrophe, "Il s'appelle".
Virginie: Yeah, and "elle", she, is spelled E-L-L-E, "elle s'appelle".
Eric: Okay, so for a quick recap, I would say, "je m'appelle Eric".
Virginie: Tu t'appelles Eric.
Eric: Il s'appelle Rob.
Virginie: Elle s'appelle Giulia.
Eric: So now how do we ask someone's name, Virginie?
Virginie: Well, Rob in the dialog said, "Tu t'appelles?"
Eric: Listen to how Virginie's intonation goes up at the end of the question.
Virginie: Yes, and that means, "you call yourself"?
Eric: You can also add the word comment at the beginning or at the end of your question.
Virginie: And that would be, "comment tu t'appelles?" Or "Tu t'appelles comment?"
Eric: And literally, comment means how.
Virginie: Right.
Eric: Again, today we focused on the informal way of asking and saying your name.
Virginie: But for those who are curious about the formal way, don't worry, we'll cover it later on in another lesson.
Eric: Okay, great. Well that just about does it for today.


Virginie: Are you ready to test what you just learned?
Eric: Make this lesson's vocabulary stick by using lesson-specific flashcards in the learning center.
Virginie: There is a reason everyone uses flashcards.
Eric: They work.
Virginie: They really do help memorization.
Eric: You can get the flashcards for this lesson at.
Virginie: FrenchPod101.com.
Eric: Au revoir!
Virginie: Au revoir!


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Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Where are you from? What is your name? Do you have more than one first name ?

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Monday at 06:59 PM
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Bonjour Ashantae et R,

Merci pour vos commentaires, bienvenue sur FrenchPod ! :-)

Bonne journée,


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Monday at 05:12 PM
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Bonjour! Je suis taiwanaise.

Merci pour la leçon!

Monday at 08:54 AM
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Bonjour, je m'appelle Ashantae. Je suis jamaïquaine.

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Bonjour Ciya,

Attention il faut dire "indonésienne". "Indonésie", c'est le pays ! ;-)

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Friday at 11:42 PM
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Je m'apelle Ciya. Je suis Indonésie.

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Bonjour Jenudi,

Ravie de faire ta connaissance !

Bonne journée,


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Je m' appelle Jenudi.

Je suis Sri Lankais.

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Hello Bishop,

Thank you very much for your comment!

Ravie de vous rencontrer ! (Nice to meet you!)

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Moi c'est Bishop

Je viens d'Egypt.


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Bonjour Olivia,

Merci pour ton commentaire, je suis ravie de faire ta connaissance ! :-)

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