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Lesson Transcript

Virginie:Virginie. Virginie here!
Eric: Hi! How are you doing? This is Eric! Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 14 - Having Nightmares About a French Spelling Bee. Hello, and welcome to the Absolute Beginner Season 1 at FrenchPOD101.com, where we study modern French in a fun, educational format!
Virginie: So, brush up on the French that you started learning long ago, or start learning today.
Eric: Hey, Virginie! Thanks for being here with us for this lesson.
Virginie: Hi, Eric. How are you?
Eric: I'm great! How are you?
Virginie: I'm good. Thank you. In this lesson, you will learn about the French alphabet and how to spell in French.
Eric: Great! And Rob and Giulia are filling out paperwork for Rob's health insurance.
Virginie: Let's just listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Giulia: Nom et prénom ?
Rob: Danford D-A-N-F-O-R-D, Robert.
Gilulia: Nationalité?
Rob: Tu sais bien!
Giulia: Américaine, bien sûr! Situation familiale ?
Rob: Célibataire.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Giulia: Nom et prénom?
Virginie: Last name and first name?
Rob: Danford D-A-N-F-O-R-D, Robert.
Eric: Danford, D-A-N-F-O-R-D, Robert.
Gilulia: Nationalité ?
Virginie: Nationality?
Rob: Tu sais bien !
Eric: You know!
Giulia: Américaine, bien sûr! Situation familiale ?
Virginie: American, of course! Marital status?
Rob: Célibataire.
Eric: Single.
Eric: It's always nice to have a native help you out with the paper work.
Virginia: Yes, but remember Giulia in our day log is Italian.
Eric: I guess. But she seems to be pretty comfortable in France. Has she been there for a while?
Virginie: Yes. She's been there for a while. She's been there for, let's say, 10 years, so speaks very, very good French without an accent.
Eric: Wow! So Rob is getting health insurance.
Virginie: Oui.
Eric: How does student health insurance work in France?
Virginie: First of all, do you know that 70% of your health expenses is paid by the government?
Eric: Wow! Yeah, France is really well known for that. Just like England, I guess.
Virginie: Oui. But people need the other 30% paid off as, right?
Eric: Right.
Virginie: So, what happens here is you can subscribe to what is called a mutuelle.
Eric: A mutuelle. And what's that?
Virginie: It's like an insurance company that covers the cost for the 30% left.
Eric: Oh I see. And is it expensive?
Virginie: Well, in our case, today, it's for students, so it's really inexpensive. Maybe our listeners can leave something on the forum of the website to tell us how health insurance works in their country. I'm always very interested in these kind of things.
Eric: Yeah, it's interesting to compare. Okay. So let's take a look at the vocabulary.
Virginie: Un nom de famille.
Eric: Last name.
Virginie: Un nom de famille, un nom de famille.
Eric: The next one.
Virginie: Un prénom.
Eric: First name
Virginie: Un prénom, un prénom.
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Une nationalité.
Eric: A nationality.
Virginie: Une nationalité, une nationalité.
Eric: All right.
Virginie: Savoir.
Eric: To know.
Virginie: Savoir, savoir.
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Une situation familial.
Eric: A marital status.
Virginie: Une situation familial, une situation familial.
Eric: Then.
Virginie: Célibataire.
Eric: Single.
Virginie: Célibataire, célibataire.
Virginie: So Eric, what are we looking at as far as vocabulary today?
Eric: Well, some of the basics first, prenom and nom de famille.
Virginie: Oui. C'est la base! That's the basics definitely. Prenom is first name.
Eric: And nom de famille is last name
Virginie: Literally it is ""name of family"". Nom de famille, last name.
Eric: So guys if you ever have to fill out some paper work in France, at least you have these two!
Virginie: Yes. And now you know Rob's last name as well.
Eric: Right, Danford.
Virginie: That's important.
Eric: Right. And later in the lesson, we're going to talk about how to spell in French.
Virginie: Now what you need to know is in French to say your last name. You can also just say ""nom.""
Eric: That's a little bit easier than saying ""nom de famille."" Just ""nom.""
Virginie: Exactly. It's shorter.
Eric: Now what else do we have?
Virginie: Let's look at ""situation familial.""
Eric: That's ""marital status.""
Virginie: Yes, but literally it reads ""familial situation."" Situation familial.
Eric: It's interesting that that uses the word ""familial.""
Virginie: It really only refers to whether you're married or not.
Eric: Okay. And what options can I choose from on the form?
Virginie: Well, you could say you're ""marie.""
Eric: Married.
Virginie: If you're not married, you can say you're ""celibataire.'
Eric: Which is what Rob picks.
Virginie: Yes, and that's ""single.""
Eric: Okay. What about ""divorced"" in French?
Virginie: Oh, it's divorce. Di-vor-ce.
Eric: And the last option would be ""widow"" or ""widower,"" right?
Virginie: Oui. So, it's veuf for males, and veuve for females. It's slightly different, the sound.
Eric: Veuf is V-E-U-F, the masculine version and veuve is V-E-U-V-E, veuve.
Virginie: I think that will be it for our vocab today.

Lesson focus

Eric: Okay. So let's move on to some grammar.
Virginie: The focus of this lesson is spelling.
Eric: Right. That's pretty useful.
Virginie: Yes especially if you go to a hotel, if you want to ask for your reservation.
Eric: Even though most hotels in France will have English speaking employees. So before we jump in, here's a few facts about the French writing system.
Virginie: First, French uses the same alphabet as English.
Eric: Right. The same 21 consonants and five vowels.
Virginie: But the slight difference here is that French language also uses accent marks on some of its vowels.
Eric: And those are the accent aigu.
Virginie: The accent grave.
Eric: The accent circonflexe.
Virginie: And the trema, which is the umlaut.
Eric: And you can see what all these accents look like in the lesson notes attached to this lesson.
Virginie: But now we also have one last little mark called the cedilla and very specific.
Eric: Right. And this is sometimes on the letter c, right?
Virginie: Yes. And it modifies the pronunciation of the letter c.
Eric: So, again, just take a look at the lesson notes.
Virginie: I think we should give our listeners the alphabet. This is going to be straightforward. C'est parti! Let's go!
Eric: A.
Virginie: A.
Eric: B.
Virginia: B.
Eric: C.
Virginie: C.
Eric: D.
Virginie: D.
Eric: E.
Virginie: E.
Eric: F.
Virginie: F.
Eric: G.
Virginie: G.
Eric: H.
Virginie: H.
Eric: I.
Virginie: I.
Eric: J.
Virginie: J.
Eric: K.
Virginie: K.
Eric: L.
Virginie: L.
Eric: M.
Virginie: M.
Eric: N.
Virginie: N.
Eric: O.
Virginie: O.
Eric: P.
Virginie: P.
Eric: Q.
Virginie: Q.
Eric: R.
Virginie: R.
Eric: S.
Virginie: S.
Eric: T.
Virginie: T.
Eric: U.
Virginie: U.
Eric: V.
Virginie: V.
Eric: W.
Virginie: W.
Eric: X.
Virginie: X.
Eric: Y.
Virginie: Y.
Eric: Z.
Virginie: Z.
Eric: Well, Virginie, can you sing it for us?
Virginie: Opps, okay, I'm going to try. I can try. We don't really have an alphabet song in French but I can try to figure something out. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
Eric: Thank you, Virginie for that beautiful rendition.
Virginie: You're welcome.
Eric: Now, if you'd like to, you can also hear this in our review track.
Virginie: Okay, now. Before we go Eric, just a quick note.
Eric: Ok.
Virginie: Just a quick note. The verbal group ""tu sais"" in our dialogue. You know Rob's says Tu sais. That means ""you know.""
Eric: Right. And the verb is ""savoir"", ""to know.""
Virginie: Yes. But we're not going to learn it today entirely. We'll see that in a further lesson.
Eric: But just so you know, that's one of the conjugations of ""savoir,"" you know.


Virginie: Okay. I think we're done here. Before we go, I want to tell you about the voice recording tool.
Eric: It is really useful just to hear your own voice as you pronounce French over and over again.
Virginie: Yes and you can compare your voice to the native speakers on the website.
Eric: So have a look and listen.
Virginie: Yes. It's really easy to use. Thank you for listening and have a great day. Merci et au revoir!
Eric: Thank you. Bye.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Rob is filling a form to get his student health care plan. How does the health care system work in your country?

Saturday at 10:18 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bonjour Huma,

Thank you for your message.

You can use the international keyboard, which requires a simple control panel configuration on your computer!

à : ALT + 133 À ALT + 0192

â : ALT + 131 Â ALT + 0194

ä : ALT + 132 Ä ALT + 142

ç : ALT + 135 Ç ALT + 128

é : ALT + 130 É ALT + 144

è : ALT + 138 È ALT + 0200

ê : ALT + 136 Ê ALT + 0202

ë : ALT + 137 Ë ALT + 0203

î : ALT + 140 Î ALT + 0206

ï : ALT + 139 Ï ALT + 0207

ô : ALT + 147 Ô ALT + 0212

ù : ALT + 151 Ù ALT + 0217

û : ALT + 150 Û ALT + 0219

ü : ALT + 129 Ü ALT + 154

We hope this helps! Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.



Team FrenchPod101.com

Friday at 12:22 PM
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Where can I find the accents on the french letters so that i can insert them in the written quiz.

thank you

Friday at 11:58 AM
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So want would call a actual “comedian” in French?

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:57 AM
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Bonjour arghya,

Thanks for posting.

Besides the audio and video lessons, you can also use the following features to improve your French skills:

*personalized courses based on your goals and interests, just pick a path:


*French resources (grammar, vocabulary resources, dictionary, mobile applications, and much more):


If you have any doubts, please let us know.:wink:


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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:55 AM
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Bonjour öztürk,

De rien. :wink:

Please let us know if you have any doubts. :wink:


Team FrenchPod101.com

Monday at 09:17 PM
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how to learn french?

Sunday at 06:54 AM
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Merci beaucoup!

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:11 AM
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Bonjour Mic !

Merci pour votre commentaire !

Giula dit que Robert est de nationalité américaine (US citizenship). "Nationalité" est un mot féminin c'est pour cela que l'on dit "je suis de nationalité américaine / française / allemande".

Robert peut donc dire "je suis américain" ou "je suis de nationalité américaine"

Bonne journée !

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Sunday at 09:20 AM
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Merci beaucoup pour une leçon. Est-ce que je peux poser une question?

Robert est un homme, donc il est americain, non? Giulia l'appelle lui Américaine. C'est vrai?

What I was trying to say...

Thank you for the lesson. Can I ask you a question?

Robert is a male and therefore he is Americain, isn't he? Giulia refers him as Americaine. Is that right?

Thank you for your help!

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:05 PM
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Bonjour Colin !

Thank you for your comment.

This is a good try, really !

En Ecosse, nous avons le NHS (Service National de Santé). C’est une grande institution, mais en plus, beaucoup de personnes ont des assurances de santé privées pour les problèmes peu sérieux.

You're improving a lot ! Congratulations !

Keep going on !


Team FrenchPod101.com