Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Virginie: Bonjour.
Eric: Eric here!
Virginie: Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 2 - Bistrot Français: Understanding French Easily.
Eric: Hello, and welcome to the FrenchPOD101.com, the easiest, fastest 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 say hi.
Virginie: And how to say you understand and you don't understand something.
Eric: Our dialog takes place after History class when Rob meets Giulia.
Virginie: Rob has been now studying at the Sorbonne for a week and still has a hard time to understand everything in class.
Eric: Rob and Giulia are now friends.
Virginie: And since they are friends, our two characters will be speaking informally.
Eric: Attention listeners, comment.
Virginie: Comment.
Eric: And comment some more!
Virginie: It's easy.
Eric: And asking questions really helps improve progress. Let's listen to this conversation.

Lesson conversation

Rob: Salut Giulia, ça va?
Giulia: Ça va et toi?
Rob: Bof.
Giulia: Ça ne va pas?
Rob: Je ne comprends pas le français!
Giulia: Tu comprends très bien le français!
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Rob: Salut Giulia, ça va?
Eric: Hi Giulia, how are you?
Giulia: Ça va et toi?
Virginie: I’m good, and you?
Rob: Bof.
Eric: Not really well.
Giulia: Ça ne va pas?
Virginie: You’re not good?
Rob: Je ne comprends pas le français!
Eric: I don’t understand French!
Giulia: Tu comprends très bien le français!
Virginie: You understand French very well!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: It seems that Rob is down today, don't you think Virginie?
Virginie: Yes it's sometimes hard to live in a country where you don't understand everything that's said.
Eric: Especially at school. Apparently our two characters just got out of History class.
Virginie: Yes and History class at the Sorbonne which is a prestigious university is quite a difficult thing to go through.
Eric: Right. I assume Rob had a hard time getting all the details about Napoleon.
Virginie: But he shouldn't get discouraged!
Eric: Giulia is there to reassure him. So let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Virginie: Ça va? [natural native speed]
Eric: How are you?
Virginie: Ça va? [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Ça va? [natural native speed]
Eric: And now the answer.
Virginie: Ça va. [natural native speed]
Eric: I'm fine.
Virginie: Ça va. [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Ça va. [natural native speed]
Eric: And next.
Virginie: Je ne parle pas bien le français. [natural native speed]
Eric: I don't speak French very well.
Virginie: Je ne parle pas bien le français. [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Je ne parle pas bien le français. [natural native speed]
Eric: And next.
Virginie: Très bien [natural native speed]
Eric: Very well
Virginie: Très bien [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Très bien [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Comprendre [natural native speed]
Eric: To understand.
Virginie: Comprendre [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Comprendre [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Et toi [natural native speed]
Eric: And you.
Virginie: Et toi [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Et toi [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Ça ne va pas [natural native speed]
Eric: It's not going well
Virginie: Ça ne va pas [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Ça ne va pas [natural native speed]
Eric: And finally.
Virginie: Bof [natural native speed]
Eric: Not really (casual).
Virginie: Bof [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Bof [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Eric: Okay. So let's take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Virginie: Yes. The first word/phrase we’ll look at is "Ça va?"
Eric: Which means "How is it going?"
Virginie: When you meet a friend, it's the first thing you say after saying "hi".
Eric: What is "ça va", literally?
Virginie: It would be "it goes?". "Ca" is it and "va" is goes.
Eric: And it's a pretty automatic phrase to say in France when you meet a friend.
Virginie: It's almost like a punctuation mark, you say "Salut, ça va?".
Eric: So when someone asks "Ça va?" he is really inquiring into his friend's well-being?
Virginie: Not really, as you said it's automatic.
Eric: And usually you just answer "Ça va" which means "I'm well.".
Virginie: And literally - "it goes".
Eric: Watch your intonation though. It's going down this time.
Virginie: Yes your answer is a statement, right? So you will be "Ça va.".
Eric: But the question would be?
Virginie: Ça va?
Eric: Ça va Virginie?
Virginie: Ça va.
Eric: Let's use a slightly different way of asking "Ça va" now.
Virginie: Right, you can also ask "Comment ça va?".
Eric: And the added word at the beginning of the sentence is "Comment.".
Virginie: Which means "how".
Eric: Either way it's totally normal. How do you answer "Comment ça va?".
Virginie: You can answer "Ça va" or you can say "Ça va bien".
Eric: Ça va bien. "Bien" is "well" or "fine".
Virginie: Comment ça va, Eric?
Eric: Ça va bien, merci.
Virginie: Oh you just added a new word!
Eric: Oh yes?
Virginie: You said "merci", which is "thank you".
Eric: That's because I'm polite.
Virginie: You are. And it's always better to say "Ça va bien, merci" or "Ça va, merci".
Eric: But here Rob actually says something different, he says "bof", which in this context means "not really", or "not really well".
Virginie: Yes. This word "bof" is used a lot in France. People use it a lot. It's a casual and short way to say "Not really well", "Not really good".
Eric: And you can use this in other contexts?
Virginie: Yes for example when you're asked "Did you like this movie?", you can answer "bof". That means: "not really well", "I didn't enjoy it very much.".

Lesson focus

Eric: Okay, so let's talk a little grammar now. The grammar focus for this lesson is the verb "comprendre" at the positive and negative forms.
Virginie: Je comprends!
Eric: Okay. Virginie just said she understands. Well good for you, Virginie.
Virginie: Yes. I said "Je comprends" - "I understand".
Eric: The verb is "comprendre", "to understand".
Virginie: But we know that when you first visit a foreign country it's more likely that you don't understand.
Eric: Right. In these situations you will say "Je ne comprends pas" - "I don't understand". Virginie, can you give us detail about the negative form in French?
Virginie: It's really, really easy. All you need to do is squeeze the verb between the two particles NE and PAS.
Eric: That's all?
Virginie: Yes, that's all. Listen to me, "Je NE comprends Pas".
Eric: Okay, well that's easy.
Virginie: In our dialog there is another negative sentence though.
Eric: Yes, Giulia asks Rob "Ça ne va pas?"
Virginie: Which means…
Eric: Literally ,"It doesn't go well?"
Virginie: See the negative structure here? The verb "va" is squeezed between "ne" and "pas".
Eric: Ça ne va pas. So if I want to say "I'm not well", I will just say "Ça ne va pas."
Virginie: Yes. Quick recap here, I think we need it. Ça va, Eric?
Eric: Bof.
Virginie: Ça ne va pas?
Eric: Ça ne va pas. Okay, that just about does it for today.

Outro

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Eric: Get the Sample Feed at FrenchPod101.com!
Eric: Okay. Good bye
Virginie: Salut!

Grammar

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289 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Our friend Rob is having a hard time following his all-in-French classes. By the way, why are YOU learning French?

Ron
Friday at 11:51 PM
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Very informative and a lot added to expand learning. Love the structure!

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:31 PM
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Bonjour Priya,

There are plenty of super informative videos about this on Youtube, just type in "French R" and they should pop up! 😉 Good luck.


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Priya
Friday at 12:40 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The audio, notes are extraordinarily good. But it is very hard to pronounce 'comprends' is there any tip to properly learn to pronounce R sound in french.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:33 PM
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Bonjour Cynthia,

Lesson is "leçon" in French.

As for your question, please note that the correct sentence is "je n'ai pas compris", and no, saying "je ne comprends pas" doesn't mean the same thing, as you're using different tenses.

Je n'ai pas compris = passé composé (I didn't understand)

Je ne comprends pas = présent (I don't understand)


Hope this helps! 😉


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

cynthia
Thursday at 05:01 AM
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bonjour

je m'appelle cynthia et j'aime frenchpod101 lessons

comment vous dis " lesson" en francais?😄


Anyways i was going through the lesson note of lesson eight and saw " j'ai ne pas compris "

The question is can you also say " j'ai ne pas comprend? "

Are they the same thing? and if not whats the difference.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:36 PM
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Bonjour Rishika,

There are many ways to answer this question, you could say:

"Tout va bien" (everything's fine)

"Ça va" (it's going fine)

"Bof" (so-so)

"Pas très bien" (it's not going fine)

"C'est compliqué" (it's complicated), etc.


Bonjour Kawal,

There are various ways to ask questions in French depending on how formal the context is.

Informal:

- Keep the same order as affirmative sentences and raise your tone at the end: "Tu veux venir ?"


Formal:

Reverse the verb and subject: "Voulez-vous venir ?"


Formal & Informal:

Add "Est-ce que" in the beginning of a sentence with basic word order: "Est-ce que tu veux venir ?"


It's fairly easy once you've learned this! 😄


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Kawal
Sunday at 05:04 PM
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Bonjour '

Je m'appelle kawal .

I'm bit confuse about formation of question . Can we put auxiliary verb before subject eg . Pouvez vous répéter ?

Ou vous pouvez répéter , s'il vous pait?

Please suggest separate lesson for asking all questions.


Merci

Rishika Patil
Saturday at 06:56 PM
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Bonjour!

What to say if someone asks me how's your work going?

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:27 AM
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Bonjour Zayn,

Enchantée ! If you're talking about the Grammar Bank, this section was specifically designed to allow you, students, to look for precise grammatical points that you may need to study further. Just type in a keyword and hit search to find a dedicated lesson on any grammatical subject, like tenses for example! This function is particularly useful when you have trouble understanding certain aspects of a lesson and need further guidance. 😉


Bonjour Fardoos,

FrenchPod offers a Freemium format to its users, which means that its most basic features are free, and the more advanced options require a membership!


Bonjour Michelle,

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but if you have any issues, I suggest you contact support so they can help you resolve it!


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Zayn
Tuesday at 12:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bonjour!


Je m'appelle Zayn. Enchantee!! Je viens de Sydney.


Question - How would you recommend to use the "Grammar" section, how can I improve on it, S'il Vous Plait?


Merci! Au Revoir!