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Lesson Transcript


Virginie: Hello Everyone! Bonjour tout le monde!
Eric: [*] How to Mind Your Manners in a French Cinema. Hi, my name is Eric, and I am joined here by?
Virginie: Virginie.
Eric: What are we going to be looking in, in this lesson?
Virginie: Today, you will learn about the definite and indefinite masculine articles.
Eric: Okay. And where does this conversation take place?
Virginie: In a movie theater where a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie is playing.
Eric: And are our two friends Rob and Giullia are our speakers?
Virginie: Giulia doesn't know about this director, so she asks Rob about him.
Eric: And these two speakers are friends, they are going to be speaking informal French. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Giulia: Tu aimes Jean-Pierre Jeunet?
Rob: C’est qui?
Giulia: C’est un réalisateur français. C’est le réalisateur d’Amélie.
Rob: Ah, oui! C'est un bon film.
Giulia: J'aime bien Amélie.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Giulia: Tu aimes Jean-Pierre Jeunet?
Virginie: Do you like Jean-Pierre Jeunet?
Rob: C’est qui?
Eric: Who is that?
Giulia: C’est un réalisateur français. C’est le réalisateur d’Amélie.
Virginie: He is a movie director. He’s the movie director of ""Amélie.""
Rob: Ah, oui! C'est un bon film.
Eric: Oh, yes! It's a good movie.
Giulia: J'aime bien Amélie.
Virginie: I like Amélie.
Eric: Okay. Do you think Rob and Giulia are in an art house movie theatre?
Virginie: Probably.
Eric: There are a lot of these theatres in Paris.
Virginie: Yes. And Eric, do you know what you can't do in these movie theatres in France?
Eric: No I don't know. Talk on my cell?
Virginie: Of course you can't! But there is something else.
Eric: What is it?
Virginie: You can't drink or eat.
Eric: Is it forbidden?
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: And why?
Virginie: Well French people believe that a movie is more enjoyable without all those mouth noises.
Eric: I remember going to some art cinemas and seeing the people wait for the entire credits to go down to the screen.
Virginie: Exactly, yes. It's to protect the quality of what you are watching.
Eric: It sounds like they really take it seriously.
Virginie: Yes. And it's a great way to enjoy your movie like Amelie.
Eric: Okay. So, let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Virginie: Aimer [natural native speed]
Eric: To like or to love.
Virginie: Aimer [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Aimer [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Un réalisateur [slowly - broken down by syllable].
Eric: A movie director.
Virginie: Un réalisateur [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Un réalisateur [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Ah, oui! [natural native speed]
Eric: Oh, okay!
Virginie: Ah, oui! [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Ah, oui! [natural native speed]
Eric: And then.
Virginie: Le [natural native speed]
Eric: The (masculine).
Virginie: Le [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Le [natural native speed]
Eric: Next.
Virginie: Un [natural native speed]
Eric: A or an (masculine).
Virginie: Un [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Un [natural native speed]
Eric: Then.
Virginie: J'aime bien [natural native speed]
Eric: I like.
Virginie: J'aime bien [slowly - broken down by syllable]. J'aime bien [natural native speed]
Eric: And finally.
Virginie: Bon [natural native speed]
Eric: Good.
Virginie: Bon [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Bon [natural native speed]
Eric: Okay. So let's take a closer look at the vocabulary in this lesson.
Virginie: Yes. The first phrase is....
Eric: This is one of my common phrases in French J'aime bien.
Virginie: Right, which means I like.
Eric: In our dialog, Giulia says J'aime (stress the word) bien Amelie.
Virginie: Yes. And Bien is spelled BIEN and it means literally well, or good.
Eric: Right. So here, she's saying, ""I like the movie, Amelie."" And if I like a person, I can say, ""je t'aime bien.""
Virginie: Right. Je is I, t' is you, and aime bien is still like.
Eric: Literally ""I you like you.""
Virginie: Right, I like you! Do you like me, Eric?
Eric: Oui, je t'aime bien, Virginie.
Virginie: Merci.
Eric: This can slightly confusing. What if I say je t'aime to someone?
Virginie: Oh, you mean je t'aime without the bien after?
Eric: Exactly.
Virginie: That means I love you.
Eric: Okay so pay attention, if you use the word ""aimer"" without saying aime bien, you are basically declaring your love.
Virginie: Right. Be careful.
Eric: Okay. Some grammar now!
Virginie: Yay!

Lesson focus

Eric: The focus of this lesson is on the masculine articles.
Virginie: Remember there are two genders in French.
Eric: Masculine and feminine.
Virginie: Everything you name in French is either masculine or feminine.
Eric: And when you name something you will need to use an article.
Virginie: For the masculine, you will use either un (spell) or le (spell).
Eric: Okay. So let's go back to our dialog and see how Rob and Giulia use un and le.
Virginie: Giulia is talking about Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Eric: And Jean Pierre Jeunet is a French movie director.
Virginie: Yes and she says ""c'est un realisateur francais.
Eric: Which means…
Virginie: It is a French movie director. So here she uses un. And un is the masculine singular indefinite article.
Eric: Okay. So why is this called an indefinite article?
Virginie: Because you will use it when talking about something general.
Eric: So, Giulia says UN realisateur.
Virginie: Yes, because Jean Pierre Jeunet is one movie director among others.
Eric: Exactly and here is a tip, if you can add the words ""among others"" after your noun…
Virginie: That means you need to use an indefinite article.
Eric: Un realisateur among others.
Virginie: Just one in the multitude of movie directors.
Eric: Okay. Another example?
Virginie: Yes. For example, Je suis un professeur
Eric: I am a teacher, among others. UN professeur.
Virginie: Now the other masculine singular article is LE.
Eric: And that's the definite article.
Virginie: Right and it's used to name things in a specific context this time.
Eric: Let's take an example from our dialog.
Virginie: Giulia says ""c'est le realisateur dAmelie"" He's the director of Amelie.""
Eric: And she uses le because she specifies which director she's talking about.
Virginie: Yes she defines him as unique. He is the director of Amelie.
Eric: He's the only one who made that movie.
Virginie: Right. And LE is also used to name concepts and generic categories.
Eric: Exactly. Like the concept ""time"" that's also qualified with a LE
Virginie: Right, le temps, time.
Eric: Or the category ""sport.""
Virginie: Le sport. It includes all the sports.
Eric: So there's a slight different here where in English, these are mass nouns which we described just as sports or time. In French we use a definite article to talk about them.
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: So it's like the thing about the sport or the time.
Virginie: And finally le can be used to name something that has already been mentioned in a conversation.
Eric: Right, so if you want to say, ""Do you remember the museum we went to last week"" you would say LE musee.
Virginie: Right, because both of the people involved in the conversation know which museum it is.
Eric: Le musee, the museum we saw last week.


Eric: Great. Okay, that just about does it for today. Thank you very much for joining us today.
Virginie: Salut! Have a good day.
Eric: Take care, bye.


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