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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Eric here. Top Five Basic French Phrases. I am joined in the studio by...
Virginie: Hello everyone. Virginie here. Today is the last lesson of our all about lessons.
Eric: Does that mean I am never going to see you again Virginie.
Virginie: No, we will have a lot more to cover together. It is just the beginning of our collaboration, right?
Eric: Great.
Virginie: And I don’t know what I would do without you. Anyway, today is your last chance to learn more phrases.
Eric: Yes five exciting phrases.

Lesson focus

Virginie: And these are the phrases we are going to look at today: A tes souhaits.
Eric: Bless you, informal.
Virginie: A vos souhaits.
Eric: Bless you, more formal.
Virginie: A point.
Eric: Medium rare.
Virginie: Prenons du bon temps.
Eric: Let the good times roll.
Virginie: Mon chou.
Eric: My dear.
Virginie: C’est bon.
Eric: It’s okay or it’s enough.
Virginie: Okay now slower. A tes souhaits.
Eric: Bless you.
Virginie: A vos souhaits.
Eric: Bless you, formal.
Virginie: A point.
Eric: Medium rare.
Virginie: Prenons du bon temps.
Eric: Let the good times roll.
Virginie: Mon chou.
Eric: My dear.
Virginie: C’est bon.
Eric: It’s okay or that’s enough.
Virginie: We have some variety here, don’t we?
Eric: Right. We are looking at a bunch of phrases that are for different situations. Can you tell us about the first phrase Virginie?
Virginie: The first one is the French equivalent for bless you when someone sneezes. Whenever a friend of your sneezes, you will say:
Eric: A tes souhaits.
Virginie: That’s the informal way but watch out but when it’s someone you don’t know, you should say:
Eric: A vos souhaits. And Virginie, what does that actually mean in French?
Virginie: Well literally it means “to your wishes”.
Eric: Okay great Virginie. Can you give us the spelling of “à tes souhaits”?
Virginie: Okay “à tes souhaits” is spelt a accent grave-space-t-e-s-space-s-o-u-h-a-i-t-s.
Eric: And again that’s the informal version. What about the formal version, how is that spelled?
Virginie: A vos souhaits. A accent grave-space-v-o-s-space-s-o-u-h-a-i-t-s.
Eric: Great and then what was our second phrase again?
Virginie: Our second phrase is: A point.
Eric: And that’s good for people who like to eat their stake medium rare.
Virginie: Right absolutely. Let me spell it out for you: A point. A accent grave-space-p-o-i-n-t.
Eric: And so “à point” is the most common way that French people order their meat.
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: And what about in your case?
Virginie: I prefer my meat well done.
Eric: How is that so?
Virginie: Oh well done is “bien cuit” which is literally “well cooked”.
Eric: And that’s spelled b-i-e-n, bien. Cuit: C-u-i-t. Finally what about if somebody likes their meat rare. What would they say?
Virginie: Rare in French is “saigant” and literally you know what it means right?
Eric: Bloody.
Virginie: Bloody yes and it’s spelled s-a-i-g-n-a-n-t. Saignant.
Eric: Now let’s move on to phrase #3. What was that Virginie?
Virginie: Prenons du bon temps!
Eric: Let the good times roll.
Virginie: This one is interesting because it comes from Louisiana actually and it’s Cajun French.
Eric: Wow! That’s great. So Louisiana has an old French culture right?
Virginie: Yes but actually Cajun French does not derive from French colonizers of Louisiana. It comes from Acadian French.
Eric: Acadian as in Canadian?
Virginie: Right. The Acadians are the people who lived and they still live in Nova Scotia in Canada and this was a French colony.
Eric: Interesting. So these are the people who live in Nova Scotia but they are not the same French people who live in Québec.
Virginie: No these are different people.
Eric: So tell us a little bit about their history Virginie?
Virginie: Well actually the Acadians after they lost the French Indian war ended up in Louisiana. They were deported there.
Eric: And so it’s Acadian, Cadian, Cajun.
Virginie: Yeah “cajun” comes from the word “Acadian”.
Eric: Okay so the phrase “prenons du bon temps” means what literally?
Virginie: It means let’s take some good time. It’s mainly used when you plan your vacation for example.
Eric: Right. So this means “let’s have some fun” but this phrase isn’t that widely used in France.
Virginie: Yeah but it’s an interesting one because you know it comes from Cajun French.
Eric: What would we say if we want to say, let’s have some fun in France.
Virginie: Well you could say: Eclatons-nous!
Eric: Eclatons-nous! What does that mean?
Virginie: Literally it means “let’s explode ourselves”.
Eric: Well that’s a lot of fun.
Virginie: Yeah let me spell it for you. It’s e accent aigu-c-l-a-t-o-n-s-dash-n-o-u-s. Eclatons-nous!
Eric: All right. So let’s sum up these two phrases. “Prenons du bon temps” if you happen to be in Louisiana or if you are in France, “éclatons-nous”!
Virginie: Right absolutely. We haven’t spelled “prenons du bon temps” let’s have some good time for you guys. So Eric, why don’t you spell it for us?
Eric: Of course it’s p-r-e-n-o-n-s “prenons” space “du” d-u-space “bon” b-o-n-space-t-e-m-p-s. Prenons du bon temps.
Virginie: Right. And you can note that both expressions “éclatons-nous” and “prenons du bon temps” are at the imperative form and it stands for “let’s” in these cases. Let’s take some good time and let’s explode ourselves.
Eric: Okay let’s continue on to our fourth phrase. This is the more cute one. What is this one Virginie?
Virginie: It is: Mon chou.
Eric: And literally that means my cabbage.
Virginie: Yes that’s hilarious. Who would think cabbage would be at the origin of a loving word because this is a loving word.
Eric: So you will be with your boyfriend or girlfriend and saying my cabbage.
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Or with a very, very good friend, you can say that too.
Eric: “Chou” is not only cabbage but also a pastry right like “chou à la crème” a cream puff.
Virginie: Cream puff, exactly yes and I think that’s what it comes from more than the cabbage. Okay but don’t get me started here because we have a lot of loving words in French.
Eric: Okay Virginie is feeling affectionate here.
Virginie: Yes. Let me give you my list. I have my list with me. Okay we have “ma puce” which literally means my flea and then “mon chat” my cats and then “mon coeur” my heart and then “mon amour” my love “mon lapin” my rabbit or my bunny.
Eric: My personal favorite is “ma puce” my flea. That’s a little odd, isn’t it?
Virginie: Yeah, ma puce.
Eric: So why are the French so in love with cabbage, fleas, rabbits?
Virginie: That’s an excellent question. I have no idea. I guess a flea can be cute.
Eric: If they are not biting you. Okay so now what’s our final phrase?
Virginie: Our final phrase is: C’est bon.
Eric: It’s good or that’s okay.
Virginie: Yeah or that’s enough.
Eric: So you are sort of saying two very different things with this one simple phrase. The first meaning could be more of an affirmation like you are eating some food that’s really good.
Virginie: And you say: C’est bon!
Eric: “C’est bon!” is really good.
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: But it can also be used for another purpose, right Virginie?
Virginie: Well you can also say it when you are done with something like I am okay, c’est bon.
Eric: So with grandmas still trying to feed you her pudding, you’ve had enough. C’est bon.
Virginie: Exactly, c’est bon. I am okay, I am fine.
Eric: So how do I spell this?
Virginie: “C’est bon” is spelled c-apostrophe-e-s-t-space-b-o-n. C’est bon.


Eric: Okay great. That just about does it for today. Don’t forget that you can leave us a comment on this lesson.
Virginie: So if you have a question or some feedback, please leave us a comment.
Eric: It’s very easy to do. Just stop by frenchpod101.com.
Virginie: Click on comments.
Eric: Enter your comment and name.
Virginie: And that’s it.
Eric: So no excuses. We are looking forward to hearing from you again.
Virginie: Thank you, merci!
Eric: Thanks for listening, bye.
Virginie: Au revoir!