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Sam: The Potential Peril They Won’t Tell You About. My name is Sam. And I’m joined here by…
Céline: Céline.
Sylvian: Comment tu vas?
Céline: très bien merci. Et toi Sylvain, comment tu vas?
Sylvian: moi? très bien merci. Very well. Happy to be back with you guys. Today we have the second lesson of our beginner series.
Sam: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask about someone’s profession with the verb faire.
Céline: The conversation is between Clever Robert and Émilie during the day. After they introduce themselves, they’re getting to know each other better by talking about what they do for a living.
Sam: Speakers meet for the first time, therefore, the speakers will be speaking formally.
Clever Robert: Qu’est-ce que vous faites ?
Jolie Julie: Je suis testeur d’odeur, et vous ?
Clever Robert: Je suis traducteur de braille.
English Host: One more time slowly.
Female: Ok c’est parti, plus lentement.
Clever Robert: Qu’est-ce que vous faites ?
Jolie Julie: Je suis testeur d’odeur, et vous ?
Clever Robert: Je suis traducteur de braille.
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Clever Robert: Qu’est-ce que vous faites? “What do you do?”
Jolie Julie: Je suis testeur d’odeur, et vous? “I’m an odor tester, and you?”
Clever Robert: Je suis traducteur de braille.
Sam: I’m a Braille translator.
Céline: So, un testeur d’odeur.
Sam: testeur d’odeur.
Céline: We can call it “nez”.
Sylvian: Oui on dit un nez. like a nose?
Sam: Like a nose.
Céline: Do you have this job in America, too?
Sam: I don’t know. I think so.
Sylvian: The best example of this job is recently made film called “The Perfume”?
Céline: Ah, “le parfum”! Exactement.
Sylvian: Adaptation of the book of Süskind.
Céline: Exactement. So it’s a real job.
Sam: Oh, wow. That sounds interesting.
Céline: Yeah. Can you think about other weird jobs in France?
Sam: Weird jobs. I’m searching. I’m searching. I’m definitely searching, man.
Céline: Maybe it’s weird for you but not weird for us, so…
Sam: No, it’s not weird for me. Ah, I think maybe…
Sylvian: moto-crottes.
Céline: moto-crottes? Ah, yes, moto-crottes.
Sylvian: That’s probably the best weird job.
Céline: Oh, yeah. Can you explain?
Sam: What is a moto-crottes?
Sylvian: Okay. In France, usually when your dog is pooping, I don’t know, on the street, the owner of the dog doesn’t take the…
Sam: They don’t have to scoop…
Sylvian: I don’t understand what you said, but from the situation I understand, then the “propreté de Paris”, the Paris cleaning service or…
Sam: The service…
Sylvian: Paris cleaning service…
Sam: Oh, like a pooper scooper. That’s a pooper scooper.
Céline: Pooper scooper? That’s cute in English.
Sylvian: I am a pooper scooper.
Sam: Actually, a pooper scooper is like a small shovel but it could also apply to the job.
Céline: Yeah. But it’s a job in Paris.
Sam: Pooper scooper.
Céline: Only in Paris because in Toulouse, people really clean.
Sylvian: I don’t believe you. Okay.
Sam: What about some weird jobs in America?
Sylvian: Please, please.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: I don’t think it’s weird but some people think mortician, you know, when people pass away.
Céline: Okay. But we have in France, I mean, all over the world.
Sam: Of course.
Céline: Yeah, yeah. But it’s a weird job. And can you read Braille?
Sam: No.
Céline: No? Sylvian?
Sylvian: For sure, no also.
Céline: Okay. So you’re not interesting, don’t you? Let’s go to vocab.
Sam: Okay.
Céline: Okay.
Sylvian: She’s so rude.
Sam: We can to go the vocab. I’ll take that as a hint. The first word?
Sylvian: Qu'est-ce que [natural native speed]
Céline: What is.
Sylvian: Qu'est-ce que [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Qu'est-ce que [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Vous [natural native speed]
Céline: You (formal).
Sylvian: Vous [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Vous [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Testeur [natural native speed].
Céline: Tester.
Sylvian: Testeur [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Testeur [natural native speed]
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Faire [natural native speed].
Céline: To do, to make.
Sylvian: Faire [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Faire [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Braille.
Céline: Braille.
Sylvian: Braille. Braille.
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Traducteur [natural native speed]
Céline: Translator.
Sylvian: Traducteur [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Traducteur [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Et [natural native speed].
Céline: And.
Sylvian: Et [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Et [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Odeur [natural native speed]
Céline: Odor.
Sylvian: Odeur [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Odeur [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Un.
Céline: A.
Sylvian: Un [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Un [natural native speed].
Sam: Next…
Sylvian: Toi [natural native speed].
Céline: You.
Sylvian: Toi [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Toi [natural native speed].
Sam: Now to give more explanations in vocabulary, let’s look at the usage for some of the words. First, let’s look at the word “un”. Can you give us an example of “un”, please? Un garçon.
Céline: A boy. Un is an indefinite article used that refers to unspecified person or thing.
Sylvian: Or a person or a thing mentioned for the first time.
Sam: Okay. The next word we’ll look at is…
Sylvian: Testeur.
Céline: Testeur. For example, un testeur de batterie.
Sam: A battery tester. Ah! Sometimes I have to use that to check my batteries, like when my flashlight doesn’t work.
Céline: Yeah. Be careful of the boogeyman.
Sam: The boogeyman.
Céline: Oui. The boogeyman.
Sam: He’s scary.
Céline: Maybe.
Sam: Maybe.
Céline: I’m not scared.
Sam: But he was scary for me when I was a child.
Céline: Yeah, that’s true. How about you in French? Boogeyman?
Sam: Boogeyman is really…
Céline: Le Père Fouettard.
Sam: Le Père Fouettard.
Céline: Le Père Fouettard.
Sam: Nothing like this in my family.
Céline: Okay. So then we have “toi”.
Sylvian: Oui. “toi” is very French word to emphasis on a person.
Sam: To put emphasis on a person?
Sylvian: Yes, to put emphasis in the person.
Céline: Yeah, it means “you”.
Sam: For example?
Sylvian: Toi, tu es Sam.
Céline: You, you’re Sam.
Sam: Ah, okay. I am. I think I understand. By saying “toi” and then “tu”, you refer to me twice.
Céline: Exactement. So there’s the next word, “traducteur”.
Sam: That’s easy. It’s the translator. Oh, that’s a real job. Maybe I shouldn’t say that.
Céline: Okay, that’s a common job.
Sam: Oh, that’s a common job.
Céline: Yeah. Okay. Are we done with the vocab?
Sylvian: Yes.
Sam: This concludes the vocabulary usage. “testeur”. Is that masculine or feminine?
Céline: It’s masculine.
Sylvian: I don’t imagine “testeuse”. Maybe it’s existing.
Céline: Yeah, yeah, but you can say “testeur”. It’s fine.
Sam: Okay, great. Now shall we look at some grammar?
Sylvian: Yes. Let’s go.

Lesson focus

Sam: I have question, my French amis.
Céline: Oui on est tes amis. Well, we are your friends.
Sam: Great.
Sylvian: Is your question about the “grammaire” by any chance?
Sam: Yes. About the verb used in the questions.
Céline: Ah bein sûr. Of course, the very, very common verb “faire”.
Sylvian: ah oui il est bien celui-là.
Sam: Yes. Does that mean “do”?
Sylvian: It does. Exactly. As well as “make”. A mixed “do” and “make” often in English.
Sam: You mixed them up?
Sylvian: Yeah.
Sam: Oh, don’t worry.
Sylvian: Because they’re the same.
Sam: Yeah, don’t worry. It’s the same for me with “faire”. I mix them up to.
Céline: “faire” is used in many context, but let’s focus on this conjugation.
Sylvian: In the present tense, you will say “qu’est-ce que tu fais? - ça”. Je fais… How do you say host?
Céline: Animateur. Faire is used in the question to ask about someone’s jobs.
Sam: Oh, okay.
Sylvian: Je suis animateur.
Sam: Hey, for the verb “faire”, can you give me the first, second, and third person singular conjugation please?
Sylvian: With pleasure.
Sam: Okay.
Sylvian: Je fais.
Sam: I do.
Céline: Tu fais.
Sam: You do.
Sylvian: Il fait
Sam: He does.
Céline: elle fait.
Sam: She does.
Sylvian: ça fait.
Sam: It does.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: Okay. Fantastic.
Céline: ça fait mal.
Sylvian: ça fait très très mal.
Sam: Does it also mean “he makes” or “he is making”?
Céline: That’s an interesting point because ”qu’est-ce que tu fais”?…
Sam: What are you making of?
Céline: No, “what are you doing?”
Sylvian: What are you doing?
Céline: What are you doing right now?
Sam: In general. Like in general?
Céline: In general. For example…
Sylvian: qu’est-ce que tu fais Céline?, “What do you do, Céline?”
Céline: Dans la vie?
Sam: In life?
Sylvian: Non là maintenant.
Sam: “No, right now.”
Céline: Je bois un café.
Sam: “I’m drinking a coffee.”
Sylvian: This kind of misunderstood can often happen also in French.
Sam: So sometimes, yeah, misunderstandings. So with “faire”, we mentioned two meanings, “to do” and “to make”. Of course, it’s very contextual. For example, if you’re in the kitchen with your friend and they ask “qu’est-ce que tu fais?”…
Sam: It probably means “what are you making?” If you’re at a party and you ask someone “qu’est-ce que tu fais?”, you’re asking “what are they doing?” But be careful. “qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie?” means “what are you doing in life?”; “qu’est-ce que tu fais maintenant?” means “what are you doing right now, this second.”
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sylvian: Tout à fait.
Sam: I think that covers it pretty easily.
Sylvian: Yeah. Well.
Céline: bravo Sam!
Sylvain: Bien clair!
Sam: Let’s practice it really quickly. Imagination - we’re at the library. Sylvain qu’est-ce que tu fais maintenant?
Sylvian: Je cherche un livre pour mon cours.
Sam: Ah je comprends. So the question I asked Sylvian was “what are you doing right now?” He’s in the library and he’s searching for a book for his lesson or for his class. Céline, let’s practice. First of all, the context imagination, we’re at a party and we know each other and we’re friends. Bonjour Céline.
Céline: Bonsoir Sam.
Sam: Oh it’s in the evening. Bonsoir, merci. Uh, qu’est-ce que tu fais maintenant?
Céline: je m’amuse.
Sam: ah je comprends.
Céline: I’m having fun.
Sam: So as you could see…
Sylvian: …with “faire”, there are two different meanings, but it depends on the contextual situation. Right, guys?
Céline: Exactement. But let’s have an example with jobs. Sylvain, qu’est-ce que tu fais?
Sylvian: En ce moment, je… je vends des livres dans des librairies.
Céline: Intéressant. Sylvian, what do you do right now?
Sylvian: I’m selling books in bookshops.
Céline: Okay.
Sam: Okay. Good example. Now some of you guys might be wondering why I’m using the present tense when translating as the present progressive. Well, in French we use the conjugation for the present tense as the present progressive. So for example, if you ask “”qu’est-ce que tu fais?“ what do you do”, that can also mean “what are you doing?” But we don’t change the verb conjugation or the verb form. I think that makes French a little bit easier in that way.
Céline: C’est vrai.
Sylvian: That’s right.
Sam: Well, thank you, guys for that enriching lesson today.
Céline: Merci à toi.


Sam: That wraps it up for today. Thank you, guys.
Céline: Merci Sylvain. We missed you actually.
Sam: Yeah. You were really quiet today. Yeah, you were hangover last time, weren’t you?
Sylvian: Sorry for that. I drink too much recently.
Céline: Okay.
Sam: It’s okay.
Céline: Merci beaucoup!
Sylvian: Thank you guys. Bye-bye.
Céline: A bientôt!


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Dialog (Formal)

Dialog (Informal)