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Lesson Transcript

Sam: Hello and welcome to our first culture class at FrenchPod101.com. You guys remember me, I am Sam and I am here with two of my friends.
Céline: Céline!
Sam: Et Alexandre, bonjour à tous!
Céline: Bonjour!

Lesson focus

Sam: Well at least, one of those guys is my friends but anyway today we are going to talk about a cultural element in France which is…
Céline &Alex: La fête de la musique!
Sam: A musical party!
Céline: Oui exactement!
Sam: C’est fantastique! So today, we are talking about “la fête de la musique”. Who started this?
Céline: C’est Jack Lang!
Sam: Jack Lang?
Céline: Have you heard about Jack Lang? Jack Lang.
Sam: Yeah I’ve heard about Jack Lang but not Jack Lang.
Alex: Yeah he was the former minister of culture in France in 1981.
Sam: Are we going to talk about his life? That sounds boring.
Céline: Be positive, be American. So we are not going to talk about Jack Lang’s life but what he created.
Sam: Oh okay. So “je suis toute ouïe”, I am listening.
Alex: Okay in 1981 Monsieur Jack Lang created the celebration of music, La fête de la musique en français.
Sam: Wait a minute dude! Can you repeat that?
Céline: La fête de la musique. La fête de la musique.
Sam: The first word is “fête”, right?
Alex: Correct. La fête is the word describing a time or date when people celebrate well something or even nothing.
Sam: So you have a party for no reason?
Céline: That’s right. Just for the pleasure of partying but in fact the reason is to celebrate music Sam.
Alex: Faire la fête quoi!
Sam: And that would be to party?
Céline: Absolument!
Alex: Absolutely.
Sam: So when is “la fête de la musique”?
Alex: It takes place each June 21st and it marks “la belle saison”, qui est l’été.
Céline: So that means today.
Sam: Ah my watch is slow or maybe I just need a new battery.
Sam: But anyway “belle” is beautiful in English for any feminine item right?
Céline: Any feminine human or item.
Sam: Oh I am sorry, any feminine human or item.
Céline: Voilà.
Alex: Oui, and “saison” is season. So “belle saison” is the beautiful season, it refers to summer which is also a vacation time. La belle saison.
Céline: Exactement Alex. L’été. The summer.
Sam: Summer ah, you know in Milford, summer vacation is three months or about 2.5. How about for students in France?
Céline: Two months.
Sam: Wow. Vive la France! That’s a little bit short but it’s still nice. By the way, what do you do for “la fête de la musique” besides “faire la tête”?
Céline: Non, pas “faire la tête”. “Faire la tête” is to be angry. Faire la fête!
Sam: Oh zut!
Céline: Oh mon Dieu.
Sam: Pretty funny huh!
Céline: Okay so people usually hang out and party. Ils font la teuf. There are tons of events everywhere, concerts, people with their instruments, local bands, traditional orchestra, any musical related item, you can imagine everything.
Alex: Oui, and every and each one is free. Actually the aim of this initiative started in 1982. It is to bring people together through music, dance and ambiance joyeuse et plein de vie.
Sam: So each and every event is free and the initiative started in 1982 and it is to bring people together, wow!
Céline: Tout à fait! Any musician, good or bad, is invited to perform. The perfect places to perform are outside. Anywhere you can bring your instrument.
Alex: I also read that la fête de la musique was concocted in order to invite noteworthy orchestras and famous musical institutions to a place where John or Jane Doe might not normally see them.
Céline: This event is aimed at all genres of music.
Sam: Genres?
Céline &Alex: Genres.
Sam: Genres?
Céline: Oui.
Sam: Oh zut... Hey I want to go to France now.
Céline: Yes me too but hey Sam, just for the record, la fête de la musique has spread to many countries all over the world like China, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Colombia and all the other countries. Also in New York last year.
Sam: Really?
Céline: Oui!
Sam: Wow! Maybe this year la fête de la musique will be at Milford, Delaware.
Céline: Maybe. So check out the net especially French website’s embassy’s link and cultural centers in your country.
Sam: That sounds like a good idea and for people who are not in France who want to celebrate, you can also participate. Maybe you can have your own fête de la musique in your town.
Céline: Tout à fait!
Sam: Okay.
Alex: Absolument.
Sam: Hey let’s go and get our surf on, huh!
Céline: Okay let’s go now.
Sam: On y va.
Céline: Allez c’est parti!
Sam: So guys, let me ask you some questions. There is no la fête de la musique in Milford unfortunately but maybe you guys have been before. What kind of things did you do there? Did you dance, did you sing, did you eat hot dogs?
Alex: Personally I did it all because you know for a long time, I live in Paris and in Paris la fête de la musique, it’s something great because from one “quartier” to another, you can go and see bands on the streets, you can dance with them. There are bands also in bistros and cafés. You drink a lot of beer, you are laughing. It’s really great, you know.
Sam: What kind of food do you eat at the la fête de la musique?
Alex: Well….
Céline: Every kind of food you have at food stands….
Sam: Hot dogs?
Céline: Maybe yeah. I’ve never eaten hot dogs but yes and sometimes one of my friend, he was in Southern France and do you know the singer Ben Harper?
Sam: Ben Harper.
Céline: Voilà. So Ben Harper was in France and he was really surprised to see all the bands. So he went on the street and he started to play the guitar. So you can sometimes see like very, very famous bands for free.
Sam: For free. That sounds good. You can sing and dance with them.
Céline: Voilà.
Sam: It sounds good.
Alex: And sometimes near the embassy of different countries, you have their own music you know. They organize the bands near the embassy. For example, last year I was with my mom. It was one of the African countries and there was an African singer. She was dancing you know and singing and everybody was like just like going crazy. It was great.
Céline: And it is all night. So you can’t complain if you can’t sleep. It is just, you can’t call the police.
Alex: Yeah.
Céline: It’s all night.
Alex: This is the day you don’t sleep actually.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: So if you can’t sleep, it is just tough beans huh! If you go on the street, generally what kind of music will you hear?
Céline: Every kind of music.
Sam: Every kind of music?
Céline: Yeah like rock, hip hop, jazz yeah.
Sam: Reggae!
Alex: Sure!
Céline: But you know in France, we have many, many people from Portugal, Spain.
Sam: America.
Céline: Yeah America. We love American music.
Sam: So let’s say you are a musician and you want to pick up your Guitar and start playing with one of the bands, is that okay?
Alex: Sure, you can do it. You know, you just, you know…
Céline: Yeah just go on the street with a guitar or whatever and you play it.
Alex: When I was a child, I was learning to play an accordion but unfortunately I didn’t continue so. It’s a very French instrument, did you know that?
Sam: Yes I knew that yeah.
Céline: Yeah in Paris.
Sam: Did you play any instruments at the la fête de la musique or did you sing or dance or…
Céline: Oh we danced of course, we danced.
Sam: You danced?
Céline: We danced.
Alex: I did dance, I didn’t play any instrument unfortunately. I danced last year when I was near the African Embassy because it was so contagious you say in English, you know. She was spreading her joy and her voice. It was just…
Céline: Everybody dances, kids.
Sam: It sounds like a big dance party with music, elderly people.
Céline: Oui.
Sam: Oh!
Céline: Oui c’est vrai.
Sam: Sounds very interesting.
Céline: Yes we should go tonight.
Sam: Sure let’s go. Let’s get on the “métro” and go.
Céline: Voilà.
Alex: Yeah. Aussi au bord de la Seine. You know at the Riverbank you have also a lot of bands. So we can go there tonight, for example.
Céline: In Paris?
Sam: Yes.
Céline: Okay, okay let’s go to Paris.
Sam: Sounds like a good idea to me. Our train is coming soon, so let’s close out the lesson. Any last thoughts or comments, guys?


Céline: Oui, venez avec nous et amusez-vous bien pour la fête de la musique!
Sam: Bye bye.
Céline: Au revoir!
Alex: Au revoir à tous!