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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: French Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 2 - Breaking a Mirror and Horseshoes. I'm Eric and I'm joined by Yasmine.
Yasmine: Hi, I'm Yasmine.
Eric: In this lesson we’ll talk about two common superstitions in France. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s it called in French?
Yasmine: casser un miroir
Eric: Which literally means "break a mirror." Yasmine, can you repeat the French phrase again?
Yasmine: [slow] casser un miroir [normal] casser un miroir
Eric: In France, it's believed that if you break a mirror, you will be unlucky for 7 years.
Yasmine: This superstition has ancient origins.
Eric: The Romans used to believe that mirrors contained your soul. Breaking one would damage the soul.
Yasmine: They also believed the physical body renewed itself every seven years.
Eric: Therefore, it would take 7 years to fully restore the soul.
Yasmine: At least it’s not forever.
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What is it called in French?
Yasmine: fer à cheval
Eric: Which literally means "horseshoe." Let’s hear it in French again.
Yasmine: [slow] fer à cheval [normal] fer à cheval
Eric: In the US, we also have a superstition about horseshoes.
Yasmine: Cool! Where are you supposed to hang them?
Eric: Umm, I’m not sure it matters where you put them. Does it matter in France?
Yasmine: Well, in general, it's believed that hanging a horseshoe above your door will bring you luck.
Eric: Horseshoes are lucky for many reasons in France. They’re said to be a source of wealth.
Yasmine: They keep bad spirits away.
Eric: And they’re a symbol of strength and protection.


Eric: There you have it - two French superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Yasmine: À bientôt!