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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: French Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 5 - Black Cats and Crossed Fingers. I'm Eric and I'm joined by Yasmine.
Yasmine: Hi, I'm Yasmine.
Eric: In this lesson we will talk about two common superstitions in France. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s it called in French?
Yasmine: chat noir
Eric: Which literally means "black cat." Yasmine, can you repeat the French phrase again?
Yasmine: [slow] chat noir [normal] chat noir
Eric: I used to have a black cat when I was young. Actually, it’s very hard for black cats to get adopted in the States.
Yasmine: Well, it may be similar in France. In France, it's believed that seeing a black cat at night will bring you bad luck.
Eric: There’s a supernatural reason for this. Black cats were said to be witches’ companions.
Yasmine: Black was also said to be the devil's color.
Eric: So maybe that’s why some people are hesitant to adopt them.
Yasmine: I think they’re very cute, though.
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s it called in French?
Yasmine: croiser les doigts
Eric: Which literally means "cross fingers." Let’s hear it in French again.
Yasmine: [slow] croiser les doigts [normal] croiser les doigts
Eric: This is our last superstition. Let’s hope we don’t mess it up now.
Yasmine: Yup. We’ll cross our fingers.
Eric: In France, it's believed that crossing fingers is a sign of good luck.
Yasmine: This is because crossed fingers are said to represent the shape of a cross.
Eric: The shape of the cross is supposed to repel bad luck.
Yasmine: So, how do you think we did?
Eric: Good. I guess crossing our fingers worked!


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!