Lesson Transcript

Hey, guys! It's Pierre. Welcome back for more videos on French learning. Today's video will be about tongue twister. In French, virelangue or fourchelangue. It's not exactly the same meaning like tongue twisters are only sentences difficult to say in English, but in French, it also means sentences difficult to understand. Also, French people don't use those words a lot. It's not common. Usually, we know the concept of tongue twister, but we don't use words to define this concept.
So let's get started with sentences difficult to say. I think this one is the most famous so I'm going to gonna read it and I will probably do a lot of mistakes. Here there is one S, two S. I will probably do a lot of mistakes, but even for French people, it's hard to say those tongue twisters so I'm going to try.
Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? So I did it quite slowly and if I try to be faster, I will have a lot of difficulties. Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches?
Not bad, but let's try to explain the meaning of this sentence. When you say chaussettes, it means like “socks”, sèches it’s like “dry”, lʻarchiduchesse is “archduchess” and archisèches is like “super dry”. In French, when you add archi-, it means like “super” in front of an adjective, but it's quite used in French, but not always. It may sound not really polite. So the meaning of this sentence is “Are the Archduchess’ socks dry or super dry?” Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches?
So here, the difficulty is mainly the difference between /s/ and /ch/. It's quite hard to say, but this one because it's really famous in France, I think French people can do that one, but maybe you as a French learner, you’ll have difficulties to say it and no problem. Even for French people, it's still hard.
So one more time - Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? So here, I started to mix those two sounds so even for me it's hard. So this one is maybe the most famous definitely in French, the most famous tongue twister. So you can try to say it but don't worry if you cannot do that.
But as you can see the sound /s/ and /ch/ is quite difficult to distinguish in sentences. So that's why here I've got three examples like the main tongue twisters in French are using the similarity between /s/ and /ch/.
So let's move on to the next one which is also super famous. I think those two ones are the main tongue twisters in French. So here, I'm going to try to say it, slowly first - Un chasseur sachant… I did a mistake already and I was slow. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. This one is much harder than this one. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Here, I made again a mistake. So it's quite hard. Chasseur means “hunter” and chasser is a verb like “to hunt”. So un chasseur chasse “a hunter hunts”. Sachant is like the verb savoir like “to know”, but here it's a specific form which means “who knows”. So here - Un chasseur sachant chasser... “The hunter who knows how to hunt…”. So this is quite hard to say because here, you've got the ch- and the s- and there is this inversion. Here, it's ch- and s- and here it’s s- and then ch-. Then, the end of the sentence - ....doit savoir chasser sans son chien. So sans son chien, it means like “without his dog”. So the full sentence in English would be “A hunter who knows how to hunt should know how to hunt without his dog.” So here again, chasser, savoir, there is a c- here and the ch- in cha and the s- in sans and in son. So this is quite hard.
So I'm going to say it once again like first slow - Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. You see like it's quite difficult for my muscle to say that.
So I'm going to try to be faster now - Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. I don't know if I did it correctly but it's quite hard and I'm starting to confuse the s- and the ch- but if you can do this one as a French learner, it's super cool because it's really hard to say. So don't worry again if you cannot do it, but it's fun to try.
The last one is also, as I said, using the ambiguity between s- and ch-, Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? It's really hard to say it. Suis-je is like “Am I” like a question, like inversion, je “I”, suis “am”, “I am”, “am I”.
Suis-je chez le cher Serge, chez le cher Serge is like “the dear Serge”. You can say that in English as well. It's like the same meaning. “That” stands for ce, “dear” for cher and Serge is a name. So here, chez le cher Serge?, it means like “ at that dear Serge’s house”. So the full sentence would be “Am I at that dear Serge’s house?”.
So once again in French, first slowly, Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge?. Okay, so far it’s okay, but now let’s get faster - Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? It’s really hard like I made a mistake. I don't know if you can hear it, but I'm doing like a confusion between the /s/ sound and the /ch/ sound. This one is also quite hard so I'm going to do it one more time, one last time - Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Really hard, so yeah.
So far we've seen three sentences that are using the ambiguity between s- and ch-. When you speak faster, it's easy to mix up all those two sounds. So that's why we have a lot of tongue twisters in French using this. But let's move on to some other sounds.
Here, there is this one, panier-piano. It's just two words. There is no meaning like it's not a special expression. It means like in English basket-piano like basket where you put away your stuff or you can also wear stuff in a basket. So here, it’s the same meaning, panier-piano “basket-piano”. So here, as you can see, those three letters are the same here but not the same order, ani / ian. So here, this is the main feature of this tongue twister, panier-piano. So if you say it just slowly, it's really easy, panier-piano, but for a French learner, you first have to understand how to say those words alone. If you can do it, then you just say, panier-piano. It's really easy, but if you say it a lot of times, panier-piano and really fast, you will have difficulties and you will not manage to do it and I will not manage to do it. So I'm going to do it, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano and it's really hard. Usually, nobody can really manage to do it like you’re always saying pianier, pianier, pianer, you add the -ia here or here you get rid of the -ia and you add an -ia here so you say panio. So panier-piano, but if you say it a lot, you say pianier-panio, pianer-panio. Even for that, I made a mistake - panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier - panio, panier - panio, pianier...you see, I’m saying panio like it’s really hard. If you say it, you will eventually make a mistake. This is quite short and quite simple and quite famous as well. This one is quite famous, panier - piano, panier - piano, panier - piano, panier - panio, panier… here, really hard, okay.
Let's move on to the next one. This one is not really famous and it doesn't make any sense like the meaning is quite weird. This is blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés. Even for a French person, the meaning is quite obscure, like blés stands for “corn” and brûler, it’s the verb which means “to burn”. So here, blés brûlaient, it means like brûlaient is the past form of blés, sorry, “to burn” so brûler like present like infinitive, sorry. Here, brûlaient like it’s imparfait so it's a past tense. Here, brûlent les blés, here, this is a subject and here, this is the verb and brûlé is like present like “the corns are burning”, les blés brûlé. But here, there is this stylistic inversion like there is no specific reason for that. This sentence, you cannot use it and it's quite weird. It's just hard to say.
So blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés.… blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, okay.
This is much easier I think, like first you have difficulties to say it, but when you’re used to it, it's quite easy to say I think for a French person. You're a French learner, so it may be still hard.
So here the difficulty is, there is bl- and br-, blés brû, blés brû. So /bl/ and /br/. I think for Asian people, it could be really hard to say this. If your mother tongue, there are differences between L and R, this is going to be really hard to say - blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés. So this is quite easy I think for a French person.
Here, there is also blés and -laient, -lés and -laient, -lés and -laient. Lés is here again, here again and here again lés. So this is also quite hard when you're not used to French to distinguish -ai and -é, blés brûlaient. Can you hear the difference - é / ai, é / ai? For a French person, it's super easy to hear the difference, but when you're not used to French, it's quite hard. So I'm going to show you the difference once again, é / ai, blés brûlaient, blés brûlaient, é / ai. Once again, this is okay if you don't really understand the difference, but as you will get further in your French learning, you will have to see the difference to hear the difference between those two sounds.
So this one, it's not a really famous tongue twister and it's not a really difficult one for French people, but for you, I think it's quite interesting if you want to distinguish those two sounds and those two sounds which can be sometimes confusing for a French learner.
Let's move on to another one which is kind of funny. It's a question. Here, what is in black is not hard to say. What is difficult to say is in red, but the full sentence, the tongue twister is like the full sentence. The question is - Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”? This is really hard even for me. If I'm slow, it's okay, but if I say it faster, I will have a lot of trouble. So here, the meaning of that is like “Should we say 16 dry chairs...” so here again you've got sèches. We found that sèches here. As you can see, this word is quite used in tongue twisters in French because there is again, s- and -ch.
So here, this one is also kind of this category, a member of this category, but there are some other difficulties in this. So should we say 16 dry chairs or 16 chair dried? There is an answer for that in French, but first let me tell that again - Dois-t-on dire “seize…” Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”? Seize sèches chaises. Seize chaises sèches. Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises”... I cannot say it faster. It gets worse. Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”? Seize sèches chaises. Seize chaises sèches. Seize sèches chaises. It's really hard like it's so hard for me.
So here there is the /z/ sound and also the /ch/ sound. Here like seiz, this one, -ei, -è with the accent and -ai. This is the same sound in French, here, seize sèches chaises. I don't know if you can hear it, but I'm saying the same -e, -e. So here no difficulty. The difficulty lies in the letters like the consonants, so here S, Z, S, CH, CH, Z. It's a kind of level up of another category of this one like an upgrade. So this is quite hard. Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”?
So there is an answer for that. One of those two is not correct. Seize sèches chaises. Seize chaises sèches. I think like both you understood and I think it's not dramatically completely false but one is more natural and the one which is more natural is seize chaises sèches, chaises sèches. When you say a chair which is dry, you have to say - un chaise sèche, un seize chaise sèche, un chaise sèche. The adjective is after the noun in this case.
Here, there is the inversion like sèches chaises, you are understood and it's not completely false, but if you want to speak a proper French, it's better to say this one, but who would say this sentence right? It's quite weird - seize sèches chaises. Even if you want to say that, it's super hard, you will not manage to do it probably because I cannot manage to say this sentence so yeah.
So far, we've seen sentences difficult to say like the pronunciation of those sentences are quite hard. It's mainly due to those two sounds but also like the /z/ sound is quite hard. When letters are quite similar, but in a different order, you've got also some tongue twisters. We've got a lot of tongue twisters in French but I think those ones are really famous and maybe this one and then it's more like those two are more tricky.
So that's good for sentences difficult to say, but now let's move on to what is a bit different from English, sentences difficult to understand. There are many different kinds of virelangue in this category. First, it’s sentences like even for French people, if I say it, I will not manage to understand what the people told me.
So here, the first one is not difficult to repeat what was said, but it's hard to understand which word was a word because here you say - sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!” which is like same sound - sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!”, three times I'm saying sam dit, but each time, it’s different - sam dit like it means “Sam says”, Sam says. So Sam is a name again. Samedi like “Saturday”, you say samedi, exactly the same pronunciation. This expression, which is kind of casual, ça me dit, ça me dit, ça me dit, ça me dit, like ça me dit is like if you say it properly like full sentence, but sometimes you will shorten the word so you will say ça me dit. It’s like in English, “sounds good”, like oh, sounds good, ça me dit, like let’s go to the mall, yeah, sounds good. Allons au supermarché, ça me dit, like supermarché like supermarket, not mall, but anyway...
So here, sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!”. It's not really funny and you repeat three times the same sound which is interesting but not really hard to understand. But if you say that like personally if I hear this, I will have like, “What did you mean?”, like it's quite weird what you said. So this one like, it's just to show that sometimes different words can have the same pronunciation like the combination of different words can have the same meaning.
Here, this one is quite interesting because when you hear that - qu'à bu l'âne au lac, if I hear that, I'm like, you're not speaking French like this does not sound French. When you hear that - qu'à bu l'âne au lac, qu'à bu l'âne au lac, you’re like, whoa, is this real French? So if you're not like used to hearing this sentence which is kind of unusual, you would be kind of confused. So if you want to impress your friends or, I don't know, just say something weird in French, you can learn this one - qu'à bu l'âne au lac. If I say - qu'à bu l'âne au lac, do you do you think I'm speaking French because it does not sound like French? Qu'à bu l'âne au lac, qu'à bu l'âne au lac.
The meaning is quite simple actually like qu'à, it’s like “what”, qu'à bu, here, there is no accent. Qu'à bu l'âne au lac? “What did the donkey drink at the lake?” “At the lake” au lac, “donkey” âne, “the donkey” l'âne, “drink” like bu like the verb “to drink” is boire. Here, it's like the past so “did drink” so à bu. So qu'à bu l'âne au lac, qu'à bu l'âne au lac? So what is funny in this sentence is like there is the lac here and there is kind of inversion of the sound with qu, ac, qu, ac. Here, la, l', la, l' so qu'à bu l'âne au lac? So here, you’ve got this and this and you’ve got also this and this so this is kind of interesting. So we've got a lot of different kind of sentences like that.
The next one is quite similar and it's quite famous I think - si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. There is no real meaning in that like the sentence is quite weird, but it's perfectly correct like grammatically it's correct and there is a meaning but this is quite weird if you hear it - si mes laitues naissent...si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront, si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront, si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. It’s not hard to say once again, just hard to understand - si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront.
So here, it means like lettuce, naître is the verb “to be born”. So here, it’s like “my lettuces”, here naissent so it means like the present form of naître so naissent like plural, naissent. Here, vos laitues “your lettuces” and then naitront which is the future form of the verb naître which means “to be born”. So here, it's “will be born” naitront, naitront “will be born”. If and si - Si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. “If my lettuces are born, your lettuces will be born.” If my lettuces are born, your lettuces will be born. As you can see, it's not really meaningful, but here, usually in French, you don't use the verb naître. I think, it’s the same in English, to be born, you don't say that for lettuce. You can understand the meaning if you say it and in French we understand.
So here, what is interesting in this sentence is there is no specific reason like there is no peculiar reason why it's weird when you hear it. It's just weird. Here, you've got the repetition of those two sounds - laitues, laitues naissent, laitues naissent. Laitues naissent is like, whoa, like a kind of weird sound in French. You don't hear this combination a lot like that's one of my explanation, but it's really hard to understand why this sentence is weird when you understand, when you hear it - si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. I feel like the sound
/tront/ is quite weird to understand.
But anyway, so I'm going to say all those sentences once again and then it will be the end of the lesson. So…
Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? Les chaussettes de lʻarchiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches?
Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien.
Okay, I’m good.
Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge? Suis-je chez le cher Serge?
Not really easy.
Panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, panier-piano, pa... like here, I made the mistake.
Here...
Blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés. I made the mistake. blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés, blés brûlaient, brûlent les blés.
Okay.
Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”? Seize sèches chaises, seize chaises sèches. Really, like I think you cannot hear the difference because, even for me like it’s really close. Dois-t-on dire “seize sèches chaises” ou bien “seize chaises sèches”?
Here, it was like the sentences difficult to say.
Here, sentences difficult to understand.
Sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!”, Sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!” Sam dit: “samedi, ça me dit!”
Qu'à bu l'âne au lac? Qu'à bu l'âne au lac? Qu'à bu l'âne au lac? Qu'à bu l'âne au lac?
Usually, for those two sentences, you have to say them like really fast. Qu'à bu l'âne au lac? Qu'à bu l'âne au lac?
Here…
Si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. Si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront. Si mes laitues naissent, vos laitues naitront.
So that's all for today. Thank you for watching this video and see you next time. Bye!

5 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:50 PM
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Bonjour Emel,

Contente que la leçon te plaise !


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Emel
Tuesday at 09:39 AM
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Amusant lesson mais très difficile😅😅😅

FrenchPod101.com
Wednesday at 05:31 PM
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Hi Aug,


Glad to know that you enjoyed the lesson!


In case you have any doubts you can post your question in the [Comments] section. We'll be glad to help!👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team FrenchPod101.com

Aug
Tuesday at 03:07 AM
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Quite a difficult lesson but very entertaining