Dialogue

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Vocabulary

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patron boss
chômage unemployment
ANPE employment agency
écrire to write
CV - Curriculum Vitae resume
chercher to look for
travail work
s'inquiéter to worry
tranquille tranquil, calm
comme as
triste sad
pourquoi why
parce que because
renvoyé fired

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

Give a reason or explanation.

Pourquoi/parce que

To ask for an explanation or a reason for something, use the interrogative adverb pourquoi, which means "why." The most common way to respond to a question with pourquoi is to use parce que (because). Parce que is a subordinating conjunction and can begin a sentence. Parce que introduces a cause, explanation, or motive and it explains why something is done.

Example:

Pourquoi tu es chez le docteur?
"Why are you at the doctor's office?"
Je suis chez le docteur parce que mon fils est malade.
"I'm at the doctor's office because my son is sick."
Pourquoi tu es pauvre?
"Why are you poor?"
Parce je n'ai pas d'argent, je suis pauvre.
"Because I don't have any money, I am poor."

Cultural Insights

A.N.P.E.

The A.N.P.E. is an acronym for the Agence Nationale Pour l'emploi (National agency for the Employment). This agency is a public institution managed by the French Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment. They created the institution in 1967 to centralize and calculate employment statistics, as well as to establish centers to help unemployed people to look for a job.

The UNEDIC is part of a public service of employment, which is in charge of issuing unemployment insurance to people who are looking for a job.

In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy made plans to merge the A.N.P.E. and the UNEDIC in order to simplify the process though a common computer database and create a unique file for each unemployed individual, all of which both entities would share.

*In 2009 it merged with UNEDIC and it's known nowadays as Pôle Emploi

Grammar

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Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.

Devoir
To have to - must
Introduced

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Céline: Bonjour. Je suis Céline.
Alex : Bonjour. Je suis Alexandre.
Sam : Sam, here. Welcome to Intermediate Series, Lesson 1: I'm so sad! I'm the host, Sam, and we'd like to welcome you to FrenchPod101.com.
Céline: Bienvenue!
Sam : Today, we'll be talking about some grammar and vocab.
Alex : And don't forget that we're going to discuss different aspects of the French that are not tied to linguistics.
Céline: For people who want to brush up on what they learned before.
Sam : Stay tuned for this lesson of FrenchPod101.com
Alex : On va commencer.
Céline: Très bien. Mais, Sam, aujourd’hui, quelle est la conversation?
Sam : Today's lesson is about being sad.
Céline: Why? Pourquoi?
Sam : Well, there are many reasons why someone can be sad.
Céline: Qu’est-ce qui se passe dans la conversation?
Sam : This guy lost his job, and when you lose your job, it can't be a good thing. You know?
Céline: Oui c’est vrai. N’est-ce pas Alex?
Alex : Oui!
Sam : This conversation takes place during the afternoon, anywhere in France. This conversation takes place between Zachary and Emile. Zachary is very worried. He just got fired from his job. In today's conversation Christophe will be Zachary and Alex will be Emile.
Céline: C'est parti.
Sam : Shall we start? Let's go.
DIALOGUE
Christophe: Je suis si triste !
Alex: Pourquoi ?
Christophe: Parce que mon patron m’a renvoyé.
Alex: Oh non, tu es au chômage ?
Christophe: Oui. Je dois aller à l A.N.P.E. Je dois écrire mon C.V.. Je dois chercher du travail.
Alex: Bah ne t’inquiète pas, sois tranquille comme Émile.
Sam: One more time, with the English.
Céline: Encore une fois, avec l’anglais.
Christophe: Je suis si triste !
Sam: I’m so sad!
Alex: Pourquoi ?
Sam: Why?
Christophe: Parce que mon patron m’a renvoyé.
Sam: Because my boss fired me!
Alex: Oh non, tu es au chômage ?
Sam: Oh, no! Are you out of work?
Christophe: Oui. Je dois aller à l A.N.P.E.. Je dois écrire mon C.V.. Je dois chercher du travail.
Sam: Yes, I have to go to the employment agency. I have to write a resume. I have to look for a job!
Alex: Bah ne t’inquiète pas, sois tranquille comme Émile.
Sam: Don't worry, be cool as Emile.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Sam : Hey, have you ever gotten fired for a bogus reason?
Céline: Non pas vraiment. Mais tu sais Sam, en France, nous avons beaucoup de lois qui protègent les employés.
Sam : That's good to know. So you have laws in France to protect workers?
Céline: Exactement.
Alex : Dans les années ’90, il y a eu 12 pour cent de chômage. En 2007, moins de 8 pour cent.
Sam : Wow! In the mid '90s, 12% unemployment, now less than 8%?
Céline: Exactement.
Sam : And how about C.V.s?
Céline: Ah le fameux CV! Curriculum Vitae.
Alex : Ce qui veut dire “chemin de vie” en latin.
Céline: Ah nous avons un expert en latin ici.
Alex : Oui.
Céline: So if you don't have lots of experience, we recommend you to write your C.V. on one page, but basically it's similar to an American resume. You're marital status, experience, extra activities, travels, and pictures of you.
Sam : Whoa! A picture on your resume? That'd be a lawsuit in the States!
Céline: pourquoi?
Sam : Because people are afraid of discrimination. For example, if we have two candidates, and one's attractive and one's not, if the attractive candidate gets the job, the other person might have a lawsuit.
Céline: There's no discrimination in France.
Sam : Ah, je comprends. I understand.
Céline: Exactement!
Sam : La même chose aux Etats-Unis.
Céline: Voilà! Exact. La vie est belle. Another thing. Another important thing is the “lettre de motivation”, also called “lettre de présentation”.
Sam : I believe in English we call that a cover letter. So that's really interesting guys. Now, let's see some vocab.
Céline: No.
Sam : No? Why?
Céline: Alex?
Alex : Oui. Il y aussi ce qu’on appelle un “CV européen”. Called also “Europass”. It exists in 26 languages and it's for people who want to apply for a job in a foreign country or present themselves in a concise way. So it's a special item started by L’Union Européenne.
Céline: Exactement.
!. Exactement.
Sam : Is it kind of like a database?
Alex : Well, something like that.
Sam : Oh, I understand. Really interesting, guys. Now can we see some vocabulary?
Céline: Bien sûr!
VOCAB LIST
Sam : Ok. First item?
Céline: Pourquoi?
Sam : Why?
Céline: Pourquoi? Pourquoi?
Sam : Next?
Céline: Parce que.
Sam : Because.
Céline: Parce que. Parce que.
Sam : Next?
Alex : Patron.
Sam : Boss.
Alex : Patron. Patron.
Sam : Next?
Céline: Chômage.
Sam : Unemployment.
Céline: Chômage. Chômage.
Sam : Next?
Alex : Devoir.
Sam : Must. Or have to.
Alex : Devoir. Devoir.
Sam : Next?
Céline: écrire.
Sam : To write.
Céline: écrire. écrire.
Sam : Next?
Alex : CV.
Sam : Curriculum vitae.
Alex : CV. CV.
Sam : Next?
Céline: Travail.
Alex : Work.
Céline: Travail. Travail.
Sam : Next?
Alex : S’inquiéter.
Sam : To worry.
Alex : S’inquiéter. S’inquiéter.
Sam : Next?
Céline: Comme.
Sam : As.
Céline: Comme. Comme.
Sam : Next?
Alex : ANPE. (Agence Nationale Pour l’Emploi.)
Sam : The unemployment office.
Alex : ANPE. ANPE.
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Sam : Now, guys, let's have a look at some of the words and phrases used in today's lesson.
Céline: Bonne idée. Le premier mot est: Pourquoi? qui signifie "Why?" Sam's favorite.
Sam : What? My favorite?
Céline: Yes! You always ask, "Why? Pourquoi?"
Sam : Really?
Céline: Oui.
Sam : Why?
Céline: Tu vois?
Sam : Ah, je comprends.
Alex : Ok. It is used in questions to ask the cause or reason of something. So in order to reply to a question with "pourquoi," use “parce que”.
Sam : “Parce que” means "because."
Céline: With “parce que”, you can either give a cause, an explanation, or a motive.
Sam : Let's practice.
Céline: Alex, pourquoi tu es triste?
Alex : Should I say? Ok. Parce que ma copine m’a laissé tomber.
Sam : Your shorty dropped you? I mean, your girlfriend broke up with you?
Alex : Yeah, she did.
Sam : She dropped you like a bad habit?
Alex : She's such a...
Sam : That's a good reason to be sad.
Céline: Oh le pauvre!
Alex : Oui.
Sam : Let's have another example.
Alex : Ok. Pourquoi tu étudies?
Céline: Parce que j’ai un contrôle demain.
Sam : Why are you studying? Ah, because you have a test tomorrow. That's a good reason, I think.
Céline: So, let's see a “pourquoi” question in formal French.
Alex : Ok. Alors, pourquoi vous ne mangez pas?
Céline: Parce que je n’ai pas faim.
Sam : You're not eating because you're not hungry or because you're overweight?
Céline: N’importe quoi. I'm not overweight, and you know that.
Sam : Oh, ok, yeah. The next word is “travail”.
Alex : Alors “travail”. This relates to what most of us need to do to earn money. In other words, work.
Céline: Exactement. Many people mix up “le travail” with “travaille”. La troisième personne conjuguée du verbe “travailler”.
Sam : No wonder. The pronunciation is the same, but “le travail” and “travaille”?
Alex : Why make something simple, when you can make it complicated? Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué?!!
Céline: Exactement. Bienvenue! Welcome to the French language.
Sam : Ok. Hopefully, I won't stuff this up too bad.
Céline: So the difference between “le travail” and “il travaille” is simple. The first one means 'the work', the second means 'he works'.
Sam : Ah, ok. I think I got it now.
Céline: Yes, and don't forget, Sam. Le travail c’est la santé.
Alex : Yes. That's a French proverb.
Sam : Work is health? That's so un-French.
Céline: Maybe, but we use it, Monsieur America.
Sam : Je comprends.
Céline: So next, let's see the abbreviation “CV”.
Sam : CV. Je ne comprends pas. I don't get it. It doesn't have anything to do with the dialogue topic. Is that a car part? Like a C.V. joint?
Alex : It stands for “curriculum vitae”, the first impression given to an employer.
Sam : Can you give us an example, Alex?
Alex : Sure! Qu’est-ce que tu fais Céline?
Céline: Je fais mon CV. J’ai un entretien d’embauche la semaine prochaine.
Sam : What are you doing? I'm doing my resume. I have a job interview.
Céline: Next week.
Sam : Next week? Ok. Resume and C.V., it's the same thing, right?
Céline: I don't know. You tell me. Resume and C.V. is American.
Sam : Isn't resume a French word?
Céline: Oui, oui, Sam. C’est un mot français, mais on ne l’utilise pas “résumé” pour CV.
Sam : Pourquoi pas?
Céline: Arrête de poser des questions, “pourquoi?”, toujours “pourquoi?”!
Sam : Désolé. Désolé. So the million dollar question. What does resume mean, literally?
Alex : So in French, “résumé”, it's a brief, concise explanation of a text.
Sam : Ok.
Céline: D’accord?
Sam : I understand. Maybe. The way we use it, it's like a life summary. But why don't you use it the same way? Sorry. Anyway.
Céline: Ok. Next we have the verb, “s’inquiéter”.
Alex : Not to worry. It is a prenominal verb like, “s’appeler”, which means 'to be named'.
Sam : Why are prenominal verbs important? That's my favorite word. 'Why".
Céline: Euh… en fait, they indicate that the subject performs the action on itself.
Sam : Can you give us an example sentence with “s’inquiéter”?
Alex : Euh… Par exemple: Il s’inquiète de ses résultats. He's worried about his results.
Céline: Exactement. In the example sentence, "He's worried about his results." The same can be done with an action.
Alex : As with, “le chat se regarde dans le miroir”. The cat looks at himself (or herself) in the mirror.
Sam : Ah, voilà. I understand. Or I have another example. It's a cool example. Céline se regarde dans le miroir. Céline looks at herself in the mirror. You always do that!
Céline: N’importe quoi!
Sam : Why?
{laughter}
Sam : Now, let's look at the grammar.
LESSON FOCUS
Céline: So to express obligation or necessity, “devoir” is used.
Alex : It's a semi-auxiliary verb always followed by the infinitive.
Sam : Can you give us an example using the word “devoir” in a sentence?
Céline: Je dois partir. I must go.
Alex : It can also be translated as 'have to'.
Sam : Can you give us the conjugation, please?
Céline: Je dois.
Sam : I must.
Alex : Tu dois.
Sam : You must.
Céline: Il ou elle doit.
Sam : He or she must.
Alex : Nous devons.
Sam : We must.
Céline: Vous devez.
Sam : You must. And they must?
Alex : Ils or elles doivent.
Sam : Hey, guys. What are 'your daily obligations'?
Alex : Je dois travailler.
Céline: Moi aussi je dois travailler.
Sam : So for people who are looking for a job in France, what would you recommend?
Alex : Ok. You can check out, “les petites annonces”, the ads in the local, national, or special newspapers. And once you get to the interview, be prepared. You'll really have to knock their socks off at the interview. Don't forget to use the “vous” form and try to be as French as possible.
Céline: Oui, s'il vous plaît! And use the “vous” form. Really.
Sam: Ok guys.
Céline: Ok?
Sam : Oh, ok. Why?
Céline: D’accord. À bientôt, Sam. Au revoir.
Alex : Yeah, but I have a question.
Sam : Ok.
Alex : What do you mean, what do you mean “to be as French as possible?”
Sam : Just be as French as possible.
Céline: You're so nice, Sam. I love you.
OUTRO
Sam : Thank you. Well, anyway. I think that concludes today's lesson. Be sure to pick up the PDF at FrenchPod101.com. And also, if you have any questions, feel free to use our forum or comment on today's lesson. See you again tomorrow. Salut! A demain!
Céline: A demain, Sam! A demain, Alex!
Alex : Salut. A demain.