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Lesson Transcript

Sylvain: Bonjour! Je m’appelle Sylvain.
Céline: Et moi c’est Céline.
Sam: Sam here. “Wow, Pretty Hot.” Hello, my name’s Sam and I’m joined here by...
Sylvain: Sylvain.
Sam: And...
Céline: Céline.
Sam: Comment ça va?
Sylvain: Très bien.
Céline: Euh… ça va, mais je suis un peu malade.
Sam: That’s too bad.
Sylvain: Pauvre Céline!
Céline: Oui.
Sam: Well, anyway. Here we take a broad approach to the language, emphasizing listening comprehension, speech, grammar, vocab and usage.
Sylvain: With that you learn to speak French in a fun and interesting way.
Sam: So join us for this lesson of FrenchPod101.com.
Céline: By the way, Sam, I have a surprise for you.
Sam: Surprise? And what’s the surprise?
Céline: I will rest while Alex will play Robert, and Christophe will play the co-worker. Ok. That’s not a big surprise.
Sam: It’s a surprise to me. Well, anyway, this conversation takes place between two people at a party. One guy has noticed a beautiful young lady in the crowd. Clever Robert will be played by Alex, and his co-worker will be played by Christophe.
Sylvain: A tout de suite! After my third minute nap.
Céline: Yes. Me, too. I’m going to take a nap.
Sam: Three minute nap? Why didn’t you guys sleep last night?
Sylvain: We had some football thing.
Sam: Soccer?
Céline: Exactement. Soccer.
Sam: Ok. Well, anyway, shall we start, guys?
Céline: Yeah, allez c’est parti.
Sylvain: Let’s go.
Sam: Let’s go.
Christophe: Woaw!
Alex: Excuse-moi, je ne comprends rien!
Christophe: Qui est-ce?
Alex: Ben, qui?
Christophe: La jolie fille, là!
Alex: Ben, c’est ma fille!
Sam: One more time, slowly.
Christophe: Woaw!
Alex: Excuse-moi, je ne comprends rien!
Christophe: Qui est-ce?
Alex: Ben, qui?
Christophe: La jolie fille, là!
Alex: Ben, c’est ma fille!
Sam: One more time, with the English.
Christophe: Woaw!
Sam: Oh wow!
Alex: Excuse-moi, je ne comprends rien!
Sam: Excuse me, I don’t understand a thing!
Christophe: Qui est-ce?
Sam: Who is she?
Alex: Ben, qui?
Sam: Hmm, who?
Christophe: La jolie fille, là!
Sam: The pretty girl over there!
Alex: Ben, c’est ma fille!
Sam: That’s my daughter!
Sam: Hey it seems like that co-worker’s into Robert’s daughter, huh?
Sylvain: Yeah.
Céline: Eh oui! Parce qu’elle est jolie.
Sylvain: Elle est belle.
Sam: Because she’s nice and beautiful, of course.
Sylvain: Did you have some time mistake recognizing somebody?
Sam: Have I ever mistaken somebody for someone else? Not so often. I’m pretty good with names and faces.
Sylvain: That’s good. Good for you.
Céline: Yeah.
Sylvain: I had one time an experience. Somebody suddenly stopped me and said “Igor!” He was completely mistaken.
Céline: Igor?
Sylvain: Igor!
Céline: Igor-r.
Sam: Maybe you looked like Igor, his friend.
Sylvain: Hello, Igor.
Céline: I told you you looked like a viking! Viking. Sorry.
Sylvain: Yeah, yeah. When I was young, I had longer hair.
Céline: That’s great!
Sam: I’ve been mistaken for a famous actor before.
Céline: Who? Denzel Snipes?
Sam: Yeah yeah I’ve been mistaken for Denzel Snipes before. Somebody wanted my autograph, actually. But it would be worth twice as much next year. Two times nothing.
Céline: For example, we are in France, and you think you recognize somebody in the street. So what would you say in French?
Sylvain: Comment ça va?
Céline: Just like that? Straightaway? Comment ça va?
Sylvain: Bien sûr! And when you don’t remember the name of the guy or the girl, you say-- the other person says, “Et toi, comment ça va?” and you never use names.
Céline: Yeah, that’s true. Sometimes you meet somebody and the person doesn’t know your name. But that happens everywhere.
Sam: That’s ok if the-- It seems ok, if the lady forgets the guy’s name, but if it’s vice-versa, some ladies get angry about that. Especially if you call them the wrong name.
Céline: Oh yes!
Sylvain: Sophie; Martha, Joséphine…
Céline: Exactly, for me every-- not everyone, but usually people, they call me “Cécile.”
Sam: Cécile?
Céline: Yeah, instead of Céline. Yeah that makes me feel angry.
Sam: Why?
Céline: Because my name is Céline. It’s not Cécile.
Sam: I understand.
Céline: Voilà. So why don’t we jump into the vocab?
Sylvain: Good idea.
Sam: That sounds like a hot idea.
Céline: C’est parti.
Sam: The first item is...
Sylvain: Qui.
Sam: Who.
Sylvain: Qui. Qui.
Sam: Next is a phrase.
Céline: Qui est-ce?
Sam: Who is it?
Céline: Qui est-ce? Qui est-ce?
Sam: Next.
Sylvain: La.
Sam: Which is “the,” feminine.
Sylvain: La. La.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Jolie.
Sam: Pretty.
Céline: Jolie. Jolie.
Sam: Next.
Sylvain: Fille.
Sam: “Fille” means “girl” or “daughter”.
Sylvain: Fille. Fille.
Sam: Next.
Céline: C’est.
Sam: It is.
Céline: C’est. C’est.
Sam: And our last item is?
Sylvain: Ma.
Sam: My, which is a feminine possessive.
Sylvain: Ma. Ma.
Sylvain: Let’s have a look at the usage of some words. The first we will look at is “qui”.
Céline: Qui. Qui est invité? Who is invited?
Sylvain: “Qui” is an interrogative pronoun to ask about people.
Sam: Ok. The next item is:
Céline: Jolie. Pretty.
Sam: Je suis joli.
Sylvain: Um, yes!
Céline: That sounds a little bit weird. As a man you would say “je suis mignon”.
Sylvain: Where it’s, literally, “I am handsome.” “Jolie” is an adjective used for feminine items.
Sam: Do you mean you treat objects like women?
Céline: No, no, no.
Sylvain: No, no, no.
Céline: No, no, no, no. Don’t be confused. For a feminine person or feminine things.
Sam: Ah, ok.
Sylvain: The next word is “c’est”.
Sam: An example please with “c’est”?
Céline: C’est une leçon amusante. It’s a fun lesson. “C’est” is used to identify a simple thing or person.
Sam: A single thing or person?
Céline: Oui!
Sylvain: Or show something with the finger.
Céline: C’est. because… I mean…
Sam: Oh, ok. That’s easy.
Céline: I mean, just one. Single.
Sam: I understand.
Céline: Voilà. So to conclude our vocab usage, the last word is “ma”.
Sam: My. To express possession, but it’s used with a masculine item?
Sylvain: It’s a possessive adjective that goes in front of feminine nouns.
Sam: Ah! Thanks for that. I got you.
Céline: voilà. Like in the dialogue, “ma fille”.
Sam: Which means “my girl” or sometimes “my daughter”.
Céline: Yeah. Which means “my daughter” actually.
Sam: Can you say “my girl”? Is that polite? Should you say “ma femme” or? “My lady”, “my woman”?
Sylvain: That’s complex.
Céline: I don’t think so. With “fille” is used only with parents. I mean only parents use it. If you want to say “my girl” it’s different. How would you say “my girl” in French?
Sylvain: That’s the difficult part. You know…
Céline: Ah bon? Ok.
Sylvain: Because we have “ma fiancée”, “ma petite amie”...
Céline: Voilà.
Sylvain: … “ma concubine”, “ma copine”, ma…
Sam: Ah, it depends on the level of the relationship.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: Ah, I got you.
Céline: Mon amie.
Sam: Mon amie. Let’s save that for another lesson. How about that?
Sylvain: yeah yeah yeah, exactement.
Céline: Voilà. Bravo. Donc je pense qu’on est prêts pour la grammaire.

Lesson focus

Sam: Ok, let’s move on to some grammar. So guys, I think it was mentioned earlier that “qui” is used to ask about people.
Sylvain: C’est bien ça. That’s it. Questions with “qui” is the grammar point today.
Sam: Can you remind me what is the question with “qui” again?
Sylvain: Qui est-ce?
Céline: Who is it? Obviously, this question is to ask about someone’s identity, but there’s something you should know. There are three forms for this question.
Sylvain: Three?
Céline: Oui.
Sylvain: Ok.
Céline: “Qui est-ce?” is the most polite form. It is sometimes used-- Oh, I’m sorry. My voice-- Sometimes used even among friends. It adds a sort of aristocratic flavor.
Sylvain: Polite flavor.
Céline: Aristocrate.
Sylvain: Qui est-ce?
Céline: So especially with a certain intonation, like Sylvain, it would be as in family where parents and kids use “vous” for extreme respect.
Sam: Is that common?
Sylvain: Yes and no.
Céline: It depends. Not in the middle class, and I guess not that much anymore in higher classes, but before it was yes. I’m sure there are still a few families maintaining the tradition.
Sam: Ah. I got you.
Céline: Then there’s “qui c’est?” which is considered standard French, neither informal, neither formal.
Sylvain: What do you think, Sam?
Sam: That’s interesting. I have a question, but maybe I’ll ask it next time.
Céline: No, no, no. If you have a question you have to ask because if you have a question that means that the listeners have a question.
Sam: Ah! You’re right. And I remember in school, our teachers taught us the only dumb questions are the ones that aren’t asked.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: Can you say “qui est-ce qui”, is that strange?
Sylvain: Qui est-ce qui est assis sur cette chaise? You can say it.
Céline: But that’s different. The point here is “Who is it?”, “qui est-ce?”
Sylvain: The same question, but with three different grammar structures. But “qui est-ce qui” is a relative sentence introduced in it, then it’s a completely different thing.
Sam: Ah. Ok. So maybe we should leave that alone for now. Maybe another time.
Sylvain: It’s nice anyway.
Céline: No, but it’s good. So, and finally, the third form “c’est qui?”. This is really informal.
Sylvain: C’est qui?
Céline: C’est qui?
Sylvain: C’est qui là-bas?
Sam: It’s like saying “Who?”
Céline: Who’s that?
Sam: Or who’s that?
Céline: Exactement. So ok, why don’t we just recap the three forms?
Sylvain: Oui.
Céline: The first one, “qui est-ce”?
Sam: Qui est-ce?
Sylvain: Qui est-ce?
Céline: The most polite form. The second one, “Qui c’est?”. And the last one “C’est qui?”
Sylvain: C’est qui?
Sam: That’s a mouthful. That’s interesting. So what’s the safest and easiest structure for our listeners to use if they’re not sure?
Céline: It’s the second form. Qui c’est?
Sam: Qui c’est?
Sylvain: I will be choosing the first one. “Qui est-ce que”? It’s more difficult, but...
Céline: Qui est-ce? Qui est-ce?
Sylvain: Qui est-ce? Qui est-ce? The more polite you are, the more secure you are.
Sam: Ok. The more polite, the better sometimes.
Céline: That’s true.


Céline: So that’s the end of today’s lesson.
Sam: Oh, no! That’s the end already?
Céline: Yeah, yeah, my voice is so down.
Sylvain: (singing) This is the end, my friend…
Sam: That’s ok, but we’ll be back for more. So that does it for today’s lesson. So have a nice day, and we’ll see you next time.
Sylvain: Goodbye!
Céline: Au revoir!
Sylvain: Au revoir!
Sam: Au revoir!


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Dialog (Informal)