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Lesson Transcript

Sam: Today I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline.
Sam: Welcome back.
Céline: Bienvenue.
Sam: So, are you ready for another exciting lesson?
Céline: Of course.
Sam: I think it’s truly going to be awesome today.
Céline: Really awesome.
Sam: Yes. So, what’s today’s lesson about?
Céline: Today, we’re going to talk about jobs, but more specifically.
Sam: Great. And the conversation should be between two people, right?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Who are the speakers?
Céline: I don’t know, but they’re not friends.
Sam: So, they’re going to be using more formal French, right?
Céline: Tout à fait, exactly.
Sam: The conversation is between?
Céline: Monsieur Cardin et madame Lanvin.
Sam: Ok, let’s go.
Woman: Vous êtes docteur?
Woman: Oui. Ma spécialité c’est l’ophtalmologie. Et vous, vous êtes avocat?
Woman: Oui. Ma spécialité c’est le droit médical.
Sam: So, Céline, what are some French specialties?
Céline: We have lots. TGV.
Sam: Train à Grande Vitesse.
Céline: Yes, the fastest.
Sam: Very smooth, too, isn’t it?
Céline: Yes, it is, of course. Airplane?
Sam: Airbus?
Céline: Airbus, tout à fait.
Sam: Toulouse, right?
Céline: Yes, the factory is in Toulouse.
Sam: Your hometown.
Céline: Yes, and with the biggest airplane A380.
Sam: Oh, yes. The A380.
Céline: Oui.
Sam: Wow, great. How about some other specialties?
Céline: Cinéma.
Sam: Of course, the fantastic French cinema.
Céline: Oui. Fantastic. Music? Electronic music?
Sam: Of course, electronic music.
Céline: Yes, “Air”, “Daft Punk”, “Justice”. Yes. You know them, right?
Sam: Of course.
Céline: And also hip-hop.
Sam: MC Solaar?
Céline: Exactement. MC Solaar. He’s famous in the United States.
Sam: Yes.
Céline: Yes.
Sam: I have one of his CDs somewhere.
Céline: Somewhere?
Sam: I got it for a present.
Céline: And then fashion?
Sam: Of course.
Céline: Ah attends, Paris hein. And kiss?
Sam: The rock band from Detroit?
Céline: No. Kiss. Like in kissing.
Sam: Like a French kiss?
Céline: Yes. So, let’s get into the vocab.
Sam: Ok. Now, let’s get into today’s vocabulary. The first item is?
Céline: Vous êtes.
Sam: Formal version of “You are” or plural version of “you are”.
Céline: Vous êtes. Vous êtes.
Sam: Next?
Céline: C’est.
Sam: “It is”
Céline: C’est. C’est.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Spécialité.
Sam: “Specialty”
Céline: Spécialité. Spécialité.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Ophtalmologie.
Sam: “Ophthalmology”
Céline: Ophtalmologie. Ophtalmologie.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Avocat.
Sam: In American English, “lawyer”. In British English “advocate”.
Céline: Avocat. Avocat.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Docteur.
Sam: “Doctor”
Céline: Docteur. Docteur.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Droit.
Sam: “Law”
Céline: Droit. Droit.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Médical.
Sam: “Medical”
Céline: Médical. Médical.
Sam: Now, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the items from today’s lesson.
Céline: The first item we’ll look at is: vous êtes.
Sam: It means “you are” formal, or it can also mean “you are” plural.
Céline: Tout à fait. It’s the conjugation of “être”.
Sam: Let’s remind our wonderful listeners out there that when you’re chatting with your friends, you can use the “tu” form, which is more informal. Tu es.
Céline: Oui, “you are”. Next we have “spécialité”.
Sam: “Specialty”.
Céline: In the dialogue it refers to job. For example, je suis professeur.
Sam: “I’m a teacher.”
Céline: Ma spécialité c’est la physique.
Sam: “My specialty is physics.”
Céline: In other situation, it means something you’re good at. For example, cooking, sports or other activities. An example? Ma spécialité c’est la quiche Lorraine.
Sam: “My specialty is Lorraine quiche.”
Céline: Ma spécialité c’est le chant lyrique.
Sam: “My specialty is the lyric chant.”
Céline: Another situation, if you’re travelling in France, and you want to try the specialty of the region, you may ask: Quelle est la spécialité de la région? Quelle est la spécialité de la région?
Sam: “What’s the specialty of the region?”, in terms of food.
Céline: Yes, for example, in Toulouse, my hometown, la spécialité c’est le cassoulet. It’s the cassoulet. It’s really delicious, it’s a dish made from beans and duck.
Sam: Sounds delicious. I want to try it with some ketchup.
Céline: Oh mon Dieu. Don’t do that in Toulouse.
Sam: Ok.
Céline: So, next word is “ophtalmologie”.
Sam: “Ophthalmology”
Céline: So, it comes from the Greek “ophtalmos”, meaning “eye”. You can also find the same word from Latin, un “oculiste” – “an eye doctor”. So, if you have an eye problem, you may go to un ophtalmologue.
Sam: “An ophthalmologist”. If you’re short sighted...
Céline: Yes. Myope. Je suis myope. “I am short sighted.”
Sam: So, you wear contact lenses.
Céline: Oui, je porte des lentilles de contact. Also “an eye” in French is “un oeil”, “eyes” is “des yeux”.
Sam: Three eyes?
Céline: No, three eyes don’t exist. N’importe quoi. Let’s look at the next word, which is “avocat”.
Sam: “Lawyer”, in American English, maybe our British friends might say “advocate”, too.
Céline: D’accord. So, in French, it also means “avocado”, so if you have a French lawyer, you should call him or her “maître”. For example, if you were a lawyer in France, I would call you “Maître Smith”.
Sam: Oh, ok. Got it. Translated it as “Master”, but we don’t really have an equivalent in English. We would just say “Mr.” or “Ms.” or “Mrs.”.
Céline: Smith.
Sam: Yes.
Céline: D’accord.
Sam: That leads us to our next word?
Céline: Droit. Le droit.
Sam: “Law”
Céline: Yes, it’s “law”, but if you want to say “against the law”, for example, in French, you have to use “la loi”. Contre la loi.
Sam: So, “la loi” is “the law”. So, “contre la loi”...
Céline: ...“Against the law”.
Sam: “Against the law”. Ok. C’est illégal?
Céline: C’est illégal.
Sam: Ok, I got you. C’est illégal? It’s illegal?
Céline: What? Smoking in restaurants in France?
Sam: I don’t know? Is it?
Céline: Yes. Yes it is. We can’t anymore.
Sam: Oh no.
Céline: Oui. C’est terrible.
Sam: That’s terrible for smokers, right?
Céline: For smokers that’s terrible.
Sam: For non-smokers, it’s great.
Céline: Yes, smoking is bad for your health. And, that leads us to our next word, which is “médical”.
Sam: “Medical”
Céline: So, if you’re sick you will have to go to “un centre médical”.
Sam: “A health center”?
Céline: Oui. And get “un examen médical”.
Sam: “A medical examination”?
Céline: Yes, so when you’re sick in France, you can say “je suis malade”.
Sam: “I’m sick.”
Céline: Oui. Did you know, Sam, that we have one of the best health care system in France?
Sam: Yes, I knew that actually. It’s quite comprehensive.
Céline: What do you mean? Comprehensive?
Sam: For example, if a lady has a baby and she needs help on her at the home, doesn’t the government subsidize a nanny or some sort of special help for her?
Céline: Exactly. Yes.
Sam: That’s a fantastic program.
Céline: Yes, that is.

Lesson focus

Sam: So, why don’t we examine the grammar point?
Céline: Oui bonne idée. Good idea.
Sam: Ok.
Céline: Well, Sam, today is very, very easy. Do you remember how to ask about someone’s job in French?
Sam: Yes. Qu’est-ce que vous faites?
Céline: Oui. Qu’est-ce que vous faites?
Sam: “What do you do?”
Céline: Je suis médecin. – “I am a doctor.”
Sam: Médecin. That sounds like the word “medicine”.
Céline: Yes, but it’s not. “Médecin” is the equivalent of “docteur”. “Medicine” in French is “médicament”.
Sam: Médicament.
Céline: Oui. So totally different.
Sam: But still kind of similar.
Céline: Oui, it’s related to health.
Sam: Ok. So, easy for our listeners to remember.
Céline: Oui. Another example: vous êtes cuisinier?
Sam: “Are you a cook?”
Céline: Oui je suis cuisinier. “Yes, I’m a cook.” Well, for me, it’s “cuisinière”, because I’m a woman. In that case, it’s a yes/no question. You know? You remember the clause questions in French?
Sam: Of course.
Céline: Ok. But, if you have no idea about the job, and it’s almost always the case, just ask “qu’est-ce que vous faites?”.
Sam: “What do you do?”
Céline: Yes, and remember Sam. Many jobs in French have their equivalent at the feminine form. Please check the Grammar Bank of this lesson or feel free to ask a question on the Comment Section.
Sam: C’est une bonne idée. – “That’s a good idea.”
Céline: Oui. Most professional activities has various specialties. For example, a cook can be more skillful in deserts or Asian cuisine. To ask about specialty: Quelle est votre spécialité?
Sam: “What’s your specialty?”
Céline: Ma sécialité c’est la pâtisserie.
Sam: “My specialty is pastry.”
Céline: See? Really easy. “Ma spécialité c’est” + your specialty. But, Sam, if your specialty happens to be a plural noun, like cocktails, the pattern changes. Ma spécialité, ce sont les cocktails.
Sam: “My specialty are cocktails.”
Céline: Literally. So, Sam, let’s practice. Qu’est-ce que vous faites? “What do you do?”
Sam: Je suis footballeur. “I’m a soccer player.”
Céline: Et quelle est votre spécialité?
Sam: Ma spécialité c’est les coups de tête. “My specialty is the header.”
Céline: I know what you’re talking about. Are you talking about Zizou, right?
Sam: Maybe.
Céline: What an useless example for our listeners. Let’s give another one, Sam.
Sam: Qu’est-ce que vous faites? “What do you do?”
Céline: Je suis pilote de ligne. “I’m an airline pilot.”
Sam: Quelle est votre spécialité? “What’s your specialty?”
Céline: Ma spécialté, ce sont les Airbus A380. “My specialty are the Airbus A380.”
Sam: So, let me recap. To ask about job, you would say?
Céline: Qu’est-ce que vous faites? Qu’est-ce que vous faites?
Sam: “What do you do?”. Then, to ask about specialty?
Céline: Quelle est votre spécialité? Quelle est votre spécialité?
Sam: “What’s your specialty?” To tell your specialty, if your specialty is a singular noun?
Céline: Ma spécialité c’est le flamenco. Ma spécialité c’est le flamenco.
Sam: “My specialty is the Flamenco.” Now, if your specialty is in the plural form?
Céline: Ma spécialité ce sont les films d’auteur. Ma spécialité ce sont les films d’auteur.
Sam: “My specialty are author movies.”
Céline: Wow Sam. That was an explanation. So, I think it’s enough for today, right?
Sam: Yes, so…
Céline: So what?
Sam: Can I ask a question?
Céline: Bien sûr!
Sam: Quelle est votre spécialité?
Céline: Ma spécialité?
Sam: Oui.
Céline: C’est le baiser.
Sam: Le baiser?
Céline: Oui. Le baiser.
Sam: Qu’est-ce que c’est “le baiser”?
Céline: “The kiss”!
Sam: Of course. The French kiss.
Céline: Yes, don’t forget to put an article before “baiser”.


Sam: Ok, so until the next time.
Céline: Bye. Bisous.
Sam: Bye bye.