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Lesson Transcript

Sam: Today I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline. Bonjour, Sam.
Sam: Bonjour, ça va?
Céline: Ca va merci.
Sam: So, today’s conversation is between two people that will be using formal French.
Céline: Yes, and the focus of this lesson is to talk about your responsibilities.
Sam: Ok. Sounds good. Shall we start?
Céline: Ah oui!
Woman: Quelles sont vos responsabilités?
Woman: Je suis chargé du département marketing. Et vous, quelles sont vos responsabilités?
Woman: Je suis chargée de l’analyse système.
Sam: So, Céline, I’ve noticed there are a lot of English type words or derivatives of English in that dialogue.
Céline: Yes, for example “marketing”.
Sam: Oh, that’s an English word.
Céline: Yes, that’s an English word. Yes, we have the French equivalent which is “mercatique”. Yes, but in France we use a lot, a lot of English words. But, do you know l’Académie Française?
Sam: Yes, it’s the Academy to preserve…
Céline: Our beautiful language.
Sam: And the richness of the language, of course.
Céline: Yes, that is our responsibility in France, to preserve the French language.
Sam: But, it’s still ok to use English in it, right?
Céline: Of course it is. No, of course. For example, if you want to send an e-mail in France, you would say “courriel”.
Sam: Courriel?
Céline: Courriel.
Sam: Courriel.
Céline: Courrier électronique.
Sam: An e-mail?
Céline: An e-mail. You can use e-mail, but many people use “courriel”.
Sam: Is this a new thing or…
Céline: Yes, it’s a new thing.
Sam: Do you preserve the richness of French language?
Céline: I hope I do.
Sam: After that awesome discussion, let’s move on to some vocab and phrases from the lesson.`The first item is?
Céline: Quelles.
Sam: “Which”
Céline: Quelles. Quelles.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Département.
Sam: “Department”
Céline: Département. Département.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Responsabilité.
Sam: “Responsibility”
Céline: Responsabilité. Responsabilité.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Marketing.
Sam: “Marketing”
Céline: Marketing. Marketing.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Etudes.
Sam: “Studies”
Céline: Etudes. Etudes.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Quelles sont?
Sam: “What are”
Céline: Quelles sont? Quelles sont?
Sam: Next?
Céline: Être chargé(e) de.
Sam: “To be in charge of”
Céline: Être chargé(e) de. Être chargé(e) de.
Sam: Now, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the items from today’s lesson.
Céline: The first item is “quelles sont”.
Sam: “What are”
Céline: So, this is the feminine and plural form. You have to use a feminine and plural noun after “Quelles sont”. Let’s clarify that in an example. Quelles sont vos couleurs préférées?
Sam: “What are your favorite colors?”
Céline: Sam, quelles sont vos couleurs préférées?
Sam: Bleu, blanc, rouge. Blue, white and red.
Céline: Oh, like the French flag.
Sam: Actually, I was talking about the American flag.
Céline: Ok, well… The point is that, once again, in French, feminine and masculine are really important. For masculine, you may say “quel”. Sound is similar, but spelling is different.
Sam: Next we have?
Céline: Département.
Sam: “Department”
Céline: Well, in French it has two meanings. At a job’s place, “département” has the same meaning as in English. But, it can mean “département” – “district”.
Sam: How many districts does France have?
Céline: Well, France has 22 regions and those regions are divided into one hundred districts which are numbered alphabetically and this since 1780. And the same number is used in postal codes, and vehicle number plates.
Sam: Oh, wow. Like wow. That’s almost like states and counties. But, anyway, Céline, is it important to know this information when you’re posting a letter?
Céline: Of course. With the postal code.
Sam: Do you remember all the postal codes in France?
Céline: Not really. I know a lot, but we used to learn them at school, now I don’t know. These days, I don’t think so.
Sam: If I gave you a blank map of France, could you label all the regions and departments?
Céline: Maybe yes.
Sam: Oh, great. How about the United States? Could you label all the states?
Céline: I don’t think so.
Sam: That’s ok.
Céline: So, let’s see some examples. Je travaille au département comptabilité.
Sam: “I work in the accounting department.”
Céline: J’habite dans le département de Haute-Garonne.
Sam: “I live in the Haute-Garonne department.” Which number?
Céline: 31.
Sam: You’re good. Which is number…
Céline: Trente-et-un.
Sam: Great.
Céline: 31.
Sam: So, you know one department number, I’ll test you on all of them after the lesson.
Céline: Ok, but now, let’s see the word “responsabilités”.
Sam: Sounds very similar to the English “responsibilities”.
Céline: Yes, it can refer to responsibilities at work or responsibilities in general, at home, in life. Quelles sont vos responsabilités?
Sam: “What are your responsibilities?”
Céline: Sam, quelles sont vos responsabilités?
Sam: Dans la vie?
Céline: “In life.”
Sam: Je dois aider les autres personnes en général.
Céline: That’s nice. “I have to help all the people.”
Sam: Yes.
Céline: That’s so nice of you.
Sam: Thank you. Next word?
Céline: Marketing.
Sam: “Marketing”
Céline: Ok, so, as I told you, Sam, we have the equivalent in French, which is “mercatique”.
Sam: Once again, sounds very similar to the English.
Céline: So, “mercatique”.
Sam: “Marketing”. Very similar to the English word and easy for our listeners to remember, right?
Céline: Yes, they can use “marketing”, too. But, just you know that marketing in France and marketing in your country is totally different.
Sam: How?
Céline: For us, French, I’m going to be really honest with you, it’s too much.
Sam: Too in your face?
Céline: Too in your face, yes, I think so. It’s different from Europe.
Sam: So, is the marketing in Europe more subtle?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: They show you the product, they show you the good point, if you wanted great, if not, we’re not going to hound you.
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sam: So, in America, there’s a lot of product placement at the cinema or the movie theater. Is that the same case in France?
Céline: Oui oui, that’s the same case, but less, less obvious.
Sam: So, more subtle.
Céline: Yes. But, now, it’s becoming like, not like America, but on the way.
Sam: I see.
Céline: So, mercatique. You can use mercatique.
Sam: Mercatique.
Céline: If you want to be really French.
Sam: Great.
Céline: So, next word is “études”.
Sam: “Study”
Céline: Oui. So, in the conversation, they’re talking about “études marketing”.
Sam: “Market study”
Céline: Tout à fait. But it can also be your study. And usually, we say in plural. We use “études” at the plural form. Les études.
Sam: Les études, “studies”.
Céline: “Studies”, Exactement.
Sam: So, “my studies” would be?
Céline &Sam: Mes études.
Sam: What about studying a language?
Céline: J’étudie.
Sam: J’étudie.
Céline: L’anglais, par exemple.
Sam: “I study English.”
Céline: J’étudie le français.
Sam: “I study French.” Great. The next item is?
Céline: être chargé(e) de
Sam: “To be in charge of”
Céline: But, Sam, this is our today’s grammar point.

Lesson focus

Sam: Ok. Let’s get into today’s grammar then.
Céline: C’est parti.
Sam: Let’s go.
Céline: So, Sam, today we’re going to talk about your responsibilities or people’s responsibilities, in general. First, there’s the question: quelles sont vos responsabiliés?
Sam: “What are you responsibilities?”
Céline: And you might say “Je suis chargé(e) du département marketing”.
Sam: “I’m in charge of the marketing department.”
Céline: So, today’s grammar point is “je suis chargé(e) de”.
Sam: Ok.
Céline: So, “je suis chargée de”, the particle “de” is the preposition part of the verb “être chargé(e) de”, which will vary according to the noun used after. So, in the dialogue, the particle “de” is switched to “du” because “department” is a masculine noun.
Sam: Ok. So, “de” + “le” equals “du”.
Céline: Tout à fait. Je suis chargée du département.
Sam: “I’m in charge of the department.”
Céline: Je suis chargée de la sécurité.
Sam: “I’m in charge of security.”
Céline: So, “securité” is a feminine noun, so you have to use “de la”. When it’s a masculine noun, you have to use “du”.
Sam: Ok. So, I got it. Let’s recap really quickly, ok? For example, in today’s key phrase “je suis chargé(e) de...”, after the word “de” there’ll be a noun. If the noun’s masculine, change “de” to “du”. If it’s feminine, change it to “de la”. If it’s plural, use “des”.
Céline: It’s really easy. And, if it’s a noun which starts with a vowel use “de l’ ”. Je suis chargée de l’organisation.
Sam: “I’m in charge of the organization.” For a closer look, go to Frenchpod101.com and have a look at the PDF. It will become even easier once you see it in print.
Céline: Another point, you can also say “je suis responsable de”.
Sam: “I’m responsible for…”
Céline: Je suis responsable de la communication.
Sam: “I’m responsible for communication.”
Céline: Je suis chargée de la communication.
Sam: “I’m in charge of communication.”
Céline: Same meaning.


Sam: Yes, and as you noticed, “communication” was feminine, so we used “de la”. It’s very easy. And I think that’s a good place to end today’s lesson.
Céline: Oui.
Sam: So, until the next time.
Céline: A bientôt!
Sam: Bye, bye. Thank you.