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Lesson Transcript

Wherever you go, table manners are a must! In France, this is no different.
In this lesson, we'll cover some basic table etiquette for sitting down for a meal in someone’s home. It often begin with an apéritif, or cocktail and small snacks, which you enjoy with other guests while the host finishes with the final preparation.
When the meal is ready, the host will say À table! Which means “dinner’s ready.”
À table!
À table!
Let’s break it down by syllable: À table!
Once seated, the host serves everyone by him or herself while everyone makes compliments about the food and its preparation, one of which we’ll learn in a second. Once the host has served him or herself, he will say the magic phrase, and you may begin.
That magic phrase is: Bon appétit.
Before beginning any meal in France, even if it's a soggy bunch of french fries from McDonald's, it is polite to say Bon appétit, which roughly translates to “good appetite.”
Bon appétit.
Let’s break it down by syllable: Bon appétit.
Now let's hear it once again: Bon appétit.
The first word, bon, means “good.”
Let's break down this word and hear it one more time: Bon
And, bon.
This is followed by appétit, which in French is “appetite.”
And, appétit
Altogether, that makes Bon appétit.
And as France is known for its great food, you are bound to get some truely great food, and therefore, you need the word for delicious.
In French, to compliment the food, say C'est bon.
C'est bon.
Let's break down this word and hear it one more time: C'est bon.
C'est bon.
The first word, c’est, means “it’s.”
Let's break down this word: c’est
And, c’est.
It’s actually a contraction of two words, ce and est, or “it” and “is” respectively.
This is followed by bon, which we just learned in French is “good.”
Altogether, that makes C'est bon, which literally means “It's good.” This is a phrase you can use for many occasions but it is especially common to compliment food.
If you literally want to say “this is delicious,” say C'est délicieux.
C'est délicieux.
Let’s break it down by syllable: C'est délicieux.
C'est délicieux, which means “It’s delicious.”
Now, before the meal begins and perhaps through out, there may be a toast. In French, “Cheers” is Tchin.
And, tchin.
When the meal is over and you want to compliment the chef, say Merci, c'était bon ! which means, “thank you, it was delicious.”
And it is the past tense of the phrase we just learned, c'est bon.
Merci, c'était bon !
Merci, c'était bon !
Let’s break it down by syllable: Merci, c'était bon !
Now let's hear it one more time: Merci, c'était bon !
The first word, merci, means “thanks,” as we have learned.
This is followed by c'était, which in French is “it was.”
This is followed by bon, which we learned means “good.”
Altogether, that makes Merci, c'était bon !
If you want to emphasize your gratitude, say Merci, c'était très bon !
Which means “Thank you, it was very good!”
The word très means “very.”
Here it is again. Merci, c'était très bon !
Merci, c'était très bon !
And, merci, c'était très bon !
When eating in someone's home, it is customary to let the host run the show, you can offer your help if you want but most French people will kindly refuse it. Being invited for a meal in France can be like the king invited to the theatre, so enjoy this moment.


Okay, to close out this lesson, we'd like you to practice what you've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for shouting it aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so bonne chance, that means “good luck” in French. Ok, here we go!
“Dinner’s ready.” - À table!
À table!
À table!
“Enjoy your meal.” - Bon appétit.
Bon appétit.
Bon appétit.
“It's good.” - C'est bon.
C'est bon.
C'est bon.
“This is delicious.” - C'est délicieux.
C'est délicieux.
C'est délicieux.
“Thank you, that was delicious!” - Merci, c'était bon !
Merci, c'était bon !
Merci, c'était bon !
This is the end of today’s lesson. See you soon! À bientôt!

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