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Here's the Latest Episode from Learn French by Podcast:
One of our listeners was taking up a position as a teacher in a pre-school in France and asked if we would put together some expressions and vocabulary that might be used in a dialogue between the teacher and a parent. Let’s consider one such conversation.
Our lesson this time goes back to a joke made by chat-show host Trevor Noah last summer, following the World cup. The only thing is, some people didn’t find his joke funny at all, not least the French ambassador in Washington. So what was it all about, again? Let’s start, as usual, with a conversation to put things in context.
Our conversation this time focuses on President Macron's plan to reintroduce national service in France. Some people are wondering if he is the right man to decide on such matters, given that he himself is the first French president not to have done military service.
The Trump presidency is nearing the mid-term elections in November. Mr Trump – arguably more than any other American president – has polarised opinions. Let’s talk about the first half of his mandate and what has being going on in recent weeks.
Traditionally, French high school graduates have been guaranteed public university places, regardless of the grades achieved in their baccalauréat. This, however, has resulted in very high drop-out rates. It is hoped that, from 2018, proposed reforms will result in a more efficient means of access to university. Let’s talk about all this. C’est parti!
Britain’s vote to withdraw from the European Union was widely controversial and continues to be so. Brexit – from a French perspective – is at the centre of our conversation this time.
The transfer of Brazilian footballer, Neymar, smashed all records in terms of the colossal sums of money involved. Are such sporting investments really justified? Let’s talk about that.
Our lesson this time was inspired by a recent article entitled “Have smartphones destroyed a generation?” A provocative title indeed, but one that got us thinking. C’est parti!
Our lesson this time - for Advanced learners – focuses on the stunning rise to the French presidency of the youthful Emmanuel Macron at just 39 years of age. How, exactly, did he manage to pull off such a victory? Let’s discuss.
A listener wondered if we could do a lesson on the basis of a traffic accident. So that’s what we’ve done : we’ve simulated a discussion on the basis of a minor accident that did actually occur recently at our end. Let’s start with a conversation: then we’ll look closely at the vocabulary.
The withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Accord on climate change caused consternation worldwide, not least as almost all countries signed up to its terms in 2016. Let’s talk about the decision of the U.S. administration to withdraw. We’ll discover how to make use of a whole range of interesting vocabulary. C’est parti!
In some countries, particularly the U.S., a university education has become so expensive that some wonder if it is even worth going to college at all, any more. Let’s start with a conversation. Then we’ll come back and look more closely at some key vocabulary.
It’s holiday season, a time of year when we might discuss a film or TV series we’ve seen. That’s the subject of our conversation this time. First, let’s talk about a French production called ‘Spiral’.
The coral reefs of the world’s oceans are in mortal danger but, as is often the case with environmental concerns, few people seem to appreciate that the dangers are imminent. That is the focus of our lesson this time.
Digital tablets in the classroom were recently described as a 60 billion dollar hoax. Despite these strong words, it seems we’re on an inexorable drive to place a screen in front of every child in the classroom. But to whose benefit ? That’s the subject of our conversation in this lesson.
This lesson is inspired by our having heard about Norway in Michael Moore’s latest satirical documentary. Now, no country is perfect but Norway certainly seems to have a lot going for it. Let’s start with a conversation.
The title of this Advanced lesson may be controversial. After all, it is a fact that tens of thousands of people – some of whom have been lifted out of abject poverty – work in call centres around the world. However, questions one might ask are: what kind of work do call centre workers actually do? What kind of career prospects can workers realistically expect from such work? Béatrix talks of her friend’s experience in one such call centre. Let’s listen.
A listener asked about ‘tu’ and ‘vous’. In English, we simply use the pronoun ‘you’ but, in French, things are more complicated. In this conversation, we talk about when to use ‘tu’ and ‘vous’… and how to ‘make the switch’ between the two when our relationships have evolved over time. Let’s listen.
A listener asked said he had recently been in France and had heard a few slang words used frequently. In this lesson, our dialogue makes use of a variety of slang words, some of which are very common. Let’s listen.
This time, our lesson centres on the social tensions in France, arising from the proposed introduction of new work laws. The main protagonists are, on the one hand, the CGT - a very powerful union - and, on the other, the government which insists that there is no alternative to the new measures it is proposing.
He was the world’s most famous boxer. But, to many, he represented much more than a particular sport. In this lesson, let’s talk about Mohammed Ali.
AirBnB has rocked the hospitality industry. For holiday-makers it has proved a boon but hoteliers are up in arms. On the other hand, hoteliers are up in arms, citing 'wild-west' practices and a lack of regulation, not to mention depleted rental accommodation, as property owners turn to this new rental model instead of committing to longer-term tenants. We discuss the service provided by AirBnB in this lesson.
What exactly does the word ‘education’ mean to you ? Sur le chemin de l’école is a provocative and inspiring documentary from Pascal Plisson. It depicts vividly the insatiable thirst for learning of children in some of the world’s most remote corners. Let’s listen to a dialogue.
This Advanced lesson (all in French) arises from a recent documentary relating to so-called 'superfoods'. Do humble foods like broccoli and quinoa deserve such an impressive label? Let's hear a conversation about them. C'est parti!
Several listeners have asked about the expression 'quand même'. In fact, it is extremely common in French and has a wide variety of meanings. A minor change in intonation can sometimes alter its meaning. Let's hear this expression used in various situations.
This Advanced lesson focuses on the plight of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, from North Africa to the European mainland, often with disastrous consequences.
"Still Alice", the story of a university professor afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, won an Oscar for Julianne Moore in the starring role. This film is the focus of our attention in this Advanced lesson, entirely in French. If you've been making progress with our Intermediate lessons, this lesson is for you.
The attacks on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters raised many questions. How far does freedom of speech go? Can we simply say whatever we like, whenever we wish? Let's hear a conversation, to start...
This second part of our two-part lesson focuses on other skiing activities including 'snowboarding' and, of course, the very important social aspect of a skiing trip. Let's listen.
One of our listeners asked for a lesson that would include skiing-related vocabulary. In this two-part lesson, Bertrand plays the role of an experienced skiier while I'm a beginner. I'll soon be joining my friend, Damien for a week in the Alps. Let's listen...
In this lesson, we take a look at some essential tourist vocabulary that just about everybody needs on a holiday to France. Our conversation is a typical one where a family arrives on the terrasse of a café. It’s very warm and everybody is thirsty. Let’s see how the conversation unfolds with the waitress…
Little did we know when we were preparing this lesson in recent days that the situation in Ukraine would become even more fragile with the shooting down of a civilian airliner. Bertrand gives his views on why the impasse with Russia is so volatile. Let's listen first; then we'll look closely at the key vocabulary...
The focus of our lesson this time is something which could be described as a modern-day disorder, afflicting a huge number of people. We're not talking about a physical disorder, per se... more of a social one. Béatrix and I are having a coffee but Béatrix is getting frustrated at my inattention. Let's listen...
Our lesson this time focuses on a concert Béatrix attended, a classical concert. Bertrand wonders what makes the difference between a concerto on the one hand and a symphony on the other. Béatrix gives him a very basic music lesson. Let's listen. Then we'll come back and take a closer look at the key vocabulary.
Our lesson this time centres around a film called "Dallas Buyers' Club", the story of a Texan cowboy who contracted AIDS at a time when most people had not yet heard of the disease. Let's listen. Then we'll take a closer look at the key vocabulary.
If ever the term 'great statesman' were relevant, it could surely be attributed to Nelson Mandela. In our conversation this time, Bertrand puts some questions to Béatrix to discover why, exactly, Mandela became such an icon. Let's listen.
Our conversation this time focuses on working conditions as Qatar develops its infrastructure for the football World Cup in 2022. The tournament is some years away but the controversies surrounding the plight of workers is current, and real. Let’s listen to a conversation between Béatrix and Rémy.
Just recently, Edward Snowden was living a normal life. Now, however, he is a hunted man with a future that is very uncertain. Once he revealed that U.S. authorities were monitoring the daily communications of ordinary citizens, his life effectively changed forever. In this lesson, Zoë and Jules discuss the Snowden affair. Let's listen.
Florida was home to a recent winner of the Powerball jackpot of around 400 million dollars. As always, there was a media frenzy. In this lesson, Lucien and Zara discuss lotteries in general. Zara thinks they’re scandalous. Lucien, on the other hand, thinks that Zara needs to lighten up. Let’s listen...
Today, several hundred million people around the world are ‘tweeting’. In this lesson, let’s hear a conversation between Bertrand and Amandine. Bertrand is a regular Twitter user, but Amandine is not. Let’s listen...
This lesson, which we recorded some time ago, focuses on the situation in Mali. In our role-play, Brendan asks Simone to shed some light on the military intervention of France in one of its former colonies. Let's listen. Then we'll come back and discuss some key vocabulary.
One of our listeners, a doctor working in a French-speaking community in New York, suggested that we devote a lesson to a dialogue between a doctor and a patient. That's the subject of this lesson. The patient, Mr Gauthier, has just come into the doctor's clinic, which is where the conversation takes place...
More than a few people seem to suffer from the modern-day 'affliction' of almost constant texting. That's the topic of conversation in this lesson. Alain and Thérèse are out for dinner but they have not yet said a word to each other. Let's listen.
We've all been there, in an auditorium, a church, a meeting where a phone has gone off. But few interruptions are as dramatic as a recent one in New York. Let's hear what happened, exactly.
Two men are at the forefront of the race to become the next president of the French republic. As is the case with all political battles, things often take an ugly twist on the campaign trail. Let’s find out more.
Facebook is about to float on the stock market. In the business community, it has been one of the most talked-about events of recent years with its massive valuation. Can it possibly be as valuable as people are suggesting ? Let’s hear a dialogue between Geneviève and Bertrand. As someone with an interest in the stock market, Bertrand has strong views on the whole subject of the Facebook flotation.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula changed dramatically in December 2011 with the death of Kim Jong Il. Our conversation in this lesson focuses on the harsh communist regime of North Korea, long dominated by the 'personality cult' of its 'Dear Leader'.
The very existence of the monarchy is something which arouses strong feelings. Some think it is an institution to be cherished, others think it is an absurdity. Arnaud, sees it from two points of view. Against the backdrop of the recent marriage of William and Kate, let's listen to a role-play, quite a long one this time, between Arnaud and Yasmin...
Paris boasts some wonderful sites for visitors but, surely, the Château of Versailles is the jewel in its crown. Even for visitors who don't get to see inside the castle, the majestic gardens won't disappoint. Let's hear a conversation - quite a long one this time - between Philippe and Céline. Céline has just returned from a trip to Paris...
In this era of information technology, we’ll need to know some basic internet-related expressions. Those will be the basis of this Beginner lesson. Let’s first listen to a short role-play between Jeanne and Gérard. Jeanne is looking for some information.
Europe is in crisis. The euro, too, is going through a turbulent phase. But are those who are predicting the end of the "European Project" simply being pessimistic? Let's analyse a discussion on the matter. C'est parti!
This lesson takes another look at the alphabet, and concentrates especially on the distinction between the letters 'E' and 'I', as well as between 'G' and 'J'. There's a particular focus, too, on the 'u' sound in French which often poses problems for learners. This lesson complements Lesson 5, which we prepared a good while back. Let's get started!
Though the spring is still a long way off, we’ve already had some very cold weather in Europe. In this lesson – lesson 146 – let’s talk about cold weather, icy roads … and a way of guarding against a fall on treacherous footpaths. To get started, let’s listen to Caroline and Alain.
What an incredibly uplifting story it was to hear about the three boys rescued in the south Pacific. In case you didn’t hear about them, let’s listen to Gabriel and Énora discussing them. We'll make use of a range of powerful vocabulary and expressions, including 'De quoi s'agit-il?', 'atteindre', 'se dérouler', 'davantage', 'maigrir', and more. Let's get started...
Since President Obama utilised modern technologies so cleverly en route to the White House, world leaders have come to appreciate the power of social networking sites and services. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is acutely aware of the advantages afforded by these technologies, too. In this lesson – lesson 144 – Julien and Manon discuss President Sarkozy’s ‘web presence’ on Facebook. C'est parti!
In this lesson, lesson 143, we talk about the controversial expulsion of members of the Roma community from France. The tough stance taken by President Sarkozy's government on the matter has been sharply criticised in certain quarters. Let's begin with a conversation between Cédric and Amandine. We'll meet the expressions "ce n'est qu'une tempête dans un verre d'eau", "en faire tout un plat", "éclaboussé dans les médias", and more.
Our lesson, this time, centres on an event that captured everyone's attention - the situation regarding the trapped miners in Chile. Let's begin with a converstation between Olivier and Béatrix. We'll meet the expressions 'tenir le coup', 'mettre tout en oeuvre', 'faire venir [quelqu'un] sur place' and 'éviter que'. C'est parti!
The economic situation in Greece has slipped off the front pages of newspapers… for the moment. However, Greece's problems and those of Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain are largely responsible for recent instability in the Euro zone. In this lesson, we hear a conversation in response to the question: "Que se passe-t-il donc en Grèce?"
The subject of this lesson - lesson 140 - is the oil spill which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama is adamant that B.P. will resolve the problem and pick up the bill. Nonetheless, it represents another environmental disaster. Let’s hear a conversation on the subject. We will pick up a lot of useful vocabulary, not least of which is the expression 'une nappe de pétrole'.
In this lesson, lesson 139, we are talking about the phenomenon that is Google. But people have mixed feelings about this commercial entity that has become synonymous with searching for information on the Internet. Is it a monopolistic monster we should be wary of, or is Google we something we should all be grateful for? Let’s hear the views of Pascale and Raphaël.
In this lesson, our task is to find out how to transfer money to someone elsewhere in France. The Post Office can help us with this task but there are different options available. Let’s study some of the key vocabulary. Let’s begin with a role-play between the customer and the counter clerk.
In this lesson, lesson 137, Paul and Julie are talking about Julie's friend, Anne, who has moved back to Europe having lived for a decade in the U.S. We examine the verb "vivre" again and we practise using the expressions "s'adapter bien à", "s'habituer à", "faire défaut" and "avoir tôt fait de". Let's get started!...
The subject of this lesson, lesson 136, is Haïti. Not, in fact, the dreadful tragedy which befell the country in the form of an earthquake, but the reasons why Haïti continues to be such an impoverished country. The dialogue is a rather long one this time, between Arnaud and Élodie. It is a lesson which makes extensive use of the passé simple. Let's get started.
The topic of this short lesson is how to explain that you're running late for an appointment. In our role-play, Mr. Morel is stuck in traffic. He has to pull over and make a quick call to say that he'll be a little late. Let's listen. We'll work with lots of useful expressions and vocabulary, including: "avoir rendez-vous", "avoir du retard", "Ça ira", "être sur le point de", "être à l'appareil", and more. C'est parti!
The subject of this lesson is a remarkable woman, born in the Ukraine but now a resident of the United States. Some say she has raised the bar of musical performance higher than anyone so far. Whether that is indeed true or not, let's hear a role-play between Énora and Paul as they talk about Valentina Lisitsa. We'll meet the following expressions, and more: couple le souffle, énerver, faire plaisir, mettre en valeur, jeter un coup d'oeil, être critique.
In this lesson, lesson 133, we hear a discussion between Sonia and Frédéric about the Polanski affair. His recent arrest in Zurich was an outrage to some and long overdue to others. Discover useful words and expressions, including "clore", "extrader", "sidérer", "s'en ficher de", "faire chanter" and "écoeurer".
In recent weeks, just about every news bulletin has had a mention of swine flu. To pick up some relevant vocabulary, in this lesson, lesson 132, we’ll hear a role-play where Céline tells us how she picked up a virus. We'll discover some useful expressions, including: "Il me suffisait de…", "être assis", "envoyer des postillons", "un toubib", "tousser", and more.
In this lesson, lesson 131, we’ll discover how to talk about a concert we’ve been to. In this case, it’s a rock concert. Let’s get started with a role-play between Lucie and Étienne. We'll practice using a range of expressions: 'mettre des boules Quiès', 'se moquer de', 'déchirer', 'arriver à [faire quelque chose]', 'tenir le coup', 'bourdonner', and more. C'est parti!
The world of pop music lost one of its most famous exponents in Michael Jackson. His passing was a shock, not least because he was only fifty. In this lesson, let’s talk about some of the things that made Jackson a larger-than-life figure... We’ll start with a role-play.
In this lesson, lesson 129, we hear a role-play between Sandrine and Yann. They are discussing an article by a journalist who has made some rather unflattering comments about the French on an English website. Though the comments may have been tongue-in-cheek, neither Sandrine nor Yann finds the comments amusing. Let’s hear their thoughts...
One of our listeners asked that we would do a lesson on opening a bank account. That’s the topic of conversation in this lesson, lesson 128. In fact, opening an account is not so straightforward and sometimes even necessitates an appointment. In any case, let’s study some of the vocabulary and expressions we’ll need. Let’s listen to a role-play between the customer and the bank teller.
Though this lesson, lesson 127, has an Irish flavour, our dialogue relates to a quirky story which hit the headlines worldwide… at the expense of the Irish Prime Minister. Let’s listen to a role-play between Xavier and Amélie. We'll discover some very interesting expressions including 'être nu comme un ver', 'être culotté' and 'faire jaser les commères'. C'est parti!
One or our listeners asked that we would do a lesson on renting an apartment. It’s an activity which, as one might expect, has its own specific vocabulary. In this lesson, lesson 126, let’s see if we can shed some light. We’ll hear a role-play between the 'agent immobilier' and Jérôme who is eager to find his own place in the Paris region...
A new sporting chapter has opened for Lance Armstrong, 7-time winner of the Tour de France. This year, after 3 years of retirement, he plans a return to the world’s greatest cycling race. Surely it is a chapter which can only result in frustration for the American. In this lesson, lesson 125, let’s hear a conversation between Solène and Xavier about the controversial sportsman.
As a consequence of the global financial crisis, unemployment is at the top of the agenda. Being made redundant is one of the themes of this lesson, lesson 124. We'll make use of the verbs 'licencier' and 'délocaliser', we'll examine the expressions 'd'autant plus', 'avoir le cafard' and 'mourir à petit feu' and, finally, we'll learn about a curious place called 'Pétaouchnok'!
One of our listeners asked that we would do a lesson focusing on a trip to the local dry-cleaner’s. That’s the topic of conversation in this lesson, lesson 123. We'll discover lots of useful expressions and several versatile verbs, including 'détacher', 'enlever', 's'allumer', 's'éteindre'... and more. C'est parti!
In this lesson, lesson 122, we hear a conversation about the unexpected ‘goodbye kiss’ President Bush received in Iraq. The President brushed it off as something insignificant but it will be an incident that many will remember from Mr Bush’s final days in office. We'll study lots of interesting expressions, including 'to throw something at somebody', 'to hit the front pages', 'to take place', 'to do something on behalf of others', and more. Let’s get started...
In our last lesson, we booked our car in to the local garage for a service. This time – in lesson 121 – the car is ready. Let’s hear the conversation when Madame Legrand goes to pick up her car. We'll study the French for the adjectives 'rear' and 'front', the expressions 'to be all set', 'to stop at nothing' and 'to be thinking of [doing something]', the verbs 'to get', 'to pick up', 'to fill in'... and more. Let's get started...
This lesson – lesson 120 – is a short one. We simply want to make an appointment to book our car into the local garage for a service. Let’s hear a role-play. We'll learn the terms for 'car service' and 'additional costs', we'll make use of the verbs 'convenir à', 'apporter' and 'amener', and finally, we'll pick up a term which French has borrowed from Italian. Allons-y!
In this lesson, lesson 119, we need to have a specific service carried out, that is, to have a puncture repaired. But the expressions used could just as easily apply to a variety of services. Let’s begin with a role-play between Marie and a mechanic.
In this lesson - lesson 118 - we’ll deal with a common situation - calling for a taxi - not such an easy task when you can’t see the other person’s gestures and so on, over the phone. Let’s discover what vocabulary we’ll need. We’ll start with a role-play where Xavier makes that call...
La crise financière a dominé la rentrée 2008. Les marchés ont vraiment été chahutés en ce mois de septembre. Certains jours, une psychose de ‘fin du monde’ régnait en bourse. Les grandes banques centrales ont dû injecter des milliards de dollars dans des banques privées pour les sauver de la faillite. Comment a-t-on pu en arriver là? Tant de questions… mais aucune réponse définitive.
One of our listeners, Corrine, asked that we would do a lesson on phrases a mum might need around the home with her children. So, in this lesson, let’s deal with that. This time, Xavier, will play the role of a grumpy teenager while Amélie will be the mum! Though the vocabulary is commonly used around the home, many of the expressions are quite tricky.
Brian, one of our listeners in Canada, asked that we would do a lesson on the difficulties one experiences nowadays travelling. In particular, the security issues at airports, whether people of colour encounter longer delays, and so on. That’s the topic of this lesson. We’ll begin with a role-play. We'll study the verbs 'engendrer' and 'occasionner', as well as the expressions 'être perçu comme' and 'être expérimenté'. Allons-y!
One of our listeners asked for a lesson which would help when buying clothes. In this Beginner lesson – lesson 114 – that will be the topic conversation. We'll discover how to ask for a garment one size larger or smaller, how to ask if we may try something on, how to say something suits or not, and more. Let’s start with a role-play between a shop assistant and a customer. Allons-y!
The Tour de France is the world’s premier cycling race. It traces a route – ‘la Grande Boucle’ – through France and certain stages – des ‘étapes’ – are sometimes organised in neighbouring countries. In this Advanced lesson, lesson 113, let’s discuss a sports event that captivates cycling enthusiasts everywhere during the month of July each year.
One of our listeners in the U.S. asked if we would create a lesson focusing on larger numbers, for example those found in dates, and so on. That’s the subject of this lesson, lesson 112. We’ll start with a role-play where Sylvie tells us about the region in which she lives.
In this lesson, lesson 111, we discuss the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Irish voters. An event which dominated current affairs in Europe recently. This very complicated document, aimed at facilitating the functioning of the EU, will not come into force - at least not for now. So then, what next for Europe ?
The real race to the White House has begun, after a gruelling campaign for the Democrats. For now Hillary Clinton is out of the picture, leaving Barack Obama and John McCain to slug it out. In this lesson, lesson 110, let’s discover some vocabulary which will help us discuss what’s been happening in recent weeks. We’ll start with a role-play between Émilien and Léa...
In this lesson, lesson 109, our conversation centres on oil and, more significantly, the spiralling price of oil. Let's discover some of the vocabulary we'll need in order to talk about prices that are going through the roof, investors, yield, alternative sources of energy, speculating, and more.
In this Beginner lesson, lesson 108, we talk about possessive adjectives, that is, words like ‘my’, ‘your’ and ‘his’ in English. We'll discover that, like regular adjectives, possessive adjectives also must agree in number and gender with the nouns they qualify. Let's go ahead and see how they work.
Kaleema, one of our listeners in the U.S. asked if we would talk a little about tennis and Roland Garros. That’s the topic for today’s lesson. We’re coming to the end of the 2008 tournament : let’s see what vocabulary and expressions would be useful to discuss what's been happening.
The subject we will deal with in this lesson was suggested to us by Maureen, one of our listeners in Australia. This year, Maureen will forsake city life for a holiday in the countryside, in the Dordogne, to be precise. Let's discover this magnificent 'département' which is one of the most visited in France after Paris and the Île de France.
In this lesson we talk about a common physical condition which effects so many people : back pain. We’ll learn how to describe the pain and we’ll talk about the possible solutions to this problem. Should we visit our GP or our physiotherapist ? Let’s find out.
In this lesson, lesson 104, we'll discover the vocabulary required to go on a shopping trip for inexpensive jewelry. Sophie wants to buy jewelry which will go with her outfit. Let's hear how her conversation with Jean unravels. The conversation begins at the shopping centre. Jean is starting out on the shopping trip, too, but he may not stand the pace for long...
This lesson is in response to an idea from Brian living in the Hautes-Alpes who was taking some time out from working in his kitchen garden and wanted to know how to talk about vegetables, manure, compost and more… He also mentioned food shortages and high food prices. This is the subject of today’s lesson – lesson 103. Let’s get started with a role play between Jérôme and Sabrina.
Lessons 93 and 96 dealt with numbers from 1 - 20 and 21 - 69, respectively. This beginner lesson will take us from 70 to 100, and beyond. We will then know virtually everything we need when dealing with numbers generally.
One of our listeners asked: 'How do you complain about bad service?' In this lesson, we will see how to say we didn't order something, how to say that food is cold, and how to talk about an error in the bill. It all happened during this outing to a restaurant.
Hard though it is to believe, we have reached our hundredth lesson since we first started in June 2006. So, in this lesson, why not talk about anniversaries... and learn how to never forget an anniversary again! Let's start with a role-play between Marc and Sylvie...
'La Môme' was released into French cinemas recently. It is the story of France's best known singer – the artist who made 'Non, je ne regrette rien' an expression familiar to everyone. In this advanced lesson, let's discuss film that brought French actress, Marion Cotillard, the highest accolade at the Oscars for her role as Édith Piaf.
Zimbabwe is anxiously awaiting the results of presidential elections. Robert Mugabe, in power for the last 28 years, looks to be in trouble but shows no signs of giving up the reins of power easily. Let’s hear a conversation in this intermediate lesson which sheds some light on Mugabe himself as well as the challenges facing this country of southern Africa. Let’s start with a role-play between Carole and Thierry.
In this lesson, lesson 97, we'll hear a brief discussion about the Olympics in Beijing. Let's get started with a role-play between Yves and Olive. We'll talk about the pride of the Chinese Olympic Committee, the views of certain sports delegations and an action taken by one American actor.
This short lesson is a follow-on from lesson 93 on the numbers from 1 to 10. This time, we'll proceed as far as the number 69. From 70 onwards, there are another few twists which we’ll deal with in a later lesson. Allons-y!...
Local and regional elections are about to take place in France. It's all a little complicated, in fact. In this lesson - an advanced leson completely in French! - let's study at least some of the vocabulary and expressions which will shed a little light on all things political...
This lesson is in response to a listener who asked about getting fit, going to the gym, avoiding fast food and so on. The possibilities are endless but, in this lesson – lesson 94 – we’ll study just some of the key vocabulary. C'est parti!...
This is a short lesson, for beginners, to recap on one of the basics – numbers and counting. We'll focus on the numbers 1 to 10 and discuss a few points of pronunciation we’ll need to watch out for in relation to these numbers. Allons-y!
It seems that one quick way of becoming a cult hero is to blow over 7 billion dollars on financial trading. That’s what has happened in the case of Jérôme Kerviel, France’s most famous - or most infamous - trader. Let’s hear a role-play between Sévrine and Jérôme about the recent scandal surrounding La Société Générale.
This lesson, lesson 91, centres on a job interview. We'll study the verbs 'to apply (for)', 'to specialise' and 'to spread oneself too thin'; we'll also discover adjectives we might use about ourselves to emphasise why we're suited to this particular position. Let's begin with a role-play and see how the conversation might unravel.
It has been a while since we have had a basic lesson so this lesson - our 90th lesson - is just that. Let’s talk a little about directions. We’ll also learn how to say ‘I don’t speak French well’ and how to ask that someone repeat something again, more slowly.
Despite the fact that such events are becoming more anachronistic with each passing year, there is still no shortage of enthusiasm for events like the 'Miss France' competition. In this lesson let's hear a role-play between Amélie and Xavier on that same competition. Xavier, for one, doesn't hide his disdain for such exhibitions...
Though France could not be described as a religious country, Christmas is widely celebrated in French towns and cities, with children eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus. But what about the vocabulary related to this festive season? Christmas trees, decorations, Christmas markets, red ribbons, gifts… let’s study some of the key expressions. We’ll start with a role-play…
This time, we’ll hear a conversation between two people who meet in the park and have a general chat about their dogs. We'll study lots of new vocabulary - discussing the breed of dog, commenting on his coat, describing his personality, and more. Our lesson is in response to a suggestion from Alyssa, one of our listeners, who has relocated to Geneva... with her dog. Allons-y!
This lesson is in response to a suggestion made by Gene who will be looking after an 8-month-old baby on New Year's Eve for friends. But what about all those baby terms? Changing diapers, burping the baby, putting the baby to sleep, cooing, crawling? It's almost a language in its own right. Let's learn some of the key phrases in this lesson. Let's start with a role-play between Xavier and Amélie…
It seems nobody can organise strikes quite like the French. In recent weeks, President Sarkozy has had his first real test since coming into office with the public transport system grinding to a halt. For now, though, the public are on his side – and the side of the government. In this lesson, let’s learn some vocabulary which will help us engage in conversation about the strikes – and the crisis in general. C'est parti!
In the last lesson, we called a plumber and spoke to him over the phone. This time, in lesson 84, the plumber calls ‘round to conclude the job. Let’s see how the conversation unfolds.
This lesson is based on a request from one of our listeners who needed the assistance of a plumber while in France. So, what happens if the bath drain gets blocked? How do we convey this to the plumber ? Let’s see in this two-part lesson.
In this lesson, lesson 82, we talk about a recent court ruling in the U.S regarding Jammie Thomas, found guilty of downloading and illegally re-distributing copyrighted music. Let’s study some of the relevant vocabulary in this exchange. On y va!...
The scene of this lesson is the forest of Fontainebleau where Amélie and Xavier are having a stroll, and picking up a few delicious mushrooms along the way. Let’s listen to their conversation unravel on a beautiful autumnal afternoon…
In this, our 80th lesson, we talk about a change which will soon apply to all new French car registrations. The distinctive French number plate which tells us which department a car comes from, will take a new form. We'll learn several useful expressions including 'être au courant de', 'entrer en vigueur', 'conduire comme un pied' and 'forcer le passage à quelqu'un'. Allons-y!…
In this lesson, lesson 79, we will learn how to simply ask if someone would fancy a cup of coffee that we are about to make. And, while we are at it, we will learn some trivia about a former Phillipine First Lady!…
This month, Italy lost one of her great musicians and personalities in Luciano Pavarotti. In this lesson, let’s talk about what made him a household name and such a popular figure the world over. We'll learn how to say someone has passed away, how to say we miss someone, how to say 'It's sad that...', and more. C'est parti!
Some people love them, others hate them. Still more cannot do without them. But, what if someone asks you if it is ok to light up a cigarette in your presence? Let’s listen to a role-play and see how such an exchange might unravel.
It’s an issue none of us likes to talk about but one we occasionally confront in the workplace. So what about the delicate subject of personal hygiene ? How do we discuss it in French ? In this lesson we'll find out. Allons-y!...
It is perhaps the most hated word in the French language. In fact, the noun itself - 'la rentrée' - means simply, 'the return' but, for secondary school students it means the end of 'les grandes vacances' and the return to a new school year. In this lesson we’ll hear Amélie and Alex talk about what needs to be organised before the kids go back to the classroom.
In this lesson, Amélie will tell us about 'les Vélib' (vélos libres), an initiative in the French capital which puts bicycles at the disposal of those looking for a healthier option for getting around. We'll learn new expressions including 'Ça marche du tonnerre!' and 'prendre un abonnement'. We'll study some verbs, too, including 'assombrir', 'se réjouir de' and 'mettre en place'.
Continuing our theme of the last lesson, this time we look at the promises made by President Sarkozy in relation to the environment during the run-up to the French presidential elections. Let’s examine what he said … and what he promised. We'll hear Jacques' and Laure's views on some of those promises, too…
Though he wasn’t in the final reckoning for the French presidential election, the participation of Nicolas Hulot, a prominent environmentalist, drew the attention of many French voters to the precarious state of our planet. In this lesson, let’s focus on some vocabulary which relates to environmental issues. We’ll start with a role-play between Natacha and Matthieu.
The number of hours worked per week by French employees has been a hot topic in France recently. In this lesson, let’s study some of the vocabulary which will enable us to talk about overtime, in particular. Let's listen to a conversation between Christian and Marie in which Christian chastises Marie for not standing up to her boss and saying enough is enough…
Perhaps the first thing tourists to the French capital must think about is how best to get around. In this lesson, lesson 70, let’s hear a conversation which takes place at the ticket counter to find out how to approach this task. We'll revise the expression 'I'd like [+ infinitive]…', we'll discuss the verbs 'exister' and 'circuler' and we'll see how to respond to the expressions 'Ça fait' and 'Ça fera' when making a payment.
In the last lesson, we were talking about hiring a car. In this second part of the two-part lesson, let’s complete the task. We’ll hear the final part of the discussion between the customer and agent of the car hire company. We'll study the expressions 'être garé', we'll practice the Imperative in the context of giving directions and we'll discover the names of specific parts of the body of a car. Let's begin...
It's summer vacation time. In this lesson, let's discover how to carry out a common task for tourists - to hire a car. We'll learn how to ask the basic questions related to this undertaking, as well as some more specific vocabulary including 'car insurance', 'driving licence', 'deposit', 'petrol', 'a refill (of the tank)', and more.
Antoine and Linda are visiting the Louvre Museum in this lesson. Though it should be an enjoyable outing, Antoine is unhappy about a number of things and is doing his fair share of moaning and groaning. So, let's learn how to say 'You never stop moaning!'. There are lots of other interesting expressions, too, including: 'You didn't have to (come, you know!)', 'Try to talk more quietly!' and 'Don't draw attention to yourself!'...
A listener recently asked us: 'Which lesson deals with 'Ça va?'!…' Though it's a simple expression, it's an essential one. As it’s been a while since we’ve had a beginner lesson, let's visit some of the basics in this short lesson. We’ll see how to ask how someone is, we’ll learn a little about the weather, and we'll see examples of 'tout' and 'toute'. Let's get going.
It’s a physical feeling we experience frequently, after sport, a day’s gardening, whatever. We’ll be talking about feeling stiff in this lesson – lesson 65. We'll see how to say 'What's the matter?', 'What did you do to yourself!?', 'You should have...' and a range of othe useful expressions and vocabulary. Allons-y!...
A good deed - giving blood, to be precise - is the topic of this lesson, lesson 64. We'll study a variety of expressions, including 'I did a good deed...' and 'It's for that (very) reason that...'. We'll also learn the meaning of an amusing expression: 'tomber dans les pommes'. At first sight, it appears to have something to do with falling into apples but, in fact, means something quite different! Let's get started...
We're looking for someone to help us with a specific task, once again, in this lesson. The job in question is electrical work: we'll discover some electricity-related vocabulary and we'll revise some key expressions from previous lessons including: 'venir de (+ infinitive)', 'avoir besoin de', and 'falloir (+ infinitive)'. We'll also learn how to say 'When it comes to...' and 'You mustn't joke about that!' Allons-y!
We're looking for someone to help create a website in this lesson - Lesson 62. We'll learn some useful computing-related vocabulary. In addition to this, we'll study the useful expressions 's'y connaître en', 'donner un coup de main (à quelqu'un)' and 'se débrouiller'. Let's get started...
When we bump into someone we haven’t met for a while, we’ll commonly ask them what they’ve been up to. That’s the topic of this lesson. We'll work with a variety of useful expressions including: 'Ça fait…?', 'pas mal de' and 'Ça a mis…'. We'll also see how to make use of the verbs 'devenir', 'intervenir' and 'se permettre de'.
In this lesson, we'll study the vocabulary needed to ask someone how he or she is progressing at an art course. We'll examine a range of useful expressions, including 'avoir peur de', 'il y a toutes sortes de' and 'se moquer de (quelqu'un)'. We'll also look at 'plaire (à)', a common verb but one which is often the cause of errors for learners of French.
We'll discover how to discuss a programme from last night's TV schedule in this lesson. In particular, Xavier talks about a documentary he saw on the life of Henri Troyat, a prolific French writer. We'll meet - and practice - new expressions including 'passer à la télé', 'être décédé', 'être crevé' and 'rester éveillé jusqu'à'. Allons-y!
In our recent discussion of American politics, we mentioned Barack Obama. This time our role-play will focus on whether America is ready for a woman to take the top job at the Oval Office. Let's hear what Caroline, in particular, thinks of Hillary Clinton and her chances of landing the ultimate position in politics. We'll learn some new expressions including 's'exprimer', 'être persuadé que', 'être ouvert d'esprit', and more.
France will soon have a new President. So, too, will the U.S. In London, Tony Blair will be leaving 10 Downing Street after 10 years as British Prime Minister. In this lesson, let's study some vocabulary and expressions related to the political scene in the U.S. as eyes are turning towards the White House. Allons-y!…
Hardly a day passes without the terrible conflict in Iraq making the news headlines. In this lesson, lesson 56, we'll study vocabulary which will allow us to offer an opinion on a situation for which a solution seems more elusive than ever.
This time, our dog is in trouble and requires a trip to the vet. We'll learn how to say that something is wrong and we'll study a number of useful verbs, including 'rester', 'se mettre à', 's'attarder' and 'se rétablir'. It's a longer lesson this time, so let's get started...
In our last lesson, a trip to the dentist resulted in a filling. The dentist and patient had a brief chat at the end of the appointment. Let's see how their conversation ended up. We'll study the expressions 'to finish [doing]', 'to be in agony' and 'to find it difficult [to do]'. We'll also discuss using the Imperfect Tense to describe physical states in the past. Allons-y!
In our last lesson, we saw how to make an dental appointment. This time, we’re in the dentist’s chair… The drill, fillings, injections, cavities – we’ll meet them all in this first part of a two-part lesson.
We'll see how to make an appointment to see the dentist in this lesson. We'll meet a variety of useful expressions, including 'prendre rendezvous avec quelqu'un', 'ressentir (une douleur)' and 'le plus rapidement possible'. To see what all these mean - and how to use them - let's get started!
Our task is a simple but common one in this lesson - that is, to make a restaurant reservation. We'll learn to recognise some common questions which are likely to be put to us by the receptionist and we'll revise how to spell some words, including one or two surnames.
A ski-wear shop is the setting for this, our 50th Learn French by Podcast lesson. We'll see how to make effective use of the verbs 'aimer', 'suivre', 'passer' and 'essayer' and we'll also learn revise the object pronouns 'le', 'la' and 'les'.
A hotel guest makes contact with the front desk in relation to a problem in his room. We'll discover how to say 'I can't get it to work'. We'll also practice using several verbs, including 'se mettre en marche', 'appuyer' and 'arriver à'. We meet a noun, too, which can either refer to a technical fault - or a flaw in one's character.
We'll learn how to carry out a common task in this lesson - to book a hotel room. We'll see how to ask the receptionist how we should pay, if we can have our luggage taken up to our room, if we can be called early for breakfast, and more.
With the presidential elections in France just around the corner, it’s time to learn some vocabulary related to politics and voting, in general. That will be the topic of this lesson. We'll learn how to say 'I'm exhausted!' and 'They really get my back up!' We'll also meet several useful verbs. Allons-y!
In lessons 21 and 22 we spoke about a vacation we’d had. This time, in lesson 46, we’ll hear about a winter vacation and, with the World Ski Championships taking place at the moment, it's an opportune time to learn a few key terms related to skiing. We'll also see how to use the verbs 'adorer', 'partir' and 's'inscrire (à)'.
In this lesson, lesson 45, a father brings his son to playschool for the first time. Let's hear the conversation between Mr. Jones and the playschool teacher. We'll meet the expressions ‘Je vais faire en sorte que’ and ‘jusqu'à ce que’, both of which require that the verb which follows be in the subjunctive form.
The French tendency to drive fast will form the basis of our lesson this time - our conversation will deal with a near miss on the road. We'll learn how to say 'I had a narrow escape', we'll meet the expression 'il m'a mis hors de moi' and we'll see how to use the verbs 'doubler' and 'faillir'. Let's get started.
An incident in a shop where a customer drops and breaks something is the subject of this lesson. The reaction of the shop assistant will bring up the topic of the subjunctive and one particular situation in which this form of the verb is required.
Our food is almost prepared. But we want to ask when exactly it will be ready and when we should sit at the table. Let's see how to do that in this lesson. We'll also meet the expressions 'Je meurs de faim!' and 'passer à table'.
We'll be talking about someone who is quite religious in this lesson. We'll meet the adjectives 'croyant' and 'pratiquant' to describe such a person, we'll see how to use 'ne... jamais', we'll use the verb 'se souvenir de', and we'll practice other interesting expressions, too. Let's get started...
Relationship problems are the topic of this lesson! We'll learn how to ask someone what's wrong, we'll meet the reflexive verb "se séparer" and we'll ask ourselves the question, "How am I going to explain it to him?" We'll also distinguish between "ne... pas" and "ne... plus".
We'll deal with a common scenario in this lesson: we've lost our keys. We'll learn how to say we can't find them and where to look for them. We'll also meet the expression 'jeter un coup d'oeil'. Let's get started.
'annuler', 'reporter' and 'modifier' are three verbs we'll meet in this lesson, as well as the expression 'C'est (vraiment) pas de chance!' In this lesson, lesson 38, we'll be examining the vocabulary we would need in order to cancel or postpone a meeting.
We sometimes find ourselves in a position where we need to borrow money from someone. In this lesson - lesson 37 - let's find out how to do just that. We'll meet the verbs 'prêter', 'rembourser' and 'embêter', as well as other useful expressions. Let's get started.
Some people choose to pay their mobile phone bills by monthly standing order. Many others, however, simply choose a pay-as-you-go option, buying credit whenever necessary. In this lesson, let's see what vocabulary we'll need in order to purchase that phone credit.
Putting on weight is a topic we'd sometimes prefer not to think about but that's the topic of conversation in this lesson, lesson 35. We'll meet the verbs "grossir" (to put on weight) and "voir" (to see) in the Past, as well as the expression "être à deux doigts de faire quelque chose" (to be on the verge of doing something). Allons-y!
We often pass comment on fragrances - food, perfume, flowers, nature, and so on. Let's study, in this short lesson, some expressions which will allows us to do that. We'll meet the verbs "sentir" and "mettre", in particular. We'll also see how to say that something smells quite strong.
Whether we like it or not, our modern lives are ruled by the clock. Let's study one of the basics in this lesson: how to tell the time. We'll also meet the expressions: "I'm going to be late!", "I'm going to be early!" and "I'm going to be on time!"
In this lesson, lesson 32, we'll be talking about Amélie's new colleague at work. Let's see what his responsibilities are and discover a little about his linguistic abilities. We'll meet the verbs "s'occuper de" and "apprendre" as well as the expression "avoir l'air de".
Let's listen to Xavier tell us a little about his home town in this lesson. We'll work with a number of useful expressions which could be used in a wide variety of situations. We'll discover the verb 'appartenir à', the expression 'à la rigueur', as well as the prepositions 'loin de' and 'près de'.
In this lesson, we'll be talking briefly about wine, and the kinds of food we might eat with the various types of wines. We'll meet some useful vocabulary and expressions related to food, too. It's an intermediate lesson because there's quite an amount of new vocabulary. Let's get started!
In this lesson, lesson 29, we'll find out how to say "It's been a while!" or "It's been a long time!" We'll also see how to ask what someone's been up to recently.
In this lesson, we'll be dealing with some internet-related vocabulary. We'll meet some other useful expressions, too, including "I don't want to complicate my life!", "I'm not promising anything" and "It would be good if..." This last expression will require the subjunctive. Let's see how that will work...
In this lesson, we're talking about someone's new hairstyle. We'll discover some "technical" terms in relation to hairstyling, we'll look at two different uses for "chez", and we'll see how to say we're "bored by" or "fed up with" something. Allons-y!
In this lesson, our goal is to find out how to ask someone to do a favour for us. We'll meet the expression "rendre un service à quelqu'un". We'll also re-visit the expression "il y a" but in the Immediate Future form. Finally, we'll study how to deal with the English verb "to get".
Hello from Learn French by Podcast. This is a special announcement regarding our audio French lessons and accompanying Lesson Guides. Those of you who have been following our lessons since we started in June 2006 will be aware that both our podcasts and our Lesson Guides have been free until now. However, we have reached a stage where we must start charging a small fee to help us continue creating high-quality French lessons. If you wish to continue following our podcasts, you will still be able to do so for free. However, our PDF Lesson Guides will now require a paid registration via our website. We have done our best to keep this membership fee as low as possible while allowing us to cover the costs of maintaining our site and the quality of our lessons which take us a great deal of time to prepare. We hope that you will continue to improve your French with our lessons. Please visit our website at www.learnfrenchbypodcast.com and consider becoming a member. Thank you for listening.
You're in a restaurant, looking forward to your meal. That menu, however, is a little confusing: what about all those ingredients... and the names of those dishes! How can we make sense of it? We'll need to know how to ask some key questions. Let's find out...
It's a situation we find ourselves in regularly. We're in a bar or an auditorium looking for a seat. But... is the one we have our eye on actually free? How should we ask? Let's find out in this short, but practical, lesson.
In this lesson we'll discover how to postpone an appointment we've made. We'll study the expression "Je ne vais pas pouvoir ... [+ infinitive]" and we'll work with the verb "décevoir", to disappoint (someone).
In the second part of this two-part episode we'll meet the verb "profiter (de)", we'll use the verb "devoir" to say things like "It must have been [difficult, shocking, fantastic]" and we'll revise the verb "prendre" in the Perfect tense, in relation to food.
You're just back from a fantastic vacation. The first question you'll be asked, of course, is "How did it go?" There's so much to talk about: the weather, the food, the people, the location. Let's try out some of the vocabulary you're likely to need. (This is part 1 of a 2-part lesson.)
A trip abroad can often lead to some unexpected physical condition - an upset stomach, itching from insect bites, blistered feet, or whatever. That, in turn, can lead us to the local pharmacy. But, what do we say when we get there? Let's find out.
"My cell phone isn't working. I'd like to have it repaired, please..." In this lesson, we'll find out what to say if we need to have something repaired. First, we'll describe the problem. Then we'll see how long it will take to sort everything out.
In this lesson, let's find out how to buy a train ticket. The vocabulary we'll meet will be just as useful when purchasing inter-city bus tickets, plane tickets, and so on. Let's see, also, how to say we'd prefer a window or aisle seat, or travel in the smoking or non-smoking section. Allons-y!
You make a phone call, but the person you're looking for isn't there. Should you leave a message? Or maybe that's not necessary - you'll call back later. Let's see, in this lesson, how the conversation might unravel.
People are usually very accommodating when we wish to take a photograph with them in it. But it's often advisable to ask first. Let's see how to do that in this lesson. We'll also see how to have them take our picture, using our camera.
If you've been in France or another French-speaking country, chances are that you've found yourself in a shop asking for something in French. But how do we say "I'll have that one... no, sorry... the one on the right..."? In this lesson, let's learn some of these essential expressions.
Whether you're an avid creator of wonderful, four-course dishes or incapable of boiling an egg, in this lesson you'll find a range of vocabulary which will take a meal through from preparation to completion. Don't worry - Amélie will tell us what to do!
You're on a vacation in France but, unfortunately, you develop an earache while you're there. There's nothing for it but a visit to the doctor. But how will you explain the problem? Furthermore, will you be able to understand what the doctor is saying to you? Let's find out.
Type the word "hangover" into Google and it will return millions of hits. Remedies, cures, avoidance strategies, explanations - someone out there has all the answers. We can't pretend to have the ultimate cure, but we can, on the other hand, provide some vocabulary to discuss that unpleasant feeling in French.
Wherever we are, whatever we're doing, the weather seems to have an effect on our general state of mind. In this lesson, we'll meet some expressions which will provide the basics, whether it's a beautiful day or raining cats and dogs.
Learn how to talk about a movie you saw last night - what it was about, where it was filmed, some adjectives to describe the plot, the way in which it was filmed - it's all in this lesson. If you haven't seen a particular movie, study the questions you'll need to put to someone who has.
You watched a match on TV last night with friends. Everybody is talking about it today. Your team played well and deserved their victory. But how do we talk about it all in French? Let's learn how to describe last night's atmosphere as well as some sports-specific vocabulary.
How do we propose going to the cinema, or the theatre? Or choosing between Thai or Chinese food? For that matter, how do we say "I don't mind - that's up to you!" Let's find the answers and learn a few colloquial expressions, too.
In our previous lessons, we've confined ourselves mainly to the Present tense. But how do we talk about what we'll be doing next week, or for our summer vacation? We'll find out in this lesson.
In French, there are many ways of discussing the things that interest us. In this lesson, we'll meet a variety of verbs which will allow us to do that. We'll also look at "faire", a key verb in a wide range of activities.
Whether you're opening a bank account, or sending something by registered mail, chances are that someone is going to ask you to spell your name, your address, or whatever. But, how do you do that in French?! Let's find out.
Martin arrives in Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris. His luggage doesn't, however! Can you follow the directions he receives? Learn about the verb DEVOIR, the pronoun Y, talking about things in the past, and more. It's all in this lesson.
Learn how to say where and for whom you work. Discuss colleagues. Discover some French acronyms, as well as the adverbs "bien" and "mal". See how to use the verb "pouvoir"; in a variety of situations. Are the French hard workers? Find out now.
In this lesson, learn how to say you get on well with someone. Speak about things in general and talk about playing musical instruments. Learn about adjectives ending in "-if", as well as the key verb "avoir".
Welcome to Learn French by Podcast! In this first lesson, learn how to introduce yourself, saying where you live and what you do. Learn some new verbs. Then take a test to see how well you are doing.