Category Archives: French

French vocabulary: Job

French vocabulary post dedicated to words in one or another way related with job.

travail  [tʀavaj] (noun, m) – job/work

travailler [tʀavaje] (verb) – to work

boulot [bulo] (informal) – job/work

il prend son boulot à 7 heures du matin – he start toiling at 7 hours in the morning

Je suis au boulot – I am at work

Aller au travail – Go to work

avoir/cherche travail – to have/look for job

bureau [byʀo] – office

employé [ɑ̃plwaje] (noun, m/f) – employe

chef/directeur [diʀɛktœʀ, -ʀis] – boss/director

chef d’etat – head of state

entreprise [ɑ̃tʀəpʀiz] – enterprise

travail régulier – regular/permanent job

faire la navette – to commute

profession [pʀɔfesjɔ̃] – profession

gagner sa/la vie – to make a living

qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie? – What do you do for a living?

formation – education

stage [staʒ] – internship

CV – the same thing as in English bur pronounced differently [seve]

lettre de motivation – letter of application

entretien d’embauche – job interview

entretien [ɑ̃tʀətjɛ̃] – interview/conversation

embauche [ɑ̃boʃ] (v) – to hire

embauché (n) – hired person

RH (ressources humaines) – HR (human resources)

travailleur qualifié/ouvrier qualifié [uvʀije, -jɛʀ] – skilled worker

être en/au chômage – to be on the dole/to be unemployed

chômage [ʃomaʒ] – unemployment

cmômeur/chômeuse [ʃomœʀ, -øz] – unemployed

virer [viʀe] / licencier [lisɑ̃sje] – to sack/fire someone

un emploi à plein temps – full time job

un emploi à temps partiel – part time job

salaire [salɛʀ] – salary

heures supplémentaires – overtime

coupe – salary cut

grève [gʀɛv] – strike

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French learning tools – iTalki, Radio etc.

It has been a while since last time I wrote something on language learning. I had summer break with my weekend French classes and was about to continue them this Setpember, but institution offering them failed to offer me schedule which works for me this time so I’m not sure if and when I continue these classes.

To some extent because of that I decided to try something else as I didn’t want to stop my language learning for prolonged period of time. At some point YouTube filtered out to me an advert of iTalki (not surprising as I frequently watch language learning videos there). So I put on my to do list to try this service and finally did it. I was under impression that this service sort of new, but as I found out afterwards this is not the case. Anyhow I registered there and found an English speaking French tutor who lives in France and already had 4 short learning sessions. It is quite different experience by contrast with my previous learning schedule with 4 hours of group class during weekend once a week.  Now I have one to one 30 minutes sessions 4 times a week with native speaker. It is early days still, but I like the dynamics of this learning style. The fact that I have 30 minutes of time per lesson means that I really focused all the time, it is too short to be bored or tired in the process and I really like this (it means maximum efficiency). Next spending this little time 4 days in a row during the week feels better and seems to be more efficient instead of too long pauses which I had with more hours but once a week only.

I already started to work through beginner’s French text book and getting some useful guidance from my teacher. First of all previously I was not able pick good radio stations for casual listening of French speech, back in a day I was not able to pick up right stations, even after posting question about this on french.stackexchange.com – “Radio or podcasts for French language learners?”. Now thanks to my teacher I’m solved this part for me, and this is how my TuneIn Radio list looks like now:

TuneIn French Radio

These French radio stations are really good – exactly what I was looking for – lots of speech and quality language/content (relatively the same as BBC for English learners). You may also see there East Rand Stereo which end up on my list after my visit to South Africa…

From other useful things I learnt from just four 30 minutes lessons I had so far there was revision of job related French vocabulary, I learnt mnemonic “CaReFuL” (this is to remember the fact that final consonants are usually not pronounced in French, except for c, r, f, l), and now I know that apart from liaison there is an elision, the latter was the thing I knew about without knowledge of its name. 🙂 Elision is the omission of the last vowel of a word when the next word begins with a vowel or an h (most commonly used with the definite articles le and la).

So I really pleased with my experience with iTalki and my new teacher so far and will continue to work on my French using 4 days a week schedule with 30 minutes lessons.

LITTLE UPDATE: After I showed this post to my former class mate (From french classes bien sûr) he shared with me another really useful resource for French language learners – Apprendre le Français avec TV5MONDE which seems to be really good for learners with resources and activities sorted by proficiency levels (from A1 to B2).

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Giving your opinion in French

Some chunks of language are more useful than the others, in the same way as chunks (expressions, constructions) are more useful than isolated words for communication. At the end of the day after ability of asking and answering basic questions, next thing in terms of usage frequency is ability to give an opinion. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t urge you to run around and doing hard sell of your opinions. But if you think about the way we communicate then you realize that apart from basic Q&A we do a lot of this “opinion giving” either to share our opinion with others on our own accord or upon request, and we do this both in formal and informal communication. I think you would agree that we should not underestimate expressions for giving opinion and it is very useful to know them early in your language learning journey.

Here is a list of expressions you may use for giving your opinion in French.

In my opinion – à mon avis / Selon moi / D’apres moi / Pour moi etc.

As for me – Quant à moi

For my part – Pour ma part / Pour ma part je pense que…

I’m not sure that… – Je ne suis pas sûr que…

I think that – Je pense que / Je crois que / Je trouve que

As far as I’m concerned – En ce qui me concerne

It is obvious that… – C’est évident que…

What strikes me the most is… – C’est qui me frappe le plus c’est…

I maintain that – Je soutiens que

I have feeling that – J’ai le sentiment que

It is without doubt – C’est sans aucun doute

I took all these expressions from the video by Pascal whose channel on YouTube I may recommend to all learners of French. And you may also watch it to get an idea about how to pronounce all these expressions.

\nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUMr3ChE_Hw

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Prendre – “le verbe magique”

In French verb prendre (to take) is so versatile that it deserves separate blog post by itself 🙂 Well in a way it is very close to its English counterpart, sounds very differently but, as you will see if you read on, very similar in usage/meaning. So prendre in French can have more than 30 different meanings, that’s why it sometimes called “la verbe magique“.

As in french conjugation is by fare more complex/varied and depends on number and gender the firs thing to know about any verb is its conjugation. So her it is:

infinitive: prendre

Indicatif Présent Actif

je prends     nous prenons

tu preneds   vous prenez

il prend        ils prennent

Key thing to remember is double “n” in ils prennent, which is here for pronunciation/sound purposes (it just sounds batter with double “n”, though for non native speaker difference is subtle).

Participle Passe: pris, prise, prises

Once you know conjugation for prendre you also know how to congugate 3 other verbs which are sharing the same root: apprendre (to learn), comprendre (to understand), reprendre (review, reopen, reconsider, resume).

Now how/when you can use this verb.

To talk about transport you use (the same as take in English): Je prendre metro/le bus/la voiture/un avion/le train.

To make an appointment: Prendre rendez-vous avec le médicin (or somebody else)

To take a photo: prendre des photos

Take classes: prendre cours de français

To suggest something, like “Would you like a dessert?”: Vouz prenez un dessert?

To attack somebody: s’en prendre à quelqu’un

Get down to something: s’y prendre: Ce travail – je vais m’y prendre. This job – I’m going to get down to it.

To be conscious/aware about something: prendre conscience de quelque chose

To freeze/catch a cold: prendre froid

To be afraid of/to get scared: prendre peur

To take over the ball (in a football game): prendre possession de ballon

To take a seat (e.g. in transport): prendre place. You may also use this to politely offer somebody to take a seat in transport, prendre place in such situation is much better than something like “Asseois-toi, madame!”

To sunbathe, to lie in the sun, to tan: prendre un bain de soleil, Or to describe result of this activity: predendre de belles couleurs. J’ai pris des belles couleurs.

In shop, when you buying something: Je prends cette veste.

To care about somebody: prendre soin de. Je prends soin de toi. “Le soin” is a noun which means “care”.

Take your time: prendre son temps (almost exact match with English).

 To put on the weight: prendre du poids. “Le poids” means “weight/load/burden”. Je prends du poids.

To take/accept something good/bad: prendre quelque chose bien/mal. Je l’ai mal pris.

To take offence/umbrage (at): prendre la mouche (leteral translation “to take the fly” 🙂 ).

To take care / to be careful: prendre garde

To grow old, age; advance in age / years: prendre de la bouteille/barbe

To fall flat on one’s face (familiar; figurative), to come a cropper: se prendre une gamelle

gamelle [gamɛl] – means dixie/dixy (which according to the Lingvo dictionary military slang for large copper/cauldron for cooking, though I wasn’t able to find this in M-W) or colloquial word for fall.

To bother (harass, nag, plague, worry) the life out of smb.; bluff smb.: prendre la tête

To be high/stoned: prendre son pied

This post is largely based on the below’s YouTube video (all the explanations in Russian). This entire channel worth including in French learning resources as it allows you both learn something and have some fun, but like I said these videos explain everything in Russian.

\nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCHy_2HdW8E\n

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French Vocabulary: Saisons – Météo

SAISONS ET MÉTÉO – SEASONS AND WEATHER

Climat

climat [klima] – climate

doux [du] – soft/warm

clément [klemɑ̃] – soft/warm (about weather and temperature)

rude [ʀyd] – harsh/severe/inclement (origin – early 17th century from French inclément or Latin inclement-, from in- ‘not’ + clement- ‘clement’)

humide [ymid] – humid (also: moist, damp, dewy)

sec [sɛk] – dry/arid

pluvieux [plyvjø] – rainy (showery/wet)

temps [tɑ̃] – weather

temps couvert [kuːˈvɛː] (chargé, gris) – the weather is dull/cloudy/overcast

gros temps – storm on sea

il fait beau/mauvais temps – good/bad weather

un temps de saison – normal/usual weather (for particular season)

le temps est à la pluie, à l’orage – It is going to rain/it looks like rain/thunderstorm

le temps est au dégel – thaw is about to start

le temps se met au beau — the weather is improving/becomes fine

Le temps est agréable – The weather is good

Il fait [fɛ] beau [bo] – The weather is good

Il fait du soleil / Il y a du soleil – It is sunny

Il fait doux – It is soft/warm

Il fait chaud [ʃo] /  Il fait bon [bɔ̃] – It is hot / warm.

chaleur (f) [ʃalœʀ] – heat; heat wave; hot weather

Il fait frais [fʀɛ] – It is fresh/cool

Il fait un temps magnifique [maɲifik] / splendide [splɑ̃did] – The weather is splendid

Le temps est clair – It is fine/bright/clear

Le temps est désagréable – The weather is bad

Il fait mauvais [mɔvɛ] – The weather is bad

Il fait gris [gʀi] – it is cloudy / overcast / lowering, louring

Il fait lourd [luʀ] –  the weather is heavy

Il fait humide – It is humid

Il fait froid [fʀwa] – It is cold

Il fait du vent – It’s windy

Il fait du brouillard [bʀujaʀ] – It’s foggy

Il fait  nuageux – It’s cloudy

Il fait orageux – It’s stormy

Il pleut des cordes – It’s pouring rain

Il tombe de la grêle – It’s hailing

la grêle – hail

une flaque [flak] – puddle, pool

une mare [maʀ] – large puddle/pool; pond

Il gèle [ʒ(ə)le] – It is freeze (морозит, подмораживает)

Il fait un temps affreux [afʀø]/épouvantable [epuvɑ̃tabl] – The weather is foul/miserable.

Le temps est stable [stabl] – Weather is stable/unchanging

Le temps s’améliore [ameljɔʀe] – The weather is improving

Le temps se dégrade – The weather becomes worse

Le ciel [sjɛl] se dégage – The sky is clearing

Un vent – Wind

fort [fɔʀ] – strong

glacial [glasjal] – ice; icy, ice-cold, chilling, glacial

léger [leʒe]/faible [fɛbl] – weak

orage [ɔʀaʒ] – thunderstorm

tempête [tɑ̃pɛt] – storm/tempest

éclair [eklɛʀ]/foudre [fudʀ] – flash of lightning/lightning with thunder (thunderstorm)

tonnerre [tɔnɛʀ] – thunder

Quelle canicule! / C’est la canicule! [kanikyl] – hot wave

Quel temps fait-il? – How is the weather?

Les températures baissent/sont en baisse – The temperature is falling

Les températures montent / sont en hausse – The temperature is rising

Les températures restent stables – The temperature is unchanging

Il fait 30 à l’ombre – It is 30 degrees in shade.

Slang/Idioms

Il fait un temps de chien – Terrible weather; or as an author of good post about this french idiom puts it “Chicago weather” (they tell that chicagoans live under gray skies for about 70% of the year)

ça caille – it’s very cold

Some related YouTube videos

French Weather Vocabulary:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TwphFjcLOE]

Learn French – French Weather Vocabulary:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs75GlQBdU0]

French Lesson 35 – Describe THE WEATHER Common expressions LE TEMPS CLIMAT Il fait froid chaud:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cWkQ6UxNII]

French lesson 8 – The four seasons in French – Les saisons – Las estaciones Cursos Clases de Frances:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_d3RIcxC3E]

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