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Preview: Learn French by Podcast

Learn French by Podcast

Published: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:50:51 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:59:14 +0000

Copyright: All rights reserved. Plus Publications, 2016

193: "Que penses-tu du Brexit?"

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:50:51 +0000

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. 

Media Files:

192: Le transfer de Neymar : comment expliquer une telle outrance ?

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 09:15:55 +0000

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.

Media Files:

191: “Je vais m’offrir un téléphone basique”

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 15:24:38 +0000

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!

Media Files:

190: Le phénomène Macron ... en marche!

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 15:29:15 +0000

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.

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189: Comment parler d’un accident de la route?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:28:48 +0000

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.

Media Files:

188: Le retrait des États-Unis de l’Accord de Paris sur le changement climatique

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:37:18 +0000

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!

Media Files:

187: Un diplôme universitaire, cela en vaut-il la peine?

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:16:12 +0000

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.

Media Files:

186: "Est-ce que tu regardes quelque chose d'intéressant à la télé?"

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:32:50 +0000

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’.

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185: Les récifs coralliens menacés de disparition

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 22:55:55 +0000

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.

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184: Les tablettes tactiles en classe: un 'canular' coûteux?

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:22:55 +0000

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.

Media Files:

183: La Norvège : 'un pays de cocagne'

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:33:10 +0000

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.

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182: Les centres d’appel: ‘les ateliers de misère du 21e siècle’?

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:42:11 +0000

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.

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181: ‘Tu’ or ‘vous’?

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:33:30 +0000

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.

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180: ‘Tu as l’air stressé aujourd’hui!…’

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:00:00 +0000

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.

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179: "La Loi travail: une réforme controversée"

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 11:26:44 +0000

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.

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178: "Mohammed Ali: une personnalité exceptionnelle"

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 11:35:14 +0000

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.

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177: "Que penses-tu d'AirBnB? Est-ce sérieux?"

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:07:25 +0000

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.

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176: "Sur le chemin de l'école", un documentaire émouvant

Sat, 19 Dec 2015 16:48:12 +0000

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.

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175: "Have you heard about these 'superfoods'?"

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 09:25:43 +0000

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!

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174: "C'est un peu trop, là, quand même!"

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:14:13 +0000

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.

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173: "Les migrants en Méditerranée, y a-t-il une solution?"

Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:19:38 +0000

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.

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172: "J'ai vu un excellent film il y a quelques jours"

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:25:20 +0000

"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.

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171: "Les attentats terroristes de Paris soulèvent une foule de questions"

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 13:49:37 +0000

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...

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170: "Faire du ski?... Allons-y, en piste!" (part II)

Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:01:50 +0000

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.

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169: "Faire du ski?... Allons-y, en piste!" (part I)

Fri, 26 Dec 2014 13:08:24 +0000

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...

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168: "Bonjour, pouvons-nous nous installer à une table, s'il vous plaît?"

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:31:43 +0000

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…

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167: "As-tu suivi les événements récents en Ukraine?"

Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:39:00 +0000

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...

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166: "C'est confirmé... t'es atteint d'APC!"

Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:56:08 +0000

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...

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165: "Hier, j'ai assisté à un concert éblouissant!"

Fri, 23 May 2014 13:41:12 +0000

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.

Media Files:

164: "As-tu vu 'Dallas Buyers' Club'?"

Wed, 14 May 2014 11:17:23 +0000

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.

Media Files:

163. "Nelson Mandela: comment se fait-il que l'on parle autant de lui?"

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 11:33:25 +0000

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.

Media Files:

162: "As-tu entendu parler des ouvriers népalais au Qatar?"

Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:09:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

161: "Are you following the Snowden affair?"

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 15:35:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

160: "What do you think of the lottery?"

Sat, 06 Jul 2013 12:27:00 +0000

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...

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159: "Are you on Twitter?"

Sat, 11 May 2013 10:11:00 +0000

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...

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158: France at war in Mali

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 12:08:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

157: "Tell me what's wrong..."

Tue, 15 Jan 2013 09:05:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

156: "Would you please stop texting?!"

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:47:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

155: Mahler... interrupted!

Fri, 25 May 2012 20:45:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

154: The presidential elections

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 20:23:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

153: "What are your thoughts on the Facebook flotation?"

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 13:39:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

152: "The situation has changed on the Korean peninsula..."

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 14:15:00 +0000

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'.

Media Files:

151: "What are your thoughts on the monarchy?"

Thu, 13 Oct 2011 17:17:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

150: "Do you know the Château of Versailles?"

Fri, 06 May 2011 14:45:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

149: "Do you have information on the computer classes in town?"

Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:10:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

148: "Is this the end of the 'European Project'?"

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:45:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

147: Pronunciation: another look at the French alphabet

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:40:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

146: "It's really cold this morning!"

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 17:18:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

145: "Did you hear about the boys who survived in the Pacific?"

Fri, 03 Dec 2010 15:25:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

144: "Do you know that President Sarkozy is on Facebook?"

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 21:25:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

143: "What do you think about the expulsion of the Roma from France?"

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 14:53:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

142: "Have you heard about the trapped miners?"

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:31:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

141: "What's happening, then, in Greece?"

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 08:45:00 +0000

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?"

Media Files:

140: "What do you think of the situation in the Gulf of Mexico?"

Wed, 19 May 2010 16:48:00 +0000

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'.

Media Files:

139: "Google is one of the great successes of the last ten years... what do you think?"

Sun, 02 May 2010 19:44:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

138: "I'd like to send money to a friend who lives in Toulouse..."

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 08:30:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

137: Back to Europe after 10 years in the U.S.

Mon, 08 Mar 2010 16:15:00 +0000

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!...

Media Files:

136: "How did it come to happen that Haïti is 'the poorest country in the western hemisphere'?"

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 21:32:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

135: "I'm going to be late"

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 13:14:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

134: "Have you heard of Valentina Lisitsa?"

Fri, 04 Dec 2009 18:38:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

133: "What are your thoughts on the Polanski affair?"

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 12:16:00 +0000

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".

Media Files:

132: "I've picked up a virus!"

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 17:03:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

131: "I went to a great concert last night!"

Sun, 16 Aug 2009 14:20:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

130: "'The King of Pop' has died, aged 50"

Fri, 26 Jun 2009 23:35:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

129: "I've never heard such absurdities!"

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 15:23:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

128: "I'd like to open a bank account, please..."

Sat, 30 May 2009 15:18:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

127: "Did you hear about the 'portraits' of Mr Cowen?"

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 17:09:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

126: Looking for an apartment...

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 09:10:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

125: Lance Armstrong: the return!...

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 15:15:00 +0000

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.

Media Files:

124: "Did you hear about Stéphane? He is going to be made redundant..."

Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:20:00 +0000

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'!

Media Files:

123: "I'd like to have these trousers cleaned, please..."

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 21:32:00 +0000

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!

Media Files:

122: "Watch out for flying shoes, Mr President!"

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 13:59:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

121: "Your car is ready to be collected..."

Fri, 05 Dec 2008 18:22:00 +0000

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...

Media Files:

120: "I'd like to book my car in for a service, please..."

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 21:54:00 +0000

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!

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119: "I'd like to have a puncture repaired..."

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 17:01:00 +0000

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.

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118: "Let's call a taxi!"

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 18:26:00 +0000

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...

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117: The financial crisis: "how did it come to this?"

Wed, 08 Oct 2008 11:27:00 +0000

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.

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116: "Go and tidy your room!"

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 15:54:00 +0000

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.

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115: Plane travel and airport security

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:21:00 +0000

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!

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114: Shopping for clothes

Sat, 23 Aug 2008 14:14:00 +0000

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!

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113: Getting to know more about the Tour de France

Fri, 15 Aug 2008 22:10:00 +0000

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.

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112: Large numbers and dates

Mon, 28 Jul 2008 17:33:00 +0000

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.

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111: "What about the Irish who voted 'No' to the Lisbon Treaty?"

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 15:12:00 +0000

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 ?

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110: "The race to the White House has truly begun!"

Wed, 25 Jun 2008 16:04:00 +0000

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...

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109: "The price of oil is going through the roof!"

Wed, 18 Jun 2008 21:10:00 +0000

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.

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108: How to say 'my', 'your', 'his', 'her'...

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 14:28:00 +0000

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.

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107: "Were you watching Roland Garros?"

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 19:22:00 +0000

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.

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106: "Do you know the Dordogne?"

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:49:00 +0000

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.

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105: "I have such backache!..."

Thu, 29 May 2008 12:55:00 +0000

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.

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104: "Let's buy costume jewelry for the fancy dress!"

Fri, 23 May 2008 21:05:00 +0000

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...

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103: In the kitchen garden...

Wed, 14 May 2008 07:26:00 +0000

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.

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102: "Let's count!" [Part III]

Mon, 12 May 2008 11:58:00 +0000

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.

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101: Complaining about poor service in a restaurant

Fri, 02 May 2008 21:05:00 +0000

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.

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100: "It's our anniversary..."

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 16:28:00 +0000

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...

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99: "Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf in 'La Môme': did you enjoy her interpretation?"

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 20:21:00 +0000

'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.

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98: "Have you been following the situation in Zimbabwe?"

Tue, 08 Apr 2008 19:53:00 +0000

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.

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97: "What about the Olympics in Beijing?"

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:45:00 +0000

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.

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96: "Let's count!" [part II]

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 22:30:00 +0000

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!...

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95: "'Les Cantonales', 'Les Régionales', tell me more?"

Sun, 09 Mar 2008 17:51:00 +0000

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...

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94: "Hey, Xavier, you've been working out!"

Wed, 05 Mar 2008 00:06:00 +0000

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!...

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