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A Quick French Lesson - Useful Phrases And Conversation

The French are known world-wide as being extremely passionate about the French film industry, a central point of Frances economy and culture. Ask virtually anyone walking through the streets of France about their opinions on film, their favorite movies, and the last time they watched a film, and you will quickly get to meet a range of interesting people and find yourself deep in French conversation. For this reason, knowing a few words and being able to talk a little about film in French is a great tool as this is a good opportunity to practice your French speaking with native speakers.

For starters you need to know the basics. Below are a few words you will commonly use when discussing your film interests. The soundings of many of these French words also give a reasonable English description.

actors: comediens
actresses: comediennes
adventure: adventure
animated films: dessins animes
best film: meilleur film
best screenplay: meilleur scenario
Cannes film festival: le festival de Cannes
Cesars: the Cesars (French version of the Oscars)
crime: policier
comedy: comedie
director: le metteur en scene (literally-a putter in stage)
Golden Palm: La Palme d'Or (honorable prize at the Cannes film festival)
movie: le film
movie theater: le cinema

A Quick French MOvie Phrase

- "Et maintenant, le moment que nous attendons tous: le Cesar du meilleur metteur en scene."
- And now, the moment we have all been waiting for: the Oscar for the best director....

As mentioned earlier, the cultural and language trends are often very similar between the French and English. this make it reasonably simply to learn the language, the transition or conversion from English to French is really quite intuitive. In regards to the above French sentence, if I told you that 'maintenant' is 'now' in French, it would be easy to understand what was being said.

Below are some more French sentences about film. Read the French sentence first, see if you understand what is going on and being said, then see if you were correct with the English translation.

-"Avez-vous vu (voo) le dernier (dare nee ay) film de Spike Jones?"
- Have you seen the last Spike Jones film?

- "Oui, j'ai beaucoup aime le scenario, mais pas la mise en scene."
- Yes, I really liked the screenplay, but not the direction.

- "Est'ce que le film passe en VO ou en VF?"
- Is the film in the original language version or dubbed into French? (VO is an abreviation for Version Originale and VF is Version Francaise.)

- "Heureusement (uhr uz mehn), en VF. Je ne comprends (com prahn) pas Anglais tres bien."
- Happily, dubbed into French. I don't understand English very well.

You may notice that the first two conversations are in the past tense. In France it's actually more common to converse in the past tense than present or future, the past tense is used more so than in most other languages. If you look to the French verb tenses lesson (http://learnerfrench.com/french_verb_tenses.php) on my learn French site, you will see that the past tense is also the most basic, easy to learn conversation tense. Just take the parts of the verb 'avoir' and use it with the past participle to form the past tense.

Although forming the past participle for French verbs is done differenty for each verb, if you are using "regular" verbs, the ending will remain consistent.

"er" verbs: remove "er" from the infinitive and add "e"
"ir" verbs: remove "ir" from the infinitive and add "i"
"re" verbs: remove "re" from the infinitive and add "u"

Parler(speak): parle
Remplir(fill): rempli
Entendre (hear): entendu

Go back to the second conversation we covered, "Oui, j'ai beaucoup aime le scenario". See how the verb "aimer" (to like) is an "er" verb, here we removed the "er" and added "e", so it became "j'ai aime le scenario".

Of course, since we liked it very much, we have to insert "beaucoup" to the middle. (In the case of the "er" verbs, however, both the infinitive and the past participle end up sounding similar, despite the fact that the spelling is different. In this case, an 'ay' sound is acheived by the 'er' and 'e' endings.

See if you can take the following short sentences and create the past tense using 'ir' and 're' verbs.

"J'ai rempli le verre." I filled the glass. "Il a entendu sa mere." He heard his mother.

Submitted by:

Pierre Sarkoz

visit my site 'Learner French', for more free French lessons, lists of useful french verbs that you can use to practice your language skills, French games, reviews and more.




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