Learn French with a song! This clip from Aya Nakamura is 13 seconds long and has 31 words. How many can you understand? Test yourself and transcribe it!
Let’s switch things up a little bit. We’ve done some from a podcast, now can you understand music?
We do not own the rights to this song, we’re playing it from Youtube. Try out this song snippet and see how much you can understand.
The above audio sample and transcription is from Aya Nakamura’s “40%”.
Songwriters: Aya Danioko 40% lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Soc Sony ATV Allegro Music Publishing France, Blue Sky Publishing, Perspective Productions, Label 67, Universal Music Publishing Group. We do not own the content, we are using it for educational purposes. Listen to the entire song here:
I’ll brush you off
A friend of mine said Aya’s French is famously difficult. I was like, well I’m up for a challenge. I thought I’d give Aya Nakamura a listen.
What’s not to love about the music? The lyrics are witty and fun, too. At least for this one, and, that is, for as much as I can understand.
I totally see what my friend meant, her words really do melt into each other. And some words are swallowed and quiet. Even the lyrics throughout the song are sometimes transcribed as “j’t’envoie” showing how the words become one single sound. I’m just trying to peel them apart.
Her Youtube video translates “j’t’envoie balader” as I’ll brush you off. I like that it’s literally I’ll send you walking.
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I struggle with understanding individual words in English songs on a first listen. And that’s my native language. It takes a couple listens to really get it. Music in French is a workout for my brain.
The snippet in English
Find a translation of this snippet here, how much of this did you hear?
Hein, tu connais quoi, il veut me manipuler
Fais doucement, tu pourrais m’envoûter
J’vois qu’tu galères à passer la step (step)
Parler dans ma tête, c’est mort, j’t’envoie balader
Well you know what he wants to manipulate me,
Be gentle. You might spellbind me,
Looks like you’re strugglin’ to make this step (step)
Talking inside my head, It’s dead. I’ll brush you off
The above French & English from Aya’s Youtube channel. Source
Songwriters: Aya Danioko 40% lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Soc Sony ATV Allegro Music Publishing France, Blue Sky Publishing, Perspective Productions, Label 67, Universal Music Publishing Group
What does “j’t’envoie balader” mean?
“J’t’envoie balader” is a French phrase that can be translated to “I send you packing” or “I tell you to get lost” in English. It is a colloquial, informal way of telling someone that their presence or request is unwanted or that you are rejecting their proposal. It can also be used to express annoyance or frustration with someone or something.
- “Il me demande de l’argent tout le temps, j’t’envoie balader!” which means “He’s always asking me for money, I tell him to get lost!”
- “Elle veut qu’on sorte ce soir, mais j’ai pas envie, j’t’envoie balader” which means “She wants us to go out tonight, but I don’t feel like it, I tell her no”
It is important to note that it can be considered as a rudeness depending on the context and the tone in which it’s used. It is not polite to use this phrase in formal settings, or when speaking to someone who is older or in a position of authority.
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Parler dans ma tête
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