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« 40% », Quiz 2: dit qu’j’étais savage

    Learn French with a song! This clip from Aya Nakamura is 10 seconds long and has 24 words. How many do you understand? Transcribe and quiz yourself with us!

    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.

    Learn French with a song snippet! This clip is from Aya Nakamura’s “40%”. We do not own the rights to this song, nor do we pretend to own them. Listen to this sample and transcribe what you hear. Find the full song here.

    10 seconds, 24 words
    '' ''/, '/ '/ '(yeah)/
    '' qu'j'étais/, j'suis/ '/ '(yeah)/
    j't'avais qu'j'étais/vrai, j'suispassage/voisceque j'dégage/ 'suischarismatiqueyeah(yeah)/

    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.

    Said that I was savage…

    English just doesn’t do the French contractions in Aya Nakamura’s songs justice. I mean, we have din’t and variations of our standard contractions. Maybe that’s just it, French contractions are so many already, so there are more opportunities to have variations on that theme.

    I’m only guessing, but this is the second lesson with a large contraction from Aya’s 40% song. Not only that, she tends to contract her “je” and blend it into both the previous word and the following word. I love this. While I don’t plan on doing that for speaking, it is interesting to hear how this sounds, and I expect when native speakers speak quickly they’ll make a similar ‘uhjuh’ between other words.

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    I struggle with hearing individual words in English songs, in my native tongue. It takes a couple listens to really get it..

    The snippet in English

    Find a translation of this snippet here, how much of this did you hear?

    Mais j’t’avais dit qu’j’étais savage
    À vrai dire, j’suis pas très sage
    Et tu vois bien ce que j’dégage
    J’suis trop charismatique yeah (yeah)

    But I had told you I was savage
    To be honest, I’m not very wise
    And you can’t deny my aura
    I’m too charismatic yeah (yeah)

    The above French & English are from Aya’s Youtube. 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 “dit qu’j’étais savage” mean in French?

    “Dit qu’j’étais savage” is a French phrase that can be translated to “He said that I was savage” in English. It can be understood as “He said that I was wild or fierce”

    In this phrase, “dit” is a conjugation of the verb “dire” which means “to say”, “qu’j'” is a contraction of “que je” which means “that I”, and “étais” is a conjugation of the verb “être” which means “to be”. “Savage” is not a word commonly used in French, but in this context it is used as a slang word, meaning fierce or wild.

    It is important to note that this phrase is informal and can be considered as a rudeness depending on the context and the tone in which it’s used.

    It is common to find it in spoken French, especially in informal conversations or in some hip-hop lyrics. 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.

    What words did I look up in this snippet?

    Find keywords for this snippet below

    À vrai dire

    tu vois bien

    j’dégage

    trop

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