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« 40% », Lesson 4: y a comme un hic

    Learn French with a song from Aya. 17 words in 5 seconds, how many can you understand? Try and transcribe them all with us.

    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.

    5 seconds, 17 words
    '/()/ ' '()/
    Y'a/Et()/ 'suis '(eh)/
    Y'aunhic/Etquandtu()/ J'suis qu'(eh)/

    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.

    There’s a bit of a situation…

    I’m not sure I understand the chorus here, maybe he’s able to lie up to 40%? I’m missing something.

    But again, the meaning isn’t really the point of this project. At least, not at this point as I’m about 2 weeks in. My point is to pick up what’s being said, not what it means. Especially not Aya’s poetry that she’s singing in lyric form… no, I’m not hoping to be able to understand that. I’m just hoping to pick up words in all different media.

    This phrase caught my ear though. Well, it barely caught my ear. On first listen I can’t even detect this phrase is present. On continuing to listen it became clearer. And that’s why I wanted to highlight in the title. Also, I wanted to dig into this phrase as it’s not something I’ve seen before. It seems the “y a” is short for “il y a” that we learn at a basic level in A1 French. And “comme un hic” might be ‘in a pickle, a glitch, a situation, a hiccup, or like a catch’.

    Maybe, ‘a bit of a pickle’ isn’t the right phrase for this song, but you know what I mean. It’s one of those situtations.

    I obviously don’t want to sound like Aya, but it’s fun to try to piece together what she’s saying, and then struggle through what she means.

    How much of this snippet are you understanding?
    What’s your favorite part about this?

    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?

    Y a comme un hic
    Et quand tu mens comme ça (mens comme ça)
    J’suis qu’à 40% (eh)

    Something isn’t right
    And when you lie like that (lie like that)
    I’m only at 40% (eh)

    The above French and English text from Aya Nakamura’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 “y a comme un hic” mean?

    “Y a comme un hic” is a French phrase that can be translated to “There’s like a glitch” or “There’s a slight problem” in English.

    It’s a way to express that there is an issue or a problem, but it’s not a big one and it can be solved easily. This phrase is usually used in casual and informal situations.

    “Y a” is a contraction of “il y a” which means “there is” and “comme un hic” is an idiomatic expression that refers to a small problem or a minor inconvenience. “Hic” is also used as a synonym of “glitch” or “snag” in French.

    For example:

    • “On a oublié les clés, y a comme un hic” which means “We forgot the keys, there’s a slight problem”
    • “Le téléphone ne charge plus, y a comme un hic” which means “The phone is not charging anymore, there’s a slight problem”

    It is used to express a small issue or problem that is not a major concern, and it can be solved easily.

    What words did I look up in this snippet?

    Find keywords for this snippet below

    Y a comme un hic

    tu mens

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