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Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 30: penser aux

    Will you pick up “très peu”, “penser aux”, and “etc” in a clip of French in real life? Do you know how to say “etc” in French? Find it all and more in today’s clip of French in real life. Start from any level. Choose how much of the transcript you can see and fill…

    This clip is from Passerelles Episode 1. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Listen to the full episode here.

    14 seconds, 30 words

    This audio sample and transcription is from Passerelles ep. 1. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode

    -,., ', ',.
    -,anniversairesnaissanceétaientpeufêtés.tradition,fêtes 'organise,cadeaux 'offre,etc.
    Avantcette période-là,anniversairesnaissanceétaientpeufêtés.Quandparletradition,pensejustementfêtes qu'onorganise,cadeaux qu'onoffre,etc.

    to consider

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    The snippet in English

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

    Avant cette période-là, les anniversaires de naissance étaient très peu fêtés en France. Quand je parle de tradition, je pense justement aux fêtes qu’on organise, aux cadeaux qu’on offre, etc.

    Before that, birthdays were rarely celebrated in France. When I speak of tradition, I’m thinking of the parties we organize, the gifts we give, and so on.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “Avant cette période-là” mean?

    “Avant cette période-là” is a French phrase that translates to “Before that period” or “Prior to that time” in English. It is used to refer to a specific time in the past, indicating that an event or situation occurred before that particular period. The phrase is often used to provide context or set a timeframe for a discussion or narrative.

    For example:

    • “Avant cette période-là, les technologies modernes n’étaient pas disponibles.” (Before that period, modern technologies were not available.)
    • “Avant cette période-là, la région était peu peuplée.” (Prior to that time, the region was sparsely populated.)

    The phrase “avant cette période-là” can be followed by additional information or details related to the mentioned timeframe. It is a useful expression in conversations, stories, or historical discussions to highlight the conditions, events, or changes that took place before a specific point in time.

    What does “très peu” mean?

    “Très peu” is a French expression that translates to “very few” or “very little” in English. It is used to describe a small quantity or a limited amount of something. “Très peu” is a combination of the adverb “très” (very) and the adjective “peu” (few/little), emphasizing the scarcity or insignificance of the quantity being referred to.

    For example:

    • “Il y avait très peu de personnes dans la salle.” (There were very few people in the room.)
    • “Le film a eu très peu de succès au box-office.” (The movie had very little success at the box office.)

    The phrase “très peu” can also be used to express a lack of something or a low level of intensity or occurrence. It can be applied to various contexts, such as describing small quantities of objects, limited resources, rare occurrences, or minimal impact.

    Keep in mind that “très peu” is commonly used in casual and formal speech alike, making it a versatile expression to convey the idea of scarcity or smallness in a straightforward manner.

    What does “penser aux” mean?

    “Penser aux” is a common French expression that means “to think about” or “to consider” in English. It consists of the verb “penser” (to think) and the preposition “aux,” a contraction of “à” (to) and “les” (the).

    Here are some important points about “penser aux”:

    1. Usage: “Penser aux” is used when someone is thinking about or considering something specific. It requires a noun to represent the object of their thoughts or consideration.

    Example: “Je pense aux vacances.” (I’m thinking about the holidays.)

    1. Agreement: In French, “à” contracts with definite articles “le” (singular) and “les” (plural) to form “au” and “aux,” respectively. The choice depends on the gender and number of the following noun.


    • “Je pense au livre.” (I’m thinking about the book.)
    • “Je pense aux problèmes.” (I’m thinking about the problems.)
    1. Reflexive form: The verb “penser” can also be used reflexively as “se penser à,” meaning “to think about oneself” or “to consider oneself.”

    Example: “Elle se pense à l’avenir.” (She’s thinking about her future / She’s considering her future.)

    1. Contextual meaning: While “penser aux” primarily means “to think about” or “to consider,” its meaning can slightly change based on the context. It can also convey the sense of “to have in mind” or “to take into account.”

    Example: “Pensez aux conséquences avant de prendre une décision.” (Think about the consequences before making a decision / Take the consequences into account before making a decision.)

    “Penser aux” is a versatile and widely used expression in French, allowing speakers to convey their thoughts, considerations, or concerns about various aspects of their lives. It adds specificity and clarity to their statements, making it an essential phrase in everyday communication.

    What does “etc” mean?

    In French, it is also used in the same context as in English, indicating that there are more items or examples to add to a list or series already mentioned.

    Pronunciation: In French, “etc” is pronounced as “et-cé-té.” The “et” is pronounced like the English word “ay,” “cé” sounds like the English word “say,” and “té” is similar to the English word “tay.”

    Of course, in this clip she says the full word: “et cetera”, and it surprises me that I hear the “t” with the “c” at the start of “cetera”. I would have thought it would have been pronounced with more “french-ness”. Then again, borrowed words seem to break all the rules, even those borrowed words from millenia ago.

    Usage in colloquial speech: In French, “etc” is commonly used in written language but is less frequently used in spoken or colloquial speech. When speaking casually, French speakers might prefer to use phrases like “et tout ça,” “et ainsi de suite,” or “et cetera” pronounced in a more anglicized way. The abbreviation “etc” is more common in formal or academic writing, just like in English.

    Fun fact: In Latin, “et cetera” is spelled as two separate words: “et” (meaning “and”) and “cetera” (meaning “the rest” or “the others”). Over time, it became combined into one word “etcetera” in English and was further abbreviated as “etc.” in writing.

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    Will you pick up “très peu”, “penser aux”, and “etc” in a clip of French in real life? Do you know how to say “etc” in French? Find it all and more in today’s clip of French in real life. Start from any level. Choose how much of the transcript you can see and fill…

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