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Balades ep. 1, Quiz 17: ne s’y retrouvent pas

    Learn French with this snippet from Balades ep. 1. It’s got 27 words in 11 seconds. Can you understand and transcribe them all? Listen and practice with us!

    Learn French with a podcast snippet! This clip is from Balades Episode 1. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Find the full podcast here.

    11 seconds, 27 words
    Mais 'retrouventtoujours.fautsavoirpeutembrasservaut.
    Maismême s'yretrouventtoujours.Déjàfautsavoirquellespersonnesonpeutembrasseràquivautmieuxserrer.

    Not finding the way back…

    Let’s continue with lesson 17. Immediately in this clip, this expression caught my eye.

    I guess I would say something like “get confused”, but this expression about getting lost or being unsure of the way is quite a fun one. At least as I understand it.

    When I see a word like that, it makes me wonder what other fun expressions are out there just waiting to be discovered as I scratch the surface of this language that’s always inspired me.

    Whenever I see a word written like “retrouvent” my brain immediately goes to pronounce every letter. Then I hear it and I’m floored, where did the word go. I know this is cliche, but the experience in this clip was acute.

    In this snippet, Isabelle starts slow in the first 4 words. Then she suddenly slides through to “toujours” so quickly, it’s a roller coaster. I found myself listening to this clip again and again, well over a dozen times as I strained to hear words. Not only that, the difference between on, en, un, une continues to flummox me. The fact is, more listening is required.

    So, how much of this snippet are you understanding?
    Can you only hear the articles or are you catching keywords?
    What’s your favorite part about this?

    There’s absolutely no way that I could get through an entire podcast in French without melting my brain, that’s why I broke it up into snippets like this. Join me for the next snippet.

    The snippet in English

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

    Mais même les Français ne s’y retrouvent pas toujours. Déjà il faut savoir quelles personnes on peut embrasser et à qui il vaut mieux serrer la main.

    But even the French do not always find their way there. You already have to know which people you can kiss and whom it is better to shake hands with.

    The above text courtesy of Google Translate. Source

    What does “ne s’y retrouvent pas” mean in French?

    “Ne s’y retrouvent pas” is a French phrase that translates to “don’t find their way around” or “don’t understand” in English. It’s used to indicate that someone is facing difficulties in understanding something or finding their way around a situation. It implies confusion, lack of clarity and disorientation.


    “Les nouveaux employés ne s’y retrouvent pas dans les procédures administratives” (The new employees don’t find their way around the administrative procedures)

    “Les clients ne s’y retrouvent pas dans le nouveau système de navigation” (The customers don’t find their way around the new navigation system)

    “Les enfants ne s’y retrouvent pas dans les nouvelles règles de jeu” (The children don’t understand the new game rules)

    In general, “ne s’y retrouvent pas” is used to indicate that someone is facing difficulties in understanding something or finding their way around a situation. It implies confusion, lack of clarity and disorientation, and it’s a way to express that someone is struggling to understand something or to adapt to a new situation.

    What words did I look up in this snippet?

    Find keywords for this snippet below

    ne s’y




    on peut


    il vaut

    serrer la main

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