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Balades ep. 1, Quiz 4: journée is not journey

Improve your French listening comprehension with this clip from the Balades podcast. It’s 18 words in 8 seconds, how many can you hear and understand?

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.

8 seconds, 18 words
',, '.
'hui,retournerégulièrement,oujustepour 'journéee.
Aujourd'hui,retournerégulièrementFrance,vacancesoujustepourescapade 'unejournéee.

Why this bit of Balades?

I continue to love this podcast because of Isabelle’s pacing. Again, my moderate French lets me understand the written portion, but when it’s strung together I lose sight of the words. The two words at the start of this snippet are new to me, and worth putting below for my memory. This sentence is short and filled with expressions that will be useful.

As a native English speaker and capable in Spanish, I often think that I can read French pretty well. I can skate by on menus, emails, and some articles. However, some words throw me. I think they must mean what they sound like in English – for instance régulièrement means regularly, pretty similar if far more French. Then words like journée throw me for a loop. It does not mean journey. I find myself reminding myself every time I see it written.

How much of this snippet are you understanding?
Can you only hear the articles or are you catching keywords?

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?

Aujourd’hui encore, je retourne régulièrement en France, pour les vacances ou juste pour une petite escapade d’une journée.

Even today, I go back to France regularly, for holidays or just for a little day trip.

The above text courtesy of Google Translate. Source

What does “journée” mean in French?

“Journée” is a French noun that means “day” in English. It can refer to a single day in general or to a specific day of the week, month or year.


“C’est une belle journée” (This is a nice day)

“J’ai passé une mauvaise journée” (I had a bad day)

“J’ai rendez-vous demain, c’est mon jour” (I have an appointment tomorrow, it’s my day)

It can also be used in an idiomatic way to indicate the duration of an activity, a meeting or an event:

“Il y a une journée de formation pour les nouveaux employés” (There is a training day for new employees)

“J’ai passé toute la journée à travailler sur ce projet” (I spent the whole day working on this project)

“Nous avons une journée libre demain” (We have a free day tomorrow)

The word “journée” is also used to form some other words like “matinée” which means morning, “après-midi” which means afternoon and “soirée” which means evening.

I would have though “journée” would be a common faux amis. A “faux amis” (or false friend), for those uninitiated, is a word or phrase in one language that is similar or identical to a word or phrase in another language, but which has a different meaning. These words can be particularly confusing for language learners, as they may assume that the meaning is the same as the word in their native language.

One of the most common faux amis mistakes made by beginner French learners is with the word “actuellement”. In French, “actuellement” means “currently” or “at the moment”, whereas in English, the word “actually” carries a different meaning. Another common faux amis is “attendre” which means “to wait” in French, whereas in English “attend” means “to be present” or “to be present at a meeting or an event” Another common mistake is with the word “sens” which means “direction” or “sense” in French, whereas in English “sense” can refer to a feeling or understanding.

In general, it’s important to be aware of the potential for faux amis when learning a new language, and to be cautious when using words that look or sound similar to words in your native language. It’s always a good idea to double-check the meaning of a word or phrase before using it, and to practice using it in context to help solidify your understanding.

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