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Balades ep. 2, Quiz 11: bronzer et ne rien faire d’autre

    Immerse and improve your ear for French with a snippet from a podcast. This clip is 58 words in 20 seconds. How many can you hear and understand?

    Learn French with a podcast snippet! This clip is from Balades Episode 2. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Find the full podcast here.

    20 seconds, 58 words
    -. ' ' ',.. '.
    Bretagneestsituéepartie -. D'uncôté l'océande l'autre,Manche.aussichaudsqueMéditerranée.peutdoncresterpourbronzer d'autre.
    Bretagneestsituéedanspartie -. D'uncôtéilya l'océande l'autre,ilyaManche.sontaussichaudsquemerMéditerranée.Onpeutdoncrestertoutejournéesurplagepourbronzernerienfaire d'autre.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Balades ep. 2. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    To sunbathe and do nothing else.

    I was thinking, this can’t be. I definitely saw people sunbathing along the English Channel beaches. While the water is cold and many of the coasts are cliffs or rocky, the beaches of Malo definitely saw plenty of people sunbathing and doing nothing.

    To be fair, they probably weren’t French. I expect they were British tourists. I’m not trying to prove her wrong, only chuckling that I suppose the French wouldn’t choose to go north to sunbathe. But for people further north, the north of France is technically south.

    I found this snippet interesting. Words I should have known “les deux” and “on ne peut donc pas” were hard for me to hear for some reason. My head just couldn’t follow the last 30% of the clip

    How did you find this snippet?


    That is curious, no?

    Keep on immersing. How did you find this snippet?

    The snippet in English

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

    La Bretagne est située dans la partie nord-ouest de la France. D’un côté il y a l’océan Atlantique et de l’autre, il y a la Manche.

    Et les deux ne sont pas aussi chauds que la mer Méditerranée.

    On ne peut donc pas rester toute la journée sur la plage pour bronzer et ne rien faire d’autre.

    Brittany is located in the northwestern part of France. On one side there is the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side there is the English Channel.

    And both are not as warm as the Mediterranean Sea.

    So you can’t stay all day on the beach to sunbathe and do nothing else.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What words does “la Manche” mean?

    “La Manche” is a geographical term in French that translates to “the English Channel” in English. It refers to the body of water that separates the southern coast of England from the northern coast of France and is part of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Geographical Context:

    • “La Manche” is a significant waterway for both France and the United Kingdom. It connects the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
    • The narrowest part of this channel, known as the Strait of Dover (“le Pas de Calais” in French), is only 33 kilometers (about 21 miles) wide.

    Historical and Cultural Significance:

    • “La Manche” has been a crucial part of European history, serving as a natural barrier that has influenced military, political, and cultural interactions between Britain and continental Europe.
    • It played a significant role in events like the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and the World Wars, where control of this channel was strategically important.

    Modern Context:

    • Today, “La Manche” is a busy shipping lane, one of the world’s busiest, due to its strategic location.
    • It is also famous for the Channel Tunnel (often referred to as the “Chunnel”), a rail tunnel beneath the channel that links France and the UK.

    Related Expressions:

    • “Traverser la Manche” (to cross the Channel) is a common phrase indicating travel between France and the UK.

    In Summary:

    “La Manche,” or the English Channel, is more than just a geographic feature; it’s a vital waterway with deep historical, cultural, and economic significance for both France and the UK. It symbolizes both separation and connection, serving as a boundary and a bridge between two nations.

    What words does “aussi … que …” mean?

    The phrase “aussi … que …” in French is a comparative structure that translates to “as … as …” in English. It is used to compare two things, indicating that they are equal in some aspect. This structure is fundamental in both spoken and written French for making comparisons.


    • Structure: The typical format is “aussi [adjective/adverb] que [noun/pronoun/phrase].”
    • Purpose: It is used to express equality in characteristics, quantities, or actions.


    • “Il est aussi grand que son frère.” (He is as tall as his brother.)
    • “Elle parle aussi rapidement que lui.” (She speaks as quickly as him.)
    • “Cette pomme est aussi rouge que celle-là.” (This apple is as red as that one.)


    • Versatility: “Aussi … que …” can be used in various contexts, from everyday conversations to academic writing.
    • Formality: It is neutral in tone and thus appropriate in both formal and informal situations.

    Synonyms and Variations:

    • To express inequality, the structure changes to “moins … que …” (less … than …) or “plus … que …” (more … than …).
    • A similar structure “autant … que …” (as much … as …) is used with verbs and nouns.

    Idiomatic Usage:

    • The phrase can be used idiomatically in expressions like “aussi bien que” (as well as).

    In Summary:

    “Aussi … que …” is a fundamental comparative structure in French, used to indicate equality between two elements in various aspects. It is a versatile phrase used across different contexts to draw parallels and make balanced comparisons.

    What words does “ne rien faire d’autre” mean?

    The phrase “ne rien faire d’autre” in French translates to “do nothing else” in English. This is not a fixed expression in the idiomatic sense, but rather a standard phrase used in French grammar. It emphasizes the exclusivity of an action, meaning that nothing else is being done apart from the mentioned activity.

    Structure and Usage:

    • “Ne … rien” is a common negative structure in French, meaning “not … anything.”
    • “Faire” means “to do.”
    • “D’autre” translates to “else.”
    • So, put together, “ne rien faire d’autre” means “to not do anything else.”


    • “Je ne veux rien faire d’autre aujourd’hui.” (I don’t want to do anything else today.)
    • “Il ne fait rien d’autre que jouer aux jeux vidéo.” (He does nothing else but play video games.)


    • Use in Sentences: This phrase is used to emphasize that no other action is being taken or desired apart from the one mentioned.
    • Tone and Formality: It is a neutral phrase and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

    Related Expressions:

    • “Ne … que” (only) is another negative structure that can be used similarly, as in “Il ne fait que travailler” (He only works).

    Cultural Notes:

    In French culture, as in many others, expressions that emphasize a single activity or state, like “ne rien faire d’autre,” can reflect focus, dedication, or sometimes a lack of interest in diversifying activities. The phrase is quite straightforward and is commonly used in everyday speech and writing.

    In Summary:

    “Ne rien faire d’autre” is a standard phrase in French used to emphasize that no other action is being undertaken or desired apart from the one specified. It’s a clear and direct way of stating that the subject is exclusively engaged in a single activity.

    This clip is from the Balades podcast

    “Balades” is a great podcast for those new to French. Its slow pace and clear speech make it easy to follow and understand. The episodes are fun and cover a variety of topics, ideal for beginners. While designed for learners, the podcast stays in French, offering a full-dive into the language. It’s part of a wider group of French podcasts aimed at all levels, focusing on real-life use rather than just vocab and grammar. Regular listening, along with tools like transcripts and quizzes, helps boost understanding and speaking skills. “Balades” is a top pick for anyone starting their French learning journey.

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