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Balades ep. 2, Quiz 18: Je ne me fais pas d’illusions

    Improve your ear for French with this snippet from the Balades podcast. It’s 40 words in 15 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.

    15 seconds, 40 words
    , ' ' '.. ', ' '.
    , ' qu'on m'avaitdonné.. ', 'auracertainement '.
    ,décidecomposernuméro d'urgence qu'on m'avaitdonnéréception..Jefais d'illusions, n'yauracertainementà l'autreboutfil.

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

    I’m under no illusions that

    Love this expression. I don’t use it so much in English. But, I was on Linguee and saw various other translations. I definnitely say “I’m not going to hold my breath” or “I’m not going to kid myself” both listed as translations.

    I’m under no illusion that those are perfect translations, obviously they’re a stretch from literal. They do carry the meaning though, and quite nicely in colloquial English. I wonder if that seem meaning can be in the French? Linguee’s examples would suggest so…

    I’m under the impression that I’m making big progress. But I’m under no illusions it’s going to be easy. How are you getting on?

    How did you find this snippet?

    The snippet in English

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

    Alors, je décide de composer le numéro de téléphone d’urgence qu’on m’avait donné à la réception.

    Il est 3 heures et demie du matin. Je ne me fais pas d’illusions, il n’y aura certainement personne à l’autre bout du fil.

    So I decide to dial the emergency phone number I was given at the reception.

    It’s half past three in the morning. I am under no illusion that there will be no one on the other end of the line.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “Je ne me fais pas d’illusions” mean?

    The phrase “Je ne me fais pas d’illusions” in French translates to “I’m under no illusions” or “I have no illusions” in English. It’s an expression used to indicate that the speaker is not deceiving themselves or harboring unrealistic expectations or beliefs about a particular situation or outcome.

    Usage and Context:

    • Realistic Perspective: Conveys a sense of realism or practicality in one’s outlook.
      • Example: “Je ne me fais pas d’illusions sur les chances de réussite.” (I’m under no illusions about the chances of success.)
    • Acknowledging Reality: Often used when someone acknowledges the true nature or difficulty of a situation.
      • Example: “Je ne me fais pas d’illusions quant à la facilité de ce projet.” (I have no illusions about the ease of this project.)

    Grammatical Structure:

    • “Je ne” + verb + “pas”: A standard negative structure in French.
    • “Me fais”: First person singular form of “se faire,” meaning “to make” or “to do” in reflexive form.
    • “D’illusions”: “Illusions” or unrealistic expectations.

    Cultural Notes:

    • This phrase is reflective of a common theme in French culture and literature that values clear-sightedness and realism. It’s often used to express a sober or pragmatic approach to life’s challenges.

    In Summary:

    “Je ne me fais pas d’illusions” means “I’m under no illusions” or “I have no illusions” in French. It’s used to express a realistic or pragmatic attitude towards a situation, indicating that the speaker is not fooling themselves with unrealistic hopes or beliefs. The expression conveys a sense of wisdom or awareness of reality.

    What does “composer le numéro de téléphone” mean?

    “Composer le numéro de téléphone” in French translates to “dial the phone number” in English. It refers to the action of entering a phone number into a phone in order to make a call.

    Usage and Context:

    • Telecommunications: Commonly used in the context of telephony, whether it’s landline phones or mobile devices.
    • Instructional Settings: Often found in instructions, guidelines, or when explaining how to make a phone call.
    • Literal Action: Refers specifically to the act of inputting the number, pressing the keys on a phone or touchscreen.


    • “Pour contacter le service client, composez le numéro de téléphone indiqué.” (To contact customer service, dial the indicated phone number.)
    • “J’ai composé le numéro de téléphone, mais personne n’a répondu.” (I dialed the phone number, but no one answered.)

    Cultural Notes:

    • While the action of dialing a phone number remains the same, the terminology can reflect the evolution of technology (from rotary dials to touchscreens).

    In Summary:

    “Composer le numéro de téléphone” means “to dial the phone number” in French. It’s a straightforward term used to describe the action of entering a phone number into a telephone to initiate a call. This phrase is commonly used in both personal and professional contexts, particularly in instructions or when explaining how to make a call.

    What does “aura” mean?

    In French, “aura” is the future tense of the verb “avoir,” which means “to have” in English. Specifically, “aura” is the third person singular form, so it translates to “he/she/it will have.”

    Usage and Context:

    • Expressing Future Possession or State: Used to indicate that someone or something will possess something or be in a certain state in the future.
      • Example: “Il aura 20 ans demain.” (He will be 20 years old tomorrow.)
    • Making Predictions or Plans: Commonly used in making predictions, stating future events, or planning.
      • Example: “Elle aura terminé le projet d’ici vendredi.” (She will have finished the project by Friday.)

    Grammatical Structure:

    • Third Person Singular: “Aura” is specifically for singular subjects (he, she, it).
    • Future Simple Tense: One of the basic future tenses in French, used to express actions that will happen in the future.

    Cultural Notes:

    • In French, the future simple tense, including “aura,” is frequently used to discuss future events or states, reflecting the precision of the language in expressing time frames and plans.

    In Summary:

    “Aura” is the future tense of “avoir” (to have) in French, used in the third person singular form (“he/she/it will have”). It is commonly employed to express future possession, states, or the completion of actions, and is a fundamental aspect of expressing future events or conditions in French.

    What does “l’autre bout du fil” mean?

    The phrase “l’autre bout du fil” in French translates to “the other end of the line” in English. It is used to refer to the person on the other side of a telephone conversation.

    Usage and Context:

    • Telephone Conversations: Commonly used in the context of phone calls to describe the person with whom one is speaking.
      • Example: “J’ai parlé avec lui; il était à l’autre bout du fil.” (I spoke with him; he was on the other end of the line.)
    • Implies Distance: This phrase metaphorically highlights the physical distance between the speakers in a phone conversation.

    Cultural Notes:

    • “L’autre bout du fil” is a phrase that reflects the traditional way of thinking about telephone communication, emphasizing the connection over physical distance. It’s a poetic way to acknowledge the technology that connects people who are not physically present with each other.

    In Summary:

    “L’autre bout du fil” means “the other end of the line” in French and is used in the context of telephone conversations. It refers to the person on the opposite end of a phone call, highlighting the physical distance bridged by the telephone line. This phrase is a common and somewhat poetic way to refer to the person one is speaking to on the phone.


    l’autre bout du fil

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