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Balades ep. 3, quiz 17: donc

    Improve your ear for French with this clip from the Balades podcast, one of the best for beginners. It’s 19 words in 7 seconds, how many can you hear?

    This clip is from Balades Episode 3. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Find the full podcast here.

    7 seconds, 19 words

    Press play and take the transcription quiz to practice your French listening comprehension.
    (You can use the ⋮ to adjust playback speed)

    doncà d'utiliserexcursions.
    Nousavonsdoncrenoncéàavonsdécidé d'utiliserpournosexcursions.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Balades ep. 3. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.


    I love these simple clips. They go quick, you’re spending less than a couple of minutes on each I imagine. I know I am. I work up, starting with 30%, then 70%, then the full clip blank. Are you doing it that way too?

    Something tricky for me, after studying for a few months, is still when is it “à” and when is it “de”. Like here, “renoncer à” (inf.)… why is it? Maybe just an expression? Maybe I just have to memorize them all? Are you just memorizing the forms?

    If you’re just joining us as a beginner, I recommend you start with the first episode of Balades and work forward. Follow along daily for new clips.

    How did you find today’s clip compared to yesterday’s clip? This short clip is still quite quick. I tend to be more comfortable when the clip is around 150wpm, but your level most likely is different.

    Even with these faster clips, Balades continues to be an excellent podcast for learning French. One of the best for A1-A2 learners of French! What do you think? Join us for the next quiz.

    How are you finding these shorter snippets? I’m open to any and all feedback, as always. Let me know.

    The snippet in English

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

    Nous avons donc renoncé à la voiture et avons décidé d’utiliser le train et le bus pour nos excursions.

    So we gave up the car and decided to use the train and bus for our excursions.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “donc” mean?

    The word “donc” in French is a conjunction that is used to connect parts of a sentence and is similar to the English word “so” or “therefore.” It serves various functions in a sentence, often indicating a conclusion or a result derived from a previous statement. Here’s a breakdown of its use and significance:

    1. Indicating Consequence or Result: “Donc” is primarily used to show the result or consequence of an action. For instance, “Il pleuvait, donc nous sommes restés à la maison” translates to “It was raining, so we stayed at home.”
    2. Logical Connector: It is often employed to connect ideas logically. For example, “Tu veux réussir, donc tu dois étudier” means “You want to succeed, so you must study.”
    3. Emphasizing a Point: In spoken French, “donc” is frequently used for emphasis. In this case, it might be placed at the beginning of a sentence: “Donc, tu viens avec nous?” (“So, you’re coming with us?”)
    4. Synonyms and Variations: Synonyms like “alors” and “ainsi” can be used in place of “donc” in some contexts, though they might carry slightly different nuances.
    5. Cultural Nuance: In French conversation, the use of “donc” reflects a structured way of thinking and speaking. It’s common in both formal and informal settings, making it a versatile connector. Its usage can signal a well-thought-out argument or conclusion, which is valued in French discourse.

    In summary, “donc” is a crucial conjunction in French that denotes consequence or result. Its role in connecting ideas and emphasizing points makes it a staple in both spoken and written French, reflecting the language’s tendency towards logical and structured expression.

    What does “renoncé à” mean?

    “Renoncé à” is a French expression that translates to “given up on” or “renounced” in English. It’s derived from the verb “renoncer,” which means to abandon, give up, or renounce something. This expression is commonly used to indicate the act of stopping an activity or no longer pursuing an interest, plan, or ambition.

    • Literal Use: In its most direct application, “renoncé à” signifies a clear decision to stop doing something or to abandon a specific idea or plan.
      • Example: “Il a renoncé à fumer.” (He has given up smoking.)
    • Figurative Use: It can also be used in a more figurative sense to describe the abandonment of beliefs, principles, or long-held desires.
      • Example: “Elle a renoncé à ses rêves d’enfance.” (She has given up on her childhood dreams.)
    • Formal and Informal Contexts: “Renoncé à” can be used in both formal and informal speech, though it might be more commonly found in formal or literary contexts. In everyday conversation, simpler phrases like “abandonner” (to abandon) or “laisser tomber” (to let go) might be more commonly used.
    • Cultural Nuance: In French culture, which often values persistence and dedication, “renoncer à quelque chose” can carry a sense of deep resignation or a significant change in one’s plans or beliefs. It’s not a term used lightly and often indicates a considerable shift in perspective or life choices.

    “Renoncé à” is a phrase in French that, while slightly formal, is quite common in everyday speech, including in mediums like podcasts. Its use typically indicates the significance of a decision. For example, when someone has made an important choice to give up or abandon something, such as a habit, career, or belief, this phrase aptly conveys the gravity of that decision. It’s particularly effective in expressing the depth and thoughtfulness behind such choices.

    In summary, “renoncé à” in French is used to express the act of giving up, renouncing, or abandoning something. It’s a term that conveys a significant decision and can be applied in various contexts, from the literal abandonment of an activity to a metaphorical relinquishing of beliefs or ambitions.

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