Skip to content

Balades ep. 3, quiz 32: j’ai du mal

    Improve your ear for French! Quiz yourself with this clip from the Balades podcast. It’s 33 words in 11 seconds, how many can you understand?

    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.

    12 seconds, 29 words

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

    , ',..
    , 'gardersérieuxFinalement,approchonsvillageRoquebrune.exactementarrêtdevonssortir.
    aussi, j'aidumalàgardersérieuxFinalement,approchonsvillageRoquebrune.saisexactementàquelarrêtdevonssortir.

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

    I have trouble

    When I look back at my life, I see a lot of projects I’ve started and haven’t finished. Things that ignited a flame in me and then fizzled to embers left untended. Is it that they didn’t pan out or I didn’t fan the flame enough? That’s what I wonder. I have trouble carrying things through. Some friends tell me I just haven’t gotten a stroke of luck. Which is right? Who knows. For now I just laugh and keep on keeping on.

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

    How did you find today’s clip compared to yesterday’s clip? I tend to be most comfortable when the clip is around 150wpm. I love Balades for my current level, around A1 (hopefully progressing to A2). Hopefully you’re enjoying these clips too. Even when there’s a fast clip, it’s still manageable. The right amount of challenge. 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?

    Moi aussi, j’ai du mal à garder mon sérieux … Finalement, nous approchons du vieux village de Roquebrune. Je ne sais pas exactement à quel arrêt nous devons sortir.

    Me too, I have a hard time keeping my seriousness… Finally, we approach the old village of Roquebrune. I don’t know exactly at which stop we should get out.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “j’ai du mal” mean?

    “J’ai du mal à” translates to “I have difficulty in” or “I struggle to” in English.

    Usage and Interpretation

    • This phrase is used to express difficulty or challenge in performing a certain action or understanding something.
    • “J’ai” is the first-person singular present tense of “avoir,” which means “to have.”
    • “Du mal” literally translates to “some difficulty” or “trouble.”
    • “À” is a preposition often followed by an infinitive verb, indicating the action that is difficult.


    • “J’ai du mal à comprendre ce concept.” (I have difficulty understanding this concept.)
    • “J’ai du mal à me lever tôt le matin.” (I struggle to get up early in the morning.)


    • “J’ai du mal à” can be used in various contexts, ranging from everyday activities to more complex tasks or concepts.
    • It’s a common phrase in both spoken and written French and is applicable in informal conversations as well as more formal discussions.


    “J’ai du mal à” means “I have difficulty in” or “I struggle to” in French. It’s used to express a personal challenge or difficulty in doing something, whether it’s a physical action, mental task, or emotional process. The phrase is versatile and widely used to convey struggles or challenges in a variety of contexts.”

    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.

    Improving your French Listening Comprehension with Podcasts

    Welcome to Bitesize French, where fast spoken French is finally accessible! We break podcasts into short clips, like lively chats in French that fit into your day. They’re perfect for anyone, from advanced students to those just starting. Join us and enjoy French, one short clip at a time. Let’s learn together!

    Make the most of the site:

    1. Daily Podcast Listening: Start your day with a French podcast from our collection. Choose episodes that align with your interests to keep it engaging.
    2. Active Listening Practice: As you listen, try to pick out key phrases and vocabulary. Use our daily quizzes to test your understanding and reinforce learning.
    3. Repeat and Shadow: Listen to the same podcast segment multiple times. Try to mimic the pronunciation and intonation to improve your spoken French.
    4. Note-taking: Jot down new words or phrases you encounter. Review these notes regularly to enhance vocabulary retention.
    5. Reflect and Respond: After each episode, summarize the main points in French, either in writing or aloud. This helps in consolidating your learning and improving your expressive skills.

    I created the Bitesize French project because I wanted to understand more than just my teacher and youtubers who cater to learners. I wanted to understand the French I hear in France. I hope you can benefit as much as I am. Become a supporting member for access to all clips.

    What did you love about this?

    Comment below with your feedback! Tells us what you think. Send a note or leave a comment below. We appreciate the feedback. Also, we’re always looking for partners to build this site and grow the content available.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *