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Balades ep. 3, quiz 4: faire le plein

    Improve your ear for French with this short clip from the Balades podcast. It’s 25 words in 9 seconds. How many can you hear and 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.

    9 seconds, 25 words

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


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

    fill up

    Did you know this expression? I didn’t. I find it comical and curious in the way I get amazed by all things in other languages. Make full, vs English fill up. There is a subtle difference there. I know it’s saying the same thing, but the way it says it is wonderful.

    Maybe it comes back to the French language’s love of the word “faire”. Yes, we have many uses for the word “make” but I’m not sure it’s actually used as much as the word “faire” in French.

    I also feel like I should have known that “grippe” was flu. Though I don’t know why. Do we have something similar in English?

    At any rate, I love the expression for fill up, and that it seems to be used for many things that can be filled.

    How does this one compare to yesterday’s quiz? Let me know and 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?

    En cette période de grippe, où les journées sont courtes et les nuits encore bien longues, il est indiqué de faire le plein de vitamines.

    During this flu season, when the days are short and the nights are still long, it is advisable to fill up on vitamins.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “grippe” mean?

    “Grippe” translates to “flu” or “influenza” in English.

    Medical Context

    • In a medical context, “grippe” refers to the infectious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
    • It typically includes symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.

    Usage in French

    • “Grippe” is commonly used in conversations and medical discussions to refer to cases of influenza.
    • Phrases like “attraper la grippe” (to catch the flu) or “se remettre de la grippe” (to recover from the flu) are typical usages.


    • “Beaucoup de gens attrapent la grippe en hiver.” (Many people catch the flu in winter.)
    • “Il est absent à cause de la grippe.” (He is absent because of the flu.)


    • “Grippe” is used across various contexts, from casual discussions about health to more formal medical reporting and advisories.
    • It’s a common term in public health communications, especially during flu season.


    “Grippe” means “flu” or “influenza” in French. It’s a medical term used to refer to the respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The term is widely used in both casual and formal contexts to discuss symptoms, prevention, treatment, and public health information related to the flu.

    What does “faire le plein” mean?

    “Faire le plein” translates to “to fill up” in English, typically referring to refueling a vehicle.

    Usage and Interpretation

    • The phrase is most commonly used in the context of filling a vehicle’s fuel tank.
    • “Faire” means “to do” or “to make,” and “le plein” means “the full” or “full tank.”


    • “Je dois faire le plein avant de partir en voyage.” (I need to fill up before going on a trip.)
    • “Tu as fait le plein de la voiture ?” (Did you fill up the car?)

    Extended Usage

    • Beyond its literal meaning, “faire le plein” can also be used metaphorically to mean replenishing or recharging something, like energy or supplies.
    • For example, “faire le plein d’énergie” (to recharge one’s energy).


    • “Faire le plein” is a practical phrase used in everyday life, especially relevant for drivers.
    • In a metaphorical sense, it can be used in various contexts to express the idea of replenishing or renewing something essential.


    “Faire le plein” means “to fill up” in French, predominantly used in the context of refueling vehicles. It’s a common, practical phrase in everyday language, especially for drivers. The phrase can also be extended metaphorically to mean replenishing or recharging other things, such as energy or supplies.

    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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