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Manger ep. 1, Quiz 35: franchement surfait

    “nous excitait toujours autant” … Do you know what that means in French? And does it mean what you think it means? Can you hear all these words in this clip of French in real life from the Manger podcast? Start here and improve your French listening skills from any level.

    This clip is from Manger Episode 1. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Listen to the full episode here.

    6 seconds, 24 words
    - ', '.
    voulu re-tester qu'onadorait,excitait 'surfait.
    adoncvoulu re-tester qu'onadoraitpetites,voirsiexcitaittoujoursautant c'étaitfranchementsurfait.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Manger ep. 1. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    Frankly overrated

    It’s interesting to see and hear “excitait” used here. The word that always trips of French learners (I assume the most excited French learners are Americans like me). The word almost always seems to have a sexual meaning, as in aroused. It’s interesting and frankly not overrated to hear it here in this context, referring to childhood cereals.

    However, if you get me thinking about Fruity Pebbles I just might be a little excité, si tu voic ce que je veux dire….

    What’s opening up for you in this clip?

    The snippet in English

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

    On a donc voulu re-tester celle qu’on adorait petites, pour voir si ça nous excitait toujours autant ou si c’était en fait franchement surfait.

    So we wanted to re-test the one we loved as kids, to see if it still excited us as much or if it was in fact really overrated.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “voulu” mean?

    The word “voulu” as in “on a voulou” is the past participle of the verb “vouloir,” which means “to want” or “to wish” in English. As a past participle, “voulu” is used to form compound tenses in French, such as the passé composé (e.g., “j’ai voulu” – “I wanted”) or the plus-que-parfait (e.g., “j’avais voulu” – “I had wanted”).

    In addition to its use in compound tenses, “voulu” can also be used as an adjective to describe something that was intentional or desired. For example, “un choix voulu” means “an intentional choice” or “a choice that was made on purpose.”

    There are a few common idiomatic expressions in French that use the word “voulu,” such as “bien vouloir” (literally “to want well”), which means “to be willing to” or “to be ready to,” and “mal vouloir” (literally “to want badly”), which means “to have ill will towards” or “to bear ill will.”

    What does “re-tester” mean?

    “Re-tester” is a French verb that means “to retest” in English. It is composed of the prefix “re-” which indicates repetition, and the verb “tester” which means “to test”.

    The verb “re-tester” is commonly used in different contexts such as in science experiments, medical exams, quality control procedures, or any situation where something needs to be tested again. For example, if a medical test result is inconclusive, a doctor may ask the patient to re-test to obtain a more accurate diagnosis.

    Fun fact: “re-tester” is a compound verb that follows the same pattern as other French verbs starting with “re-“, such as “recommencer” (to restart), “repartir” (to leave again), or “revenir” (to come back).

    “Re-tester” is a relatively recent term in the French language that has been adopted from English. While it is not officially recognized by the French Culture Institute, it is commonly used in informal contexts, particularly among younger generations.

    There is a tendency among some language purists in France to resist the influx of anglicisms and promote the use of French equivalents. However, this is not a view shared by everyone and there is ongoing debate about the appropriate role of English loanwords in French. Overall, the use of “re-tester” is generally considered acceptable and is widely understood in France.

    What does “petites” mean?

    The word “petites” in the phrase “qu’on adorait petites” means “when we were little” or “when we were young.” It is the feminine plural form of “petit,” which means “small” or “little.” In this context, it is used to describe a time in the past when the speaker and someone else loved or adored something.

    For example, the phrase “les bonbons qu’on adorait petites” would translate to “the candies that we loved when we were young.”

    What does “nous excitait toujours autant” mean?

    “Nous excitait toujours autant” can be translated to “It still excited us just as much” in English.

    The verb “exciter” in French can have several meanings depending on the context, such as to excite, to stimulate, or to arouse. In this particular context, it seems to refer to something that still caused excitement or enthusiasm.

    As for fun facts, it’s worth noting that the verb “exciter” is also commonly used in a more sexual sense, as in to arouse sexually. It can be a bit tricky for French learners to navigate the various meanings and contexts of this verb, so it’s always important to pay attention to the context in which it is used.

    A bit tongue in cheek, no?

    Yes, using the word “exciter” in the context of a childhood memory such as a breakfast cereal can still have a playful or tongue-in-cheek connotation. It can imply that the speaker is exaggerating their enthusiasm for something that may seem trivial or childish to others. However, the tone and context of the conversation can also affect how the word is perceived.

    While it is true that “exciter” is often used to express sexual excitement, it can also be used in other contexts to mean “to excite” or “to stimulate” in a more general sense. For example, you might say “La musique m’excite beaucoup” to mean “Music really excites me” without any sexual connotation. However, because of its association with sexual excitement, it can be seen as a bit more informal or slangy compared to other words with similar meanings.

    What does “franchement surfait” mean?

    “Franchement surfait” is a French phrase that can be translated to “frankly overrated” in English. It is often used to express the opinion that something is not as good or impressive as it is made out to be. For example, someone might say “ce restaurant est franchement surfait” (this restaurant is frankly overrated) if they were not impressed with the quality of the food or service despite its reputation. The phrase “franchement surfait” is often used in casual conversation and can apply to a wide range of things, from movies and TV shows to restaurants and products.

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    “nous excitait toujours autant” … Do you know what that means in French? And does it mean what you think it means? Can you hear all these words in this clip of French in real life from the Manger podcast? Start here and improve your French listening skills from any level.

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