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Inner French ep. 001, quiz 30: moi, je

    Improve your French listening skills with this clip from the Inner French podcast. It’s 41 words in 20 seconds. How many can you transcribe? Take our transcription quiz, start at any level!

    This clip is from the Inner French podcast Episode 001. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Find the full podcast here.

    20 seconds, 41 words

    Press play and take the transcription quiz to practice your French listening comprehension.
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    , ',,,, '.
    , 'théorie,pense,enfonctionlanguematernelle,langueavezappriseétiez,allezapprendrelangue 'façon.
    ,suiscomplètement d'accordthéorie,penseque,enfonctionlanguematernelle,languequeavezappriseétiezenfant,allezapprendrelangueétrangère 'façondifférente.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from the Inner French podcast episode 001. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    Me, I

    This is such an interesting construction, and to me, it seems very French. Uniquely French. It’s not the case in Spanish, or French, Japanese, or Chinese. I’m not sure about other languages.

    French seems to emphasize the subject and then express the thought. To me, learning French, it seemed like a way to make things simpler. Pour moi, c’est… rather then keep things in the first person, it switches to the third. In this instance, we’re still in the first person, but it’s still interesting.

    I know, I know. I said I wouldn’t get into grammar. I won’t. I just mean to highlight this as it stood out to me as a learner, and it was COMPLETELY glossed over by two French teachers in Alliance Francaise. It’s like, so common – the water French speakers swim in – that it’s not even worth mentioning.

    That’s what’s really interesting to me. It’s this totally unique construction that for everyone in the country is so mundane that why should we even say anything about it.

    Yes, English has it too, but if you use this “Me? I….” it is remarkable in itself and almost requires a question mark to use it… it’s not normal.

    What’s opening up for you in this clip? 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 je ne suis pas complètement d’accord avec cette théorie, parce que je pense que, en fonction de sa langue maternelle, de la langue que vous avez apprise quand vous étiez enfant, vous allez apprendre une langue étrangère d’une façon différente.

    I don’t completely agree with this theory, because I think that, depending on your mother tongue, the language you learned as a child, you will learn a foreign language in a different way.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    Why do French speakers say “moi, je”?

    In French, the phrase “moi, je” is a common way to emphasize the subject of a sentence.

    The word “moi” means “me” or “I,” and the pronoun “je” also means “I.” So when someone says “moi, je,” they are essentially saying “me, I” or “I, myself” in order to emphasize that they are the subject of the sentence.

    Using “moi, je” can also be a way for French speakers to distinguish themselves from others in a conversation or to assert their individuality. It’s a way of saying “this is my opinion” or “this is what I think,” rather than speaking in more general terms.

    Overall, using “moi, je” is a common linguistic convention in French that allows speakers to emphasize themselves and their opinions in conversation.

    Yeah, but, why? Has it always been that way?

    The use of “moi, je” in French can be traced back to the Middle Ages. In Old French, the word order in a sentence was more flexible than it is today, and the subject could appear after the verb. In this context, the use of “moi, je” could help clarify who the subject of the sentence was.

    Over time, French sentence structure became more rigid, but the use of “moi, je” persisted as a way of emphasizing the subject of the sentence. It’s also worth noting that French is a language that places a strong emphasis on clarity and precision in communication, and the use of “moi, je” can help to achieve that goal by making the subject of the sentence more explicit.

    In addition, the use of “moi, je” can be seen as a reflection of French culture, which values individuality and self-expression. By emphasizing the self in this way, speakers can assert their unique perspective and assert their individuality.

    Overall, while the use of “moi, je” in French has evolved over time, it has persisted as a linguistic convention that reflects both the structure of the language and cultural values.

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