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Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 78: à la fois

    Catch a glimpse of how “L’âge désigne un temps écoulé” intertwines with the intricate layers of time. Delve deep into expressions like “à la fois” and let “qu’on m’a posée” stir a moment of introspection. Take today’s quiz, fill in the blanks as you follow along.

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

    16 seconds, 31 words

    This audio sample and transcription is from Passerelles ep. 1. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode

    ',,., ' '.
    'désigneécoulé,foislinéaire,chronologiquecyclique.finir,partagerquestion qu'on 'posée.
    'âgedésignetempsécoulé,tempsàfoislinéaire,chronologiquecyclique.finir,vaispartageravecvousquestion qu'on m'aposéejouranniversaire.

    at once

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    The snippet in English

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

    L’âge désigne un temps écoulé, un temps à la fois linéaire, chronologique et cyclique. Pour finir, je vais partager avec vous une question qu’on m’a posée le jour de mon anniversaire.

    Age refers to elapsed time, which is at once linear, chronological and cyclical. Finally, I’d like to share with you a question I was asked on my birthday.

    The above translation from Deepl. Source

    What does “désigne” mean?

    The verb “désigne” comes from “désigner” which translates to “to designate,” “to indicate,” or “to point out” in English. It’s used to specify or refer to something more precisely.

    Examples:

    • “Le panneau désigne l’entrée du bâtiment.” (The sign indicates the entrance to the building.)
    • “Ce terme désigne une technique particulière.” (This term designates a particular technique.)

    Usage & Nuances:

    The verb “désigner” is versatile and can be used in a variety of contexts. While it commonly means “to indicate” or “to point out,” it can also imply selecting someone for a specific role or task. For example, “Il a été désigné comme capitaine de l’équipe” means “He was designated as the team captain.”

    Related Phrases:

    • “Montrer” (to show)
    • “Indiquer” (to indicate)
    • “Nommer” (to name or to appoint)

    Cultural or Additional Notes:

    In official or administrative contexts, “désigner” often implies a more formal selection or appointment process. For instance, in a company setting, one might be “désigné” for a particular committee or task.

    “Désigner” is a common “faux ami” or false cognate for English speakers learning French. While the French verb “désigner” translates to “to designate” or “to indicate” in English, English speakers might mistakenly think it solely means “to design” because of its resemblance to the English word “design.” In fact, the correct French verb for “to design” in the sense of creating or drawing plans is “concevoir” or “dessiner,” depending on the context.

    In Summary:

    “Désigne” is a verb that conveys the act of pointing out, indicating, or selecting. Whether in daily life or more formal settings, it’s a way to be more specific about one’s references or choices.

    What does “un temps écoulé” mean?

    The phrase “un temps écoulé” translates to “elapsed time” or “a time that has passed” in English. It refers to a period or duration that has already taken place or completed.

    Examples:

    • “Il s’est passé beaucoup de choses pendant ce temps écoulé.” (A lot has happened during this elapsed time.)
    • “La garantie a expiré, car le temps écoulé est trop long.” (The warranty has expired because the elapsed time is too long.)

    Usage & Nuances:

    “Un temps écoulé” implies looking back at a duration that has already gone by. It captures the essence of time’s irreversibility, emphasizing the past. This phrase can be used in various contexts, from discussing historical events to measuring time intervals in more practical or technical situations.

    Related Phrases:

    • “Depuis combien de temps?” (For how long?)
    • “Ça fait longtemps” (It’s been a while)

    Cultural or Additional Notes:

    Reflection on time, its passing, and its implications is a common theme in literature, philosophy, and everyday conversations in many cultures, including the French-speaking world. “Un temps écoulé” evokes a sense of nostalgia, reflection, or evaluation, depending on the context.

    In Summary:

    “Un temps écoulé” refers to a period that has already passed, offering a lens to look back and reflect upon or measure something in relation to that elapsed duration.

    What does “à la fois linéaire” mean?

    The phrase “à la fois linéaire” translates to “both linear” or “at once linear” in English. It’s used to describe something that has a straightforward, continuous progression or sequence, typically in reference to time or other sequential phenomena.

    The expression “à la fois” translates to “at once” or “both” in English. It’s used to indicate that something or someone has multiple characteristics or fulfills multiple roles simultaneously.

    Examples:

    • “L’histoire est à la fois linéaire et complexe.” (History is both linear and complex.)
    • “Le développement de l’enfant est à la fois linéaire et sporadique.” (A child’s development is both linear and sporadic.)

    Usage & Nuances:

    When you use “à la fois,” you’re emphasizing the coexistence of different qualities or states in one subject. The phrase emphasizes the idea that something can have a straightforward progression, but not exclusively so. It suggests that while there might be a clear sequence or order to events, other aspects or dimensions are also at play.

    In the context of your given sentence about age and time, “à la fois linéaire” underscores the perception of time as a straight line, moving from the past, through the present, and into the future. However, by using “à la fois,” the statement is setting up a contrast, implying that time can be viewed in multiple ways, not just linearly.

    In many contexts, “à la fois” sets the stage for a list or comparison of characteristics that might seem contrasting or not usually paired together, serving to underscore the multifaceted nature of the subject in question.

    Related Phrases:

    • “En séquence” (In sequence)
    • “Chronologiquement” (Chronologically)

    Cultural or Additional Notes:

    In discussions about time, philosophy, or even art, the idea of linearity versus cyclical or more complex patterns is a recurrent theme. In Western cultures, time is often viewed as linear, marching forward without returning. However, many Eastern philosophies and cultures understand time in a cyclical manner, with events, eras, or ages recurring in cycles.

    In Summary:

    “À la fois linéaire” describes something that has a clear, sequential progression but suggests that this is not its only characteristic. In discussions about time, it highlights the multifaceted ways time can be perceived or experienced.

    What does “pour finir” mean?

    The phrase “pour finir” translates to “to conclude” or “in conclusion” in English. It’s used to indicate the end of a discourse, presentation, or sequence of ideas and to introduce a final point or statement.

    Examples:

    • “Pour finir, je voudrais remercier tous ceux qui ont participé.” (To conclude, I would like to thank everyone who participated.)
    • “J’ai visité Paris, Rome, et pour finir, Barcelone.” (I visited Paris, Rome, and finally, Barcelona.)

    Usage & Nuances:

    The phrase “pour finir” is a transitionary expression that helps listeners or readers anticipate a concluding remark. While it directly means “to finish” or “to end,” in the context of speeches or writings, it helps to wrap up the content.

    It is similar to other concluding phrases like “en conclusion” (in conclusion) or “enfin” (finally), though “pour finir” carries a slightly more informal tone, making it suitable for a range of contexts from formal presentations to casual conversations.

    Related Phrases:

    • “En conclusion” (In conclusion)
    • “Enfin” (Finally)
    • “Pour terminer” (To end)

    Cultural or Additional Notes:

    In spoken French, “pour finir” is often employed when someone is recounting a series of events or ideas and wishes to signal the last item or thought in their sequence. Similarly, in written French, it serves as a transition to the final thoughts or summary of the main content.

    In Summary

    “Pour finir” is a transitionary phrase used to signal the conclusion of a series of thoughts or events. It can be used both in formal and informal contexts to wrap up or summarize content.

    What does “qu’on m’a posée” mean?

    The phrase “qu’on m’a posée” translates to “that was asked to me” or “that someone asked me” in English. It’s a passive construction used in French to indicate a question that was directed towards the speaker.

    • qu’ is short for “que”, which means “that.”
    • on is an indefinite subject, often translated as “one” or “someone.”
    • m’a stands for “me a,” where “me” is the indirect object (to me) and “a” is the third person singular form of the verb “avoir” (to have).
    • posée is the past participle of “poser” (to ask), here in its feminine form to agree with the feminine noun it modifies (like “question”).

    Examples:

    • “C’est une question qu’on m’a posée hier.” (It’s a question that someone asked me yesterday.)
    • “Je ne sais pas comment répondre à cette question qu’on m’a posée.” (I don’t know how to answer this question that was asked to me.)

    Usage & Nuances:

    The phrase is a way to introduce or recall a question that was previously asked, especially in narratives or explanations. The structure emphasizes the fact that the question was directed to the speaker, emphasizing the personal experience.

    Related Phrases:

    • “La question que tu m’as posée…” (The question you asked me…)
    • “Je me souviens de la question qu’elle m’a posée.” (I remember the question she asked me.)

    Cultural or Additional Notes:

    Passive constructions like this are common in French, allowing the speaker to indicate actions directed towards them without necessarily identifying who performed the action.

    In Summary:

    “Qu’on m’a posée” is a French passive construction that highlights a question directed towards the speaker, emphasizing the personal connection and relevance of the question to the speaker’s narrative or explanation.

    What is opening up for you?

    Comment below with the words you thought you heard, where you struggled, where you surprised yourself, or what you thought about this clip. Every little bit inspires other learners, thank you for being that inspiration to others on their French fluency journey!

    Catch a glimpse of how “L’âge désigne un temps écoulé” intertwines with the intricate layers of time. Delve deep into expressions like “à la fois” and let “qu’on m’a posée” stir a moment of introspection. Take today’s quiz, fill in the blanks as you follow along.

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