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Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 89: tout ça

Let’s dive into some Hollywood nuance. Can you pick up these phrases: “tout ça”, “Un jour sans fin”, “le personnage principal”, and “attends”? Sure you know “attends”, but have you heard it in this expression? Take a listen to today’s quiz and fill in the blanks as you go.

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, 38 words

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

, ',.,,, '- ?
,faitpenserfilm 'regardé,.versionoriginale,,personnageprincipal,demande '-attendsvie ?
Toutça,mefaitpenseràfilmque j'airegardésemaine,sansfin.Dansversionoriginale,PhilConnors,personnageprincipal,demandeàRita '-attendsvie ?

All this

What’s opening up for you with this clip?

The snippet in English

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

Tout ça, ça me fait penser à un film que j’ai regardé cette semaine, Un jour sans fin. Dans la version originale, Phil Connors, le personnage principal, demande à Rita Qu’est-ce que tu attends de la vie ?

All this reminds me of a movie I watched this week, Groundhog Day. In the original version, Phil Connors, the main character, asks Rita What do you want from life?

The above translation from Deepl. Source

What does “tout ça” mean?

The phrase “Tout ça” translates to “All this” or “All of that” in English. It’s often used in French conversation as a way to refer collectively to a number of different elements or ideas that have been mentioned or discussed previously. It acts as a summarization or a way to collectively refer back to previous points or topics. Here are some aspects to consider:


  • Summarization: “Tout ça” can be used to summarize a list of items, a series of events, or various points made in a discussion. It’s a way to encapsulate what has been said or done.
  • Transition: It could also be used as a transition phrase, leading from the discussion of specific details to a more general comment or a conclusion.


  • Reflecting on a Discussion: If someone has been discussing various aspects of a project, they might say “Tout ça pour dire que le projet avance bien” (“All of this to say that the project is progressing well”).
  • Reflecting on Events: After describing a series of events, someone might say, “Tout ça m’a rendu très fatigué” (“All of that made me very tired”).

Conversational Tone:

  • Informal: The phrase has a conversational, informal tone and is more commonly used in spoken French rather than in formal written communication.
  • Reflective: It often has a reflective or contemplative tone, suggesting the speaker is thinking back on the items or events they’re summarizing.


  • Similar Phrases: Other phrases like “tout cela” or “tout ceci” can also be used similarly, though “tout ça” is more colloquial.

In Summary:

The phrase “Tout ça” is a useful and common phrase in French to encapsulate and refer back to a collection of ideas, items, or events that have been discussed, especially when summarizing or transitioning to a new point in conversation. It carries a casual and reflective tone that makes it suitable for informal communication or reflective statements.

What does “Un jour sans fin” mean?

The phrase “Un Jour Sans Fin” translates to “A Day Without End” in English. This phrase is widely known as the French title for the American film “Groundhog Day” (1993), directed by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray.

“Un Jour Sans Fin” is a phrase that carries both literal and figurative meanings, effectively portraying the theme of an endless day, particularly in the context of the film “Groundhog Day”. It can also be used in everyday language or artistic expressions to depict a sense of monotony or timelessness.

Hollywood Films in France

Hollywood films have a significant presence in France and constitute a major part of the film market.

Language and Dubbing:

  • Dubbing vs Subtitles: Hollywood films are usually dubbed in French for general release in France, but many cinemas also offer screenings in original version (VO, Version Originale) with French subtitles (VOST, Version Originale Sous-titrée).
  • Preference: Some people prefer dubbed versions for ease of understanding, while others prefer subtitles to appreciate the original performances of the actors.

Film Distribution:

  • Title Changes: Often, the titles of Hollywood films are changed for the French audience, either translated or replaced with a different English title. For example, “The Hangover” was released as “Very Bad Trip” in France.
  • Release Dates: Release dates might be different, and sometimes Hollywood films are released in France before they are released in the USA.

Film Reception and Criticism:

  • Artistic Appreciation: French audiences and critics often have a high appreciation for artistic and auteuristic aspects of films. This appreciation extends to a certain selection of Hollywood films that might be seen as more artistic or innovative.
  • Critique of Mainstream Cinema: There can sometimes be a critical view of highly commercial or mainstream Hollywood films, seen as lacking in artistic value or depth compared to French or other European films.

Film Festivals and Awards:

  • Cannes Film Festival: The Cannes Film Festival is a prestigious event where Hollywood productions often compete alongside international films. The festival is an important platform for Hollywood films to gain recognition and credibility on an international stage.
  • American Stars in Cannes: Hollywood stars often grace the red carpet at Cannes, and their presence is a significant highlight of the festival, attracting global media attention.

Influence and Competition:

  • Influence on French Cinema: Hollywood’s global influence inevitably impacts French cinema in terms of genre trends, production techniques, and marketing strategies.
  • Protection of French Cinema: France has policies to protect its film industry from being overshadowed by Hollywood productions, such as quotas on foreign films and support for local film production.

What does “le personnage principal” mean?

“Le personnage principal” translates to “the main character” in English.

It refers to the central character around whom the story primarily revolves in literary, cinematic, or theatrical narratives. This character’s journey, experiences, or actions drive the narrative forward, embodying broader themes or messages within the story. The term is used similarly in both French and English-speaking contexts, highlighting the character’s pivotal role in engaging the audience and unfolding the narrative.

The phrase “le personnage principal” is quite specific to narratives and doesn’t have notable idiomatic or extended cultural uses outside of discussing literature, film, theater, or similar narrative forms.

However, in informal discussions or analogies, people might refer to someone as “le personnage principal” of a particular scenario or situation, implying they are at the center of what’s happening or driving the events. For instance, in a company setting, one might humorously refer to a key decision-maker or a prominent leader as “le personnage principal” when discussing significant organizational changes or events.

What does “attends” mean?

The verb “attendre” in French translates to “to wait” or “to expect” in English. When used in a phrase like “Qu’est-ce que tu attends de la vie ?” (What do you want from life? or What do you expect from life?), “attends” is conveying a sense of expectation or desire. Here’s a breakdown of its use in this context:

The Nuance of “Attends”

Ah, the nuanced art of waiting! Now, when a French person muses, “Qu’est-ce que tu attends de la vie?”, they’re treading on a philosophical wonderland, exploring life’s desires at a leisurely, wine-sipping pace. You see, in this phrase, “attends” transcends mere waiting—it’s a poetic expedition into expectations, aspirations, or even life’s sweet whispers.

Now, cross the Atlantic, and you’ll find that waiting often gets the side-eye. In the hustle of the “American dream,” patience could be mistaken for procrastination. Time is money, as they say, and waiting around isn’t going to foot the bill! The question “What do you expect from life?” in the US might carry a hint of urgency, a nudge towards a relentless pursuit of, well, more.

In the calm cadence of French living, to wait (“attendre”) can be to savor, to anticipate with a heart full of hopes. It’s like holding a fine Bordeaux, allowing it to breathe, appreciating its full-bodied promise before the first sip. On the other hand, the American sprint towards success might view waiting as a quaint, albeit frustrating, pitstop.

So, when a French individual leisurely ponders on “Qu’est-ce que tu attends de la vie?”, they are not just asking a casual question, but inviting a contemplation on life’s essence, at a pace that allows for savoring each moment. Meanwhile, across the pond, the clock ticks a tad faster, urging on a chase that waits for none.

In essence, “attends” is more than a verb—it’s a cultural wink, a slower sip of life’s unfolding narrative. And oh, the stories it tells, if only one has the patience to hear them out!

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!

Let’s dive into some Hollywood nuance. Can you pick up these phrases: “tout ça”, “Un jour sans fin”, “le personnage principal”, and “attends”? Sure you know “attends”, but have you heard it in this expression? Take a listen to today’s quiz and fill in the blanks as you go.

1 thought on “Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 89: tout ça”

  1. Really love the commentary on today’s snippet!

    I wonder if kids in France talk about having l’énergie du personnage principal? 😉

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