Learning French in Paris, Leçon 1 – 6

Crépieux, G. Massé, O. Rousse, J. (2013) Interactions 1: Méthode De Français (Course material for Français langue étrangère at Lycée d’Adultes, Paris)

Introducing yourself

Bonjour, je m’appelle Sarah Harré. Harré, ça s’écrit H-A-R-R-É. Je suis Français et je suis étudiant. J’habite au Paris, à côté de l’université. Enchantée!

Whether in writing or in person one of the things we all end up doing fairly regularly is introducing ourselves. We say who we are,where we live and what we do. If I was to use the above introduction as a basis I would say,

Bonjour, je m’appelle Mason Bee. Bee, ça s’écrit B-E-E. Je suis un Nouveau Zélandais et je suis étudiant. J’habite à Paris. Enchanté!

The start of both of these introductions is fairly standard, “Bonjour, je m’appelle <insert name>”. In both cases they spell out the name. This is, as a foreigner, more commonly done than you might think. Anyone entering your same into a computer system for example is going to ask you to spell it out. Possibly by saying,”ça s’écrit comment?” as in Leçon 0 – 2.

Identifying formal and informal situations

What is a formal situation or an informal situation is quite important in France. If you say hello to an elderly woman passing you while out walking it would be a formal situation. You would say,”Bonjour madame”. When you enter a shop it is a formal situation and you greet the shopkeeper with bonjour and say au revoir when you leave. When entering a lift filled with other people you say bonjour to all of them. When leaving a party you say goodbye to all the people and apologise for not making their acquaintance.

A good way to practice this is to take a photograph and describe the situation.

  • How many people are there?
  • Are they male or female?
  • Is it a formal or informal situation?
  • What do you think the people are doing?

For instance, if I was to describe this photo.

What Are They Doing
What Are They Doing?

I would answer the questions as,

Il y a combien de personnes?Il y a deux personnes.
Ce sont des hommes ou des femmes ?Il y a deux femmes.
Est-ce une situation formelle ou informelle ?Le situtation est informalle.
Qu’est-ce que tu imagines que les gens font ?J’imagine qu’ils sont perdus.

These notes are from Interactions 1 Méthode de Française A1.1 and where copyrighted work is used it is done so under the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994.

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