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Basic French, INCOMPLETE

Jun 19 2007, 10:20 PM (Post #1)
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ATTN: This is a very first drafty sort of thing, I'll add fancier codes later, with italicizing/bolding for pronunciation etc.
Unless given a special request, I'm just going to do a little bit each day in order. Accents to be added soon.

This is not at all a "travel" french guide or phrasebook--- my aim really is to get you to learn to speak-- or at least write, since pronunciation is hard to teach w/out sounds-- French.
I am the "French wizard" at my high school, named by the teacher as the best non-native speaker she's ever had. (Not to brag) I know what I am doing. This is my fourth year of French. At my teacher's recommendation, I even skipped a level, enabling to me to take AP French earlier.

We'll start at the beginning, the way I learned. Feel free to respond or PM me with suggestions of how to clear this up or with any question about French!

Introduction to French

In French, there are pronouns, just like in English.
je = I (note that "je" is not capitalized unless at the beginning of a sentence)
tu = you (singular or informal, we'll get to this later)
il/elle/on = he/her/one (some use "on" rather than "nous" for "we" informally)
nous = we
vous = you (plural or formal, we'll get to this later)
ils/elles = them (at least one boy present/all girls) yeah, it's a sexist language

All other parts of speech are also in French. However, sentence structure is different. (structure/grammar covered later)

As in English, different verbs in French are conjugated differently depending on the subject of the sentence. We'll begin with the most basic verb.

je suis = I am
tu es = you are
il/elle/on est = he/she/one is
nous sommes = we are
vous etes = you are
ils/elles sont = they are

Not all verbs are conjugated so erratically. Most follow patterns. The majority of verbs in French are "-er" verbs. That is, they end in "er." Not all verbs that end this way follow the pattern, however. There always exceptions, but don't let this bog you down so early on! Here's a true "-er" verb. All true "-er" verbs have the same endings added in place of the "-er."

je regarde
tu regardes
il/elle/on regarde
nous regardons
vous regardez
ils/elles regardent

All of the above endings are silent, with the exception of "ons" (pronounced on)and "ez," (pronounced ay) Many groups of letters in french, like "ent" look like they make a sound but are almost always silent. You'll get used to it. I suggest looking at one of many websites w/ sound to get proper pronunciations. I'll add a link later.

Here are some more useful -er verbs that are conjugated the same way as "regarder" with e, es, e, ons, ez, and ent endings that replace the er according to the subject. Single objects and names are conjugated with like "il/elle/on" with e, and multiple objects and names are conjugated like "ils/elles" with ent
AIMER - to like/love
HABITER - to live
MARCHER - to walk
PARLEZ - to talk
ECOUTER - to listen to
TRAVAILLER - to work
ARRIVER - to arrive


This post has been edited by Roger Smith: Aug 20 2007, 06:07 AM
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Apr 23 2009, 12:15 AM (Post #16)
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Haha, yeah right.
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Apr 23 2009, 07:38 PM (Post #17)
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"You've put on weight"
"Tu as grossi"
(tu ah gro - si)

"Haven't the police found you yet?"

"La police, ne t'a pas encore trouvé?"
(la po - lees ne ta pa zen - cor troo - vay)

General chit-chat
"Would you stop spitting on me while you're talking!"
"Voulez-vous cesser de me cracher dessus pendant que vous parlez!"
(voo - lay voo se - say de me cra - shay de - su pen - dan que voo parl - ay)

"Reality and you don't get on, do they?"

"Le réalité et toi, vous ne vous entendez pas, n'est-ce pas?"
(le ree - al - ee - tay eh twa voo ne voo zen - ten - day pah nes pah)

"You've got a face that would blow off manhole covers"

"T'as une tête a faire sauter les plaques d'egouts!"
(ta zoon tait a fair saw - teh leh plahk de - goo)

"Are you drunk?"

"Est-ce que vous êtes ivre?"
(es - ke voo zet eevr)

"You have a chive on your tooth."

"Vous avez de la ciboulette sur votre dent"
(voo za - vay de la see - boo - let ser votr den)

"You're a complete moron"

"Tu es completement debile"
(tu eh com - plet - e - men de - beel)

"You get on my nerves

"Tu me peles le jonc"
(tu me pel - e le zhonc)

"As a child, was your cradle rocked too close to the wall?"

"On t'a bercé trop près du mur?"
(on ta ber - say troa pray du mer)

"Idiot", "Fool", "Cretin", "Imbecile"

"Idiot", "Fou", "Cretin", "Imbecile"
(ee - dee - o, foo, cre - tin, Im - be - seel)

Helping Others
"What did your last slave die of?"
"De quoi est mort votre dernier esclave?"
(de kwa eh mor votr der - nee - er es - klahv)

"I'd help you, but I don't like you."

"Je vous aurais bien aide, mais je ne vous aime pas."
(zhe voo zaw - ray bien ai - de may zhe ne voo zaim - e pah)

"Do it yourself."

"Faites-le vous-même"
(fay - teh le voo mehm)

"Stop bothering me!"

"Parle à mon cul, ma tête est malade"
(parl a mon cul, ma teht eh ma - lahd)

Dealing with Parents of children
"My God your children are ugly!"
"Mon Dieu, que vos enfants sont laids"
(Mon dyer ke voe zen - fant son lay)

"Your children are very attractive. Are they adopted?"

"Vos enfants sont très beaux. Ils sont adoptes?"
(vo zen - fant son tray boh. Il sont a - dop - te)

"How much for the little girl?"

"Combien pour la fillette"
(com - byen poor la fill - et)

Eating Out
"How many of your customers have died?"
"Combien de vos clients sont morts?"
(com - byen de vo clee - ent sont moo - ree)

"This restaurant isn't as good as Mc.Donald's"

"Ce restaurant n'est pas aussi bon que le Mc.Donalds'
(se re - staw - ran neh pas o - si bon ke le mac don - alds)

"Did these fish die of radiation sickness?"

"Ces poissons, ils sont mort d'irradiation?"
(se pwu - son il sont mor di - ray - di - ay - shun)

"I think this wine has been drunk before."

"Je pense que ce vin a déjà ete bu"
(zhe pens ke se vin a day - zha e - te bu)

"For dessert, what would you suggest to get the taste of the main course out of my mouth?"

"Comme dessert, que me suggereriez-vous pour effacer le goût du plat de resistance de ma bouche?"
(com de - zert com - en ke me su - zhair - er - i - ay voo poor eff - ah - say le goo du pla de re - zi - stans de ma boosh)

Avez Vous Quelque Chose à Declarer (Do you have anything to declare)
"I like Spain better"
"Je préfére l'Espagne"
(zhe pre - fer les - pan - ya)

"Yes, I am hungry"(Obelix)

"Oui, J'ai faim"
(wi zhay fin)

"Only my genius"(Oscar Wilde)

"Juste mon genie"
(zhust mon zhay - nee)

"Long live Algeria"

"Vive l'Algerie"
(vee - ve lal - zhe - ree)

"Whoever painted this place was blind"
"Quiconque a peint cette maison etait aveugle"
(ki - conk a peint set e - mai - zon e - tay a - veugl)

"What an austere house!"

"Quelle maison austere!"
(Kel may - son au - steer)

"It's a bit of a dive, but it has some nice mould."

"Ça fait un peu boui-boui, mais il y a de la jolie moisissure"
(sa fay un peu bwi bwi, may zil ya de la zho - lee mwa - see - syer)

"It could be quite nice if it were decorated with taste."

"Ça pourrait être joli si c'etait décoré avec goût"
(sa poo - ray etr zho - li si se - tay de - cor - ay avec gu)

Commenting on fashion
"You should sue your tailor"
"Vous devriez poursuivre votre tailleur en justice"
(voo de - vri - ay poor - sweevr votr tay - yer en zhu - stees)

"I think the dress is too small for you."

"Je pense que la robe est trop petite pour vous"
(zhe pens ke la roab eh troa pe - teet poor voo)

"Was it difficult to find a tie more obnoxious than you?"

"Est-ce difficile trouver une cravate plus odieuse que vous?"
(Es di - fi - seel troo - veh oon cra - vat ploo zoa - dee - euz ke voo)

Who is this "Grenouille" anyway?
"I have a frog in my bidet!"
"J'ai une grenouille dans mon bidet!"
(zhay en gre - noo - ee dan mon bee - day)

"Your frog has eaten my lunch"

"Votre grenouille a mangé mon dejeuner"
(Votr gre - noo - ee a man - zhay mon de - zheu - ner)

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Apr 23 2009, 09:50 PM (Post #18)
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I don't know much French, only a few words; bonjour, au revoir, surrender, etc.
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Apr 27 2009, 04:36 AM (Post #19)
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I love how the top still says:
XT Project Introduction
Blah blah intro to this place. To be composed later.
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