Learning the Basics of French/Lesson:Introducing Yourself/1

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Course #1: Français I
Course #2: Français II
Course #3: Français III
Course #4: Français IV

Dialogue

Sofia, a Spaniard, has just met Michel :

Michel: Bonjour, je m'appelle Michel. Comment vous appelez-vous ?

Sofía: Bonjour, Michel. Je m'appelle Sofía. Comment ça s'écrit, 'Michel' ?

Michel: Ça s'écrit M-I-C-H-E-L. Comment allez-vous ?

Sofía: Comme-ci comme-ça. Et vous ?

Michel: Très bien, merci.

Sofía: Bien ! À demain, Michel.

Michel: À demain !

Translation:

Michel: Bonjour, je m'appelle Michel. Comment vous appelez-vous ?

       Hello, my name is Michel. What is your name?  

Sofía: Bonjour, Michel. Je m'appelle Sofía. Comment ça s'écrit, 'Michel' ?

      Hello, Michel. My name is Sofía. How is your name written, 'Michel' ?

Michel: Ça s'écrit M-I-C-H-E-L. Comment allez-vous ?

       It is written M-I-C-H-E-L. How are you?

Sofía: Comme-ci comme-ça. Et vous ?

      So-so. What about you?

Michel: Très bien, merci.

       Very good, thanks.

Sofía: Bien ! À demain, Michel.

      Well, see you tomorrow, Michel.

Michel: À demain !

       See you tomorrow!

Vocabulary

French Vocabulary • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngbogusOggFile (upload)
Flag of France.svg Greetings Flag of La Francophonie.svg Les salutations
Salut Hi./Bye. (informal)
Bonjour Hello (more formal than salut)(all day)
Bonsoir Hello (after 19h00 [7:00 pm])
Bonne soirée Good evening  
Bonne nuit Good night bun nwee
Quoi de neuf? What's up (about you)? (lit. what's new)  
Pas grand-chose. Not much. (lit. not a lot of things)  
French Vocabulary • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (info •202 kb • help)
Flag of France.svg Good-bye Flag of La Francophonie.svg Au revoir
Salut. Hi/Bye (informal)
Au revoir. Good-bye. ohrvwahr (ev not pronounced)
À demain. See you tomorrow. ah duhman (Lit: To/Until Tomorrow)
Au revoir, à demain. Bye, see you tomorrow.  
À tout à l'heure. See you (later today)! ah tootah luhr
À la prochaine. See you (tomorrow)! ah lah proh shayn
À bientôt. See you soon. ah byantoe
Ciao Bye. chow (Italian)
French Vocabulary • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (info •111 kb • help)
Flag of France.svg Introductions Flag of La Francophonie.svg Introductions
Comment vous appellez-vous? (formal),
Tu t'appelles comment? (informal),
Quel est ton nom? (informal)
What is your name? (Literally, "How do you call yourself?")
What is your name? (Literally, "Which is your name?")
Je m'appelle _____. My name is _____. (literally "I call myself _____.")
Mon nom est _____. My name is _____. (literally "My name is _____.")
French Vocabulary • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (info •105 kb • help)
Flag of France.svg How are you? Flag of La Francophonie.svg Ça va?
Comment allez-vous? (formal),
Comment vas-tu? (informal),
Comment ça va?/Ça va? (informal)
How are you?
Ça va (très) bien. I'm(very) well.
(lit. It's going (very) well.)
Oui, ça va. I'm ok. (literally "Yes, it goes.")
Très bien, merci. Very well, thanks.
Pas mal. Not bad.
pas si bien/pas très bien not so well
(très) mal (very) bad
Comme ci, comme ça. So-So.
Désolé(e). I'm sorry.
Et toi ?
Et vous ?
And you? (informal)
And you? (formal)

/Exercises>>

The Alphabet

Normal letters

In French, there are 26 normal letters and some symbols are used to change the sound of the letter. Those are mostly accents, and a cedilla.

French Grammar • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngbogusOggFile (upload)
Flag of France.svg The French Alphabet Flag of La Francophonie.svg L'alphabet français
letter pronunciation name in French
(in IPA transcription)
Aa like a in father /a/
Bb like b in baby* /be/
Cc before e and i: like c in center
before a, o, or u: like c in cat
/se/
Dd like d in dog /de/
Ee approx. like u in burp** /ə/
Ff like f in fog /ɛf/
Gg before e and i: like s in measure
before a, o, or u: like g in get
/ʒe/
Hh aspirated h: see note below*
non-aspirated h: not pronounced***
/aʃ/
Ii like ea in team
like a in sam
/i/
Jj like s in measure /ʒi/
Kk like k in kite /ka/
Ll like l in lemon /ɛl/
Mm like m in minute /ɛm/
Nn like n in note /ɛn/
Oo closed: approx. like u in nut
open: like o in nose
/o/
Pp like p in pen* /pe/
Qq like k in kite /ky/ see 'u'
for details
Rr force air through the back of your throat
near the position of gargling,
but sounding soft
/ɛʀ/
Ss like s in sister at begining
of word or with two s's
or like z in amazing if only one s
/ɛs/
Tt like t in top /te/
Uu Say the English letter e,
but make your lips say "oo".
/y/
Vv like v in violin /ve/
Ww Depending on the derivation of the word,
like v as in violin, or w in water
/dubləve/
Xx either /ks/ in socks,
or /gz/ in exit
/iks/
Yy like ea in leak /igrək/
Zz like z in zebra /zɛd/

The accents

French Grammar • 1 • Gnome-speakernotes.pngaudio (info •101 kb • help)
Flag of France.svg The accents Flag of La Francophonie.svg Les accents
Accent Role name in French example in French
` changes the sound of the e over which it is, but change the meaning of the word for an a or an u Accent grave achète, à, où
´ Only over an e, to change the sound Accent aigu désolé(e)
^ change the length of the vowel (longer than before) Accent circonflexe (un) hôtel
¨ often over an e and with another vowel just before (e.g. ), you've to say the 2 vowels distinctly and not together. Tréma Noël
ç Changes the sound for the C. Is only placed before an a, o or u. It makes the c become /s/. Cédille français

Continuons!