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French Television

The French are not as addicted to television as Americans are, but they are getting close. Also know as "le petit ecran (ay crain)"- the little screen, it is taking a larger place in everyday life.

Let's learn a little about French television by reading a small passage that you will translate. New words will appear below.

Les televiseurs son partout: Presque* tous les foyers en possedent au moins un, et le nombre de chaines augmente* d'annee en annee. Avec le cable et le satellite, on peut en recevoir jusqu'a deux ou trois cents*.

Use your imagination to do this translation, and try to spot words that you already know in English. "Televiseurs" is an easy one for televisions, but do you see any other words you may be able to figure out? How about "posseder" (the infinitive for the verb used in the passage, possedent, which is in the third person plural) for possess, and "chaines" for stations? "Satellite" and "cable" are the same (many words in technical, scientific and the communications fields are). You'd be surprised how much you can figure out from written French based on what you have already learned, words that are close to English, and English words that the French use. Take a moment and try to write out the translation.

*presque=almost    foyers=households    augmente=increase    cents=hundred

How did you do? Test yourself against the translation:

Televisions are everywhere: almost all households have at least one, and the number of channels increases from year to year; with cable and satellite, we can receive up to two or three hundred.

French T.V. has a lot in common with T.V. in English speaking countries.

En France, la tele est financee en partie par le publicite (poo blee see tay). In France, T.V. is financed in part by advertising.

Dan le cas des chaines publiques, par la redevance (reh day vahns) audiovisuelle. In the case of public broadcasting, by audiovisual license.

Cote (coat ay) emissions, il y en a pour tous les gouts (goo). In terms of programs, there is something for every taste.

Une soiree typique (tee peek) commencera avec un jeu et une serie (sair ee) suivis du journal (joor nal) et de la meteo (met ay o). A typical evening will begin with a game and a series, followed by the news and weather.

You were probably able to figure out a good part of those sentences on your own. With the written word, it is frequently easy to work out what is being said. It will help a lot if you try to read French publications and figure out what they say. Look at the first sentence above:

En France, la tele est financee en partie par le publicite.

If you follow along, it is almost exactly the same as English, once you know that publicite means advertising. (By the way, just as in English advertising is shortened to "ads", in French, publicite is shortened to "les pubs".)

En France- In France
la tele- T.V
est financee- is financed
en partie- in part
par le publicite- by advertising.

All of your reading won't be that easy, but you can try to work out the meaning by plugging in the words you know, the ones close to English and the ones that have been borrowed from the English language.

What Did We Learn?

  1. In France T.V. is financed by advertising:____________________________________.
  2. In the United States, T.V. is also (aussi) financed by advertising.__________________.
  3. On a typical evening, I watch the news.______________________
  4. My husband prefers (the verb is preferer-you have to pick the correct form for "my husband") to watch sports.
  5. Three ways to say television are: le __________, le _._. and "le _____ _____".
  6. Public television exists in France and it is called _________ __________.
  7. Translate this sentence, based on words you know or can figure out: J'aime regarder les chaines publiques; je deteste les pubs. Chaque soir, mon marie regarde un match de football. C'est la raison que nous avons deux televiseurs.
  8. Now, say this in French: "Public television does not have ads. Sports programs have many ads. There are ads for beer (la biere), cars and vacations (les vacances)." (Remember to say "il y a" for there are.
  9. We can receive up to three hundred television stations: Nous pouvons _______ juqu'a ______cents ______
  10. We have televisions in every room: Nous_____des _________ dans ______chambre.


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