Learn French With Netflix: Emily in Paris (2022)


Emily in Paris is a successful Netflix series set in France that recently released its third season. If you’re reading this, you probably already know about it!

I talked about the show Emily in Paris on its first season as well.

Is it a realistic look at life in France, French people, and French culture? No. But the people are good-looking, you get to see a glamourized version of some Parisian places, and the show is even getting a bit better in its third season.

In the video lesson for today, we’ll break down together a scene from that show, to practice your French comprehension.

C’est parti !

1) The scene: Subtitles and Translation

In the video lesson for today, you’ll find a scene from that show, all in French.

The scene is a dialogue between Julien (played by French actor Samuel Arnold) and Luc (played by Bruno Gouery, that you might have seen recently in The White Lotus on HBO.) They’re French colleagues.

They used to work at the ad agency Savoir, but they followed their former boss Sylvie when she split to create her own agency.

Here’s the full written transcript for:

  • The “correct French” subtitles
  • The informal pronunciation they’re using (when it’s different from correct French)
  • The English translation

– À quoi tu joues ? À quoi Sylvie joue, c’est n’importe quoi !
– What are you playing at? What is Sylvie playing at, it’s nonsense!

– Bah quoi ? Tu te trouves trop bien pour McDo ? Bah tu as mangé toute ta McBaguette et la moitié de celle d’Emily.
– Bah quoi ? Tu t’trouves trop bien pour McDo ? Bah t’as mangé toute ta McBaguette et la moitié d’celle d’Emily.
– So what? You think you’re too good for McDonald’s? Well you ate all of your McBaguette and half of Emily’s.

– J’ai fait beaucoup de cardio aujourd’hui – et tu vois très bien ce que je veux dire. Elle est où la… présentation pour Boucheron ?
– J’ai fait beaucoup d’cardio aujourd’hui – et tu vois très bien c’que j’veux dire. Elle est où la… présentation pour Boucheron ?
– I did a lot of cardio today – and you know what I mean. Where is the presentation for Boucheron?

– J’ai… oublié mon ordinateur chez Savoir.
– I… forgot my computer at Savoir.

– Quoi ?!
– What?!

– Et c’est un butin de guerre, maintenant. Quand je pense que j’ai rien sauvegardé dans le cloud… Ah moi j’ai aucune confiance dans le cloud, hein.
– Et c’est un butin de guerre, maint’nant. Quand je pense que j’ai rien sauvegardé dans le cloud… Ah moi j’ai aucune confiance dans l’cloud, hein.
– And now it’s war booty. When I think that I didn’t save anything in the cloud… Oh, I don’t trust the cloud at all, you know.

– Tu dois y aller le récupérer !
– You have to go get it!

– Territoire ennemi ! Enfin tu rigoles, Madeline pourrait me faire arrêter pour violation de propriété. Voire pire, avec ce que j’ai fait.
– Territoire ennemi ! Enfin tu rigoles, Madeline pourrait m’faire arrêter pour violation d’propriété. Voire pire, avec c’que j’ai fait.
– Enemy territory! Come on, are you kidding, Madeline could have me arrested for property violation. Or worse, with what I did.

– Et qu’est-ce que tu crois que Sylvie va te faire quand elle va apprendre que tu as perdu tous tes fichiers clients ?
– Et qu’est-ce que tu crois qu’Sylvie va t’faire quand elle va apprendre que t’as perdu tous tes fichiers clients ?
– And what do you think Sylvie will do to you when she finds out you lost all of your client files?

– …Tu as raison. Au moins, Madeline est trop grosse pour m’arrêter.
– …T’as raison. Au moins, Madeline est trop grosse pour m’arrêter.
– … You’re right. At least Madeline is too big to catch me.

– Han… Pourquoi ils sont tous débiles aujourd’hui ?
– Ugh… Why are they all so dumb today?

* The extra mile: a notice on McDonald’s

The episode is a long, painfully obvious advertisement for the McDonald’s company. With some misrepresentation.

In France, McDonald’s is really seen as a fast-food chain, not at all a place to bring your date or have a nice dinner.. For protesters, it’s also seen as a landmark of American “imperialism” over French culture, the global standardization against the heritage of French food – but that was a bigger talking point mostly in the late-90s, early-2000s.

Since then, “McDo” (for short, in everyday spoken French) has tried to change its perception as a temple of “la malbouffe” (= junk food,) helped by the introduction of other, even greasier American chains on the French market. Nowadays, the M chain is seen as… “OK” I guess. Not a real restaurant, but it can be a somewhat-guilty pleasure, a place that’s good enough for a quick bite, or an easy meal with kids.

Click here for a 10-minute segment about junk food in France:
Le fléau de la malbouffe – French TV – YouTube

Le truc en plus:
Speaking of junk food, if you’re ever in France, stay away from “French” “tacos.” They’ve been getting popular these last few years, starting from Grenoble where I live. They sadly have nothing to do with real (Mexican) tacos, or even some tex-mex fusion – no, what these “taco places” are selling is basically wrapped greasy kebab in a wrap.

2) Analysis and vocabulary

Informal pronunciation:
In everyday spoken French, like here, French speakers can “eat” a lot of letters. Especially the vowels in one-syllable words. Even before consonants! For instance, among others:

  • Tu / Te (“You”, subject or object) becomes T’
  • Je (“I”) becomes J’
  • Ce (“This”) becomes C’
  • De (“Of”) becomes D’

As in:

  • Tu as raison. (= “You’re right”) T’as raison.
  • Ce que je veux dire. (= “What I want to say” / “I mean”) C’que j’veux dire.
  • Beaucoup de cardio. (“A lot of cardio”)Beaucoup d’cardio.

We also skip the “ne” in negative sentences with “ne… pas.” Like “Je n’ai aucune confiance” (= “I have no trust at all”), becomes in spoken French “J’ai aucune confiance.”

And more! This is real everyday French pronunciation. We would never write it this way in anything more official than a text message, but that’s really how French people talk. And it can be confusing for French learners.

Vocabulary from the dialogue and more:

  • Tant qu’on y est ! (= “While we’re at it!”) (from the video lesson!)
  • C’est n’importe quoi ! (= “That’s nonsense, that’s completely false, that’s a mess !”)
  • Mon ordinateur (= “my computer”)
  • Voire pire (= “or worse”= – “voire” (with an “e”) means “or even.” Same sound as “voir” (= to see)! same as the verb voir (= to see.)
  • Se trouver = Se penser (= “to see yourself as / to think yourself as”)
  • La confiance (= “trust”)
    • J’ai confiance (en toi). (= “I trust (you)”).
    • J’ai pas confiance. (= “I’m suspicious, I have no trust.”)
  • Le cloud (= the cloud, on the web) // Un nuage (= a cloud)
    • Le clou = the nail
    • Saint-Cloud: a French city (silent “D”)
  • Tu rigoles? = Tu plaisantes ? (= “Are you kidding?”)
  • Sans rire ? = Sans blague ? (= “Oh, really? / No joke? / For real?”)
  • Débile = dumb, stupid. = Un idiot = Un crétin = Un imbécile
    • “Teubé” = verlan slang for “bête” = stupid

The Netflix subtitles then translate trop grosse (= “too fat, too big”) as “too pregnant.” We never use the word “grosse” for “pregnant” in modern French, it always means “fat” or “big.” Luc is insulting Madeline here – in front of Julien. That’s a quick way to show us the bond between these coworkers, taking the form of a mean comment against their former boss.

By translating it with “too pregnant,” Netflix takes away a bit of that bond from the viewer.

Also in that scene, Julien is forcing a bit on the gay stereotype, with higher voice and other mannerisms. This stereotype tapes down a bit in the other episodes.

And now you’re ready to practice and improve your French comprehension with other scenes!

Click here to get to your next lesson:

À tout de suite.
I’ll see you in the next video

→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new) – why not share this lesson with a francophile friend? You can talk about it afterwards! You’ll learn much more if you have social support from your friends 🙂

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