Practice Your Oral Comprehension with French Netflix Series Lupin

Lupin is a brand new French series that’s been streaming on Netflix since January 8th. I really enjoyed it. It’s fun, fast-paced, and offers a great way to practice your oral comprehension.

Let’s learn more about this TV show, the well-known character who influenced it, and how you can use it to improve your French

C’est parti !

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1) Arsène Lupin

I binge-watched Lupin, dans l’ombre d’Arsène (= Lupin, in the shadow of Arsène – its full title in French) in 3 days. And I really enjoyed it!

It’s not a really deep or nuanced work of art – but it’s a cool, fun French show… and there aren’t so many of those! It’s on Netflix.

The show is an homage to the fictional burglar Arsène Lupin, created in 1905 by Maurice Leblanc. He was basically a superhero, a mix between James Bond and Catwoman from La Belle Époque (= “the good period,” as we call the French early 20th century, before the Great War.)

He appeared in (or is referenced in) many movies, novels and shows; such as the 1957 “The Adventures of Arsène Lupin”, or a 2004 adaptation with French actor Romain Duris, and even a Japanese manga series and a Filipino soap opera.

2) The new French Netflix series

The 2021 show Lupin doesn’t take place in 1905. In fact, it doesn’t depict Arsène Lupin at all!

Instead, the plot takes place in modern times and the main character is called Assane Diop.

Assane is a fan of Arsène’s, and he takes inspiration from the famous fictional burglar. They both share a theme of being a master of disguise and a lover of the finest things in life: they’re un gentleman cambrioleur (= a gentleman burglar, as sung by Jacques Dutronc)

Assane is played by comedian Omar Sy, who went from small parts to big fame thanks to the 2011 movie Intouchables. He’s now starring in some Hollywood blockbusters, but he’s still very popular in France.

There’s something especially interesting for you when watching this show: with the subtitles on, you can practice your spoken French comprehension with different situations!

3) Practice your French oral comprehension

Assane Diop, the main character, is a master of disguise, so he will often change his words, his tone of voice, and his body language to suit the situation.

With his ex-wife:
Figure-toi qu’j’ai un job.
( = I’ll have you know I have a job.)
→ Very casual and relaxed. Everyday French words, eats letters.

With local thugs:
Tu décolles rien du tout, d’accord ? Tu m’reposes. Et j’vous explique comment faire d’l’oseille. Beaucoup d’oseille.
(= “You don’t go anywhere, OK? You put me down. And I’ll tell you how to make money. A whole lot of money.”)
→ Confrontation. He mimicks the local thugs, uses their slang and special grammar. And he also eats letters, as always in spoken French.

As a millionaire:
Laissez, Thibaut. Le capitaine fait son travail, je suis à sa disposition.
(= “It’s OK, Thibaut. The captain is only doing his job, I’m fully at his disposal.”)
→ Articulates, uses formal elegant French. He’s in a position of power.

4) Final thoughts

All in all, I had fun watching this show. It’s nice to see a French Netflix show with some budget behind it, and you get some nice shots of Paris – without totally erasing the shabby parts of Parisian life. And the show carries some of the diversity of the 21th Century.

Go check it out!

You can find more recommendations about TV shows that I like (or don’t like) with two lessons Netflix shows set in Paris, and other French comedies you can also check out:

Emily in Paris
Au Service de la France
Old Comedies to Watch

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

And now:

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Join the conversation!

  • J’ai regardé Dix pour-cent aussi. J’ai y trouvé très amusant et J’ai appri qq argots français.j’ai y regardé avec les sur titres en anglais et français. Je le recommanderais pour amusement et pour apprendre français.

  • j’ai regarde le film, Lupin deux fois, la premiere fois avec des
    et ensuite avec des sous-titres francais. J’aime ca. Je suis desolee, je n’ai pas the codes for accents. I will google it.

  • J’ai regarde le premiere episode hier soir and je l’adore! J’aime utiliser la function de sous-titres sur Netflix. J’apprend beaucoup avec ça. Merci, Geraldine, pour la recommendation.

  • J’ai regardée le complet série dans trois jours aussi. J’adore Oma Sy depuis je l’ai vu dans Les Intouchables. Il es un acteur agréable.
    Un autre série que j’adore est Dix pour Cent. C’est trop, trop dramatique et très, très français. C’est facile comprendre quand en le regardant. Les acteurs sont une bouffée d’air frais.

    • Merci Jenny!

      Gallica est une mine d’or de culture française 🙂

      Bonne journée,

      – Arthur, writer for Comme une Française

  • J’ai regarde Lupin et c’est super! J’ai hate de regarder la season 2. Maintenant, je suis en train de regarder “dix pour cent” et j’ai deja regardé “Les poupées russes” .

  • J’ai vu cette série en deux soires. C’etait très bon mais j’ai la regardé dan ma langue maternelle, en allemande. Ma femme ne parle pas francais.
    Une fois je veux la regarde en francais aussi, avec des soutitres.
    Merci pour cette bonne recommandation.
    Mais je suis un peu triste parce que vous parlez trop d’anglais dans votres clips en Youtube.
    Pouvez vous faire plus en francais? Pour ameliorer la compréhension de la langue parlé.
    Merci beaucoup!
    Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.

  • Je regarderai ce programme…mais maintenant, je apprécie “Dix pour cent” (“Call My Agent”).

  • Lupin, c’est formidable!

    Maintenant je visionne ‘M’entend-tu?’ sur Netflix, de Québec. Attention: mauvais mots québécois, et sujets difficile mais importants. Drôle, triste.

  • Looks like fun and I’ll check it out next time I have Netflix. My problem with subtitles is that when they’re on I just read rather than listening. The subtitles engage a different part of my brain so it doesn’t help with oral comprehension. What I like to do is turn the speed down a bit (to 70% or 80%) and try to follow as best as I can. You can’t do this natively in Netflix but there are browser add-ons that will let you do it.

  • J’ai beaucoup aimé cette série! J’ai hâte de voir la suite. Mais d’abord, je dois regarder les nouveaux épisodes de Dix Pour cent!

  • J’aime beaucoup cette série Lupin. Mon français n’est pas du tout au courant, et j’apprécie beaucoup l’opportunité de regarder qqch de bon et practiquer ma compréhension au même temps!

  • J’ai déjà regarde Lupin, pas dans une traite mais dans deux jours. “Un gentleman cambrioleur” c’est lui! “Emily a Paris” j’ai trouve moins interessant, un peu cliche.Merci pour le vocabulaire que m’aide beaucoup.

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