Lupin is a successful French Netflix series that recently released its second season. You can use it to reconnect with your French in 2023! It uses everyday spoken French vocabulary and modern slang, the kind that you’ll hear in your next trip to France.
In the video lesson for today, we’ll break down together a scene from that show, practice your oral French comprehension, and learn modern French familiar vocabulary.
In this blog post, I’ll give you:
- Explanations for the scene and its context in Lupin
- The full transcript for the scene, the “everyday pronunciation” version, and the full written translation.
- A review of all the interesting vocabulary they use, and some more you can learn.
C’est parti !
1) What’s the scene about?
In 1905, French writer Maurice Leblanc created the character of Arsène Lupin, un “gentleman-cambrioleur” (= a gentleman burglar), the son of a boxer who infiltrates the aristocratic society by day, and robs the rich by night – with his wits, elegance, panache, and without any violence. He sometimes also helped solve criminal affairs. Lupin became an iconic figure in French culture, with many adaptations over the years.
Extra resources on Arsène Lupin:
- Arsène Lupin (2003 movie) – Trailer for the movie with Romain Duris
- Arsène Lupin (1970 TV series) – A full episode in French on Youtube
- Arsène Lupin (1957 movie) – The full movie on Apple TV
- Audio version of the first Arsène Lupin short stories collection, on Youtube. You can turn on subtitles too.
The Netflix show isn’t about Arsène Lupin, though. Instead, our protagonist is Assane Diop, played by Omar Sy. Assane is a big fan of Maurice Leblanc’s stories, and they inspired him to become a master of elegant burglary as well.
In today’s scene, we also see Claire (played by Ludivine Sagnier), the mother of his son Raoul. Raoul has just been kidnapped, and the parents are worried. They get help from (undercover) detective Youssef Guédira, played by Soufiane Guerrab.
Extra resources on Netflix’ Lupin cast:
French actor Omar Sy got famous for his part in Intouchables (2011). Click here to learn more:
Ludivine Sagnier is a great actress who’s been part of French cinema since the 1990s, in some great movies such as:
- Cyrano (1990)
- Huit Femmes (2002)
- Les Chansons d’Amour (2007)
- Les Bien-Aimés (2011)
- And even Molière (2007), a movie with Romain Duris.
** Le truc en + **
In bourgeois society, Arsène Lupin used the pseudonym of “Raoul d’Andrésy” – and that’s where Assane’s son’s name comes from.
In the background of the scene, we clearly see the famous les falaises d’Étretat (= the cliffs of Étretat,) a beautiful place in Normandy where several of Leblanc’s stories also took place.
2) Full transcript, everyday pronunciation, and translation
– Raoul !
– Lupin ?
– J’ai entendu que vous cherchez un enfant habillé en Arsène Lupin ?
– I heard you were looking for a child dressed as Arsène Lupin ?
– Oui ! Un petit garçon ! Il a 14 ans. C’est notre fils. Il a un haut-de-forme, et… il est métis.
– Yes! A little boy! He’s 14. He’s our son. He’s got a top hat, and… he’s métis.
Fast spoken french pronunciation: “not’fils,” “un haut-d’-forme.”
– Un métis ?
– J’ai vu un métis s’embrouiller avec un mec sur le parking tout à l’heure.
– I’ve seen a métis get in a fight with a guy in the parking lot earlier.
→ “sur l’parking”
– Attendez !
– Raoul ! Raoul !
– Ils sont partis par là, dans un BMW gris.
– They went that way, in a grey BMW.
→ “I’s sont partis”
– Il ressemblait à quoi ce type ?
– What did that guy look like?
→ “I’r’ssemblait à quoi”
– Il était Noir, il avait un imper beige. Il… Mal rasé, mince.
– He was Black, with a beige raincoat, he… badly shaved, slim.
– Assane, putain. C’est de ta faute ! C’est le mec du train ! C’est qui ce mec, putain ? Tu m’as menti ! Arrête, qu’est-ce que tu fais ? Qu’est-ce que tu fais ?
– Assane, damn it. It’s your fault! It’s the guy from the train! Who is this guy, for Christ’s sake? You lied to me! Stop, what are you doing? What are you doing?
→ “C’est d’ta faute ! C’est l’mec du train !”
– Lâche cette voiture, là ! Je vais appeler les flics, hein, je te préviens.
Let go of that car, now! I’m gonna call the cops, I’m warning you.
→ “Je vais app’ler les flics, hein, j’te préviens.”
– Non, pas les flics. Arrête. Tu te calmes. Tu me laisses faire, d’accord ?
– No, not the cops. Stop. Calm down. You have to let me do it, okay?
– Je te jure, je vais les appeler.
– I swear, I’m going to call them.
→ “J’te jure, j’vais les appeler.”
– Fais-moi confiance, Claire, pas les flics ! Je vais ramener Raoul. Fais-moi confiance.
– Trust me, Claire, not the cops. I’m going to bring Raoul back. Trust me.
→ “J’vais ram’ner Raoul.”
– Ça fait longtemps que je te fais plus confiance, Assane.
– I haven’t trusted you for a long time, Assane.
→ “qu’j’te fais plus confiance”
– Claire, pas la police.
– Claire, not the cops.
3) Vocabulary, Slang & Everyday French
- un haut-de-forme = a top hat
- un imper = un imperméable = a raincoat, or literally a “waterproof” (coat)
- un métis = a mixed-race person, with a Black parent and a White parent.
Hein is a common filler word, without a clear meaning. It can mean “right?” or “I’m telling you” or “what?.”
Click here to learn more:
- Essentials of Spoken French – French Filler Words
- Understanding Spoken French: La Provence & Filler Words
Basic French slang:
Un mec / Un type = “a guy,” mild slang. Other synonyms:
→ Formal or correct French: Un homme = a man, un individu = an individual, une personne = a person (man or woman)
→ Informal French: Un gars (very common, mild slang), un gus (much less used but it sounds funny and I like it), un gonze (same thing), un bonhomme (affectionate), un keum (verlan slang for “un mec”, but not so used)…
Click here to learn more about Verlan slang:
French Phrases: Using and Understanding Verlan (You Didn’t Learn This In School)
Un policier, une policière = a police officer (correct French)
→ Un agent de police, un officier de police (formal)
→ Familiar French: Un flic (a cop), un poulet (“a chicken”, mildly offensive slang for a police officer), un keuf (“verlan” slang).
Putain. = (“sex worker”) = an impolite swear word used a lot in France, for many different situations, from rage to joy to admiration. You probably heard it at some point if you ever watched a French TV show!
S’embrouiller. = “to scramble oneself, to scramble with each other” (literally) = “to argue, to fight.”
→ Se disputer = to fight verbally, se battre = to fight physically
You can also hear familiar French in the pronunciation: especially by manger des lettres (eating letters, skipping letters.) In particular, the –e in small one-syllable words (like je = I, te = object pronoun “you”, de = “of”…), but also the “L” in “IL / ILS” (= “he, they”) and more.
And now you ready to watch the scene in French in the video lesson!
Or you can try your hand with other scenes from Lupin and French TV shows.
Click here to get to your next lesson:
- Practice Your Oral Comprehension with French Netflix Series Lupin
- Learn French with Netflix: Listening Practice with Famous French Film Intouchables (2011)
- Best French TV Shows to Learn French: Engrenages (Spiral)
- Learn French with TV: An Analysis of Irma Vep
À tout de suite.
I’ll see you in the next video!
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