“Yes, you Ken English” Podcast
EPISODE 5

EPISODE 5

March 30, 2021

In this episode you will learn (in less than 5 minutes):

  • 3 different meanings of “constater
  • The correct way to say “définitivement
  • 3 different ways to say “dans les delais
  • 2 different meanings of “quitte à

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Transcript

Welcome to today’s podcast!
Are you ready to learn some useful English in less than 5 minutes?

Today, we will cover the four following words:

  1. Constater

  2. Définitivement

  3. Dans les délais

  4. Quitte à

 

  1. CONSTATER – THREE POSSIBLE WAYS TO SAY THIS IN ENGLISH

CONSTATER: A) TO NOTICE/TO OBSERVE/TO SEE

FR: “Quand j’ai regardé son CV, j’ai constaté qu’elle parlait 5 langues.”
EN: “When I looked at her CV, I NOTICED that she spoke 5 languages.”

CONSTATER: B) TO FORMALLY RECORD/NOTE

FR: “Nous avons embauché un huissier pour [faire] constater son absence.”
EN: “We hired a bailiff to FORMALLY RECORD/NOTE his absence.”

CONSTATER: C) JE NE FAIS QUE CONSTATER = I’M MERELY/SIMPLY NOTING WHAT I SEE

FR: “Ce n’est pas une critique: je n’ai fait que constater que son anglais est moins bon que ce que je pensais.”
EN: “It’s not a criticism: I MERELY/SIMPLY NOTED that her English isn’t as good as I thought.”

  1. DÉFINITIVEMENT = PERMANENTLY

FR: “Fumer est susceptible de nuire définitivement à votre sante .”
EN: “Smoking is likely to damage your health PERMANENTLY.”

  1. DANS LES DÉLAIS = ON A TIMELY BASIS/ON TIME/BY THE DEADLINE

FR: “J’ai réussi à envoyer mon fichier dans les délais.”
EN: “I succeeded in sending/managed to send? my file ON A TIMELY BASIS/ON TIME/BY THE DEADLINE.”

  1. QUITTE À = A) EVEN IF IT MEANS/EVEN IF IT INVOLVES (CONTEXT: RISK) / B) TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING

A: EVEN IF IT MEANS

FR: “J’ai décidé de travailler pour une société américaine, quitte à travailler de très longues heures.”
EN: “I’ve decided to work for an American company, EVEN IF IT MEANS/EVEN IF IT INVOLVES working very long hours.”

B: TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING

FR: “QUITTE À rester dans cette société, autant essayer de me faire des amis.”
EN: “Since I HAVE TO stay at this company, I might as well try to make friends.”

OK, let’s review what we’ve learned today:

  1. Constater = a) to notice, b) to formally record/note, c) “je ne fais que constater” = “I’m merely noting what I see”

  2. Définitivement = permanently

  3. Dans les délais = on a timely basis/on time/by the deadline

  4. Quitte à = a) even if it means, b) since I/we have to…

Thank you so much for listening!

Next week you will learn different ways to say:
Recul
Il est reducteur de dire que…
Insister sur quelque chose
Mécaniquement

EPISODE 4

EPISODE 4

March 16, 2021

In this episode you will learn (in less than 5 minutes):

  • 5 different meanings of “s’agissant de
  • 3 ways to say “s’aider
  • The (correct!) way to say “de façon approximative” (so you’ll stop making this mistake made by most French people)
  • 2 ways to express “assouplir
  • 2 ways to say “avoir un déclic

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Transcript

Welcome to today’s podcast!

Are you ready to learn some useful English in less than 5 minutes?

Today, we will cover the 5 following words/phrases:

  1. S’agissant de

  2. S’aider

  3. De façon approximative

  4. Assouplir sa position

  5. Avoir un déclic

 

  1. S’AGISSANT DE = AS REGARDS/REGARDING/CONCERNING/WITH RESPECT TO/AS FOR

FR: “S’agissant de notre équipe en droit fiscal, ne vous inquiétez pas: nous avons quatre associés et sept collaborateurs.”

EN: “AS REGARDS/REGARDING/CONCERNING/WITH RESPECT TO/AS FOR our Tax Law team, don’t worry: we have four partners and seven associates.”

  1. S’AIDER = TO HELP EACH OTHER / HELP HIMSELF/HERSELF/ONESELF

HELP EACH OTHER

FR: “On doit s’aider si l’on veut que ce projet réussisse.”
EN: “We have to HELP EACH OTHER if we want this project to be a success.”

HELP ONESELF

FR: “Il doit s’aider [lui-même] en regardant plus de séries télévisées en anglais.”
EN : “He needs to HELP HIMSELF by watching more tv series in English.

  1. DE FAÇON APPROXIMATIVE = APPROXIMATELY (NOT “APPROXIMATIVELY”)

FR: “Nous pouvons donc estimer de manière approximative que notre société a 5 000 salariés.”
EN: “We can therefore estimate that our company has APPROXIMATELY 5,000 employees.”

  1. ASSOUPLIR SA POSITION = TO TAKE A SOFTER/MORE FLEXIBLE POSITION

FR: “Nous devrons assouplir notre position si nous souhaitons avancer dans les négociations.”
EN: “We’ll have to TAKE A SOFTER/MORE FLEXIBLE POSITION if we want to move forward in the negotiations.”

  1. AVOIR UN DÉCLIC = TO SUDDENLY REALIZE/SUDDENLY UNDERSTAND

FR: “Nous pensons qu’un jour, ma nièce aura un déclic et se rendra compte qu’elle a besoin de l’anglais.”
EN: “We think that, one day, my niece will SUDDENLY REALIZE that she needs English.”

 

OK, let’s review what we’ve learned today:

  1. S’agissant = regarding/as regards/concerning

  2. S’aider = to help each other/to help himself/herself

  3. De facon approximative = approximately (not “approximatively”)

  4. Assouplir sa position = to take a softer/more flexible position

  5. Avoir un déclic = to suddenly realize/to suddenly understand

Thank you so much for listening!

Next week you will learn different ways to say:

Constater
Definitivement
Dans les delais
Quitte à

EPISODE 3

EPISODE 3

March 2, 2021

In this episode you will learn (in less than 5 minutes):

- 4 different ways to express “faire un bilan
- 2 ways to say “c’est deja ca
- 3 ways to say “acteurs
- 3 ways to say “d’actualite
- 3 ways to say “s’arranger

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Transcript

Welcome to today’s podcast!
Are you ready to learn some useful English in less than 5 minutes?
Today, we will cover the 5 following words/phrases:

1) Faire un bilan
2) C’est déjà ça
3) Acteurs
4) D’actualité
5) S’arranger

1) FAIRE UN BILAN
Example :
FR : “Cette année, on va mettre en œuvre la nouvelle stratégie. L’année prochaine, on fera un bilan de la situation.”
EN : “This year we’re going to implement the new strategy. Next year we will REVIEW/TAKE STOCK OF/ASSESS/EVALUATE the situation.”

2) C’EST DÉJÀ ÇA = THAT’S ALREADY SOMETHING / THAT’S ALREADY NOT BAD
FR: “Mon client n’a pu payer que la moitié de ma facture de 10 000 euros, mais c’est déjà ça.”
EN: “My client was only able to pay half of my invoice for EUR 10 K, but that’s already something.”

3) ACTEURS = PLAYERS/PARTICIPANTS/ACTORS [N.B. the English word “actors” is less used in the following context than “players” or “participants” but it can still be used.]
FR: “Le cabinet est l’un des acteurs les plus respectés en conseil.”
EN: “The firm is one of the most respected PLAYERS/PARTICIPANTS/ACTORS in Consulting.”

4) D’ACTUALITÉ = a) TOPICAL / b) ON THE AGENDA / c) RELEVANT
FR: “J’ai l’impression qu’en France, le droit social est toujours d’actualité.”
EN: “I have the impression that Employment Law is always TOPICAL in France.”

FR : “Embaucher un assistant pour notre département? Ce n’est plus d’actualité.”
EN : “Hire an assistant for our department? That’s no longer ON THE AGENDA.”

FR : “Ces opinions ont été exprimées il y a 50 ans, mais elles sont toujours d’actualité.”
EN : “Those opinions were expressed 50 years ago, but they are still RELEVANT.”

5) S’ARRANGER = TO FIND A WAY TO DO SOMETHNG / TO MANAGE TO DO SOMETHING / TO FIND A SOLUTION
FR: “Trois des neuf personnes de notre équipe ont le virus, mais ne vous inquiétez pas, on va s’arranger.”
EN: “Three of the nine people in our team have the virus, but don’t worry, [because] we’ll FIND A WAY TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM / WE’LL MANAGE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM / WE’LL FIND A SOLUTION.”

OK, let’s review what we’ve learned today:
1) Faire un bilan = to review/to take stock of/to assess/to evaluate a situation
2) C’est déjà ça = that’s already something/that’s already not bad
3) Acteurs = players/participants/actors
4) D’actualité = topical OR on the agenda OR relevant (it depends on the context!)
5) S’arranger = to find a way to do something/to manage to do something/to find a solution

Thank you so much for listening!
Next week you will learn different ways to say:
S’agissant de
S’aider
De façon approximative
Assouplir
Avoir un déclic

EPISODE 2

EPISODE 2

February 23, 2021

In this episode you will learn (in less than 5 minutes):

- 6 completely different meanings of “il s’agit de” in English. You probably know only 1 out of the 6

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Transcript

Welcome to today’s podcast!

Are you ready to learn some useful English in less than 5 minutes?

Today, we will cover six possible ways to express the French expression “IL S’AGIT DE” in English:

  1. About
  2. When it comes to doing something
  3. Apparently
  4. That’s the point/the point is to…
  5. Indeed
  6. A need to do something

I imagine that many of you didn’t know that “il s’agit de” could mean so many things in English.

Ready?

1-ABOUT
FR: “Dans ce webinaire, il s’agit de parler de harcèlement moral.”
EN: “In this webinar we will speak ABOUT psychological harassment.”

2-WHEN IT COMES TO DOING SOMETHING
FR: “Quand il s’agit de trouver des gens pour rester tard au bureau, Paul est toujours le premier choix.”
EN: “WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING SOMEONE to stay late at the office, Paul is always the first choice.”

3-IL S’AGIRAIT DE = APPARENTLY
FR: “La nouvelle recrue? Il s’agirait d’un juriste très expérimenté.”
EN: “The new hire? APPARENTLY he’s a very experienced in-house lawyer.”

4-THAT’S THE POINT/THE POINT IS TO…
FR: “Il ne s’agit d’embaucher un assistant que si nous en avons vraiment besoin.”
EN: “The POINT IS TO only hire an assistant if we really need one.”

5-INDEED : IT/SHE/HE IS/WAS INDEED THAT PERSON
FR: “Je pensais connaître ce prospect et, en réfléchissant, je me suis rendu compte qu’il s’agissait bien de quelqu’un qui a fait la même école que moi.”
EN: “I thought I knew that prospect and when I thought about it, I realized that she WAS INDEED someone who had studied at the same school as me.”

6-A NEED TO DO SOMETHING
FR: “Il s’agit de garder nos autres salariés.”
EN: “We NEED TO keep our other employees.”

OK, let’s review what we’ve learned today:

Il s’agit de parler de = We will speak about
Quand il s’agit de trouver… = When it comes to finding…
Il s’agirait de = Apparently…
Il s’agit de le faire si = The point is to do it if…
Il s’agissait bien de… = Indeed
Il s’agit de = We need to

Thank you so much for listening!

It would be great if you could tell your friends and colleagues about my podcasts.

Next week you willl learn the different ways to say:
“faire un bilan”
“c’est déjà ça”
Acteurs
D’actualité
S’arranger

Have a good week.

EPISODE 1

EPISODE 1

February 16, 2021

In this episode you will learn (in less than 5 minutes):
- 3 different ways to say “savoir être” in English
- 2 ways to say “savoir faire” (and I’ll show you that you need to be careful with one of them)
- The difference between “actuel” and “actual” (and how to express each one in the other language)

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Transcript

Welcome to today’s podcast!

Are you ready to learn some useful English in less than 5 minutes?

Today, we will cover the following French and English words and expressions:

Savoir-être”, “savoir-faire”, the French word “actuel” (compared to the English word “actual”).

 

Let’s start with the French expressions “savoir-être” and “savoir-faire”.

 

  1. “SAVOIR-ÊTRE” is a common French expression.

I can think of at least 3 ways to express this in English:

-Interpersonal skills

-People skills

-Soft skills

Let’s look at different sentences with these English words.

“INTERPERSONAL SKILLS are skills that we use every day to communicate and interact with others.”

“PEOPLE SKILLS are how people interact with each other, using verbal and non-verbal behavior.”

“SOFT SKILLS are non-technical skills that relate to how you work.”

 

  1. Let’s look at “SAVOIR-FAIRE”.

The two main ways to say “savoir-faire” are 1) know-how and 2) expertise.

Know-how and expertise basically mean the same thing.

Let’s look at each in a sentence.

“Know-how”: “I don’t have the KNOW-HOW needed to build a website, but I am willing to learn.”

“Expertise”: “We need to hire someone who has financial EXPERTISE.”

Please be very careful with the English word “expertise”, which is a big “faux ami” with the French “une expertise”, which basically means to hire an expert to examine or investigate a situation and then write a report about his or her conclusions.

 

  1. The French word “actuel” and the English word “actual” are faux amis. By the way, there are two ways to say “faux ami” in English: one is, “false friend”, the other is “false cognate”. I suggest that you use “false friend”, because it’s easier to remember.

Many French people incorrectly translate the French word “actuel” as ”actual”. The correct translation is usually “current”.

Let’s look at a sentence with the word “current”.

“My CURRENT boss is very nice.”

What about the English word “actual”?

The English word “actual” can be translated into French as “réel”.

For example: “The ACTUAL percentage of French people who speak English is higher than expected.”

In other words, “Le pourcentage réel de Français qui parlent anglais est plus elevé qu’attendu.”

 

OK, let’s review what we’ve learned today:

  1. There are three main ways to say “savoir-être” in English: 1) interpersonal skills, 2) people skills and 3) soft skills.

  2. There are two main ways to say “savoir-faire” in English: 1) know-how and 2) expertise.

  3. The French word “actuel” is usually translated by the English word “current” and the English word “actual” is translated by the French word “réel”.

Thank you for listening to today’s podcast!

Next week you will learn how to express several different meanings of “il s’agit

Have a good week!

 

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