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Language Challenge #5 – Thoughts

Salut !

Welcome back to the end of another fun week of a language challenge. This week’s challenge was quite a straightforward one so instead of reeling off 15 new terms to do with film & TV I wanted to share with you 3 things I found out from the challenge. When you’re learning a language you use a variety of different resources, but rarely can those resources replace asking a native speaker questions. Especially when they are about subtleties in the language.

If you need a recap on the language learnt this week head over to the challenge post from the beginning of the week.

Two of the three points I’m going to talk about I think I would only have found out if I’d spoken to some friends who are native French speakers. Of course I’d like to know as much as possible but when learning a language there’s almost an infinite amount to learn (it feels like it sometimes!) so I like to cut down on the words and phrases that are out-dated and no longer spoken or often spoken by French speakers. Hopefully by passing these on to you guys you can speak more like a native and not fill up your heads with words that wouldn’t be said and you can focus on current language.

For a quick breakdown of my week, check out the YouTube video at the top of the page!

Tourner un film

In spoken French, I believe we can use this to talk in general about the making of a film. If in conversation you said “they’re making a film about….” you might be talking about the studio, the director, the actors. My point being that you wouldn’t specify. So as far as I can tell I think tourner un film is the French equivalent. However, in specific terms you would use this to refer to the actual process of filming or shooting a film. Useful to know! Especially if you’re sick of using faire all the time.

Un film d’épouvante

Un film d’épouvante means a horror film and I found this term on a page for learners. So of course, if I didn’t have access to native speakers and wasn’t curious I wouldn’t have found out that although correct, is very outdated and not really said anymore. I want to speak la langue courante so I’d prefer to say, and will continue to say, un film d’horreur. It’s closer to the English anyway! My teacher Fanny said doubts her grandma has ever said un film d’épouvante. That’s just to highlight how outdated she thinks it is.


Yay, a new word to mean boring. Don’t the French already have one of those? Yes, ennuyeux. Stick with the latter. Barbant is another than I’ve been told is dated, although perhaps not as dated as the previous term.

What did I use this week?

As I often do I used Quizlet to create a set of flashcards. You can grab them here. I also had 1 hour speaking about the new Marvel film Doctor Strange with my italki teacher Fanny. I forced myself to write a few paragraphs in French on the film before my 9am lesson the next morning. It worked really well and a good discussion was had.

Here are the resources I found for the vocabulary list:

Final thoughts

I think it was a really good challenge to take on, and being able to speak to natives gives me access to information that hasn’t been deemed interesting enough to put on French learner websites. So I hope that bit by bit I can help you out. Yummy quality information!

I would like to say that with italki and the Internet it’s never been easier to have access to native speakers and their brains. Their brains full of language that they would never think would be interesting to learners. It’s up to us to stay curious and never stop asking questions.

I hope you all have a really productive week of language learning and let me know in the comments how you’re getting on and if you know the answer to the question in my video let me know the answer!


Published inFrenchLanguage ChallengesLanguage LearningUseful Phrases