French basic words: Conversations for Beginners

Learn French basic words and phrases to talk about getting a ticket.

French basic words: Conversations for Beginners

Welcome to Everyday French Conversations for Beginners Week 3 Episode 4. Today: Useful French basic words and phrases in case you get a fine.

In today’s lesson, we’ll talk about getting a ticket as the driver of a car. You might speed or park incorrectly. There’s always a fine and sometimes you must go to court. If you aren’t a repeat offender, you may be able to go to a one-day class to get the points wiped off your license.

(01:30) In our scenario, an American is not respecting the laws of France and the police officer has pulled her over.

(02:20) Conversation in French.

(03:30) The phrase “ooh la la” was near the end of the conversation and it wasn’t in the good way. (It means “oh dear.”)

(04:00) Talking about speed limits in kilometers. 60 miles is about 100 kilometers. Villages have about a 50kph speed limit.

(05:15) Breaking down the conversation. But officer… “That’s enough. You were parked in a blue zone and you didn’t have a disc saying you could park there. That’s clear, isn’t it?” What I meant. I was very late this morning and I left it in the doorway at the entrance. “Oh, okay. What’s the use of it in the entrance? Can you tell me?”

(07:00) As I was really late, I forgot. “Oh, you were late. So what? Your driver’s license and registration papers, please.” I’m American, officer. “Oh, all right, then. Give me your passport.” Here you are, officer. “You know what the speed limit is on the highway.” Yes, 120 kilometers. “You were doing 140. I must give you a ticket.” Oh my goodness.

(09:35) “Ticket” and words for ticket, such as fine.

(10:30) Traffic. Officer. (In this case, “Agent.”) You were parked. You didn’t have a disc. That’s clear, isn’t it? To park. I meant… I was late this morning. I left.

(11:25) My house. In the entrance. Restricted zone. Disc. To leave something. What good is the disc in the doorway? Can you tell me? As I was late… I was late.

(12:20) I forgot. And. You were late. So what. To forget. Your papers, please. Driver’s license. Car registration. Identification.

(13:00) I’m American. I’m French. All right, then, give me your passport. Here you are. You know. Speed limit. On the highway. You were doing… 100.

(13:45) I have to… I have to give you… I have to give you a ticket. Oh my goodness, oh dear. To get caught by the police. 

(14:35) Final thoughts and advice about what to know about being pulled over by the police in France. Tolls are high on many private highways. You can take backroads that take two to three times as long to travel. Stick to the 130km speed, roughly 80 miles per hour. Respect the speed limit in France. Blue zone means restricted parking.

We learn languages most effectively in chunks–meaningful words and phrases to communicate right away. 

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