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French Commercial – Sharing the work Posted by on Nov 26, 2019 in Business, Culture, Vocabulary

Ariel is not just famously the Petite Sirène (Little Mermaid), in France, it is also the name of a well-known laundry detergent. On my recent trip to France, I saw the following commercial that resonated with me.

Commercials are not only a great way to learn vocabulary, since they are often very concrete and the language is directly related to a product or idea, but they also provide a window into the cultural ideas that are most relevant at any moment. Like the French movement to include des conseils pour bien manger (good eating ideas) from mangerbouger.fr  (eatmove.fr) in commercials about snacks, there is a tendance (movement, tendance, direction) in French commercials today to reflect a more gender-balanced view of the world.

Fille: Attention aux pieds… Girl: Watch your feet …
Fille: Fais attention c’est très, très chaud … Girl : Be careful it’s very, very hot …
Fille : Alors, qui a du linge à laver ? Girl : So, who has laundry to wash?
Fille : [Dring, dring] Allo ? Je suis désolée, je peux vraiment pas te parler, il faut que j’aille … Girl : [Ring, ring] Hello ? I’m sorry but I really can’t talk to you, I have to go …
Fille et dame : J’ai des montagnes de chose à faire. Girl and woman : I have a ton (mountains) to do.
Voix : Tout ce qu’ils voient, ils copient. Voice : Everything they see, they copy.
Femme : Ok, on s’appelle demain. Woman : Ok, we’ll call each other tomorrow.
Voix : Mais est-ce qu’ils apprennent que la lessive n’est qu’un travail de femme ? Voice : But are they learning that laundry is just women’s work?
Femme : Non, non, ça va. Oui, je suis toujours là. Woman : No, no, it’s ok. Yes, I’m still here.
Voix : Ou est-ce qu’ils voient leur papa le faire aussi ? Voice : Or do they see their dad do it too?
[#PartageDesTaches] [#ShareTheChores]
Voix : Partageons les taches. Voice : Let’s share the work.
Voix : Toujours conserver hors de porter des enfants. Voice : Always store out of the reach of children.

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Featured image by Adrienne Andersen from Pexels

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


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