French Culture – Helpful voices Posted by on Jan 12, 2021 in Culture, People, Vocabulary

Robust public transportation options make getting around Paris and many parts of France easy. Whether you’re taking the bus, le métro, or the train, a host of helpful voices help to make sure that your journey will be safe and efficient.

Photo by Dmitry Demidov from Pexels

Photo by Dmitry Demidov from Pexels

Les voix des transports en commun

From announcing the prochain arrêt1next stop or directing riders to the correct quai2platform, to providing urgent updates and safety reminders, the voices of public transportation ensure that a rider’s trip will be a pleasant one.

But not just anyone can be a voice. It takes someone with just the right qualités de voix3vocal qualities, “une voix qui a du caractère, qui a une intention, qui est … qui soit rythmée, et qui ait un débit assez lent pour que tout le monde puisse comprendre l’ensemble des mots à l’intérieur de la phrase.4a voice with character, intention, that is … that has rythme, and a slower pace so that everyone can understand all the words that make up the phrase

Like any professional entreprise5enterprise, business, organization, the RATP holds des castings6casting calls to find just the right voices … like Sophie, who is also agente de réglementation et de sécurité à la RATP7security and regulations agent at the RATP or Diane, Chloé, and Carmen who provide les voix françaises, anglaises et espagnoles de la ligne B du RER8the French, English, and Spanish voices of the RER B

Et si on prenait le train

If you take the train, you’ll hear a different set of voices, but with the same goals … though those goals have evolved in the time of Covid and added new responsibilities for the announcers working in the 25 Postes d’Information Voyageurs9Travelers Information Stations, or PIVIF located in the Île-de-France region.

Depuis le confinement, en plus des arrivées et départs des trains, ils doivent communiquer sur le respect des gestes barrières.10Since the lockdown, in addition to the arrivals and departures of trains, they must enforce social distancing / Covid safety reminders

If you’ve taken a train in France anytime in the last 38 years, you might recognize Simone Herault who has been recording messages pour les trains et les gares11for the trains and the stations for almost 40 years!


Pour approfondir votre vocabulaire

2020 saw record online shopping. As more and more French people were taking advantage of new shopping options to avoid going into stores, the Ministère de la Culture weighed in to remind people of the proper French terms.

Instead of using the anglified click and collect to refer to the process of ordering online for in-store pick up, they recommend cliqué-retiré12clicked-picked up or retrait en magasin13in-store pickup / in-store retrieval.

For online purchases that are delivered, the preferred terms are cliqué-livré14clicked-delivered or livraison de commande en ligne15delivery of online order.

Read more here and here. And click here for a real word example of the old click and collect from my Darty post last janvier.

Resource: I discovered today that one of my favorite go-to sites doesn’t just have a great library of current event videos, but allows you to watch the news en direct16live/real-time ! Another great resource for enhancing your skills with authentic French content.
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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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