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French Culture Retro Pubs 4 Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in Business, Culture, Vocabulary

This week we’ll rap up our exploration of classic ’80’s commercials with a look at a commercial for the lessive Gama (Gama laundry detergent). After our earlier discussion about shops and shopping in France, this pub (commercial) introduces us to some of the commerçants (shopkeepers, business people) who work in France.

Français English
Rue Gama Gama Street
Y a** le boucher tout taché There’s the butcher all stained
Il lui faut du costaud* He needs something strong
Pour être à nouveau beau* To be handsome again
Pour partir au boulot* To go to work
Rue Gama Gama Street
Y a** aussi le garagiste There’s also the mechanic
Qui se tache, c’est pas triste*** Who gets stained, and not just a bit
Faut*** quelque chose qui fait le poids Requires something hearty
Pour enlever ces taches-là To remove those stains
Rue Gama Gama Street
Y a** la fille There’s the girl
Qui toute blanche Who all in white
Jolie comme un dimanche Pretty as a Sunday
Propre comme un sou neuf Clean as a new penny
Comme un printemps tout neuf Like the new spring
Rue Gama Gama Street
Oui Gama Yes Gama
Fait mieux le poids Really holds its own
Contre toute la saleté Against all the dirt and grime
Et les taches se détachent avec facilité And the stains come out with ease
Rue Gama (x3) Gama Street (x3)

* Notice all the different spellings, but the same sounds!
**Y a is short for the very useful Il y a (There is or there are).
*** C’est pas triste
is an idiomatic expression. It literally means It is not sad or That’s not sad but it is used to express something more like to a great degree.
**** Faut (from the verb falloir) here is short for Il faut, another very useful expression that means To have to or must. It expresses an obligation.

Le Tour de France

We haven’t talked about it, but the Tour is underway in France. This news clip from the 19e étape (19th stage) caught my attention though. It’s a great example of why some are saying we shouldn’t be talking about Global Warming … but Global Weirding! This is indeed some weird weather. Check out the grêle (hail) that covered the streets and the torrents d’eau (rushing water) that cut off the route of this latest stage of the race.

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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