French movies and TV shows with subtitles are great tools for practicing your listening skills. However, it’s difficult to find French films with French subtitles in the US. In France, all you have to do is go to Netflix, select a French movie, and turn the subtitles on–voila, French subtitles. In the US, it’s not so easy–you can find French films on Netflix, but they’re subtitled in English. So, I was very happy to discover the filmfra.com web site. This site offers French films subtitled in French, free of charge. The selection appears somewhat random. I chose Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob (“The adventures of Rabbi Jacob”) tonight; here are some random words from the film. I doubt that I would have picked them up without the French subtitles–thanks, filmfra.com!
- (une) usine: factory; “tight ship.” The plot line crucially involves a factory full of big vats of chewing gum–I think you can see where this will end up.
- le traître: traitor. I thought it was worth including this one because of the similarity to the word traiteur, a word that occurs all over Paris and always confuses Americans. It means not “traitor,” but “caterer,” or more generally, someone who sells pre-prepared foods. In Paris, a traiteur almost always sells Chinese food, and traiteurs are all over Paris–everywhere.
- dépanneur/dépanneuse: repairman/woman.
Frankly, I was too stunned by the brilliance of this movie–an avowed treasure of French culture, starring the comic genius Louis de Funès (you pronounce the final s of proper nouns ending with ès, by the way, or at least in general)–to be able to tear myself away from it enough to take notes, so let’s leave it at three words for today! Just remember that somewhere in the world there is a web site where you can find free French movies–with French subtitles.