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French Level 1
    Unit 1: Leçon 4
    Titles
    When greeting people that we don't know in English, we may use the words Mister (Mr.) for a man and Ms. (pronouncedmiz ) for a woman, followed by the person's last name. However, if you were old, like me, you would have used the words Mrs. (pronounced misuz) for a married woman and Miss (pronounced like it looks) when addressing a single woman. Outdated as these last two female titles may be in America, their equivalents are still used in the French-speaking world.

    Check out the dialog excerpt:


    Track 8
    1. Bonjour, Madame!
    2. Bonjour, Madame
    3. Bonjour!

    Notice that when Victoire and Lucas greet their female teacher, Mrs. Bordeaux, they use the polite title of "Madame". The equivalent for this word in English is "Mrs".

    **IMPORTANT FACT: When we address an adult in English, we use the correct title and then add the adult's last name. In French, this is a big No, No! In most instances, adding the last name to the title is considered rude.

    Now, you may ask, what if we are addressing a woman and we do not know if she is married or single? To be on the safe side, always address her as "Madame". If the woman is single, she will usually correct you by saying, "Mademoiselle". To call a married woman, "Mademoiselle" may prove insulting to her and your response could be anything from a sharp and penetrating glance that will burn a hole into your head (if you're lucky) to a slap across the face (if you are male and not so lucky). Why, you ask? Because the woman thinks that you are coming on to her! Always remember: When in doubt play it safe. Use "Madame"!

    Now, let's take a look at, and listen to the titles used by French speakers when respectfully addressing an adult (abbreviated versions are in parenthesis):


    Track 9
    TITLES (in both languages)
    EN FRANÇAIS IN ENGLISH
    Monsieur (M.) Mr.
    Madame (Mme.) Mrs.
    Mademoiselle (Mlle.) Miss


    You are now ready to proceed to the last leçon for this Unit!


Introduction / Dialog / Leçon 1 / Leçon 2 / Leçon 3 / Leçon 4 / Leçon 5