French Barbie Doll Commercial

This is a fun vintage French Barbie Doll commercial from the 1980s. This is a speaking Barbie that’s programmed to say over 40,000 sentences in French. Barbie Te Parle means “Barbie speak to you”.  Come to think of it, Barbie Te Parle would probably be a fun little toy to have for learning French!

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Text from the commercial with translation

  • Narrator: La nouvelle Barbie Te Parle, elle a des milliers des choses à te dire. Écoute.
    The new Barbie Speaks To You, she has thousands of things to say. Listen.
  • Barbie: Ah oui, j’aimerais bien sortir avec tous nos amis.
    Ah yes, I would like to go out with all our friends.
  • Barbie: D’accord. Nous pourrions aller au restaurant avec Stacy et Todd.
    Okay. We can go to a restaurant with Stacy and Todd.
  • Girl 1: Elle parle bien!
    She speaks well!
  • Girl 2: Oui, et c’est toujours une surprise!
    Yes, and it’s always a surprise!
  • Barbie: Nous pouvons regarder la télé!
    We can watch TV!
  • Barbie: Génial! Je peux aller danser avec les copines.
    Great! I can go dancing with the girls.
  • Narrator: Barbie Te Parle, il n’y a que toi pour dire quarante-mille phrases comme ça. Par Mattel.
    Barbie Speaks To You. You’re the only one who can say 40,000 sentences like that.

Vocabulary and phrases of interest

  • des milliers de + noun: Means thousands of. Des centaines de + noun means hundreds. Des centaines de fleurs. Hundreds of flowers.
  • j’aimerais bien + infinitive. I would like to or gladly. J’aimerais bien manger. I’d gladly eat. This is the verb aimer in the present conditional.
  • Nous pourrions + infinitive. This is the verb pouvoir (to be able, can) in the conditional, meaning can in a the hypothetical sense. Je pourrais manger. I could eat, hypothetically.
  • Nous pouvons/je peux. The verb pouvoir in the present tense.
  • il n’y a que + noun. There is only + noun. This a special negation ne + verb + que, meaning only. Je ne mange que le fromage. I only eat cheese. Here it’s combined with il y a – there is or there are. Il n’y a que toi – there’s only you or you’re the only one.

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About David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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