French Coronavirus Awareness Advertisement

This is a French public awareness announcement from the health authorities on how citizens can protect themselves from the coronavirus. This commercial covers a lot of coronavirus vocabulary and uses a lot of pronominal (reflexive) verbs.

Text from the commercial with translation

  • Informations coronavirus
    Information about the coronavirus.
  • Pour vous protéger et protéger les autres du coronavirus, adopter ces gestes simples.
    To protect yourself and to protect others from the coronavirus, adopt these simple actions. 
  • Lavez-vous tres régulièrement les mains ou utilisez une solution hydro-alcoolique.
    Wash your hands regularly or uses hand sanitizer. 
  • Toussez ou éternuez dans votre coude.
    Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Utilisez des mouchoirs à usage unique puis jetez-les.
    Use single-use tissues then throw them away.
  • Si vous êtes malade restez chez vous et portez un masque chirurgical en présence d’autres personnes.
    If you’re sick stay home and wear a surgical mask in the presence of other people.
  • Plus d’informations au zéro huit-cent cent-trente zéro zéro zéro ou sur gouvernement point fr.
    More information (available) on 0 800 130 000 or 
  • Ceci est un message du Ministre Chargé de la Santé et de Santé Public France.
    This is a message from the Minister of Solidarity and Health and Public Health France.

Vocabulary and grammar of interest

  • Informations – the word information can take an -s in French. Les informations, or les infos, refers to the news.
  • Pour vous protéger – Comes from the pronominal verb se protéger, to protect oneself. Je me protège. I protect myself.
  • un geste – I translated this to action. Un gest is generally translated to a hand movement or movement of the body.
  • lavez-vous les mains – Wash your hands. Comes from the reflexive verb se laver les mains, to wash ones hands.
  • jeter – has to meanings: 1) to throw (e.g. a basketball) or 2) to throw away.
  • mouchoir (masculine noun) – translates generally to handkerchief but also means tissue or Kleenex. As a pronominal verb, se moucher means to blow ones nose. Une mouche is an unrelated work and means fly (the insect).


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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,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.