French Nescafé Commercial

This is a fun and comical vintage French TV commercial for Nescafé Cappuccino. The commercial plays perpetual stereotypes of the Italian man. This is a wonderful commercial for learning basic verbs. I highlight and translate all the verbs of interest.

text and translation

  • Man: Mama mia, j’arrive!
    Mama mia, I’m coming!
  • Lady: Monsieur.
  • Man: Angelo.
  • Lady: Je crois que votre voiture est garée sur mon parking.
    I think your car is parked in my spot.
  • Man: Attendez une minute. Asseyez-vous.
    Wait one minute. Sit down.
  • Lady: Je n’ai pas le temps.
    I don’t have the time.
  • Man: Allons juste un instant. Regardez-vous. Prenez un sachet. Vous ajoutez un peu d’eau chaude.
    Let’s go, just one moment. Look, take a picket. You add some hot water.
  • Lady: Oui.
  • Man: Vour tournez, regardez cette mousse! Voilà! Nescafé Cappuccino!
    You turn. Look at this mousse! There! Nescafé Cappuccino!
  • Lady: Merci.
    Thank you.
  • Man: Mais je vous en prie.
    You’re welcome.
  • Lady: Et en ce qui concerne votre voiture?
    And regarding your car?
  • Man: Mais je n’ai pas de voiture.
    But I don’t have a car.
  • Narrator: Nescafé Cappuccino, la douceur à l’italienne.
    Nescafé Cappuccino, Italian-style comfort.

vocabulary and grammar of interest

  • arriver – means to arrive. J’arrive also translates to I’m coming!
  • Je crois que – means I believe that. From the verb croire, to believe. Je pense que, from the verb penser means I think that.
  • Asseyez-vous – from the verb s’assoir, to sit. This can also be written assoyez-vous.
  • un sachet – sachet translates to small packet. Sachet also means tea bag.
  • ajoutez – from ajouter, to add.
  • eau chaude – normally we associate the word chaud (hot) with the weather – il fait chaud (it’s hot out). Here chaud takes an -e as an adjective since eau (water) is feminine.
  • je vous en prie – polite way of saying de rien, your welcome.
  • ce qui concerne – means concerning or regarding.
  • je n’ai pas de voiture – great example of the “pas de” rule. Je n’ai pas une voiture would be wrong. You must say “je n’ai pas de + noun”. This lesson on indefinite articles covers this rule.

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