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.
    Sir.
  • Man: Angelo.
    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.
    Yes.
  • 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.

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

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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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