Chapitre 14 – C’est la seule piste que nous ayons !

James, Yvette and Claire are in disbelief as they discover the name of Claire’s ex-husband in one of the documents on Max’s USB stick. In an attempt to figure out how everything could be connected, they further examine the contents of the document, and make another discovery that leads them to the next stage of their investigation. As this episode is based around a dialogue between James, Yvette and Claire, we come across a number colloquial expressions and vocabulary. We hear various ways of showing disbelief, including the following phrases: j’en crois pas mes yeux and tout ça n’a aucun sens.

A year of language learning

While 2020 has probably not been the year we expected or planned, there has been one thing which many of us have had to do over the past 12 months more than ever before: we’ve adapted.

Simple things like communicating with the people closest to us have become more complicated, and many of you have told us how your in-person language classes have been cancelled or moved online. It has been difficult or, in many cases, impossible to travel to practise the languages we’re learning, but through live lessons and virtual travel experiences, we’ve adapted.

Now the good news: an ability to adapt is actually one of the most important attributes to have as a language learner.

Let’s imagine you’re reading a text book or listening to one of our podcasts. You hear a particular phrase or expression which doesn’t quite fit what you want to say. You need to be able to adapt that phrase to fit your situation. This often involves changing certain words, the tense of the verb or adjective agreements. You’re adapting the example to fit your needs.

When we do eventually get the chance to travel again and can put our learning into practice, we are likely to be faced with the scenario when we don’t know a particular word, just when we need it. Again, that’s when we need to adapt, and reword things using words we do know.

Hopefully then, the fact that we’re all experts at adapting after this year means we’re better language learners!

Of course, here at Coffee Break Languages we’ve had to adapt too, but we’ve tried our best to bring you high quality language-learning materials throughout the year with all members of the Coffee Break team working remotely. We’ve missed working in the office and in our recording studio, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we can return there.

Month by month

We launched a brand new Coffee Break language back in January with episode 1 of Coffee Break Swedish. Mark also challenged Pierre-Benoît to learn a poem in Scots for a special Burns Day video.

We travelled to Francesca’s village, Pettinengo, in a video we released back in February, and we also started a new “Question of the week” series on Instagram.

As things began to change in March we wanted to make sure that learners in schools had access to materials which they could use to continue learning while at home. Our Learn at Home page was accessed by tens of thousands of parents and teachers around the world. We also held a special lockdown concert for World Piano Day in which Mark was joined by other members of the Coffee Break team for some multilingual songs.

Despite having to rethink our recording processes completely, with no access to the studio, we launched a brand new course in April, Aprende inglés con Coffee Break English, aimed at Spanish-speaking learners of English. We also started broadcasting our first live lessons on Facebook in French, German, Spanish and Italian in April and the Coffee Break Community have been enjoying participating from home and practising reading and listening skills.

In May, with learners in many places around the world at home, we decided to put together some tips for how to learn a language in lockdown. Hopefully Mark’s suggestions came in useful! Of course, our ongoing lessons continued throughout this period, with episodes of Coffee Break Swedish, Coffee Break English and our Coffee Break Spanish Magazine being published regularly, along with blog articles introducing members of the Coffee Break team and the community.

May also saw the culmination of a special project which brought the community together for the Coffee Break Choir. Over 100 learners sang the famous Nat King Cole song L-O-V-E in five languages and were joined by the Coffee Break team for this historic multilingual video!

“The truth was out” in June with the release of our advanced course for French learners, La Vérité éclate toujours. We also released new series of our popular video series Coffee Break German and Spanish To Go.

As language-learners, most of us love travelling and discovering new places, but it soon became clear that that was not going to be easy this year. We started to look at new ways to experience travel from the safety of home and came up with the Coffee Break Travel Diaries which launched in French and Italian in June. We joined Giulia and Paolo virtually as they travelled through Tuscany, while Lara and Noah took the train through the south of France. The Travel Diaries series gave us the opportunity to discover new places, follow the story of our characters and improve our language skills at the same time!

In July we launched Coffee Break Conversations, a new podcast which focused on “conversations about life, learning and languages”. The launch episode featured CBI host Francesca, and later episodes included conversations with Coffee Break learners and some well-known faces in the world of language learning and teaching.

The Coffee Break German and Spanish Travel Diaries began in August and we started following Karin and her family through the German Alpenstraße, while Victoria and Abel headed to the north of Spain for their honeymoon.

In September we continued to publish episodes of Coffee Break Swedish, La Vérité éclate toujours, Coffee Break German and Spanish Travel Diaries and we also released a video shot in Salamanca while we were making our CBS To Go series.

In addition to new seasons of Coffee Break French and Italian To Go (for the first time with extended podcasts) which launched in October, we also answered a question many listeners often ask: how many languages does Mark speak? Watch the video to find out!

One of our most popular posts on Instagram was a special video we put together for World Hello Day in November in which our entire team shared their “hellos”. In addition our live lessons continued on Facebook and YouTube, with thousands of learners taking part each week to practise their language skills.

And so we’re now in December and all this month we’ve been publishing newly updated Festive Phrases videos in which you’ll learn to send festive greetings to over 3 billion people around the world in 25 languages. The Festive Phrases series has been used in thousands of schools worldwide and we’re delighted to have released an updated version this year. December also saw the return of Coffee Break English and we launched Kulturhörnan, a mini-series of podcast episodes on Swedish culture in our mid-season break from the normal Coffee Break Swedish lessons. This month our Coffee Break French and Spanish Masterclasses are coming to an end, so we hope that the students in this year’s cohort have enjoyed their experience!

To round off a year of language-learning in a suitable festive way, Mark and the team put together a seasonal multilingual singalong concert on Sunday, so feel free to join them and hear Pierre-Benoît sing White Christmas in French and English, and Mark sing Winter Wonderland in six languages!

The year in numbers

We always like to have a look at the numbers at the end of the year, and despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us all, we’ve been busy! We published 145 podcast episodes, 114 videos on our YouTube channel and we delivered 68 live lessons over the course of the year.

We delivered 28.7 million free language lessons, meaning that every 1.07 seconds someone, somewhere started a new Coffee Break with us, and in our Coffee Break Academy, students completed over 300,000 learning sessions.

What’s next?

We’re already excited about a whole new year of language-learning in 2021 and we have some exciting plans that we’re looking forward to sharing with you. We’ll be starting the year with a brand new series of Coffee Break Travel Diaries in French, German, Spanish and Italian, and our live lessons will return in the new year.

La Vérité éclate toujours, Coffee Break Swedish and Aprende inglés con Coffee Break English will continue, but we’ll also be extending our Coffee Break English content to appeal to learners of English everywhere.

In addition to all of this, we have some other exciting projects which we’ll keep under wraps for now, but we’re sure that you’ll continue to enjoy learning with our range of materials next year.

Kulturhörnan 03 – Julafton – Coffee Break Swedish Culture

In the latest episode of our our mini Swedish culture series, Kulturhörnan – “culture corner”, we learn about a typical Swedish Christmas celebration, ett svenskt julfirande. Join Mark and Lovisa as they talk about they type of food which is normally eaten and the gifts that are exchanged during this celebration.

Chapitre 13 – James cliqua sur le premier fichier

Having got to know each other a littler better, James, Claire and Yvette turn their attention to the investigation at hand. After a restless night’s sleep, they begin to examine the files on the USB stick. Claire is shocked to see a name on the first file they open. As ever, the episode is full of interesting expressions including avoir l’étoffe de and être frais et dispos.

Kulturhörnan 02 – Lucia – Coffee Break Swedish Culture

Our normal Coffee Break Swedish lessons will return in the new year, but in the meantime it’s the perfect time to find out a little more about Swedish culture with our mini-series, Kulturhörnan – “culture corner”. In this episode, Lovisa tells us about a very popular tradition that takes place on 13th December all across Sweden. Can you guess which tradition we’re talking about? Listen to the episode to find out and hear lots of new interesting vocabulary.

CBI To Go 2.10 | Qual è la tua città italiana preferita? – What is your favourite Italian city?

In this episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca asks the question, qual è la tua città italiana preferita? (What is your favourite Italian city?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in Italian.

Listen to the full audio podcast below:

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in Italian at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button.

In this second series of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca is in Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and in each episode she’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your Italian and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break Italian To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the Italian-speaking world. If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break Italian To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break Italian. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

CBF To Go 2.10 | Quelle est ta ville française préférée ? – What is your favourite French city?

In this episode of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît asks the question, quelle est ta ville française préférée ? (What is your favourite French city?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in French.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in French at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button. Please note all interviews were filmed before lockdown.

In this second series of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît is in the city of Nantes in France, and in each episode he’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your French and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break French To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the French-speaking world.

If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break French To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break French. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

Kulturhörnan 01 – Aventsljusstaken – Coffee Break Swedish Culture

Our normal Coffee Break Swedish lessons will return in the new year, but in the meantime it’s the perfect time to find out a little more about Swedish culture with our mini-series, Kulturhörnan – “culture corner”. In this episode Lovisa tells Mark about the tradition of placing an Adventsljsstake in your window in the run-up to the festive season. You can learn new Swedish words and practise your pronunciation with this lesson.

Chapitre 12 – Claire soupira et commença à parler

In the latest episode of La Vérité éclate toujours, Claire tells her story to James. She explains her past relationship with Max and the series of events which have led to her bringing up Yvette on her own. In this episode we’ll see some really interesting adjectives which describe certain people in Claire’s life including comblé, épanoui and roublard, and there are some great expressions to learn too including depuis belle lurette, écarquiller les yeux and much more.

In each episode of the story, published fortnightly, we’ll be following a chapter of La Vérité éclate toujours, specially written to help you build your knowledge of French and extend your range of expression. In the episodes, teacher Mark and narrator Pierre-Benoît will discuss the story, helping you to improve your listening skills.

There’s also an online course version of La Vérité éclate toujours which provides access to a range of additional materials including the text of each chapter, annotated notes, language study podcasts, vocabulary lists, video versions of each episode and our atelier linguistique which helps you to take the language you’ve covered in each chapter further. This course is available on the Coffee Break Academy.

CBI To Go 2.09 | Qual è la cosa più strana che hai mai mangiato? – What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

In this episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca asks the question, qual è la cosa più strana che hai mai mangiato? (What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in Italian.

Listen to the full audio podcast below:

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in Italian at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button.

In this second series of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca is in Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and in each episode she’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your Italian and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break Italian To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the Italian-speaking world. If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break Italian To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break Italian. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

CBF To Go 2.09 | As-tu déjà mangé quelque chose de bizarre ? – Have you ever eaten anything strange?

In this episode of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît asks the question, as-tu déjà mangé quelque chose de bizarre ? (Have you ever eaten anything strange?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in French.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in French at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button. Please note all interviews were filmed before lockdown.

In this second series of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît is in the city of Nantes in France, and in each episode he’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your French and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break French To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the French-speaking world.

If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break French To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break French. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

CBI To Go 2.08 | Se potessi andare in qualsiasi posto del mondo, dove andresti? – If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

In this episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca asks the question, se potessi andare in qualsiasi posto del mondo, dove andresti? (If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in Italian.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in Italian at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button.

In this second series of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca is in Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and in each episode she’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your Italian and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break Italian To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the Italian-speaking world. If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break Italian To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break Italian. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

CBF To Go 2.08 | Quelle serait ta destination idéale ? – What would your ideal destination be?

In this episode of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît asks the question, quelle serait ta destination idéale ? (What would your ideal destination be?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in French.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in French at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button. Please note all interviews were filmed before lockdown.

In this second series of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît is in the city of Nantes in France, and in each episode he’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your French and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break French To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the French-speaking world.

If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break French To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break French. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

Chapitre 11 – Ils avaient les nerfs à fleur de peau

We have reached the first chapter in Part 2 of our drama, La Vérité éclate toujoursfor advanced learners of French. So far, in Part 1, we have learned that James is on a mission to find out what happened to his best friend Max who is in a critical condition in hospital. Upon meeting Max’s daughter Yvette, he plucks up the courage to uncover what is hidden in the USB stick given to him by Max before he was taken to hospital. As we embark on the second part of the story, we’re introduced to another new character, Claire Martin. Who is Claire and why has she turned up at James’ hotel in Paris? Will she be able to help him investigate what happened to Max? Listen to the episode to find out! Don’t forget to pay close attention to the language used along the way, in particular, examples of the pluperfect tense and preceding direct objects.

Welcome to Part 2 of our new podcast for advanced French learners. In each episode of the story, published fortnightly, we’ll be following a chapter of La Vérité éclate toujours, specially written to help you build your knowledge of French and extend your range of expression. In the episodes, teacher Mark and narrator Pierre-Benoît will discuss the story, helping you to improve your listening skills.

There’s also an online course version of La Vérité éclate toujours which provides access to a range of additional materials including the text of each chapter, annotated notes, language study podcasts, vocabulary lists, video versions of each episode and our atelier linguistique which helps you to take the language you’ve covered in each chapter further. This course is available on the Coffee Break Academy.

CBI To Go 2.07 | Cosa ti fa arrabbiare? – What makes you angry?

In this episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca asks the question, cosa ti fa arrabbiare? (What makes you angry?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in Italian.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in Italian at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button.

In this second series of Coffee Break Italian To Go, Francesca is in Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and in each episode she’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your Italian and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break Italian To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the Italian-speaking world. If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break Italian To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break Italian. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

 

 

CBF To Go 2.07 | Qu’est-ce qui t’embête le plus ? – What annoys you the most?

In this episode of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît asks the question, qu’est-ce qui t’embête le plus ? (What annoys you the most?). You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you answer this question in French.

Access the podcast version below in which Mark is back in the studio helping you understand all the responses.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in French at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button. Please note all interviews were filmed before lockdown.

In this second series of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît is in the city of Nantes in France, and in each episode he’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your French and build your vocabulary.

Coffee Break French To Go will be published every two weeks here on YouTube, and each Season will be filmed in a different part of the French-speaking world.

If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 2 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break French To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break French. For access to the free podcasts, please click here.

To purchase our full online courses on the Coffee Break Academy, click here.

 

CBSw 1.20 | Får jag fråga en sak?

In this special episode marking the end of the first half of our Coffee Break Swedish course for beginners, we’re putting everything we’ve learned so far to the test with teacher Hanna and learner Mark. We’re also joined by native speaker Lovisa who features in an extended conversation with Hanna. Listen to the episode to review much of the vocabulary that has been covered in the past 20 lessons. Häng med!