Transcript of the video
Many of you have told me that the most difficult thing for you in French is talking on the phone.
And I understand you. It's extremely difficult to speak on the phone in a language that isn't your own. You can't see the person in front of you, you can't see their gestures, their facial expressions.
That's really the hard part. So today, I'd like you to listen to an authentic telephone conversation between Mathieu and the customer service department of a train company. To help you, I've prepared a vocabulary sheet which you can download by clicking on the link in the video description.
You'll have all the vocabulary you need for the conversation, with a definition, an example and, of course, an English translation for the most inexperienced among you. You know that in France, there are often strikes. And a strike means cancelled trains or planes. A few weeks ago, our train to Belgium to visit my family was cancelled, and Mathieu contacted the customer service department of this train company so that we could exchange our tickets.
We're going to listen to this conversation together and I'll explain it to you. This is an advanced conversation for three reasons. Firstly, it takes place over the phone, and you know that's more complicated. Secondly, the caller, the customer service person, speaks very fast. And thirdly, this person has a Belgian accent. Here we go.
Let's start listening to the recorded conversation. Your waiting time is longer than expected.
Please wait a little longer. For many minutes, Mathieu had an automatic message saying "The waiting time is longer than expected".
Waiting time is the time you have to wait for something to happen. So waiting time is the time he has to wait on the phone before he has someone to talk to. When Mathieu first called, the message said "You have five minutes to wait or ten minutes to wait".
But in the end, he waited more than half an hour. So the message announces that the time is longer than expected, than originally planned.
I'm calling because I've received an email telling me that my train has been cancelled. So I would like to make an exchange please.
David from customer service picks up the phone and says "David, we're listening". This is a polite way of saying that you're available to listen to the other person, to find out more about their problem. Mathieu says his train has been cancelled.
A cancelled train is a cancelled train. It's not going to run as planned after all. So Mathieu says he'd like to make a refund.
It's a word that means to carry out, to do something, but it's used in a very specific way.
administrative, legal or commercial context. Mathieu uses the term "exchange", meaning that he wants to change his train ticket for another route or date. He sends his request to David in customer service.
David then replies: Yes, I understand. Can you give me your booking reference?
David says he understands Mathieu's situation and asks him for his booking reference. The reservation reference is a unique code assigned to each ticket reservation, making it easy to identify travel details.
Mathieu replies: Yes, of course. The booking reference is ABC123456.
Mathieu gives David the booking reference for his train ticket, which is "ABC123456". This allows David to access Mathieu's travel information and process his request.
David continues: Perfect, I've found your reservation. So, what date and destination would you like to exchange your ticket for?
David confirms that he has found Mathieu's reservation and asks for the details of the new exchange. He wants to know Mathieu's desired date and destination.
Mathieu replies: I'd like to exchange my ticket for the same route, but for Saturday May 25, please.
Mathieu indicates that he would like to exchange his ticket for the same trip, but at a later date. He specifically requests Saturday May 25 as his new travel date.
David says: All right, I'll check availability for this date. Please wait a moment.
David informs Mathieu that he is going to check availability for Saturday May 25 and asks him to wait a moment while he does so.
After a short wait, David returns and says: I'm sorry, but we have no more places available for Saturday May 25. However, we can offer you an alternative on Sunday, May 26. Would that suit you?
David informs Mathieu that there are no more places available for Saturday May 25, but proposes an alternative for Sunday May 26. He asks Mathieu if this proposal is acceptable to him.
Mathieu replies: Yes, that's acceptable to me. I agree to Sunday May 26.
Mathieu accepts David's proposal and confirms that he agrees to travel on Sunday May 26.
David concludes: Alright, I've made the change to your booking. You'll receive a confirmation email with the new travel details. Is there anything else I can do for you?
David informs Mathieu that he has made the change to his booking and tells him that he will receive a confirmation email with the new travel details. He then asks Mathieu if he has any further questions or requests.
Mathieu replies: No, that's all. Thank you very much for your help.
Mathieu says he has no further questions or requests and thanks David for his assistance.
Please, it's a polite greeting. It's a synonym for "you're welcome", "it's my pleasure". So if you do someone a favor and they say thank you, they can say you're welcome. It means you're welcome.
That's it, this conversation is over.
I hope you enjoyed it, and that you were able to learn some new vocabulary in situation. Don't forget that you can download the vocabulary sheet for this dialogue by clicking on the link in the description of this video.
If you liked the video, put a "like". If you are not yet a subscriber, subscribe and activate the bell.
And please let me know if you want more videos like this one. More authentic conversations to analyze together.
See you soon!