Qui va gagner la finale de la NCAA ce soir?
kee vah gah-NYAY lah fee-NAHL duh lah ENN SAY DUH ZAH suh SWAAR? Click below to hear this pronounced.
Who’s going to win the NCAA Finals this evening?
Yes, they play basketball (le basket or le basket-ball, luh bass-KETT, luh bass-kett-BOLE) in European countries! The French national team has occasionally made the Olympics, and plays frequently in EuroBasket (médaille d’argent, 1949).
Did you know that les baskets (lay bass-KETT) also means sneakers or tennis shoes? They don’t have to be high-tops to earn this name. All kinds of sporting shoes without cleats are called des baskets.
Note how that abbreviation is pronounced: NCAA = N C double A = N C deux A. That’s the usual way to handle spelling a word with a double letter, rather than saying the name of the letter twice.
Alors…quelle équipe est-ce que vous allez encourager ce soir?
AH-lore…KELL ay-KEEP ess-kuh voo zah-lay ah-koo-rah-ZHAY suh SWAAR?
So…which team are you going to cheer for this evening?
Notice the intonation of the questions: The voice falls at the end, instead of rising as in English. That’s the rule for questions that cannot be answered by “yes” or “no” in French. Those are know as open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions, with only a “yes/no/I don’t know” sort of answer possible (Are you going to the big game?) have a rising intonation at the end in French.