On dirait un coursier.

On dirait un coursier.

aw dee-ray uh koor-seeYAY. Click below to hear this. 

Looks like a messenger.

Cut to the van! (We’re watching a movie, remember? If you want to rewind to the beginning, click here and read the previous three posts.)

When the detectives in the van notice the bicycle messenger rolling into the café, they sit up a little straighter. One of them makes an “uh-oh” sort of sound. The disembodied voice in the ear of the detectives asks what’s happening. On dirait un coursier, they reply.

Most English-speakers would probably say, Looks like a messenger. They are, after all, interpreting what they are seeing. Something Is Happening, but they haven’t yet figured out its import, or whether it is even relevant.

So let’s pause the film again. Un coursier? Well, when you run errands, that’s called faire les courses. Don’t confuse it with faire un cours, which means to teach a course (usually, a university-level class). Les courses is what you call it when you are out and running around trying to get things done. It is related to the verb courirto runUn coursier is simply the person who gets paid to do all that for you. Most often, he is delivering des colis to people.

Why on a bicycle? Because with a bike, he can weave through traffic, beat lights, endanger the lives of everyone around him, and feel the rush of adrenaline. At least that’s what the hapless pedestrians in his way think. So what happens when the detectives spot him?

Next time on Spk FrnchLe coursier et les détectives.

Alternate link to audio file: on-dirait-un-coursier


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