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Supervising the Cadre

In a previous lesson on French art vocabulary, we learned that “le cadre is the frame around a painting or photograph.” In this lesson, we will focus on other meanings of cadre (frame) that are not related to art. In the process, we will also discuss related vocabulary such as encadrement (frame, management) and encadrer (to frame, supervise) that are also not always art-related.


Indeed, un cadre can take on a more figurative meaning. In the example below, it means “an environment”:


On a un cadre qui est vraiment agréable donc les gens viennent.

We have an environment that is really pleasant, so people come.

Caption 59, Le Mans TV Mon Village - Malicorne - Part 1

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Or, un cadre is simply “a space,” an interior space:


On a pris une décoratrice d'intérieur pour nous faire un cadre vraiment zen, épuré

We took on an interior designer to make us a really Zen, clean space

Caption 18, Alsace 20 Grain de Sel: à l'Anatable à Dinsheim

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As mentioned in the previous lesson, "un cadre is also the word for 'framework' (as in the expression dans le cadre de, 'within the framework of')":


Donc là on leur met - et bien évidemment dans le cadre de ce suivi - une bague du Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Paris

So there we put on them - and quite obviously within the framework of this follow-up - a ring from the Paris Museum of Natural History

Captions 13-14, Canal 32 Les secrets des cailles des blés

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The expression dans le cadre de can also mean “within the context of”:


et que ça rentre aussi tout à fait dans le cadre du vivre-ensemble

and that it also falls really well within the context of harmonious living

Caption 38, Actus Quartier Fête de quartier Python-Duvernois - Part 4

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You might come across a less common meaning of dans le cadre de: “as part of,” as in part of an event, such as the anniversary of a wine route: 


Oui. C'est un petit peu aussi dans le cadre du soixantième anniversaire de la route des vins.

Yes. It's a little bit also as part of the sixtieth anniversary of the wine route.

Caption 6, Alsace 20 100 recettes pour 100 vins

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In short, un cadre refers to a space, environment, setting, framework, or context. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s also the word for "executive" or "manager." For example, the mother in the following video is une cadre supérieure (a top executive):


Mère de famille, cadre supérieure

Mother of a family, top executive

Caption 7, Le Jour où tout a basculé À l'audience - Arnaque en couple ? - Part 2

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And it seems logical that un poste d’encadrement should refer to "a management position":


Découvrons un premier exemple pour un poste d'encadrement.

Let's discover a first example, for a management position.

Caption 64, QuestionEntretien Pourquoi vous et pas un autre ? - Part 3

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Likewise, the verb encadrer means “to organize” or “supervise.” (Note that in an art context, encadrer means to frame a picture or a photograph.) In the video below, the speaker mentions that the annual Paris-Plage event was bien encadré (well organized) thanks to its constant supervising and monitoring:


C'est toujours, euh... bien encadré.

It's always, uh... well organized.

Caption 24, Lionel L Paris-Plage - Part 2

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Encadrer is synonymous with surveiller (to supervise, monitor, surveil):


Il y a toujours des gens pour encadrer, surveiller.

There are always people to supervise, monitor.

Caption 29, Lionel L Paris-Plage - Part 2

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Encadré in the broader sense of the word means “taken care of.” In the following video, the speaker would like to go on a cruise where everything is encadré:


Tout est encadré.

Everything is taken care of.

Caption 40, Le Jour où tout a basculé Mes grands-parents sont infidèles - Part 1

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However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, encadré can imply excessive interference to the point of feeling restricted. In the video below, Youssef Ben Amar, a contender in the legislative race, tries to debunk the myth that politics is about imposing restrictions:


On nous a vendu le mot "politique" comme quelque chose de très encadré

We've been sold the word "politics" as something very restricted

Captions 14-15, Le Mans TV Youssef Ben Amar, un rappeur engagé en politique

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Worse still, encadrer is not just a criticism—it can also describe something or someone you can't stand:


Je ne peux pas me les encadrer.

I can't stomach them.

Caption 85, Le saviez-vous? Comment dire qu'on n'aime pas?

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So, to sum up, encadrer has many meanings, ranging from “to frame," "to supervise", "to organize," "to loathe.” The Yabla team will make sure that you’re bien encadré or bien encadrée (well taken care of) thanks to our numerous videos.


\Wishing you every success dans le cadre de Yabla! Thank you for reading.


The Gender of Job Titles

In our previous lesson on nouns referring to humans, we learned that many nouns have dual genders that often end in -e in the feminine, which is especially useful for the feminization of job titles. In this lesson, we’ll focus on the many ways to feminize a job title and discuss what happens when there is no feminine equivalent. 


Most profession names are masculine in French, regardless of whether they refer to men or women:


On a donc un kit de montage complet opérationnel à la portée d'un bon bricoleur ou d'un plombier

So we have a completely operational mounting kit within the capability of a good handyman or a plumber

Captions 30-31, Salon Eco Habitat: Primacalc, système anti-calcaire

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When no feminine title is available, we default to masculine. So, when referring to a woman pilot, for instance, we would simply say un pilote or une femme pilote (a woman pilot). (You may come across the feminine title une pilote, but it's relatively rare.)


Deux femmes pilotes parlent de leurs parcours : sexisme et regard des passagers.

Two female pilots talk about their journeys: sexism and passengers’ stares.


We also resort to the masculine when referring to a profession in general, as in les enseignants (teachers), or when we don’t know the gender of the person in question:


Parce que je dispose d'excellents liens avec les enseignants de mon master,

Because I have excellent connections with my master's degree instructors

Caption 66, QuestionEntretien: Pourquoi vous et pas un autre ? - Part 3

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For all that, many job titles do have a feminine equivalent, which often ends in -e, as in une députée (a female deputy):


Madame George Pau-Langevin, la députée de la quinzième circonscription

Ms. George Pau-Langevin, the deputy for the fifteenth constituency

Caption 92, Actu Vingtième: Le bleu dans les yeux, recyclerie de Belleville

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Note that you can only add an extra -e to an accented -é (-ée). Nouns that already end in -e (no accent) don’t change in the feminine form, as in un/une dentiste (a male/female dentist), the profession chosen by the girl’s schoolmate in the following video from Côte d'Ivoire:


Je veux être une dentiste.

I want to be a dentist.

Caption 96, Nader Fakhry: L'école pour tous

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(Bear in mind that usually, you would omit the article un/une when the job title comes directly after the verb être, but this may vary from one French-speaking country to another.)


In many cases, though, feminizing a job title is not as simple as adding an -e and requires making changes to the noun. 


Sometimes switching to feminine will cause a change in pronunciation for words ending with a consonant, as in un enseignant/une enseignante (teacher). The t in enseignante (female teacher) is sounded, but the t in enseignant (male teacher) is not:


Je suis enseignante de français langue étrangère, à l'Université Nancy Deux

I am an instructor of French as a foreign language at the University of Nancy Two

Caption 2, Yabla à Nancy: Université Nancy 2

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Other times, you will need to add a grave accent (è) and an extra -e to nouns ending in -er, as in infirmier/infirmière (male/female nurse). The suffix -er becomes -ère:


Je voulais être médecin. -C'est vrai? -Ouais, et je suis infirmière.

I wanted to be a doctor. -Is that true? -Yeah, and I am a nurse.

Caption 55, Micro-Trottoirs: Rêves d’enfants

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Nouns ending in -en often change to -enne in the feminine, as in chirurgien/chirurgienne (male/female surgeon). In the following example, we have the masculine version, un chirurgien, with a silent -n


Françoise Artigues accuse son chirurgien, le docteur Cujasse

Françoise Artigues is accusing her surgeon, Doctor Cujasse

Caption 1, Le Jour où tout a basculé -  À l'audience: Mon chirurgien était ivre - Part 1

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Nouns ending with the suffix -eur in the masculine form are a little bit more complicated, as they can take on different endings in the feminine. 


Un professeur (a male professor) simply becomes une professeur in the feminine or, less often, une professeure


Et j'ai pris sa suite avec la même professeur [or professeure] en fait.

And I followed in her footsteps with the same teacher, actually.

Caption 42, LCM Concert: La Folia à l'abbaye Saint-Victor

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Un auteur (a male author) can be feminized in two different ways. You can call a female author une auteure, a term borrowed from Canada, or you can say une autrice, the suffix -trice being more popular in France:


Enfin, en 2012, l’Académie française propose à son tour l’adoption du mot « auteure ». 

Finally in 2012, the Académie Française in turn proposes the adoption of the word “auteure” (female author).


Indeed, in Canada, they use the -eure suffix, as in traducteure (female translator), more frequently than in France, where they say traductrice instead:


Euh, ça m'a permis beaucoup de voyager et d'être parfois même la traducteure pour mon père ou ma mère

Uh, it's allowed me to travel a lot and to sometimes even be the translator for my dad or my mom

Captions 21-22, Annie Chartrand: Grandir bilingue

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The French usually prefer to use the suffix -trice, as in un acteur/une actrice. In the example below, Melissa Mars introduces herself as une actrice (an actress), among other things:


Bonjour! Je suis Melissa Mars. Je suis actrice, chanteuse, française ou martienne.

Hello! I am Melissa Mars. I'm an actress, singer, French or Martian.

Caption 1, Melissa Mars: Melissa et son premier album

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She also introduces herself as a singer, une chanteuse. Here we have yet another feminine form of -eur: -euse. So une chanteuse is un chanteur in the masculine, and une serveuse (a waitress) is un serveur (a waiter):


La serveuse t'aime bien Nico.

The waitress likes you, Nico.

Caption 16, Extr@ Ep. 6 - Le jour du loto - Part 5

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You might also see the suffix -esse, as in docteur/doctoresse (male/female doctor) and maître/maîtresse (school master/schoolmistress), but it's pretty dated.


The Académie Française, the French authority on language, has introduced many new feminine job titles, but it’s up to people to adopt them. Sometimes, women themselves don’t systematically adopt newly feminized titles. In the following video, the female judge introduces herself as le juge Beaulieu (Judge Beaulieu) even though she could have introduced herself as la juge:


Bonjour, je suis le juge Beaulieu.

Hello, I am Judge Beaulieu.

Caption 31, Le Jour où tout a basculé: À l'audience - Arnaque en couple ? - Part 1

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As you can see, the feminization of job titles is a work in progress, fraught with ambiguity and, sometimes, controversy. Just be sure to follow the correct grammatical rules applying to both masculine and feminine titles, as they are not negotiable in most cases.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our next lesson on the gender of nouns referring to animals.