This post can be useful for you if you’re learning French, if your French is already at an intermediate level. In this post, I’ll offer you a summary of what the subjects of our last two posts spoke about; Patrice Roy and Charles Lafortune.
You can also listen to the conversation yourself. For learners of French: Without translating the entire show, I’m providing you with summaries of various parts of the show. The summary below is in chronological order. You can use the summary as a “crutch” to try to stay on track. It might be able to help with your language learning, and can fill in the holes as you move through the diaglogue.
The radio show “L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté” is the brainchild of François Legault. Regardless of where you are in Canada, you can listen to a new episode, with new people, during weekdays from 11:00am to 12:00. It airs nationwide on Radio Première (you’ll have to check the internet to see where Radio Première falls on your radio dial in your part of the Canada).
The web-link for the Patrice Roy – Charles Lafortune audio episode can be heard by clicking HERE.
- Charles Lafortune is introduced as having been the host of many shows; La voix, impro, comedy, variety. In his 20’s, he appeared on various youth programs (Watatatow, Tam-tam, etc.).
- Patrice Roy = the chief anchor of the Téléjournal de Montréal. (Montréal’s nightly RC TV newscast).
- Roy – Is a father with twins. Both Roy & Lafortune speak about how children tend to view the world, and how to relate the world to their children so children can understand the world.
- They speak about how growing up in working families affected their personalities.
- Lafortune said he can live with the idea of not having a job in front of the camera precisely because he’s able to take pleasure in other aspects of work. Roy agrees because he says he too loves the behind-the-scenes aspect of preparing for the work day. However Roy said he still loves being in front of the camera and presenting.
- Both agree they are under tremendous public pressure owing to the information age provides them with immediate public feedback, both good and bad. They speak about how they attempt to adjust themselves to deal with such pressures. Lafortune comically says that if someone tweets him a criticism, his way of “dealing” with it and with that person is to re-tweet it to 90,000 of his followers – which usually takes care of the problem 😉
- Roy says that when he was a news bureau chief in Ottawa, he felt the need to “shake things up”. He chose to take a flight to Afghanistan, and pursue his national reporting from there. He spoke about the fear he felt, in a very human sense, when bombs fell around him and his crew, injuring many people (including his cameraman who had to have his leg amputated). Roy had to step up to the plate to help. He also spoke about post-traumatic stress and how his thoughts have changed on numerous topics.
- Roy speaks about how his upbringing in a journalist family influenced his own work style and work values, as well as his values towards journalism.
- Lafortune speaks about challenges he has in raising an autistic child in a family environment (he has to pay attention to many small things, such as having to remain standing when watching hockey games on TV at home so as to keep an eye on what his child is doing). He talks about his biggest anxiety in life, which isn’t his television career, but rather what will happen to his child once Lafortune passes away (he’s worried it could happen sooner than later, as an early heart attack, etc.). He speaks very much from the heart about quite intimate subjects in this respect.
- They both speak about Roy watching his father’s health deteriorate and eventually pass away (his father was Canada’s ambassador in Tunisia).
- They speak of their thoughts regarding how they physically appear on television and what value they give (or don’t give) to it, and why. Lafortune’s first faced public criticism in his 20’s when he say an article about his entitled “Good Looking, but Insignificant).
- Patrice Roy admits that all television managers he knows in Radio-Canada consider viewership numbers important, and this has a bearing on individual’s behaviour and decisions within the organization, just it does in a private company such as TVA (which Lafortune discusses).
- Lafortune admits that most of the successful TV productions he is involved in are often most often modeled after those in the Netherlands and Israel (rather than being home-grown ideas. Nor are they modeled after American productions, contrary to what the public may believe).
- Lafortune speaks about the delicate situation he ran into earlier in 2014 when presenting La Voix the night before the last provincial elections. The show that night was watched by over 2,700,000 people, it was produced by Julie Snyder (the wife of Pierre Karl Péladeau, PKP), who himself was running for election. He talked of having to be very conscious on stage about how he said things (so as not to be perceived as taking political sides). (Note for reader… this whole issue regarding PKP, and the influence his role as Québecor’s owner has on the media, is currently a very serious debate in Québec. Here we hear an on-the-ground 3rd party account which shows it is a consideration which is making some pretty big celebrities feel uneasy or feeling they’re walking on egg shells).
- Roy speaks of some of his thoughts when covering political matters… and how he approaches certain issues. He also speaks of his thoughts regarding individuals he has interviewed. (It’s quite interesting to hear his personal thoughts in this sense, since he has to play a completely neutral role on air). Lafortune then jumps in with some of his own thoughts regarding how political parties and politicians tend to behave. He speaks about what gets on his nerves.
If your French is at a basic or elementary level, do not get discouraged if you find Roy and Lafortune are speaking too fast. I’ve studied a few languages, and I know that it can be frustrating when you can’t understand everything, or you feel the dialogue has left you behind as you’re still trying to figure things out. But you’ll find that, with time, the more & more you listen, the more words will take anchor in your brain, and you won’t have to always stop and try to figure out what’s being said. Stick with it and give yourself a pat on the back… after all, you’re further along than where you were 1, 3 or 5 months ago 🙂 .
MINI “EAVESDROPPING” SERIES