Cycling / Language aquisition

French test number 1 – Buying a bike from Leboncoin

Le bon coin

Once I’d found a job and a place to live the next thing I wanted to cross off my list was getting a bike. I had seen some nice simple singlespeed vélos in a shop called GoSport, but they were a bit pricey. So I looked on the French equivalent of Gumtree; a site called Leboncoin. A site where anybody can advertise to sell anything: classifieds. On one of the adverts I saw the exact bike from GoSport but a lot cheaper, so I decided to test my French in an attempt to buy the bike from whomever was selling it.

I thought it might be a nice thing to post about because even with my terrible French I was able to successfully contact, arrange to meet and buy a bike from a complete stranger. So here is the transcript of the exchange:


Je voudrais voir et peut-être acheté votre vélo.
J’habite à Bordeaux.
Désolée pour mon français, je suis anglais qui essaie apprendre votre langue.
Je vais probablement acheter votre vélo parce que j’ai vu les Choks à Gosport et j’ai bien aimé.
Je peux venir dimanche ou ce soir.
Vous pouvez m’appeler, e-mail ou txt si’vous plaît.

Cool Brise:

Bonjour Bonjour Chris , Soyez remercié pour votre message, Le vélo singlespeed de chez Chok black mat est toujours disponible. Je vous accueillerais avec plaisir pour venir l’essayer, Il est en excellent état, Bien équipé avec les courroies de pédalier, sa lampe laser toute neuve, il pèse moins de 10Kgs tout en aluminium !

Je suis de mon côté sur Bordeaux-Cauderan Je suis disponible dès ce soir si vous le pouvez,

Au plaisir de traiter ensemble


Cool. Quel est votre adresse exactament? Et a quelle heure vous voulez je vien?

Cool Brise:

Alors si vous avez un GPS ou Google Maps vous la trouverez facilement: 7 rue du Chanoine André Lacaze 33200 Bordeaux Cauder

Quand vous serez dans la rue, je vous attendrais avec le vélo sur le trottoir, Si vous voulez, je peux vous y retrouver pour 19h30 🙂

Cool Brise:

Même un peu plus tard dans la soirée si vous voulez, je suis disponible


OK a 21h30 ou quelque fois comme ca? Ou le dimanche c’est facile pour moi

Cool Brise:

D’accord pour 21h30 En plus, il possède une lampe laser puissante vous pourrez rentrer avec 🙂

J’ai besoin d’apporter de l’argent? Vous habitez pres d’une banque?

Cool Brise:

Alors effectivement, il n’ya pas de distributeur près de ma rue, mieux vaut passer au distributeur avant oui

Je suis ici dans rue chanoine andre lacaze mais je ne regarde pas numero 7

Cool Brise:

Ah vous êtes arrivé. Le numero 7 est le collège en fait. Je pensais 21h30. Attendez moi je sors le vélo et jarrive dans 5-10mn. A toute suite

OK j’attende a l’ecole

Cool Brise:

D’accord. Merci. Je me met en route jarrive dans quelques minutes

So, I arrived at the address and it turned out to be a school, all locked up and empty. It was just getting dark so I was a bit weirded out. Then I see two people wheeling the bike towards me. Cool Brise had brought his sister along because she spoke better English than him. Nevertheless he did all the talking in a mix of French and English. I tried the bike and was happy with it so I said I would buy it. We stayed some time longer chatting. His sister was very attractive. She was going to study English at university. She removed her red head-band and tossed her black hair back over her shoulder. I told them I worked at The Sherlock Holmes, one of the English bars in the centre of Bordeaux, and said they should come and have a drink there sometime.

After exchanging farewells along with the money for the bike I was off.

Just as I got back to the centre of Bordeaux, after riding the bike for about 5 minutes, the back wheel buckled and after a few meters this caused the inner tube to puncture. It only cost €19 to fix but I was still a little annoyed at Cool Brise. Plus I’ve seen neither him nor his sister since.

I’ve considered texting him once again in order to somehow try to arrange a date with his sister but I’m just not sure that would be very cool. I would love to get your thoughts, dear readers. And if enough of you say that it is in fact a good idea, then I will follow it up and let you know what happens. (Leave a perply at the bottom of this post)

In the meantime here are the only two photos that I took of the bike that Cool Brise sold me before it was STOLEN, which is another story all together.

Go Sport Chok Velo

CHOK singlespeed

7 thoughts on “French test number 1 – Buying a bike from Leboncoin

    • OK so I took your advice and text Cool Brise. Here is what I said:

      Bonjour. c’est Chris, le mec qui a achète ton vélo Chok. Je vais bientot faire un ‘language exchange’ francais / anglais et j’ai souvenir que ta soeur étudie l’anglais. Pourrais-tu lui demander si elle est intèressée, s’il te plait? Dans ce cas elle peut me contacter par telephone ou e-mail>

      Merci beaucoup !

      Basically: Hi, I am thinking of starting a language exchange and remembered your sister was going to study English so please could you ask her if she is interested, and if she is here’s my e-mail.

      ho ho I will keep you updated on what comes to pass.

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