by Clare Jones
I was teaching a lesson recently, talking about driving schools, and I realised I had fallen into the trap of using a false friend. Be careful not to use un instructeur to translate ‘an instructor’. The word you need is un moniteur / une monitrice d’auto-école. The same goes for ‘ski instructor’: you need un moniteur / une monitrice de ski. The French word instructeur or un juge instructeur is an examining magistrate.
Some more vocabulary you might need on this topic is:
une auto-école – a driving school
un apprenti conducteur / une apprentie conductrice – a learner driver
une leçon de conduite – a driving lesson
un disque A – an L plate
The reason I was discussing driving lessons is because, unfortunately, a member of my family has been badly let down by the firm Drive Dynamics who took money for lessons but failed to provide a service. If you are looking for driving lessons, beware of this company or you might well need the French expression je me suis fait avoir ! – I’ve been had!
Here is an article in The Guardian about the agency and in the next few days there will be an exposé on Radio 4’s consumer rights programme, You and Yours.
Faites attention ! – Watch out!
Vous êtes prévenu ! – You have been warned!
A bientôt !
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