6: Quelle heure est-il?-What's the time?
Early Start French 2: CONTENTS | HOME


1 Where I live
2 Places in town
3 Directions
4 School
5 Class objects
6. Time?
7. Weather
8.Numbers 40-200
9. Euro
10. Food likes
11. Bon appetit!
12. Icecream
14. School subjects
15. Clothes
16. Bridging unit
17. Class language

What you will learn in section 6
In this section you learn how to say the time in French and how to ask someone what the time is. You already know the numbers 1-12.

The video begins with the analogue clock, focusing at first on simply learning the hours, together with the words for midday and midnight.

The shows what French children might be doing at different times of day...
 Douai belfry
LEFT  ...at midday, drinking soup in the school canteen
RIGHT- Douai's Town Hall clock (up on the belfry) has a fine set of bells.
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Public clocks and how people tell the time

After seeing all the public clocks in this section of the video, one class decided to do a project on "public clocks" with their French partner school.

They took digital videos of all the clocks to be seen in their community, including what they did on the hour.

St Omer station clock
Sant Omer station clock - a fine late 19th century public clock

History of public clocks
They found that, when the bell-tower was built at Douai in 1390, there already existed some mechanical clocks that struck the hours.

The first was in Milan (Italy) in 1335; there was one in Rouen in 1389 (which still exists). The oldest surviving clock in England is in Salisbury Cathedral (1386).

All these early clocks were worked by falling weights attached to a cord around a wooden drum. They had a simple escapement mechanism to regulate the speed, but it was only accurate to within about 30 minutes a day.

Wells cathedral clock Medieval clock
LEFT: The medieval clockface at Wells Cathedral. The minute hand was added later.
RIGHT- The simple workings of Salisbury Cathedral's ancient clock

Find out about the old clock in St Omer Cathedral that tells your fortune...

More about the Douai bell tower: http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/towns/douai.htm

Writing the time
Each class also made - and swapped - a collection of notices that gave times - for example, of when an event was to start.

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