Carnaval de Nice

French listening practice with side-by-side translation

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French listening comprehension Listening comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Le Carnaval de Nice Nice Carnaval
S’il existe une seule et unique raison de visiter le Sud de la France en fĂ©vrier, il s’agit incontestablement de l’indĂ©trĂŽnable Carnaval de Nice. CrĂ©Ă© au Moyen Âge pour cĂ©lĂ©brer la pĂ©riode de bombance prĂ©cĂ©dant l’entrĂ©e en CarĂȘme (un jeĂ»ne obligatoire ordonnĂ© par l’Église), ce festival Ă©tait accompagnĂ©e d’une nourriture riche et abondante et d’une kermesse comportant des bals, des danses et des mascarades.
Translation

If there’s a single and unique reason to visit the South of France in February, it’s definitely the unassailable Nice Carnaval. Created in the Middle Ages to celebrate the feast period preceding the start of Lent (an obligatory fast ordered by the Church), this festival was accompanied by rich and abundant food and a fair that included balls, dances, and masquerades.

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La premiĂšre mention de ce carnaval a Ă©tĂ© faite en 1294, lorsque le comte de Provence, Charles d’Anjou, relate les jours heureux qu’il a passĂ©s Ă  Nice durant ces cĂ©lĂ©brations. Comme prĂ©curseurs des chars allĂ©goriques qui allaient plus tard composer les parades urbaines, les participants d’antan utilisaient des Ă©quipages de carrosses et de chevaux pour dĂ©filer dans les rues des villages.
Translation

The first mention of this carnaval was made in 1294, when the Count of Provence, Charles d’Anjou, recounted the happy days he spent in Nice during these celebrations. Like precursors to the allegorical floats that would later make up the city parades, the participants of yore used horse-drawn carriages to parade through village streets.

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Le carnaval de l’Ăšre moderne a substituĂ© les chars thĂ©matiques aux Ă©quipages de chevaux d’autrefois, mais l’esprit de la fĂȘte demeure le mĂȘme : profiter des plaisirs de la vie, bien manger et bien boire, et s’amuser autant que l’on peut. Le premier « roi Â» du carnaval Ă©tait un pantin de paille et de chiffons appelĂ© Triboulet. La tradition d’Ă©lire un roi a perdurĂ© ainsi des annĂ©es 1990 Ă  nos jours, le Carnaval a prĂ©sentĂ© les thĂšmes du Roi du Rire, Roi des Arts, Roi du CinĂ©ma, Roi des Fous, Roi de la MĂ©diterranĂ©e, Roi des Sports et bien d’autres monarques tout aussi facĂ©tieux.
Translation

The modern carnaval substituted themed floats for the carriages of old, but the festival’s spirit remains the same: take advantage of life’s pleasures, eat and drink well, and have as much fun as you can. The first carnaval "king" was a dummy made of straw and rags named Triboulet. The tradition of electing a king has thus endured from the 1990s to our time, Carnaval has presented the themes King of Laughter, King of Arts, King of Cinema, King of Crazies, King of the Mediterranean, King of Sports, and many other equally facetious monarchs.

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En termes de chiffres, le Carnaval de Nice reprĂ©sente des centaines de milliers de spectateurs, des milliers d’artistes ou d’artisans, et des retombĂ©es financiĂšres astronomiques qui se situent entre 30 et 50 millions d’euros chaque annĂ©e, incluant tous les secteurs commerciaux.
 
Translation

In terms of numbers, Nice’s Carnaval represents hundreds of thousands of spectators, thousands of artists and artisans, and astronomical financial spin-offs of between 30 and 50 million euros every year, including all commercial sectors.

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Participer au Carnaval de Nice, c’est comprendre et apprĂ©cier sa beautĂ© Ă©phĂ©mĂšre et le travail passionnĂ© de tous les collaborateurs enthousiastes qui se consacrent Ă  faire de cette immense fĂȘte annuelle un Ă©vĂ©nement qui vous en mettra plein les yeux et le cƓur !
Translation

To participate in Nice’s Carnaval is to understand and appreciate its fleeting beauty and the passionate work of all the enthusiastic collaborators who devote themselves to making this immense annual festival an event that will fill your eyes and your heart!

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French text, sound file, and image courtesy of Think French audiomagazine. This is part of an article in the février 2015 issue. Translation by LKL

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