Nouvel An en France

French listening practice with side-by-side translation

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Le Nouvel An en FranceNew Year’s in France
Ă€ l’instar des pays soumis au calendrier grĂ©gorien, la France cĂ©lèbre l’arrivĂ©e de la nouvelle annĂ©e le 1er janvier. Ce premier jour de l’annĂ©e, ou fĂŞte de la Saint-Sylvestre, est Ă©galement appelĂ© « Jour de l’an Â» ou « Jour des Ă©trennes Â», puisque contrairement aux traditions qui prĂ©valent en AmĂ©rique du Nord, de nombreux pays europĂ©ens attendent ce jour-lĂ  pour distribuer des cadeaux aux enfants.
Translation
Like other countries that follow the Gregorian calendar, France celebrates the arrival of the new year on January 1st. This first day of the year, or festival of Saint-Sylvester, is also call "Day of the [New] Year" or "Day of gifts," since contrary to North America’s traditions, many European countries wait for this day to give gifts to children.
Les cĂ©lĂ©brations et les joyeuses libations qui entourent sa venue se nomment « rĂ©veillon Â», quoique ce terme soit Ă©galement utilisĂ© lors de la nuit de NoĂ«l (la coutume voulait que l’on rĂ©veille les enfants pour les conduire Ă  la messe de minuit). Cette fĂŞte, qui a des origines immĂ©moriales, demeure partout un jour fĂ©riĂ© qui permet de faire bombance avec ses amis.
Translation
The celebrations and joyful libations that surround its arrival are called "rĂ©veillon" [from rĂ©veiller – to wake up], although this term is also used for Christmas Eve (traditionally, children were woken up and taken to midnight mass). This party, which has age-old origins, is still a day off everywhere that allows people to revel with their friends.
C’est aussi l’occasion de dire adieu de manière festive Ă  l’annĂ©e qui se termine et d’accueillir avec convivialitĂ©, espoir et optimisme l’annĂ©e qui s’annonce. Cette pĂ©riode de rĂ©jouissances s’Ă©tale souvent jusqu’au 6 janvier, oĂą on mange la « galette des Rois Â», après une alternance de festivitĂ©s, danses, sorties et visites Ă  la famille et aux amis.
Translation
It’s also the occasion to say a festive farewell to the year that is ending and to welcome the new year with conviviality, hope, and optimism. This period of rejoicing often extends until January 6, when people eat King’s cake after a succession of festivities, dances, outings, and visits to family and friends.
Célébrations traditionnelles du Nouvel An en France
La France, rĂ©putĂ©e pour ses mets fins, se fait un devoir d’accueillir dignement la nouvelle annĂ©e avec du champagne, du foie gras et des truffes : agapes supposĂ©es procurer la chance et la prospĂ©ritĂ© Ă  venir. Qu’il s’agisse d’un simple dĂ®ner entre amis ou d’une soirĂ©e dansante plus Ă©laborĂ©e, tous s’Ă©changent leurs meilleurs vĹ“ux et s’assurent de prendre une fois de plus de bonnes rĂ©solutions.
Translation
Traditional New Year’s celebrations in France
France, renowned for its fine food, makes a point of welcoming the new year fittingly, with champagne, foie gras, and truffles: a banquet thought to bring good luck and prosperity in the future. Whether it’s a simple dinner between friends or a more elaborate dancing evening, everyone exchanges their best wishes and once again makes New Year’s resolutions.
Ă€ minuit, après s’ĂŞtre embrassĂ©s et abondamment congratulĂ©s, de prĂ©fĂ©rence sous une branche de gui, on sort dans la rue en criant Ă  tous « Bonne AnnĂ©e ! Â» et en faisant du tapage avec des crĂ©celles, des mirlitons (un sorte de flĂ»te), des trompettes en papier ou le klaxon de la voiture.
Translation
At midnight, after kissing and heartily congratulating one another, preferably under a branch of mistletoe, everyone goes out into the street and yells "Happy New Year!" to all while making noise with rattles, party whistles (a type of flute), paper trumpets, or car horns.
French text, sound file, and image courtesy of Think French audiomagazine. This is part of an article in the janvier 2013 issue.Translation by LKL

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