Lettres de mon moulin

French reading practice with side-by-side translation

 Reading comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Lettres de mon moulin, d’Alphonse Daudet
Installation
Letters from My Windmill, by Alphonse Daudet
Getting Settled

Ce sont les lapins qui ont Ă©tĂ© Ă©tonnĂ©s !… Depuis si longtemps qu’ils voyaient la porte du moulin fermĂ©e, les murs et la plate-forme envahis par les herbes, ils avaient fini par croire que la race des meuniers Ă©tait Ă©teinte, et, trouvant la place bonne, ils en avaient fait quelque chose comme un quartier gĂ©nĂ©ral, un centre d’opĂ©rations stratĂ©giques : le moulin de Jemmapes des lapins…

Translation

The rabbits sure were surprised! … For so long, they’d seen the mill door closed, the walls and platform overgrown with weeds, and they’d ended up thinking that all the millers had died out, and, finding the place to their liking, they turned it into a sort of headquarters, a strategic operations center: the Jemmapes rabbit mill…

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La nuit de mon arrivĂ©e, il y en avait bien, sans mentir, une vingtaine assis en rond sur la plate-forme, en train de se chauffer les pattes Ă  un rayon de lune… Le temps d’entr’ouvrir une lucarne, frrt ! voilĂ  le bivouac en dĂ©route, et tous ces petits derrières blancs qui dĂ©talent, la queue en l’air, dans le fourrĂ©. J’espère bien qu’ils reviendront.
Translation

The night I arrived, there were, I kid you not, about twenty sitting in a circle on the platform, warming their paws in a moonbeam…. In the time it took to crack open a window, frrt! the encampment broke up, and all these little white behinds with tails in the air were bolting into the thicket. I really hope they’ll come back.

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Quelqu’un de très Ă©tonnĂ© aussi, en me voyant, c’est le locataire du premier, un vieux hibou sinistre, Ă  tĂŞte de penseur, qui habite le moulin depuis plus de vingt ans. Je l’ai trouvĂ© dans la chambre du haut, immobile et droit sur l’arbre de couche, au milieu des plâtras, des tuiles tombĂ©es.
Translation

Another who was very surprised to see me was the second floor lodger, a gloomy, thoughtful old owl, who has lived in the mill for more than twenty years. I found him in the upstairs bedroom, motionless and upright on the propeller shaft, surrounded by rubble and fallen tiles.

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Il m’a regardĂ© un moment avec son Ĺ“il rond ; puis, tout effarĂ© de ne pas me reconnaĂ®tre, il s’est mis Ă  faire: « Hou ! hou ! Â» et Ă  secouer pĂ©niblement ses ailes grises de poussière ;—ces diables de penseurs ! ça ne se brosse jamais… N’importe ! tel qu’il est, avec ses yeux clignotants et sa mine renfrognĂ©e, ce locataire silencieux me plaĂ®t encore mieux qu’un autre, et je me suis empressĂ© de lui renouveler son bail. Il garde comme dans le passĂ© tout le haut du moulin avec une entrĂ©e par le toit ; moi je me rĂ©serve la pièce du bas, une petite pièce blanchie Ă  la chaux, basse et voĂ»tĂ©e comme un rĂ©fectoire de couvent.
Translation

He looked at me for a moment with his round eye, then, alarmed when he didn’t recognize me, he started calling, "Hoo! Hoo!" and painfully shaking his dusty wings – those damned thinking owls! they never brush themselves off… Never mind! As he is, with his blinking eyes and his sullen expression, this silent tenant pleases me even more than another, and I quickly renewed his lease. As in the past, he’s keeping the entire top of the mill with a roof entry; I reserved the downstairs room for myself, a little whitewashed room, low and vaulted like a convent refectory.

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C’est de lĂ  que je vous Ă©cris, ma porte grande ouverte, au bon soleil.
Translation

That’s where I’m writing to you from, with my door open wide to the sunlight.

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 Translation by LKL
Lettres de mon moulin est un roman français classique. Écrit en 1869, il est dans le domaine public. TĂ©lĂ©chargez l’original en format Ă©lectronique pour lire la suite gratuitement :

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk

Letters from My Windmill is a classic French novel. It was written in 1869 and is now in the public domain. Download the translated ebook to read the rest for free:

Project Gutenberg

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Lettres de mon moulin

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1 Response

  1. jane.d 12 December 2014 / 14:26

    J’ADORE cette passage and je je vais chercher le livre!