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French Word of the Day: La rentrée (is it that time already?)

French Word of the Day: La rentrée (is it that time already?)
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Because today's the day.

Why have we chosen la rentrée?

From news sites to adverts, this word is hard to escape at the moment. 

In France, la rentrée doesn’t only refer to a specific time of year, it is also something of a tradition in France and it’s possible you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by the number of articles instructing you on how to prepare for it as well as the changes that it signals

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So, what does it mean?

La rentrée literally means ‘the return’ and is the term used to mean the start of the school year or the beginning of term and the return to work after the summer holidays during the first week of September.

But as you’ll know if you live in France, it takes on a greater sense of importance than the English translation might suggest. 

In France, with many people – especially those with children – taking three weeks off over the summer and with school children on holiday for a whopping two months during July and August, getting back to work after the break is a big deal.  

It is almost seen as a substitute for New Year and in France la rentrée is seen as a fresh beginning, which doesn’t only apply to school children.

It also applies to the return to work of France’s politicians.

Photo: AFP
 
Examples

La rentrée scolaire aura lieu début septembre – The start of the school year will take place at the beginning of September.

In headlines: 

Les 100 choses à faire à Paris à la rentrée – One hundred things to do in Paris at the beginning of term.

(Le Figaro)

Le coût de la rentrée scolaire de plus en plus cher – The cost of the start of the school year gets more and more expensive.

(La Depeche)


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