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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the Day: Vendredi saint

It's French for the religious holiday most of France doesn’t celebrate…

French word of the Day: Vendredi saint
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know Vendredi saint?

Because it’s the French for one of the most important days on the Christian calendar, and a public holiday in many countries… but not in most of France.

What does it mean? 

Literally, it means ‘sainted (or blessed) Friday’. It’s the French term for Good Friday – the Friday before Easter and the day, according to Christians, that Jesus Christ was crucified.

We’ve written about it elsewhere, but while Good Friday is celebrated in countries around the world, in most of France it’s just another day.

READ ALSO Why is Good Friday not a holiday in (most of) France?

Use it like this

Le Vendredi saint marque la crucifixion de Jésus – Good Friday marks the day of Jesus’ crucifixion

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?

Synonyms

Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener

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