French Language Blog

French Culture – Oh what a year bis Posted by on Dec 29, 2020 in Culture, Language, Vocabulary

This time last year I shared a post called “Oh what a year!” … after les gilet jaunes1The yellow vests and l’incendie de Notre-Dame2the fire at Notre Dame it seemed surely 2020 would be a better year. And like 2019, 2020 has had des hauts et des bas3highs and lows, but « Oh quelle année ! » once again seems like a fitting title.

Evènement d’exception!
Before we get to the year in review, check out this exceptional event! En partenariat avec la ville de Paris4In partnership with the city of Paris, the French master of electronic music Jean Michel Jarre, will present a virtual concert from a digital version of Notre-Dame. Tune in via YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter at 23h15 CET on New Year’s Eve.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels


Despite news of a possible new virus out of China, l’année a commencée dans le calme5the year started calmly enough. January was all about vocabulary and grammar and Tell me why was the most popular post.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels


In February, “normal” news was still à la une. La météo et la politique6Weather and politics were both a bit

agitées7agitated, but things were calm enough that the unveiling of France’s 2020 entry to the Eurovision song contests was a big story.

Photo by Pressmaster from Pexels


In March, tout a basculé8everything tipped over when France (and many other countries) instituted their (first!) confinement.


Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

As early as April, even though travel was still highly restricted, everyone was already ready to get out of town. The French group Trois Cafés Gourmands and their catchy chanson9song A nos souvenirs took us on a virtual visit to la province.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels


In May, Bridgette joined us here on the Transparent Language French blog and despite the cancellation of the Eurovision competition things seemed like they might be improving enough for us to turn back to more normal topics like the post-Revolution history of France’s surprisingly resistant monarchy.


Photo by Stijn Dijkstra from Pexels

And suddenly it was summer! In June, hop-là, Bridgette brought us a little onomatopoeic fun.

Photo by Anna-Louise from Pexels


For un quatorze juillet pas comme les autres10a different kind of July 14th/Bastille Day this year we had virtual fireworks  and took a tour of French regions  and reviewed useful vocabulary for talking about cities and towns.


Photo by Mateusz Dach from Pexels

In August, la période des grandes vacances en France11vacation season / the “big break”, we spent some time down on the farm and rediscovering the classic French conte12story, tale Le Petit Prince.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels


September of course means la rentrée and so we went back to school  … a perfect opportunity for sharing some more great musique française to help you learn new vocabulary with a groove.


Photo by Marta Wave from Pexels

Unfortunately as we turned les pages du calendrier from été to l’automne13the pages of the calendar from summer to fall, it became clear that we weren’t quite done with la Covid-19 and France instituted un couvre-feu to try and tamp down the spread of the virus.

Photo by Micheile Henderson from Pexels

Novembre/décembre14Remember that les mois de l’année are not usually capitalized in French.

By late November it seemed everyone was ready for the year to be over and for les fêtes de fin d’année15the year end celebrations/holidays (even though they would be very different this year) and we started to put up les décorations de Noël perhaps just a bit earlier than usual.

And so here we are, another year ending … and it is time once again de vous souhaiter tous Bonne Année16to wish you all a Happy New Year and to vous remercier pour votre fidélité17and to thank you for your continued support.

Et que 2021 vous apporte beaucoup de bonheur et pleine d’occasions d’apprendre (surtout le français !)

And may 2021 bring you much joy and many opportunities for learning (especially French!)

And a quick final cadeau to fill your shoes … following up on last week’s video of a skateboarder at the Louvre and a ballet dancer at the Musée d’Orsay here is a video featuring the French BMX champion Matthias Dandois riding through the empty streets of Paris (and even inside a few sites!). Talk about a different way to get around Paris!

  • 1
    The yellow vests
  • 2
    the fire at Notre Dame
  • 3
    highs and lows
  • 4
    In partnership with the city of Paris
  • 5
    the year started calmly enough
  • 6
    Weather and politics
  • 7
  • 8
    everything tipped over
  • 9
  • 10
    a different kind of July 14th/Bastille Day
  • 11
    vacation season / the “big break”
  • 12
    story, tale
  • 13
    the pages of the calendar from summer to fall
  • 14
    Remember that les mois de l’année are not usually capitalized in French.
  • 15
    the year end celebrations/holidays
  • 16
    to wish you all a Happy New Year
  • 17
    and to thank you for your continued support
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


  1. Bridgette:

    Awesome post, Tim! Bonne année!