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French News – A la une Posted by on Feb 18, 2020 in Culture, Music, News, Vocabulary

Bienvenue (welcome) to another round up of the latest news from France! In areas as diverse as la politique (politics), la météo (the weather), la musique (music), and l’urbanisme (urban planning), a lot has been going in France.

Le temps s’améliore

Last week’s song by Saint André featured a weather term that was also very much in the news in France and other parts of western Europe last week. Over the past few weeks, a number of tempêtes (storms) have battered the country bringing des rafales1While it is common to find the English term ‘binge watching’ in French, the word ‘rafale’ also shows up in a French version of the expression: ‘visionnage en rafale’ de vent (wind gusts/strong winds), des ras de marées le long des côtes (tidal surges along the coasts), de fortes pluies (heavy rains).

Fortunately later this week, après une dernière tempête, le temps devrait s’améliorer sur l’ensemble du pays (the weather should be improving across the country).

Ailleurs à la une / In other news

La politique

Les grèves contre la réforme des retraites (Strikes against the planned retirement changes) continue across France, but with differing results. While the leading syndicats (unions) called for une journée noire (a ‘black day’) the Monday February 17 across the major transports (public transport), les ouvriers (the workers) don’t seem to have listened. Métro service across la région parisienne (the area in and around Paris) was only moderately perturbé (disrupted).


Le dimanche 16 février, le Pavillon de l’Arsenal hosted a public exposition and ‘vote’ on a new projet d’aménagement (design project) for the Champs-Élysées and the Place de la Concorde that would make them “plus verts et avec moins de voitures” (greener and with less cars).

Nothing much can happen until after the next élections municipales (municipal elections) and the selection of Paris’s next mayor, but it looks like a potentially major update to one of the world’s most famous avenues.

Et pour finir … une chanson

Also on dimanche, this time sur France2 (on the French tv station France2), the new French song for this year’s Eurovision song contest was unveiled. The chanson mi-français mi-anglais (half French, half English song), The Best in Me, was co-written by the French singer Amir, who himself represented France in the contest in 2016.

Could it be a winner? We won’t know until after the finals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May.

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Photo by Elizaveta Kozorezova from Pexels

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris