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French vocabulary – Making resolutions Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary

Le nouvel an (New Year’s) is a perfect time for finding those little ways (comme apprendre une nouvelle langue / like learning a new language!) to make our lives better. As is the case in many countries, les Français (the French) use le jour de l’An* (New Year’s day) to declare leurs bonnes intentions (their good intentions) for the year ahead.

Les bonnes résolutions pour la nouvelle** année (New Year’s resolutions)

It’s been a few years since we looked at making resolutions in French and with all the crazy news coming out of France (and beyond) recently, now seems like as good a time as any to talk about the ways that we can all faire un monde meilleur (make a better world).

Sometimes when someone makes une résolution (a resolution), you can tell how committed they are (sometimes) by how they phrase it. Success (or failure) often depends on how committed you are. Here are some phrases you might encounter / use when des résolutions are in the air.

Français English
Cette année je vais … This year I’m going to …
Cette année je vais essayer de … This year I’m going to try to …
Cette année je veux … This year I want to …
Cette année je dois … This year I must …

Et vous ? / And you ?

What do you hope to do this year? Bellow is a (short) list of some of the many things that people often promise themselves to do more (or less) of as one year turns into the next.

Français English
Perdre du poids. Lose weight.
Faire plus du sport. Do more sports.
Regarder moins la télé. Watch less t.v.
Passer moins de temps sur Facebook (ou Twitter, Instagram … l’internet, quoi !) Spend less time on Facebook (or Twitter, Instragram … the internet!)
Appeler mes parents plus souvent. Call my parents more.
Dépenser moins. Spend less.
Manger plus bio. Eat more organic.
Passer plus du temp à la gymnase Spend more time at the gym.

Click here*** to watch a video from last year of des habitants de Reims (local people living in the French city of Reims) talking about what they hoped to accomplish in 2018.

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* Notice all the different ways to say “New Year’s” in French
** Nouvelle (neuf, neuve, nouveau, nouvelle) is one of those magical French adjectives that can both follow (as is the rule) and precede the noun. While French adjectives usually come after the noun that they modify, adjectives of beauty, age, goodness, and size (or as they’re sometimes referred BAnGS …) generally precede the noun.
*** With all of the chaos in France right now, the local media has been less focused on lighter fare this year than in years past.

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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