Snow covers France Posted by Tim Hildreth on Jan 19, 2021 in Culture, Vocabulary
Unusually cold temperatures brought challenges for some and treats for others as snow covered much of France this past weekend.
La France sous un manteau1the more general meaning of the word manteau is coat but can also mean blanket de blanc
Le week-end dernier2Last weekend brought de la neige3snow to much of the northern half of the country, covering the country in a blanket of white. From Alsace dans l’est4in the east to Normandie et le Nord, en passant par l’Ile-de-France « la neige est tombée en abondance »5Normandy and The North, passing by the Ile-de-France region (Paris and the surrounding area), snow fell heavily..
Pour les usagers de la route6For people travelling by road, the snow meant slower and more dangerous driving conditions. In Alsace, 4 000 foyers ont étaient privés d’électricité74,000 homes were without power/electricity. Farmers bringing their goods to market had to take extra precautions to protect leurs fruits et légumes menaçaient par le gèle8their fruits and vegetables from the freeze.
In Paris though, certains Franciliens9the name for those living in and around Paris in the Île-de-France region took advantage of the neige10snow to make up for missed vacances d’hiver11winter holidays/vacation, skiing down the collines12hills of the Butte Montmartre or sliding down the piste verte13green (ski) trail / easy (ski) trail of the Jardin du Trocadero on their skateboards with the wheels removed!
Une sélection d’images de Paris et sa région sous les flocons
Or head over to the Le Parisien for a fun collection of pictures of the neige qui est tombé15the snow that fell pendant le week-end16during the weekend. Here’s some vocabulaire utile17useful vocabulary to help you:
glisser / to slip
les flocons / the snowflakes
ailleurs / elsewhere
le “paraneige” / a play on “parapluie” (umbrella)
une voiture stationnée / a parked car
IDF / Île-de-France
la mairie / the city hall
les canards et les cygnes / the ducks and the swans
Pour approfondir votre vocabulaire
As I note above, the French word mairie means city (or town) hall. There is another term though, that also means city (or town) hall: l‘hôtel de ville. While the two terms are often used as synonyms, there is actually a difference.
Strictly speaking, l’hôtel de ville is the building that houses la mairie, which is the ensemble of the municipal government. So l’hôtel de ville is the actual town/city hall, while la mairie is the administration that occupies the building and runs the commune.
La mairie is led by un, ou une, maire18a mayor (male or female). Cliquez ici for a little history of the word maire (and to discover a great resource from RFI, Les mots de l’actualité19The words of the news).
Don’t miss it! If you’re a fan of French polars and you’re looking for a new series pour une séance de visionnage boulimique21for binge watching, check out the great series Lupin on Netflix in which the French actor Omar Sy takes a modern twist on the famous gentleman cambrioleur, Arsène Lupin.
While Netflix let’s you chose to watch the series in English, it’s much better in the original French. Turn on the closed captioning if you need to (in French, if you want an extra challenge!)
- 1the more general meaning of the word manteau is coat but can also mean blanket
- 2Last weekend
- 4in the east
- 5Normandy and The North, passing by the Ile-de-France region (Paris and the surrounding area), snow fell heavily.
- 6For people travelling by road
- 74,000 homes were without power/electricity
- 8their fruits and vegetables from the freeze
- 9the name for those living in and around Paris in the Île-de-France region
- 11winter holidays/vacation
- 13green (ski) trail / easy (ski) trail
- 14Click here for the news report from FranceInfo
- 15the snow that fell
- 16during the weekend
- 17useful vocabulary
- 18a mayor (male or female)
- 19The words of the news
- 20Remember to be careful when using the French verb manquer. Click here to find out why.
- 21for binge watching
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