Is it a cold or maybe hay fever? With so much blossoming going on, and le printemps around the corner, it is probably le rhume des foins causing this sneezing and stuffy nose and not simply le rhume.
TODAY'S WORD: le rhume des foins
: hay fever, rhinitis
3-minute video : there is no Y sound in the French word for "pure." Watch the demonstration.
EXAMPLE SENTENCE & Audio File
Démangeaisons du nez, éternuements, écoulement nasal clair, sensation de nez bouché en sont les principales caractéristiques [du rhume des foins]. La rhinite allergique s'accompagne le plus souvent de démangeaisons du palais, des conduits auditifs et des yeux. La fatigue, les maux de tête, un écoulement dans l'arrière gorge, les difficultés à se concentrer et à s'endormir ainsi que la perte d'odorat sont des signes caractéristiques de la rhinite. (Le Journal des Femmes; Rhinite Allergique)
Itching of the nose, sneezing, runny nose, stuffed nose are the principal characteristics [of hay fever]. Allergic rhinitis most often accompanies a itchy palate, itchy ear canals and eyes. Fatigue, headache, post-nasal drip, difficulty concentrating and falling asleep as well as loss of taste are characteristic signs of hay fever.
LISTEN to Jean-Marc read today's example sentence: Download Rhume-des-foins
Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French or Exercises in French Phonetics
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
Every year I am duped, completely duped, by a little yellow ball of fluff. Le pollen!
This year was no different. I thought I'd caught a cold and so began acting like a cold victim (or maybe even a flu victim!). I tucked myself into bed. Took a Dolipran for my aching body, and cancelled my Thursday night meetup, not wanting to share microbes, as the French say.
Friday, when we went looking at houses, I bundled up with a thick scarf around my neck. I apologized to each realtor and homeowner who reached for my hand to shake it: Désolée, je suis enrhumée....
But as we drove along country roads flanked with blossoming almond trees--mimosa dotting the hillsides, Jean-Marc had an intuition: "Peut-être c'est tes allergies...."
Sneezing 5 times in succession convinced me. "Et oui! Ce n'est pas le rhume -- c'est le rhume des foins!"
At the pharmacy I asked the man behind the counter if many people have come in complaining about hay fever. "Non," he said. "But they'll soon be pouring in. C'est la saison." Indeed it is--it's allergy season!
Share any tips for hay fever relief in the comments at the end of this post. Thanks.
Be prepared for hay fever season: a selection of products, here.
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RECIPE FOR MINT & GOAT CHEESE QUICHE + Le Badinage - a story about bantering, repartee & discover the EMLA patch, used here in France: it prevents any pain from shots! It is for kids and squeamish adults.
le Doliprane = medication containing paracetamol
le microbe = germ
désole(e) = sorry
je suis enrhumé = I have a cold
peut-être c'est les allergies = maybe it's allergies
la rhûme = cold (sickness)
la rhûme des foins = hay fever
c'est la saison = it's the season
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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi