French Word-A-Day: Gourde + summer camp in France
Rondelle + Recipe everyone's asking for! My Mother-in-Law's Summer Pizza!

French Word-A-Day: Brevet + Max's exciting news!

Attempting to pose for a family photo. See the final result at the end of this post!

Today's Word: un brevet

    : diploma, school certificate
    : patent

ECOUTEZ: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French
Download MP3 or DownloadWav

Le brevet. Notre fils, Max, a eu son bts! Le brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS) est un diplôme national de l'enseignement supérieur français. Il se prépare normalement en deux années après l'obtention du BAC baccalauréat. A la rentrée, Max va commencer une ecole de commerce à Montpellier. (definition of BTS from Wikipedia)

Diploma. Our son, Max, has obtained his diploma. The Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS) technician certificate is a national diploma of higher education in France. is usually earned in two years, after graduating with a Bac (baccalauréat). In the fall, Max will begin business school in Montpellier.


    by Kristi Espinasse

As the sky wakes up this morning summertime is in clear view from my kitchen window. Beyond our lounging golden retriever, Smokey, and the pink flowering oleander, all the deck chairs are covered with beach towels--drying in time for the next swim in the sea. There is a bright sunny patch of sunflowers to the left of our wooden deck, and another crowd of tall stalks with yellow-petaled tops to the right. As if this wasn't symbolic enough, of summer, the cicadas have begun singing, or trilling, and the bougainvillea is covering the front of our farmhouse, where butterflies weave in and out of the vine's fuchsia-colored petals.

Sunflowers, cicadas, and papillons, or butterflies--c'est l'été! Another thing synonymous with summertime, is this: French students waiting anxiously for their exam results. One of our children has just received word on his ....


Congratulations to our Max who passed his BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur) and will now go on to a 3-year business school, most likely in Montpellier!

Photo caption from my Instagram: A very relieved and happy son, who just got his BTS (a two year university program that will allow him to get into business school) . Seven out of 13 classmates passed, and Max was was sweating it out until results came in! In more good news, he was accepted into two business schools. (No, the watch is not a present. He is getting ready for work, delivering pizzas by night and working as a lifeguard by day. He will work 7 days a week until the end of summer.)

Voilà. A little compte rendu from our vineyard, where the sunflowers and the cicadas -- with their bright shining petals and their clamoring vocal chords, seem to be celebrating one young frenchman's success. As for the butterflies, they've fluttered over to my daughter and settled inside her tummy.  We'll know her exam results next week. If all goes well, she will receive her baccalauréat ... and go on to design school in Aix-en-Provence.


(find Jackie in the photo at the top of the page...then whisper bonne chance". Hint, she is walking toward baby Christian.

l'été = summer, summertime
le papillon = butterfly
voilà = there you have it
le compte rendu = update, news
bon chance! = good luck
amicalement = yours truly


“There is no better way to experience France than by wandering aimlessly through a farmers' market in Aix or Avignon―the colors and fragrances, the wild strawberries and fresh cheeses. Marjorie Williams's Markets of Provence is indispensable, an authoritative and seductive guide to the best of the region.” ―Luke Barr, author of Provence 1970

One more shout-out for Markets of Provence, after so many French Word-A-Day readers ordered a copy! When you shop at Amazon via any link in this newsletter or blog, you help support French Word-A-Day.  Click here to order Markets of Provence.


Here's one last French phrase for you for today: sage comme une image. Google translate "sage comme une image" as "good as gold". Me thinks "sage comme une image" = "well-behaved as a photo"!


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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety