: playground, schoolyard
Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in the following story. Then scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your French comprehension.
Click here to begin listening
A (Birth)DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Recently the word "recreation" jumped right off the page of the book I was reading. For the first time, the meaning revealed itself right there in the spelling: RE-CREATION.
Waouh! Quel mot!
From the Latin "recreare," récréation literally means to create again, to renew--though most of us understand recreation as "an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working."
Speaking of not working that's my plan for my birthday! And while Miss Manners says it's uncouth to announce one's anniversaire on social media--it is A-OK to shout it out on the playground (etiquette dictates if you're under the age of 12, you can run around telling everybody it's your birthday)!
According to my passport I'm way past the age of 12, but today we're pretending we're on the playground--at a long table decorated with balloons and gifts. And it would give me so much pleasure, Dear Reader, to open those imaginary cadeaux--and discover a certain memory you have from this blog. Will you share your souvenirs? Is there a word or story that comes to mind? A recipe, un truc or une astuce you'll never forget learning here? Or maybe you have a special connection to this newsletter (you had to read it in high school, and now this many years later you are still reading?). It would tickle me to know.
Thank you very much for playing along and, on that note, may this cours where we meet weekly remain a creative playground—an alternative classroom where we may nod in respect to Miss Manners while running wild and free!
P.S.: I could write a book about how much I have learned from you, beginning with grammar (when I began this blog I didn't know the difference between it's and its). Thank you for all you have taught me. I think about you, your words, your advice, your personal experiences, and sometimes I even dream about you when I am sleeping!
le cabanon = little stone hut or shed in Provence
la cour de récré = playground, schoolyard
waouh! (or ouah!) = wow!
quel mot = what a word
un anniversaire = birthday
autrement dit = in other words, put another way
le cours = lesson, class
la cour = courtyard, schoolyard
le cadeau = present, gift
le souvenir = memory, recollection
amicalement = yours, kind regards, best
Words not included in the sound file
un truc = a thing, a trick (hack)
une astuce = a tip, a hack
Speaking of a word's meaning suddenly revealing itself, don't miss the story "Mangeoire"--just in time for Christmas.
A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.
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