Last Christmas, I gave you my heart… (yeah! I translated and sang you The Twelve Days of Christmas in French which is basically the same but without the added risk of you giving it away the very next day). This year, to save
me you from tears, I’m not going to sing – I’m going to give you the lyrics to the French version of Jingle Bells, along with some neat French lessons. Eat your heart out, George Michael!
Now, how in Santa’s Stockings do you translate, “Jingle Bells” into French?
You don’t! Let’s face it, it barely means anything in English. Fortunately, the French have their own lyrics for this tune, which are very different but equally jolly and festive…
Vive le vent (“Long live the wind”)
(Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells.)
Frankly, the hardest part with this song is trying to squeeze all those tricky extra French syllables in without swallowing your own tongue. Here’s a cute version I found on YouTube. I hope the child who sang it survived.
Righto! Let’s see what we can learn from these lyrics. (To reveal the translation along with a relevant lesson, click the arrows to the right.)
Sur le long chemin,
Tout blanc de neige blanche,
Un vieux monsieur s'avance,
All white with white snow,
An old man advances,Related lessons:
Short and common adjectives that go BEFORE nouns (adjective position)
Mon, ma, mes; ton, ta, tes; son, sa, ses = my; your; his / her (possessive adjectives)
Common mistakes with mon/ma/mes, ton/ta/tes and son/sa/ses (possessive adjectives)
Et tout là-haut le vent,
Qui siffle dans les branches...
Which whistles in the branches...Related lessons:
Qui = Who, which, that (relative pronouns)
Qu'il chantait petit enfant, oh !
That he used to sing (as a) young child, oh!Related lessons:
Que = Whom, which, that (relative pronouns)
Vive le vent, vive le vent,
Conjugate regular verbs in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)
In French, the expression “Vive (quelque chose)” has become a bit like the English “Hooray for (something)” and can actually be used with things as well as people. E.g. “Vive les vacances!” Hooray for holidays!
Vive le vent d'hiver,
Qui s'en va sifflant, soufflant,
Dans les grands sapins verts, oh !
Vive le temps d'hiver,
Long live the winter weather,Related lessons:
Prepositions with seasons: en, l', au
Boules de neige et Jour de l'An Et Bonne Année grand-mère !
and Happy New Year Grandma!Related lessons:
Compound nouns formed with prepositions à, de, en
Goes down towards the village,Related lessons:
Using dans, sur, sous, devant, derrière, entre to say in, on top of, under, in front of, behind (prepositions)
Et l'ombre danse au coin du feu.
And the shadow dances near the fire.Related lessons:
Où = where AND when (relative pronouns)
Chacun, chacune, chaque = each, each one (indefinite adjectives and pronouns)
Et l'on entend la même chanson, oh !
And you hear the same song, oh!Related lessons:
Le/la même, les mêmes = The same (indefinite pronouns)
That’s it! I’m always surprised by just how many lessons there are to be learned from even a simple song – some of them quite advanced. This one, known by heart by practically every child in France, has lessons all the way up to B2!
Enfin, je vous souhaite de la part de tout le monde ici à Kwiziq et French Test de passer un Joyeux Noël et une super Bonne Année!