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Paris o’clock 042920 Quiz 11: Faire l’école buissonnière

    Improve your ear for French with Bitesize French! Listen to this podcast snippet from Paris o’clock, see how many words you know. Take a minute to improve your French comprehension!

    Learn French with a podcast! This clip is from Paris o’clock 29 April 2020 Episode. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Find the full episode here.

    26 seconds, 55 words
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    ',rebellesouvent 'buissonnière. « Faire 'buissonnière » 'quisignifiequeparfois, ', ' 'envie d'yaller.Monet, 'etpendantlescours,,descaricaturesde.
    ',rebelleetilfaitsouvent 'buissonnière. « Faire 'buissonnière » 'expressionquisignifiequeparfois,ilnevapasà ', ' 'aenvie d'yaller.pourMonet, 'prisonetpendantlescours,desdessins,descaricaturesdeprofesseurs.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Paris o’clock Podcast 29 Apr 2020 Episode. We do not own this content, nor do we pretend to own it. The above is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Register on Paris o’clock site to read the full text and hear the full audio.

    Playing hookie

    While I hear the word “Donc” everywhere, I was drawn to another phrase in this snippet. “Faire l’école buissonnière“, or playing hookie – I assume that’s what that means based on Aurélie’s description.

    Stories of great minds, inventors, artists, creators are often just that. Great stories. The narrative is perfect after being refined for so long. I’m sure when Monet was playing hookie he didn’t think he was going to be a great success, or throughout his life. Or maybe great people always know they’re going to be great, even when the world doesn’t recognize it.

    Who’s to say really? At any rate, this expression is great and I love that it is so old. According to this source from the 16th century:

    “Faire l’école buissonnière”
    Aller se promener, s’amuser au lieu d’aller à l’école. Traduction anglais : to play truant.

    Cette expression date du XVIe siècle où plusieurs écoles clandestines avaient été créées dans les campagnes en opposition aux écoles des villes dirigées par le clergé. Luther, qui avait fondé sa propre église, se mit à prêcher cette nouvelle religion dans ces bois.


    I would still translate it as Playing Hookie, though this seems to have a connotation of you’re doing something else you find more productive with your time. You’re learning some other way. Of course, truancy is not that. Truancy is just not being in school. Period.

    Another fascinating old expression still in use.

    How did you find this snippet? Let us know how we’re doing below or send us any feedback. We’d love to hear it.

    The snippet in English

    Find a translation of this snippet here, how much of this did you hear?

    A l’école, il est rebelle et il fait souvent l’école buissonnière.

    « Faire l’école buissonnière » c’est une expression qui signifie que parfois, il ne va pas à l’école, s’il n’a pas envie d’y aller.

    Donc pour Monet, l’école est une prison et pendant les cours, il fait des dessins, des caricatures de ses professeurs.

    At school, he is rebellious and often skips school.

    “Playing hookie” is an expression which means that sometimes he does not go to school, if he does not want to go.

    So for Monet, the school is a prison and during the lessons, he makes drawings, caricatures of his teachers.

    The above text translated using Google Translate. Translation Link. The content in French is courtesy of Paris o’clock.

    What does “rebelle” mean?

    The word “rebelle” in this sentence refers to someone who is rebellious or disobedient to authority. It suggests that the person does not conform to the rules or expectations of the school and is likely to engage in behaviors that are deemed unacceptable by the authorities. In this context, it implies that the person in question is not interested in following the conventional path of education and prefers to do things their own way. It also suggests a certain level of defiance towards the norms and expectations of society.

    What does “faire souvent l’école buissonnière” mean?

    “Faire souvent l’école buissonnière” is a French expression that means to frequently skip school, to play truant, or to be absent without a valid reason. It is a colloquial expression that is often associated with students who are rebellious or have a lack of interest in school.

    The origin of the phrase is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have come from the practice of students hiding in the bushes or woods (buissons) to avoid going to school. The term “école buissonnière” was first recorded in the 17th century in France.

    This expression can also be used metaphorically to refer to someone who frequently avoids their responsibilities or obligations in general.

    An example of using this expression in a sentence could be: “Il faisait souvent l’école buissonnière pour aller jouer au football avec ses amis.” which translates to “He would often skip school to go play soccer with his friends.”

    In terms of antonyms, the opposite of “faire souvent l’école buissonnière” would be “assister régulièrement aux cours” (to regularly attend classes).

    Overall, this expression is often used to describe a rebellious or non-conformist behavior in relation to school attendance.

    What does “parfois” mean?

    “Parfois” is an adverb in French that means “sometimes” or “occasionally” in English. It is used to indicate that something happens or is done occasionally or irregularly. The word “parfois” comes from the Latin “per faciem” which means “by times”. It is often used in combination with other adverbs or expressions to describe how often something happens, for example: “parfois” + “beaucoup” (sometimes a lot), “parfois” + “un peu” (sometimes a little), “parfois” + “jamais” (sometimes never), etc.

    Here are a few examples of how “parfois” can be used in sentences: “Parfois, je vais au cinéma avec mes amis.” (Sometimes, I go to the movies with my friends), “Je suis parfois un peu nerveux avant de parler en public.” (I am sometimes a little nervous before speaking in public), “Parfois, il faut prendre des risques pour réussir.” (Sometimes, you have to take risks to succeed).

    It is important to note that “parfois” is not interchangeable with “quelquefois” or “fois”, which also mean “sometimes”. However, “quelquefois” is a more formal and literary word, and “fois” is more commonly used in spoken language.

    What does “s’il n’a pas envie d’y aller” mean?

    “S’il n’a pas envie d’y aller ” is a French phrase that can be translated as “if he doesn’t feel like going there” in English. “S’il” is a contraction of “si il” meaning “if he,” “n’a” is a contraction of “ne a” meaning “does not have,” “pas” means “not,” “envie” means “desire” or “wish,” and “d’y aller” means “to go there.”

    This phrase is used to describe a situation where someone does not want to go to a particular place or do a particular activity. It can be used in various contexts, such as work, school, or social events. The phrase can also be used to express a lack of enthusiasm or motivation for a task.

    For example, “S’il n’a pas envie d’y aller, il peut rester à la maison” means “If he doesn’t feel like going there, he can stay at home.”

    In conclusion, “s’il n’a pas envie d’y aller” is a common French phrase used to express a lack of desire or motivation to go to a particular place or do a particular activity.

    What does “donc” mean?

    The word “donc” in the given sentence is a conjunction that connects two ideas or pieces of information. In this case, it is used to introduce the reason or conclusion that follows from the previous statement. The word “donc” can be translated as “so” or “therefore” in English.

    In the given sentence, the speaker introduces the reason why Monet draws during class, which is because he feels like school is a prison. The word “donc” is used to indicate the logical conclusion that follows from the first part of the sentence. Without the word “donc”, the sentence would not flow as smoothly and the relationship between the two ideas would be less clear.

    While that’s the case in this clip,

    “donc” can have several different meanings and uses in French. Here are some examples:

    1. Conjunction of consequence: This is the most common use of “donc” and it’s similar to “therefore” or “so” in English. Example: “Il pleut, donc nous allons rester à la maison” (It’s raining, so we’re going to stay at home).
    2. Adverb of certainty: “Donc” can be used to indicate a high degree of certainty or emphasis on a statement. Example: “Je suis donc sûr que j’ai raison” (I am absolutely certain that I am right).
    3. Adverb of time: In some contexts, “donc” can be used to indicate a time or a duration. Example: “J’ai travaillé pendant deux heures, donc j’ai bien mérité une pause” (I worked for two hours, so I deserve a break).
    4. Adverb of manner: In some cases, “donc” can be used to indicate a manner or a way of doing something. Example: “Il a donc résolu le problème en utilisant une méthode différente” (He solved the problem by using a different method).
    5. Particle of dialogue: “Donc” can also be used as a filler word in conversation to signal a continuation of the topic or to express surprise, agreement, or disagreement. Example: “Donc, tu veux dire que tu vas partir en vacances sans moi?” (So, you mean you’re going on vacation without me?).

    Overall, “donc” is a versatile word that can have different meanings and uses depending on the context and the tone of the conversation or the text.

    What does “pendant les cours” mean?

    “Pendant les cours” means “during classes” in French. The phrase is often used to describe what someone does while they are attending classes or lectures. Depending on the context, it can have positive or negative connotations.

    For example, if someone is paying attention and taking notes, using the phrase “pendant les cours” may indicate a serious attitude towards learning. On the other hand, if someone is daydreaming, doodling, or doing something else unrelated to the class, using the same phrase may suggest that they are not taking their education seriously.

    Overall, “pendant les cours” is a common phrase that can be used in a variety of ways depending on the context.

    What does “fait des dessins” mean?

    “Fait des dessins” is a French phrase that means “draws” or “makes drawings”. The word “dessin” means “drawing” or “sketch”, and “faire” means “to make” or “to do”. The phrase is commonly used to describe someone who creates visual art, whether as a profession or as a hobby. It can refer to any type of drawing, such as pencil sketches, pen and ink drawings, or digital art.

    The origin of the phrase is likely rooted in the French language itself, as the verb “faire” is a common way of expressing the act of making or doing something. The phrase has been used in French for centuries to describe artistic endeavors, and it continues to be used in modern French today.

    Examples of the phrase “fait des dessins” could include someone saying “Elle fait des dessins magnifiques” (She makes beautiful drawings) or “Il passe son temps à faire des dessins” (He spends his time drawing).

    There are no particularly interesting or fun facts about the phrase “fait des dessins”, as it is a straightforward description of a common activity. However, drawing and visual art have a rich history in French culture, and there are many famous French artists who have made significant contributions to the world of art.

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