Skip to content

Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 10: souffler ses bougies

Do you know what “souffler ses bougies” means? Hear it in this clip of French in real life. Start at any level, choose how much of the transcript you can see and fill in the blanks as you listen!

This clip is from Passerelles Episode 1. Listen and fill in what you hear below. Read more and find a translation below. Listen to the full episode here.

11 seconds, 28 words

This audio sample and transcription is from Passerelles ep. 1. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode

, ' '.,.
,partager qu'on 'poséeanniversaire.liéetradition,soufflerbougies.
enfin,vaispartageravecvousquestion qu'on m'aposéejouranniversaire.questionliéeàtradition,cellesoufflersesbougies.

blowing out candles

What’s opening up for you with this clip?

The snippet in English

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

Et enfin, je vais partager avec vous une question qu’on m’a posée le jour de mon anniversaire. Une question liée à une tradition, celle de souffler ses bougies.

And finally, I’m going to share with you a question I was asked on my birthday. And finally, I’m going to share with you a question I was asked on my birthday. A question linked to the tradition of blowing out candles.

The above translation from Deepl. Source

What does “souffler ses bougies” mean?

The phrase “souffler ses bougies” literally translates to “blow out one’s candles.” It is a common expression used in the context of celebrating birthdays, particularly when someone blows out the candles on their birthday cake.

Here’s some information about the words “souffler” and “bougies”:

  1. Souffler: The verb “souffler” means “to blow.” It is derived from the noun “souffle” (breath) and is used to describe the action of exhaling forcefully or blowing air. In the context of birthday celebrations, “souffler” refers to the act of blowing out the candles on a cake.
  2. Bougies: The word “bougies” translates to “candles.” It is the plural form of the noun “bougie.” Candles are a traditional element of birthday celebrations, where they are placed on top of a birthday cake. The person celebrating their birthday is expected to blow out the candles in one breath, making a wish as they do so.

Fun fact: Blowing out candles on a birthday cake is a popular tradition believed to have originated in ancient Greece. It was believed that the smoke from the candles carried the birthday person’s wishes and prayers to the gods. Over time, this tradition has become a symbol of making a wish for good luck and happiness in the coming year.

So, when someone “souffle ses bougies,” they are performing the symbolic act of blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, often accompanied by making a secret wish.

What does “souffler” mean?

The verb “souffler” in French has multiple meanings and uses. Here are some key points about this versatile verb:

  1. To blow: The most common meaning of “souffler” is “to blow” or “to exhale forcefully.” It refers to the act of expelling air from the mouth with some degree of force. For example, you can use it to describe blowing out candles, blowing on hot food or beverages to cool them down, or blowing into a musical instrument.
  2. To whisper: Another meaning of “souffler” is “to whisper.” In this context, it refers to speaking in a soft, hushed tone, often to avoid being overheard. For instance, you might say “souffler à l’oreille de quelqu’un” (to whisper in someone’s ear) or “souffler des mots doux” (to whisper sweet words).
  3. To divulge or leak: In an informal context, “souffler” can mean “to divulge” or “to leak” information. It is often used in journalism or discussions related to confidential or sensitive matters. For example, “souffler une information à la presse” means “to leak information to the press.”

Fun fact: The word “souffler” is also used in the world of sports, particularly in soccer (football). It refers to a technique called “header” in English, where a player hits the ball with their head. In French, this action is commonly referred to as “souffler dans le ballon” or “têtez le ballon” (to head the ball).

Overall, “souffler” is a versatile verb with meanings related to blowing, whispering, and divulging information, depending on the context in which it is used.

What does “bougies” mean?

“Bougies” is the plural form of the noun “bougie” in French. Here are some key points about this word:

Candle: The primary meaning of “bougie” is “candle.” It refers to a cylindrical object made of wax or another combustible material with a central wick that is lit to provide light. Candles are commonly used for various purposes, including decoration, religious or ceremonial rituals, and creating a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Birthday candles: In the context of birthday celebrations, “bougies” specifically refers to birthday candles. When celebrating someone’s birthday, it is customary to place candles on a cake, and the birthday person blows them out while making a wish. Each candle typically represents one year of the person’s age.

Figurative use: In a figurative sense, “bougies” can be used to symbolize celebration, joy, or hope. For example, you might hear expressions like “éclairer une pièce avec des bougies” (to light a room with candles) to create a romantic ambiance, or “allumer les bougies de l’espoir” (to light the candles of hope) in a metaphorical sense.

What did you love about this?

Comment below with your feedback! Tells us what you think. Send a note or leave a comment below. We appreciate the feedback. Also, we’re always looking for partners to build this site and grow the content available.

Do you know what “souffler ses bougies” means? Hear it in this clip of French in real life. Start at any level, choose how much of the transcript you can see and fill in the blanks as you listen!

2 thoughts on “Passerelles ep. 1, Quiz 10: souffler ses bougies”

  1. Heya,

    Very minor one, the title of this page has the podcast spelled incorrectly, “passarelles” instead of “passerelles”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *