Aujourd'hui nous sommes le mercredi 15 novembre 2017. C’est la fête de Saint Albert.


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Le mot de la semaine: pont

 

Word of the week:   pont (m) (bridge)

Some people will have sung (and perhaps danced to) the childhood song “Sur le pont d’Avignon…” and know that the word “pont” means bridge. However, this week most French people will be asking each other “Est-ce que vous faites le pont?” or “Qu’est-ce que vous faites pour le pont du 11 novembre?” with happy smiles on their faces.  Why ?  Because, since Thursday, the 11th November is a public holiday for Armistice Day, many people and businesses will be taking the Friday off as well thus making a “bridge” to Saturday and giving themselves a really long weekend. “Ils vont faire le pont”.  

Le pont” is also the deck of a boat with the upper deck “le pont supérieur” and the lower “le pont inférieur” but, for a mechanic, “le pont arrière” is the rear axle of the car. 

If someone offers to “faire un pont d’or” to you, it means they are offering you a lot of money and it could be worth your while. “Vivre sous les ponts” is to live rough, “couper les ponts” is to break off all contact, “un pont aerien” is an airlift and if something is “un pont aux ânes”, it means it is common knowledge.  “Il coulera beaucoup d'eau sous les ponts avant que…” is an expression that means it will be a long time before…. 

From the word  “pont”, by extension, we get “le pontage” (bridge building) which is also used in the world of medicine for a bypass operation – “un triple pontage”.

The bridge in the photo above is the very beautiful Millau Bridge (le Viaduc de Millau) that spans the valley of the river Tarn in southern France.

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