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  • Happy Birthday to you!

    The Deux-Sèvres Monthly celebrates it’s fifth birthday with this issue. «Joyeux anniversaire» (Happy Birthday).

    The different customs that we observe today for birthdays have a long history. Their origins are linked to magic and religion. Ancient practices consisted of offering congratulations «adresser des félicitations» and giving presents, «offrir des cadeaux». Lighted candles, «des bougies allumées» were supposed to protect the person who was celebrating his birthday from demons.

    In most Anglo-Saxon countries, but also in others, it is common practice to sing the traditional ‘Happy Birthday to You’. «Joyeux Anniversaire» is sung in France to the same tune but you can also sing the more traditional «Bon anniversaire, nos vœux les plus sincères.»

    In France it also used to be traditional to wish someone «Bonne Fête» on his Saint’s day on the calendar. This custom seems to be dying out somewhat – perhaps because it is no longer compulsory to choose a child’s name from the names on the calendar.

    If the easiest way to wish someone a Happy Birthday in French is to say «Joyeux Anniversaire», (Happy Birthday). Other ways do exist, another simple way is just to say «bon anniversaire» (good birthday). You can also say «Passe une merveilleuse journée» (have a great day). «Meilleurs voeux» means best wishes and «Félicitations» is congratulations. If you want to say something a bit longer you can say «je te souhaite plein de bonheur» - I wish you lots of happiness. «Que tu puisses être heureux encore de nombreuses années» would be the equivalent of many happy returns. «Que tous tes vœux se réalisent» (may all your wishes come true).

    Sometimes you forget the date of a birthday. So you can ask when someone’s birthday is.

    When is David’s birthday? «C’est quand, l’anniversaire de David?». Or, when is your birthday ? «Quand est ton anniversaire?» Or, to be even more precise – when were you born? «Quelle est ta date de naissance ?» «Quand es-tu né ?»

    And, of course, if you miss the actual date you can always send belated birthday wishes «Joyeux anniversaire en retard» or «meilleurs vœux en retard».

    Vocabulary / Vocabulaire:

    le cadeau d’anniversaire ........ Birthday present

    la carte d’anniversaire ........... Birthday card

    le gâteau d’anniversaire ........ Birthday cake

    le goûter d’anniversaire ........ children’s birthday party

    souhaiter un bon anniversaire à quelqu’un ............................

    to wish someone a Happy Birthday

    to celebrate your 40th ........... fêter ses quarante balais *

    to blow out your 40 candles.... souffler ses quarante bougies *

    * you can change the numbers

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    by Sue Burgess

    The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2016 | 11

    Getting Out & About A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Hobbies Clubs & Associations Our Furry Friends Communications Food & Drink Health, Beauty & Fitness Home & Garden Motoring Take a Break Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property Argo Carpentry Assurances Maucourt (GAN) Bar Le Clemenceau Beaux Villages Immobilier BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want Bill McEvoy (Plumber/Heating Engineer) Blevins Franks Financial Management Brian Fox (Web Designer) Building & Renovation Services Café Bonbon Camping Les Prairies du Lac Caniclôture Hidden Fences Carlill-Strover Building Cherry Picker Hire Chris Parsons (Heating, Electrical, Plumbing) Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) Cindy Mobey (Freelance Writer & Marketing Consultant) CJ Electricité Clean Sweep Chimney Services Cosmetic Contour (Permanent Makeup) Cottage Services (Garden Maintenance) Currencies Direct - Sue Cook Darren Lawrence David Cropper (Stump Grinding) David Watkins Chimney Sweep Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) Derek Marriott Plumbing and Heating Down to Earth Pool Design Duncan White - Agent Commerciale Ecopower €pe (Solar Power) Finagaz (Gas tank suppliers and installers) Franglais Deliveries Fresco Interiors Ginger’s Kitchen Hallmark Electronique Haynes Carpentry (U.P.V.C Double Glazing Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) Irving Location - Digger Hire Irving Location - Septic Tank Installation & Groundworks James Moon Construction Jb Plumbing Jeff’s Metalwork John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic Julian Dor-Vincent (Farrier) La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) La Vendée Chippy Le Comptoir du Tapissier (Upholstery & Hardware) Leggett Immobilier L’Emporium Shop, L’Absie Le Tour de Finance Lorraine Wallace (Health Coach in France) Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction ML Computers Motor Parts Charente Mr Piano Man MSS Construction Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances Needa Hand Services Nicola Hancock - Agent Commerciale Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) Photo Creativity (Film transfer) Polar Express (Frozen Food Supplier) Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) Quedubois (windows and doors) Restaurant des Canards Rob Berry Plastering Services Robert Lupton Electrician Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) Salon des Vins et Terroirs 2016 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) Sarl PCEM (Plumbing, heating & Electricity) Satellite TV Simon the Tiler Simply Homes & Gardens Smart Services (Home & Garden Services) Steve Coupland (Property Services) Steve Enderby (Painter, Decorator, Carpenter) Steve Robin (Plumber) Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) Tersannes Timber (Gates & Fencing) The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre Val Assist (Translation Services) Zumba Gold Classes