Ch.10: Quelle est la date de ton anniversaire?:
When is your birthday?


Early Start French 1: CONTENTS | HOME

French Starter Pack
1 Greetings
2 Goodbye
3 Ça va?
4 What's your name?
Famous people
4a Alphabet
5 Colours
6 Numbers 1-12
7 Ages
8 Months
9 Numbers 13 - 31
10 Birthdays
11 Days of the week
12 Today's date
13 Pets
14 Brothers & sisters
15 Consolidation / assessment
16 En classe

What you will learn in video section 10

Now that you know the months of the year and numbers 1-31, you are ready to talk about when your birthday is.

With your increasing repertoire of language, you can both talk about your own birthday, and find out about other people's.

When you ask about someone's birthday, you will have to try and understand whatever answer you hear!

"Mon annivewrsaire est......"

You also see (in a separate section) the key phrases written on the screen.

Celebrating a pupil's birthday in a primary school class in Villeneuve d'Ascq

You see the class sing songs to the birthday girl, then they share a cake she has brought in..
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Send a French birthday card by email

Send your friends and family a real French greeting for their birthday!

Just go to www, This site has lively simply animated birthday cards to which add your own message - in French. There's a lot of cards to choose from - this one (right) sings you a song in french.

when you've chosen your card, you type in up to 40 characters and then send it via email. Practise writing your message before you go on line - and ask your teacher to check if you have written it correctly.

There are also designs for Easter, Hallowe'en, Christmas, New Year, etc.

Go to: to try it out for yourself.

Also see: -where you can create cards in French/ Italian/ Spanish/ Chinese etc. - Thanks to Dan Tierney

Look for "cartes animées"..

..and make your choice..
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Name Days

Your 'Name Day' is the day devoted to the Saint after whom you are named. These are still widely observed in France, although children's birthdays are now the more usual occasion for their family to give a present and to have a party meal.

Some name days:

Alice - 16 décembre
Antoine - 13 juin
Barbara - 4 décembre
Ben - 31 mars
Caroline - 4 novembre
Christophe - 21 août
David - 29 décembre
Diane - 9 juin
Emma - 19 avril
Eric - 18 mai
Fabien - 20 janvier
Françoise - 9 mars
Geneviève - 3 janvier
Guillaume (William) - 10 janvier
Harold - 1er novembre
Hélène - 18 août

Karen - 7 novembre
Kim - 12 septembre
Laura - 10 août
Louis - 25 août
Marie - 1er janvier/ août
Matthieu - 21 septembre
Nicolas - 6 décembre
Nicole - 6 décembre/ 6 mars
Paul - 29 juin
Patricia - 17 mars
Roger - 30 décembre
Rachel - 15 janvier
Sandra - 2 avril
Sarah - 9 octobre
Tania - 12 janvier
Thomas - 3 juillet / 7 mars

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Origin of the "Birthday Song"

"Joyeux Anniversaire"
- why does that tune sound familiar?

In the video, you'll see children singing "Joyeux Anniversaire" - "Happy Birthday to you" in French - to the same tune used in English

It's not coincidence that this song is so widespread throughout Europe. Far from being centuries-old, "trad/anon", origins lost in the mists of time - it was composed and published in the US in the 1920's.

American origins

Two sisters, Mildred Hill, a teacher with musical talents at the Louisville, Kentucky Experimental Kindergarten, and Dr. Patty Hill, the principal of the same school, together wrote a song for the children, entitled "Good Morning to All.", which they published in a collection entitled "Song Stories of the Kindergarten" in 1893.

Second verse

Later in 1924, Robert H. Coleman wrote and published a second verse, the familiar "Happy Birthday to You", using the sisters' tune and original first verse without their permission.

Mr. Coleman's second verse became very popular, and eventually, the sisters' original first verse and title disappeared. - their song is now universally known as "Happy Birthday to You."

Court battles

Mildred died in 1916, but Patty and a third sister Jessica, took Mr. Coleman to court, and proved that they owned the melody. Because the Hill family legally owns the song, it is entitled to royalties from it, whenever it is sung for commercial purposes.

The song appears to have been spread in western Europe either as sheet music, by radio, or by American talking films in the 20s-30s, along with the gradual switch to celebrating the child's birthday rather than their Catholic saint's/name day.

Information from, with thanks to Catherine Cheater

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