French Language & Culture


La Marseillaise / Learning / Links/ Time

National Anthem of France (La Marseillaise, The Song of Marseille) (English subtitles)

"La Marseillaise" (English: "The [Song of] Marseille") is the national anthem of France. It was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792 and adopted in 1795 as the nation's first anthem. The melody is an adaptation of a theme written in 1781 by Giovan Battista Viotti. It became the rallying call of the French Revolution and received its name because it was first sung on the streets by volunteers (fédérés) from Marseille upon their entry into Paris on 30 July 1792 after a young volunteer from Montpellier called François Mireur had sung it at a patriotic gathering in Marseille and the troops adopted it as the marching song of the National Guard of Marseille. A newly graduated medical doctor, Mireur later became a general under Napoléon Bonaparte and died in Egypt at 28. Only the first verse (and sometimes the fifth and sixth) and the first chorus are sung today in France. Above is the long version of the anthem.

La Marseillaise The Marseillaise was a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize all the citizens and an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching on the capital. The song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music.


The Marseillais volunteers departing, sculpted on the Arc de Triomphe

Lyrics:

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés? (bis)
Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter!
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
De rendre à l'antique esclavage!

Aux armes, citoyens...

Quoi! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi! Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers! (bis)
Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées!

Aux armes, citoyens...

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix! (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre!

Aux armes, citoyens...

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups!
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
À regret s'armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!

Aux armes, citoyens...

Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs! (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!

Aux armes, citoyens...

(Couplet des enfants)[13]
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre

Aux armes, citoyens...

Arise, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny's
Bloody banner is raised, (repeat)
Do you hear, in the countryside,
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They're coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let's march, let's march!
Let an impure blood
Soak our fields!

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings want?
For whom are these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What fury it must arouse!
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

To arms, citizens...

What! Foreign cohorts
Would make the law in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would strike down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Great God! By chained hands
Our brows would yield under the yoke
Vile despots would have themselves
The masters of our destinies!

To arms, citizens...

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors
The shame of all parties,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their reward! (repeat)
Everyone is a soldier to combat you
If they fall, our young heroes,
The earth will produce new ones,
Ready to fight against you!

To arms, citizens...

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare those sorry victims,
Who arm against us with regret. (repeat)
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who, mercilessly,
Rip their mother's breast!

To arms, citizens...

Sacred love of the Fatherland,
Lead, support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished Liberty,
Fight with thy defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, may victory
Hurry to thy manly accents,
May thy expiring enemies,
See thy triumph and our glory!

To arms, citizens...

(Children's Verse)
We shall enter the (military) career
When our elders are no longer there,
There we shall find their dust
And the trace of their virtues (repeat)
Much less keen to survive them
Than to share their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or following them

To arms, citizens...

Aboriginal Canada "your single window to Canadian Aboriginal on-line resources, contacts, information, and government programs and services" - available in French or English
Algeria Interface news from Algeria in French and English
ARTFL (American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language. A textual database of 2000 texts from the 15th-20th centuries in literature, philosophy, arts and sciences; University of Chicago/CNRS)
BBC French Course for beginners, also video clips, phrase book, games and quizzes
Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris)
CANADA page of links
Cajun Culture
Cajun Music, look under "cajun"
Chartres: Cathedral of Notre Dame
Chateau de Versailles in French and English; photographic essays about the buildings and grounds with 360 degree panoramas of the Hall of Mirrors and the King's Bedchamber
Crossword Puzzle Solver words starting with, ending with, containing, that match; search in English, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Spanish
Dictionary, French Language
Early Canadiana Online "Canada's published heritage" - full text of over 2600 books and pamphlets originally published between the 16th and early 20th century; many of the books are in French
Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network Canadian frog watch, worm watch, ice watch, many other interesting topics; available in English and French
France in America
*Free Language Courses, FSI many languages taught by the Foreign Language Institute
French in Action A video instructional series in French for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 52 half-hour video programs
French Language Research (ARTFL) (many full-text databases)
French Ministry of Culture (Paris, France)
French Texts (From Labyrinth, Georgetown University)
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (The University of Texas at Austin)
glossaries and wordlists"
Jean Claude Izzo official site built by his son; noir author and poet
Jules Verne Collection, Zvi Har'El's contains 18 novels, 8 short stories, 2 essays, and 5 interviews, which are all accessible in French, English, and Spanish
Language Learning Library covers basics of Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution essays, images, documents, songs, map, timeline, and a glossary
Mixxer a free educational site for language learners and teachers to find a language partner for a language exchange. The language partner is someone who speaks the language you study as their native language and is studying your native language. The partners then meet online to help each other practice and learn a foreign language
My Language Exchange links you with an overseas pen pal to practice a foreign language
Napoleonic Caricatures
Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century
The Paris Page
Pictures of Paris from Mariana Ornelas' trip
Resources on French Culture and Language (From Labyrinth, Georgetown University)
Rodin, Musee in French and English
Tennessee Bob's Famous French Links (University of Tennessee at Martin)
Translate - Babel Fish translation service
UCL Faculté de philosophie et lettres: Catalogue des publications in French - University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Université du Québec
UTNetCAT Library Catalog (The University of Texas at Austin)  The French collections here are the strongest in the Southwest. While all areas are represented, particular strengths are in the medieval through 18th-century periods and in various movements of the 20th-century.  Materials on the various languages and dialects spoken in France, such as Breton, Occitan and Langue d'Oc, are included as well as on varieties of French spoken elsewhere. The collections from Quebec and from the Caribbean are well represented as well as African and Cajun imprints.
Visit Paris, A Small Tour
Web Museum, Paris
WESSWeb (University of Virginia)


Learning French

Reverso


Time in French

Telling Time in French - L'Heure The French word for "time," as in "what time is it?" is l'heure, not le temps. The latter means time as in "I spent a lot of time there."

In English, we often leave out "o'clock" - it's perfectly fine to say "It's seven" or "I'm leaving at three-thirty." Not so in French - you always have to say heure (except with midi and minuit).

In French, the hour and minute are separated by h (for heure) where in English we use a colon :

French doesn't have words for "a.m." and "p.m." You can use du matin for a.m., de l'après-midi from noon until about 6 p.m., and du soir from 6 p.m. until midnight, but time is usually expressed on a 24-hour clock. Thus 3 p.m. is normally expressed as quinze heures or 15h00, but you can also say trois heures de l'après-midi.

French Temporal Words and Phrases Talking about time requires a fair amount of vocabulary. Here are dozens of French words and expressions related to time, including periods of time, points in time, relative time, and frequency.

les jours de la semaine days of the week

lundi Monday
mardi Tuesday
mercredi Wednesday
jeudi Thursday
vendredi Friday
samedi Saturday
dimanche Sunday

les mois de l'année months of the year

janvier January
février February
mars March
avril April
mai May
juin June
juillet July
août August
septembre September
octobre October
novembre November
décembre December



Colby Glass, MLIS