French word du Jour 3 Dec 2016

Bonjour & Bonsoir


Pronunciation {bone-jur}

Language detective

(It is sometimes helpful in understanding French to look at the real meaning of all the parts of the word or phrase.)

Bon = Good

Day = day

Some French books that I have read say that “bonjour” also means “good morning”. This isn’t really true. Bonjour can be used as a greeting in the morning, but “good morning” would be ‘bon matin’ or ‘bien matin’. From my understanding “Bon matin” isn’t a term that is ever used.

It’s best to stick with bonjour until 6 P.M. (18h*) and then the greeting becomes – “Bonsoir.”

Bonsoir = good night
Pronounced {bon-swa}
(The last ‘r’ is silent and the letters ‘oi’ make the sound “wa”.)

*The French are on a 24 hour clock.

18h  – is short for – dix-huit heure.

pronounced: {dis-weet air}
(The letter ‘h’ is normally silent at the beginning of a word)


Jean-Luc Godard ; born 3 December 1930 (85)
Godard was the director/writer of «À bout de souffle»(Breathless) 1960.



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