Une très bonne journée de fête nationale à tous et à toutes!
ewn tray bun zhoor-NAY duh FETT naa-see-oh-NAHL ah too say ah TOOT! Click below to hear this pronounced.
Have a great day on the National Holiday, each and every one!
It may be called Bastille Day in English-speaking countries, but le 14 juillet (July 14, luh kaa-torz zhwee-YAY) is known in France simply as la fête nationale, the national holiday. And people don’t normally go around wishing each other a happy one, either. They simply wish each other a good day, like any other day.
Sure, there are des pique-niques and des feux d’artifice (see the Spk Frnch post on the Fourth of July), and in some places there is dancing in the streets, but mostly it’s a day off and a chance to do something family-oriented.
Hence the bonne journée wish. Bonjour means good day as in hello, but bonne journée means have a pleasant day, with emphasis on the agreeable activities that will fill the day. You are really telling someone you hope they enjoy their activities.
You can read about La Marseillaise (lah maar-say-YEZ, the song of Marseille), the French national anthem, here. There’s a link to an audio file of an instrumental version played by the U.S. Navy Band, and the words of La Marseillaise are printed below the link so you can follow along.