Months of the Year

The French months of the year are very similar to the English months. Notice that the last four months are almost exactly like English.

We get the names of our months from the Roman calendar. Originally the first month was March, mars in French, named after Mars, the Roman god of war, who was important in such an imperialistic culture. The theory was that if you are planning to take over the world, you need to keep the war-god happy. September was then the seventh month, like the French number sept from the Latin septem for seven, October was then the eighth month, from the Latin octo for eight, November was then the ninth month, like the French number neuf from the Latin novem for nine, and December was then the tenth month, like the French number dix from the Latin decem for ten.

Learn the French months of the year:

janvier (zhahn**-VYAY) – January
février (fay-vree-YAY) – February
mars (MARS*) – March
avril (av-RIL) – April
mai (MAY) – May
juin (ZWUHn**) – June
juillet (zhwee-YEH**) – July
août (OO) – August
septembre (sep-TAHn-bruh) – September
octobre (ahk-TAH-bruh) – October
novembre (noh-VAHn-bruh) – November
décembre (day-SAHn-bruh) – December

* – pronounce this s like “s” not “z.”
** – zh is pronounced like “s” in usual or “g” in beige

(Please note that the guides to pronunciation only give a rough idea of what things really sound like in French.

Listen to the podcast to hear the correct pronunciation.


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