Frère Jacques French Lyrics & English Translation

If you are an adult and are learning French for the first time or if you’re a child and are just starting your studies then learning French songs really is the way to go! Ever since I can remember I have loved the song Frère Jacques. If you’re just starting to get into French vocabulary this should be a good starting point as you should already be familiar with the tune and English words of the song.

video source: KiddieOK

Firstly, I’ve always like the name, Jacques, as that was my host father’s name in France and he’s a great guy and fantastic French teacher! On line two you’ll see: Dormez-vous? That’s the verb, dormir (to sleep) in the vous (you plural or formal) form. When you invert vous dormez (you are sleeping) to dormez-vous you get the question: “Are you sleeping?”. On the next line you’ll read: “Sonnez les matines”. Sonner is a verb and it means to ring. Les matines is a word that is not used much in modern french but it means bells. Normally, for bells you’d say “les cloches (f, pl).

french lyrics & english translations

Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don.

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong. (Source: Wikipedia)

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