22:29 Nov 10, 2019
This question was closed without grading. Reason: No acceptable answer

French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Human Resources / Holidays
French term or phrase: pont
What is the closest equivalent in English of the word "pont" used when someone takes a day off in between two public holidays
I don't think "bridge" or "deck" would be used in this context
Ex.: "le pont du mois de mai entre le 8 mai et le jeudi de l'Ascension"
Local time: 15:27

Summary of answers provided
4 +5long weekend
Tony M
2long [public] holiday
Wolf Draeger

Discussion entries: 7



1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
long weekend

There is no one single term that conjures up the same meaning in EN; it is USUALLY a weekend that is extended, so 'long weekend' is not wrong; BUT in the UK at least, we simply don't do this, joining a weekend up with and adjacent Public Holiday, most commonly making therefore a 4-day wekeend. This is largely because many of the old religious festivals fell on a Thursday, whereas for a long tme now, UK Public Holidays have been shifted so they fall on a Monday. Only Christmas Day and New Year's Day still fall on random days of the week.

I don't think you are going to find one simple elegant drop-in solution; you will probablmy need to take each case on its merits and explain as you go, perhaps shortening to 'long weekend' once the principle has been explained and established.

Tony M
Local time: 05:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 99

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: yes, Larousse covered it fairly well I thought. Robert isn't that great (extra days off). https://www.proz.com/kudoz/french-to-english/other/540422-fa...
34 mins
  -> Thanks, W/A!

agree  Timothy Rake
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Timothy!

agree  Michael J.H. Davies: I think Tony has hit the nail on the head - it is not all French (or other languages) expressions that have a direct equivalent in English (or any other language for that matter).
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Michael!

agree  Wolf Draeger: Will work most (if not all) of the time in practice.
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, Wolf!

agree  Kathleen Johnson
19 hrs
  -> Thanks, Kathleen!
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
long [public] holiday

A more neutral option to include cases where the days off don't involve the weekend?

Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that many if not most of the ponts thus taken fall between religious holidays whose occurence and places in the calendar are specific to France—like Ascension Thursday (pont de l'Ascension), with the Friday taken off as a matter of course. When a holiday falls e.g. on a Tuesday, the resulting pont can be more than one day.

Here in South Africa, it's quite common for people to take one or more days off before or after a public holiday, and if you can tie it into a long weekend, so much the better!

Note added at 13 hrs (2019-11-11 11:35:54 GMT)

Here's a nice definition in FR from the CNRTL (https://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/pont):

− Faire le pont. Chômer un ou plusieurs jours ouvrables, situé(s) entre deux jours fériés (ou entre un jour férié et un week-end); avoir ce congé de quelques jours. −Le 1er mai, c'était férié mais le 30 avril, c'était quoi? −Rien! mais entre un dimanche et un jour férié, on fait le pont (J. Faizant ds Le Point, 7 mai 1984, n°607, p.68).

♦ [Pont est empl. hors de l'expr.] Congé comprenant un ou plusieurs jours ouvrables chômés parce que situé(s) entre deux jours fériés (ou entre un jour férié et un week-end). Un pont de quatre jours. Comme deux sots nous n'avions pas pensé au pont du 15 août. Les domestiques étaient de sortie (Cendrars, Bourlinguer, 1948, p.370).

Example sentence(s):
  • The May long holiday between the 8th and Ascension Thursday.
  • The long public holiday in May between the 8th and Ascension Thursday.

    Reference: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascension_(f%C3%AAte)
    Reference: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%AAtes_et_jours_f%C3%A9ri%C...
Wolf Draeger
South Africa
Local time: 06:27
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: a long holiday can be longer than just a 'pont'. This is everyday French and anyone bilingual knows exactly what it means
1 hr
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