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In Russian there is the same thing -> pleonasm for ' today '
(google translate if you don't believe me)
Russians are also using : " Сегодняшний день " ( sevodnishni denj ) which means todays day.
Сегодняшний ( sevodnishni ) = todays
день ( denj ) = day
So, French is not that special. :)
I don't know why, but of all Western IE languages French is the easiest language for me to learn. When I went to school, of all languages I got the highest marks for French, and I do really mean high. At the scale from 1 to 10, I got 9 & 10 for French. While for German I was lucky when I got 6.
PS. I was also very good at Latin, but that's a different story...