Practice your French with this video I shot during the oyster fest “la fête de l’huître” in my hometown of Paimpol, Brittany, France. We’ll meet an oyster fisherman, see a cool recipe to cook warm oysters on the BBQ, and learn the French pronunciation of oyster “huître” in French.
1 – Paimpol’s Oysters
I first suggest you watch the video and see if you can understand. Then study the vocabulary, and watch again (and again, and again: repetition is the key :-)
Let’s take a look at the vocabulary I used in the video :
Être en train de faire quelque chose: to be in the middle of doing something
Tomber sur: literally, this could mean to fall physically on something, or a part of your body.
Elle est tombée sur le parking: she fell on the parking lot
Elle est tombée sur le nez: she fell on her nose
Here however, it means to stumble upon an event by chance.
You may also use it with a person.
Hier, je suis tombée sur Pierre: yesterday, I ran (by chance) into Pierre.
Se régaler: to have a blast doing something – used a lot around food but you could use it with something else.
C’était délicieux : je me suis régalée
It was delicious – I had a culinary blast.
Ce livre était formidable : je me suis régalée
This book was great – I had an awesome time reading it.
Rafoller de quelque chose – to be crazy about something (this verb comes from the adjective “folle” – feminine of “fou”: crazy)
C’est dommage – it’s too bad
J’ai tout faux! – I’m completely wrong!
(More under the video)
2 – French Conversation With An Oyster Fisherman
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The fisherman who opens the oysters on the video says:
- Donc, là, je l’égoutte – So, here, I strain it
- Je décolle le pied – I take away the attach
- Et voilà, allez-y, il n’y a plus qu’à manger – and here you go, go ahead, you can eat it now
- Alors ça, ce sont des huîtres creuses de Paimpol – So these are cupped oysters from Paimpol
- Des grosses, taille XXL, qu’on ne trouve pas dans le commerce ! big ones, size XXL, which you don’t find in stores!
By the way, this guy is a pro… I would never dream of opening an oyster without protecting my hands! The shell is quite sharp and will cut your hand!
3 – How Do You Pronounce Oyster in French?
If you know how to say the French number “huit”, then you are close! Listen to the video and repeat out-loud.
Note the liasions that happen. We seldom say “huître” – there is likely to be a liaison before!
- l’huître – lweetr
- Une huître – nweetr
- Des huîtres – zweetr
- Six huîtres – zweetr
- Douze huîtres – zweetre
4 – Warm Oysters on Barbecue Recipe
To make warm oysters, you need:
- (la) ciboulette (chives),
- (le) basilic (basil – m),
- (l’)échalotte (shallots – f)
- et (le poivre) cinq baies (five berries… a mix of 5 different types of peppers)
What happened to the French articles here? He didn’t use any because he’s making a list and being very direct.
Miam ! – Yum