A simple list of French beach vocabulary with English translation and 2 fun French practice video.. Être à la plage – to be on the beach
Here is a list of French beach terms with English translation. Would you like to help me complete this list? Please leave your suggestions in French with English translation in the comment below and I’ll add them to the list. Thank you!
1 – French Beach Vocabulary
- La plage – the beach
- Être à la plage – to be on the beach
- Aller à la plage – to go to the beach
- Le sable – the sand
- Les coquillages (m) – seashells
- Une algue – seaweed
- Une plage de sable – a sand beach
- Une plage de galets – a round pebble beach
- Une crique – a little beach between cliffs
- Une dune de sable – a sand dune
- Un banc de sable – a sand banc, a temporary island
- Une falaise – a cliff
- Une baie – a bay
- Une péninsule – a peninsula
- Un rocher – a rock
- Une côte – a coast
- Une île – an island
- La mer – the sea
- L’océan – the ocean (watch out the pronunciation o – say – an/nasal)
- Une vague – a wave (strong French “a” sound, don’t say it like the word “vague”)
- L’eau (f) – the water (pronounced “lo”)
- Un courant – a current
- Le vent – the wind
- La marée haute – high tide
- La marée basse – low tide
- Un pin – a pine tree
- Un bateau – a boat
- Nager – to swim
- Se baigner – to bath… so swim or just play around in the water
- Bronzer – to tan
- Attraper un coup de soleil – to get sunburnt
- Se relaxer – to relax
- Ramasser des coquillages – to collect seashells
2 – Beach Items
- Une serviette de plage – a beach towel
- Un parasol – sun umbrella
- De la crème solaire – sunscreen
- Un maillot de bain – bathing suit (pronounce it [mayo]
- Un chapeau – a hat
- Des sandales (f) – sandals
- Une bouée – buoy or inflatable floats etc…
- Une chaise longue – lounge chair
- Un seau – a pail
- Un râteau – a rake
- Une pelle – a shovel (watch out! a pail ≠ une pelle…)
- Un moule – a mould (watch out! une moule = a mussel!!)
- Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle
- Un masque – mask
- Un tuba – snorkel (yeah, I know, it’s funny!!)
- Des palmes (f) – fins
- Faire de la plongée libre / faire du masque et du tuba – to snorkel
3 – How To Talk About the Water Temperature in French?
The most common conversation at the beach is to talk about the water temperature. You may know how to use cold and hot in French.
Ahhh, elle est bien chaude – Ahhh, it’s nicely warm (“elle” because water in French, l’eau, is feminine in French. Pronounce the final d of chaude.
Brrrr, elle est froide – Brrrr, it’s cold! Pronounce the final d of froide.
But did you know the French use some typical French food expressions to talk about the water? Not all food expressions can be used, but these work:
- elle est bonne – it’s nice, enjoyable
- elle est délicieuse – it’s really nice – literally it’s delicious!
- elle est exquise – it’s fantastic
These 3 expressions are featured in my second video below.
4 – At the Beach in France – Video Practice
If you’d like to practice your French, here are 3 videos I made while I was at the beach in France, Brittany.
In this “live” video shot as I was going for a swim, I’ll cover a lof of bit of the beach/ swimming vocabulary and also the stone vocabulary.
In this video, I’ll take you for a swim and tell you how to talk about the water temperature in French, and tell you about a very special beach in Paimpol.
In this video, my daughter and I will take you for a swim with us (I shot as I was in the water!) and tell you about the historic “plage Bonaparte” in Brittany.