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🏝 French Beach Vocabulary

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Sep 10, 2020
Camille in the sea with French beach

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

  1. La plage – the beach
  2. Être à la plage – to be on the beach
  3. Aller à la plage – to go to the beach
  4. Le sable – the sand
  5. Les coquillages (m) – seashells
  6. Une algue – seaweed
  7. Une plage de sable – a sand beach
  8. Une plage de galets – a round pebble beach
  9. Une crique – a little beach between cliffs
  10. Une dune de sable – a sand dune
  11. Un banc de sable – a sand banc, a temporary island
  12. Une falaise – a cliff
  13. Une baie – a bay
  14. Une péninsule – a peninsula
  15. Un rocher – a rock
  16. Une côte – a coast
  17. Une île – an island
  18. La mer – the sea
  19. L’océan – the ocean (watch out the pronunciation o – say – an/nasal)
  20. Une vague – a wave (strong French “a” sound, don’t say it like the word “vague”)
  21. L’eau (f) – the water (pronounced “lo”)
  22. Un courant – a current
  23. Le vent – the wind
  24. La marée haute – high tide
  25. La marée basse – low tide
  26. Un pin – a pine tree
  27. Un bateau – a boat
  28. Nager – to swim
  29. Se baigner – to bath… so swim or just play around in the water
  30. Bronzer – to tan
  31. Attraper un coup de soleil – to get sunburnt
  32. Se relaxer – to relax
  33. Ramasser des coquillages – to collect seashells
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2 – Beach Items

  1. Une serviette de plage – a beach towel
  2. Un parasol – sun umbrella
  3. De la crème solaire – sunscreen
  4. Un maillot de bain – bathing suit (pronounce it [mayo]
  5. Un chapeau – a hat
  6. Des sandales (f) – sandals
  7. Une bouée – buoy or inflatable floats etc…
  8. Une chaise longue – lounge chair
  9. Un seau – a pail
  10. Un râteau – a rake
  11. Une pelle – a shovel (watch out! a pail ≠ une pelle…)
  12. Un moule – a mould (watch out! une moule = a mussel!!)
  13. Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle
  14. Un masque – mask
  15. Un tuba – snorkel (yeah, I know, it’s funny!!)
  16. Des palmes (f) – fins
  17. 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:

  1. elle est bonne – it’s nice, enjoyable
  2. elle est délicieuse – it’s really nice – literally it’s delicious!
  3. 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.

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