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French Vocabulary

Discover Arcachon

Isabelle L By Isabelle L on January 28, 2019
arcachon french english bilingual

Learn the French vocabulary typical of Arcachon, and discover this amazing French city by the ocean as you practice your French with this bilingual French English story.

Scroll a bit further down the page to access my bilingual French English about Arcachon + many pictures :-) 

1 – Arcachon French Vocabulary

  1. Le Bassin d’Arcachon = Arcachon Bay (by the Atlantic ocean, southwest coast of France).
    The general shape of Le Bassin d’Arcachon is that of an equilateral triangle pointing north, the southwest corner of which is open to the sea, between Cap Ferret and the town of Arcachon (more specifically, one of the suburbs of La Teste-de-Buch, Pyla-sur-Mer), through a 3 km narrow channel (Les Passes).
    Situated 55 km from Bordeaux, the bassin d’Arcachon is one of the most important tourist sites on the Atlantic coast.
  2. Arcachonnais, archachonnaise = From Arcachon.
  3. Les pins des Landes maritimes, les conifÚres = The Landes forest
    Our maritime pine trees are very famous, green all seasons, the conifers proudly withstand the bracing winds, providing the perfect setting for a walk in the forest, picking up pine cones or simply enjoying nature.
  4. Les cabanes ostréicoles = typical oysters huts
    These oysters huts are emblematic, you can visit all year round, they serve as workshops where you can also enjoy their delectable products in a friendly atmosphere, direct from the oyster farm to the consumer, happy eating!
  5. Les villas Arcachonnaises = The Arcachon old houses
    A lot of them were built in the 19th century. 

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  6. La Ville des Quatre saisons = the City of Four Seasons
    Founded on May 2nd, 1857 by imperial decree of Napoleon III, Arcachon quickly became a holiday destination synonymous with well-being.
    Its reputation has continued to grow. It expanded, neighborhood by neighborhood, over time.
  7. La Ville d’EtĂ© = The Summer Town
    It was established at the beginning of the 19th century. The fashion of sea swimming arrived at Arcachon and celebrities built their chalets and villas.
    Today, the “summer city” is comprised of the seafront, jetties and the center of Arcachon
  8. La Ville d’Automne = The Autumn Town
    It includes the St Ferdinand and Aiguillon neighborhoods, renowned for fishing and yachting; fisheries and shipyards thrived there until the beginning of the ’50s.
  9. La Ville d’Hiver = The Winter Town,
    This real architectural jewel is made up of 300 glamorous villas. Founded by the Pereire brothers in order to create an open-air sanatorium on the Arcachon Sand Dune (1863)
  10. La ville de Printemps = The Spring Town
    It is located in the Sainte-Anne des Abatilles spring area lined by the large Pereire beach and walking promenades.
  11. Les Cabanes Tchanquées = Stilts Houses Emblematic of Arcachon
    2 huts in the middle of the sea, built in the 50s, their name derives from the Gascon word « Chancas » which means on stilts, emblematic symbols of Arcachon
  12. La Gironde = Gironde
    Gironde is part of the current region of “La Nouvelle-Aquitaine” (zip code starting with 33) – 33120 is the full zip code for Arcachon
  13. Le BelvédÚre = the tower
    Built by the architect Paul Régnauld, it is one of the best places to admire the beautiful view over the Bassin, the spiral staircase will take you up there, enjoy!
  14. L’OcĂ©an atlantique = The Atlantic ocean
  15. Le Parc Mauresque = the Mauresque Park
    Created in 1863, the Mauresque Park is filled with beautiful trees, flowers and children playgrounds.
  16. Une pinasse = typical oyster boat
    This is a small boat made of pine tree, formerly used to transport oysters.
  17. L’ile aux Oiseaux = Bird island
    Wild area, the island is home to many bird species such as terns, curlews, redshanks

  18. Le Banc d’Arguin = Arguin Sand Bank
    Located between Cap Ferret and Dune du Pilat, this is the largest sandbank on the Girondin coast.
    A great spot for amateur sailors, it is protected and preserved as it is also a stopover site for migratory birds
  19. La Dune du Pilat = Dune of Pilat
    Known for its extraordinary size: 110 meters high, 2,7km long, la Dune du Pilat is the highest sand dune in Europe.
  20. Une balade sur la plage/en bord de mer = A walk on the beach/by the sea
    During your walk in the fresh air, take the opportunity to collect driftwood, an essential part of any Arcachon-style interior decoration

arcachon architecture learn french

2 – Arcachon – Gorgeous French City by The Ocean

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Je suis consciente d’ĂȘtre vraiment trĂšs chanceuse d’habiter cette rĂ©gion de France. A chaque visite de mes Ă©tudiants en immersion, le commentaire trĂšs enthousiaste est le mĂȘme, concernant Ă  la fois la beautĂ© du site, sa diversitĂ©, et la qualitĂ© de vie ici.

I’m aware that I’m truly lucky to live in this part of France. At each visit of my French immersion students, the very enthusiastic feedback is the same, relating to the beauty of the site, its diversity, and its excellent quality of life.

Habiter en bord de mer est bien Ă©videmment trĂšs plaisant, mais la rĂ©gion a encore bien plus Ă  offrir, avec de trĂšs agrĂ©ables promenades en forĂȘt de conifĂšres par exemple. En effet, Le Bassin d’Arcachon offre de multiples paysages et bien Ă©videmment un choix trĂšs Ă©tendu d’activitĂ©s nautiques, mais pas seulement


Living on the seashore is very enjoyable of course, however, the region has so much more to offer, with, for example, very pleasant walks in the coniferous forest. Indeed, the Arcachon Bay offers a large variety of landscapes and obviously a wide choice of water activities, but not just that


 

arcachon learn french

Au cours des diffĂ©rentes immersions avec mes Ă©tudiants, et en toute saison, nous avons pu explorer de nombreuses facettes culturelles de la rĂ©gion, notamment « la Maison de l’HuĂźtre » Ă  Gujan Mestras, oĂč tous les secrets de l’ostrĂ©iculture vous sont rĂ©vĂ©lĂ©s.

During the various immersions with my students, and in any season, we were able to explore various cultural facets of the region, including « la Maison de l’HuĂźtre » in Gujan-Mestras, where all the secrets of oyster farming are revealed to you.

 

oyster arcachon learn french

 

3 – Typical Arcachon Boat: La Pinasse

Regardez cette embarcation emblĂ©matique de la rĂ©gion : la Pinasse ! Elle servait autrefois Ă  transporter les huitres. Aujourd’hui elle est devenue un moyen de transport plus touristique. SystĂ©matiquement, tous mes Ă©tudiants ont souri lorsque je leur ai dit le nom de ce bateau


Look at this emblematic boat of the region: the Pinasse! It was once used to transport oysters. Today it has become a more touristic mode of transportation. Every time, all my students smiled when I told them the name of this boat … 

arcachon french vocabulary pinasse

4 – Arcachon – Amazing French Architecture

Par ailleurs, les diffĂ©rents quartiers typiques d’Arcachon sont une petite perle Ă  dĂ©couvrir, dont les jolies Maisons Arcachonnaises datant du milieu du 19e siĂšcle. C’est ce que je vous propose de dĂ©couvrir plus particuliĂšrement aujourd’hui dans cette invitation au voyage au coeur de ma rĂ©gion :-)

Furthermore, the different typical neighbourhoods of Arcachon are all little gems to discover, including the pretty Arcachon Houses, dating from the middle of the 19th century. This is what I am more specifically going to help you discover today in this invitation to travel through the heart of my region :-)

Avec mes Ă©tudiants David et Suzanne par exemple, nous nous sommes rendus dans ce vieux quartier d’Arcachon, appelĂ© « Ville d’Hiver ». La plupart des grandes maisons construites Ă  l’époque Ă©taient dĂ©diĂ©es Ă  l’accueil de personnes riches, souffrant de maladies respiratoires, qui venaient bĂ©nĂ©ficier du micro climat de la rĂ©gion, pendant leur convalescence.

With my students David and Suzanne for example, we went to an old area of Arcachon, named « Ville d’Hiver ». Most of the large houses built at the time were reserved to the hosting of rich people, suffering from respiratory diseases, who came to benefit from the microclimate of the region during their convalescence.

Nous nous sommes promenĂ©s Ă  pieds pour y admirer ces grandes maisons Ă  l’architecture ancienne et typique. C’est le meilleur moyen de dĂ©couvrir le quartier.

We walked and admired these large houses with old and typical architecture. This is the best way to discover the area

arcachon architecture learn french

ArrĂȘtons-nous quelques instants pour vous parler plus particuliĂšrement de la Villa Alexandre Dumas, une des plus jolies maisons de la Ville d’Arcachon. Construite en 1895, d’abord appelĂ©e Villa Osiris, elle fut rebaptisĂ©e « Villa Alexandre Dumas » lors de son changement de propriĂ©taire en 1907. Il y a plein de dĂ©tails amusants Ă  regarder sur cette maison unique et tellement originale !

Let’s take a few moments to talk about the Villa Alexandre Dumas, one of the most beautiful houses in the city of Arcachon. Built in 1895, first named Villa Osiris, it was renamed “Villa Alexandre Dumas” when it changed ownership in 1907. There are so many interesting details to look at on this unique and so original house!

L’office de Tourisme de la ville propose de dĂ©couvrir ce magnifique quartier, Ă  travers un jeu de pistes. Munis d’un plan et en suivant les indications, nous pouvons ainsi trouver quelle villa correspond Ă  la description. A la fin, lorsque toutes les villas sont identifiĂ©es, vous pourrez dĂ©couvrir le mot clĂ© qui vous rĂ©vĂ©lera l’énigme.

The local tourist office suggest you discover this beautiful site through a game of tracks. Equiped with a map and following instructions, one can find which villa corresponds to what description. At the end, when all the villas are identified, you can discover the key word that will reveal the riddle.

5 – Les Cabanes TchanquĂ©es of Arcachon

AprĂšs cela, la visite se poursuit avec le franchissement d’un petit pont qui nous mĂšne au pied du BelvĂ©dĂšre. J’y invite toujours mes Ă©tudiants afin d’admirer une vue imprenable sur la cĂŽte. La montĂ©e et la descente se font par un escalier en colimaçon, trĂšs Ă©troit et typique, qui donne du piment Ă  l’excursion. Avec des jumelles ou simplement avec de trĂšs bons yeux, vous pourrez voir au loin les Cabanes TchanquĂ©es, posĂ©es sur l’eau, un autre joyau typique du Bassin d’Arcachon.

After that, the visit continues with the crossing of a small bridge that leads us to the foot of Belvedere. I always invite my students to admire this breathtaking view of the coast. The ascent and descent are done via a very narrow and typical spiral staircase, which adds a challenge to the excursion. With binoculars or simply with very good eyes, you can see in the distance the Cabanes Tchanquées, on the water, another typical gem of the Arcachon Bay.

arcachon french vocabulary

6 – Le Parc Mauresque in Arcachon

Puis nous poursuivons avec la dĂ©couverte du parc Mauresque : ses fleurs, ses arbres, ses jardins, son ancien casino (qui a malheureusement brĂ»lĂ© en 1977) tout est un rĂ©gal de couleurs et d’odeurs. Il est temps de faire une petite pause bien mĂ©ritĂ©e sur un des nombreux bancs du parc.

We then continue with the discovery of the Mauresque Park: its flowers, trees, gardens, its old casino (which unfortunately burned in 1977), everything is a feast of colors and smells. It’s time to take a well-deserved break on one of the many park benches.

park arcachon learn french

French immersion student Suzanne in Mauresque Park

7 – Centre Ville d’Arcachon

En redescendant du parc Mauresque, en direction du centre ville animĂ©, se trouve une librairie trĂšs ancienne, qui a conservĂ© tout son charme architectural. TrĂšs cĂ©lĂšbre et bien connue des arcachonnais, c’est la Libraire GĂ©nĂ©rale. Vous pourrez y trouver tout un choix de livres en Français. Venez y faire un tour, pour le plaisir de feuilleter de trĂšs beaux rĂ©cits modernes ou plus anciens. C’est aussi une occasion parfaite de choisir un livre, pour poursuivre votre apprentissage du Français ;-)

Coming down from the Mauresque Park, towards the bustling city center, there’s a very old bookstore, which has retained all its architectural charm. Very famous and well known to the Arcachon citizens, it’s the Librairie GĂ©nĂ©rale. You can find there a selection of books in French. Come and have a look, for the pleasure of flipping through some beautiful modern or older tales. It’s also a perfect opportunity to pick up a book, to continue your French learning journey ;-)

Enfin, la visite de la ville se termine par une promenade pour flĂąner au milieu des commerces, jusqu’au bord de mer. C’est le moment de prendre un rafraichissement, d’acheter quelques souvenirs et peut ĂȘtre de rĂ©server un ticket pour prendre le bateau. Ainsi vous pourrez explorer l’üle aux Oiseaux, le Banc d’Arguin, ou traverser le Bassin jusqu’au Cap Ferret. Miam miam, c’est aussi l’occasion idĂ©ale pour aller y dĂ©guster des huĂźtres extra fraiches, un bon plateau de fruits de mers, et faire une balade sur la plage.

Finally, the visit of the city ends with a walk while wandering among the shops, all the way to the seaside. It’s time to enjoy a refreshment, buy some souvenirs and maybe book a ticket for a boat ride so you can explore L’Île aux Oiseaux, Banc d’Arguin, or cross the Bay to Cap-Ferret. Yum yum, this is also the perfect opportunity to go eat fresh oysters, a good seafood platter and go for a walk on the beach.

arcachon sea learn french

French teacher & immersion host Isabelle with student Suzanne

J’ai pris un immense plaisir Ă  partager cette visite avec vous. Si l’expĂ©rience vous tente alors n’hĂ©sitez plus, contactez-moi pour un sĂ©jour d’immersion Ă  Arcachon!

I took great pleasure in sharing this tour with you. If the experience is appealing to you then do not hesitate and contact me for a French immersion homestay in Arcachon!

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