Sunday, April 14, 2013

Au Marché, Au Marché!

April 15-21, 2013: Ideas to help us all promote French language learning this week, including Washington, D.C. area French-language and cultural events for kids and families. Please share any other ideas by commenting below or posting to Bonjour Mama's Facebook page!

Georgetown's annual French Market is this Friday and Saturday April 19th and 20th from 10am-5pm (along Wisconsin Avenue between Reservoir Rd. and P St.)

The "market" is mainly a sidewalk sale for all the trendy boutiques and galleries and other neighborhood establishments, but it definitely has a French flavor with the likes of Café Bonaparte and Patisserie Poupon and the Macaron Bee offering yummy deals. On Saturday there will be strolling street musicians and mimes (one musician is from Martinique, but I am not sure which language he sings in), and the Alliance Française will host arts and crafts for kids from 11am to 4pm at the TD Bank parking lot (1611 Wisconsin Ave).

In the spirit of the "marché", I thought it might be fun to think of all the different places we go to the real market (i.e. grocery store) and the words some things we typically buy. I am humbled by how many of these I did not know how to say before this post, and emboldened to try out with Zach this new vocabulary for things we buy on at least  a weekly basis.  Do you know what "lait écrémé biologique" means? 

Happy Grocery Shopping, and Bonne Semaine!

Out and About

Please confirm dates and times directly with event host. ($) indicates there is a cost for the event.  
Note: Tuesday Storytime at the Alliance Française is cancelled on April 16th and 23rd, but will resume the following week. 


10am-5pm -Georgetown French Market (sidewalk sale / discounts only, no entertainment)

10:50am - French Storytime at the Alliance Française 

10am-5pm -Georgetown French Market (including entertainment)

1pm-4pm - Bonjour! Books French-language children's book sale at the Kensington Day of the Book Festival (plus Usborne books from

At Home

Make a grocery list and then go shopping at the marché or supermarché!  Below is a list of all the different types of stores to be found in France (list courtesy of many of these either don't exist or are seldom found here, but I highlighted some that do, and listed some typical things we buy at our supermarché. Tip when coming up with your list: use to look up anything you don't know (look at the bottom of the page for the discussions which 99% of the time give me exactly the term I'm looking or), and/or browse this Montreal supermarket's weekly special for ideas and vocab (in French and English!)

le supermarché   supermarket 
  • bananas - bananes
  • green beans - haricots verts
  • romaine lettuce - laitue romaine / salade romaine
  • fuji apples - pommes "fuji"
  • vine tomatoes - tomates sur vigne
  • zucchini - courgettes
  • organic milk - le lait bio
  • whole milk / low-fat milk / fat-free milk- lait entier / demi-écrémé / écrémé soy milk - lait de soja
  • greek yogurt - yaourt grec
  • free-range chicken - poulet élevé en plein air 
  • whole grain pasta - påtes completes
  • sliced whole grain bread - pain complet tranché
  • chicken thighs - cuisses de poulet
  • wild-caught salmon - saumon sauvage
  • lamb shoulder -épaule d'agneau / lamb shank - jarret d'agneau
  • cereal - céréales
  • lean ground beef - viande hachée maigre
  • frozen french fries - frites surgelées
la boulangerie   bakery 
le marché   farmer's market 
la boucherie   butcher shop
la confiserie   candy store
la crémerie, la laiterie   dairy
la fromagerie   cheese shop
le magasin de fruits et légumes   greengrocer
lmarchand de vins   wine shop
la pâtisserie   pastry shop / bakery
la poissonnerie   fish store
la banque   bank
le grand magasin   department store
le kiosque   newsstand
le magasin de confection, de vêtements   clothing store
la pharmacie   pharmacy
la poste   post office
le pressing / nettoyage à sec  dry cleaner
le tabac   tobacco shop
la laverie - laundromat
le tabac   tobacco shop
une épicerie   small grocery store
la quincaillerie   hardware store

Create an Arbre Genealogique (family tree) following instructions in "Mes premiers pas d'artiste" (available via Bonjour! Books!). This book is filled with wonderful projects inspired by original works, such as the 15th century tapestry preceding the tree project. Take a peek at some of the pages here. What a wonderful way to introduce children to both history of art and artists and the joy of creating something new at the same time!

Look for a favorite character and watch a video on the kids' Canal J channel's web site. Many of the videos can actually be viewed from the U.S., unlike most media sites where I've tried to view kids' shows only to be shown the "this content cannot be viewed from your country"  message (so frustrating!). If you find an episode you want to watch that is not viewable, try doing a video search on youtube. For example, we've had fun watching Jackie Chan by searching for "Jackie Chan saison 1" which brings up multiple episodes.


  1. Your blog makes me wish I lived in DC! But I can adapt much of these ideas for us in San Diego this weekend, when we visit our farmer's market!

  2. Thanks for commenting! Let us know what you get at the marché - merci!! PS - I really like your blog!

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