Friday, August 23, 2013

Bonne Rentrée!

Saturday August 24 - Saturday, September 7:  Ideas to help us all promote French language learning, including local activities for kids and families.  Please share any other ideas by commenting below or posting to Bonjour Mama's Facebook page!  Bonne semaine! (Scroll down to FRENCH THIS WEEK)

I hope everyone is enjoying these last gorgeous days of August.  I am making this post short and sweet as this is the last weekend before school starts and still haven't figured out what I'm packing for lunch next week beyond our staples. [These include: la vache qui rit (laughing cow) sandwiches, hummus and tortilla, yogurt, fruit and avocado sandwiches. Which wouldn't be a terrible repertoire if it varied. Ever.]

Speaking of lunch, I had no idea how to say lunchbox in French, so as usual I used this as a cue to help myself (and hopefully others!) build vocabulary needed for these coming school days and had a blast looking at all the stuff for sale on sites like Auchan's La Rentree des Classes . Does anyone else get a latent rush of excitement shopping for school supplies? This was always so exciting growing up in America, and then at 13, I went to France and discovered the papeteries with all those cool agendas and Claire Fontaine paper with those intricate grids (instead of boring lined paper) and cylindrical trousses (pencil cases) that were so unique and different from what I was used to, and I fell in loveI was already a Francophile before discovering French stationery (and cheese), but afterwards I was Francofolle (is that a word?). Come to think of it, I think I need to start importing school supplies.

Please feel free to add to this list and/or make corrections if you see mistakes. Especially for words that represent a concept which may or may not exist in other countries (PTA? Back to school night?) I just gave it my best guess based on google searches, so even if there is no translation I'd appreciate the feedback. Merci et bonne semaine!


BackpackSac à dos (m)
Wheeled BackpackSac à dos à roulettes (m)
Lunch boxLa gamelle (f) / boite à déjeuner/gouter (f)
Food containerBoite a gouter (f)
ThermosThermos (m)
UtensilsCouverts (m)
Water bottle/thermosGourde (f)
Pencil caseTrousse (f)
RulerRègle (f)
Colored pencilsCrayons de couleurs (m)
CrayonsCrayons gras (m)
Colored MarkersFeutres pour coloriage (m)
Glue stickBâton de collle (m)
NotebookCahier (m)
ScissorsSciseaux (m)
Pencil-sharpenerTaille-crayon (f)
Ballpoint penStilo–bille (m)
CalculatorCalculatrice (f)
EraserGomme (f)
FolderChemise (f)
BinderClasseur (m)
Three-ring binderClasseur à anneaux (m)
Spiral bound notebookCahier à spirales (m)
RecessRecrée (f)
School BusCar scolaire (m)
DismissalSortie des classes (f)
Circle TimeActivités en cercle (f)
Back to school nightSoirée de bienvenue a l’école
PTA (Parent Teacher Association)Association de parents d’élèves


Out and About in the DC Metro Area

Below are some highlights for this week's events en français, including Bonjour Mama playdates which are organized through the meetup group, Le Petit Groupe Francais. Check the calendar for additional playdates. Looking for more other French cultural events?  Take a look here: Alliance Francaise DC, Maison de France, French American Chamber of Commerce, or the DC French Meetup Group

Monday, August 26
10am-11:30am: Language Planet free trial classes and activities at Kidville - Bethesda. Free. Registration required.

Thursday, August 29: 
4pm-5:30pm: Bonjour Mama (via Le Petit Groupe Francais): Jouer au Park apres l'ecole- St. Paul Park, Kensington. Free. RSVP Required via

Friday, August 30
10am-11:30am: Language Planet Field Trip at Frying Farm Park -Herndon. $15 per child. Registration required

Saturday, August 31  
9am-4pm: Bonjour Mama Book Sale at the Bethesda Coop Market. Lots of new books in French and English (Usborne & Kane Miller books) and a few in Spanish and other languages. Suggested itinerary: coffee at Starbucks, pick up croissants at the Michel Bakery inside the co-op market, then come outside for books and activities!

Thursday, September 5, Bonjour Mama Meetup (via Le Petit Groupe Francais): 4pm-5:30pm: Jouer au Park apres l'ecole- St. Paul Park, Kensington. Free. RSVP Required via

Saturday, September 7  
11am-1pm: Bonjour Mama Meetup (via Le Petit Groupe Francais): Jouer  et Voyage en Train - Cabin John Park, Bethesda. Free. RSVP Required via

At Home

Seen Disney Planes yet? Get familiar with all the characters on the French site. Although I can't believe there isn't a better translation for "crop-duster" than "petit avion qui survole les récoltes pour pulvériser des traitements agricoles"!? Anyone?

Have a laugh at American accents in French and vice versa by fooling Google Translate. This never fails to crack Zach up. If your child speaks French like a native speaker and/or knows how it is supposed to sound, they will love hearing simple sentences like "Bonjour, comment ca va" read aloud in an American accent. In the "from" window on the left you have to type in French but select the language as English and then click on the speaker/listen icon.  Or type in Englsh and tell it it's French for too hear zee lovely French accent!

Help practice following the teacher's instructions by playing "La Maitraisse a Dit" on Boowa et Kwala.

In this section I'll highlight new additions picks and promotions for the Bonjour Mama bookstore. If there are any books you would like but don't see, please let me know what you are looking for and I will try to find it for you!  

Latest additions:
It's never too soon to start teaching boys and girls a second language, and this book presents pages filled with cheerful color pictures that help teach French words to English-speaking children in early grades. It presents more than 350 illustrations of familiar objects, with nine pictures on each page. Every picture is labeled with its English word, followed by its French equivalent. 

Tina wants to make friends with the new girl next door, but when things start to disappear, Tina is blamed. But who is the real thief? This new title in the illustrated "Let's Read! " language-learning series is a real page-turner! It's written in a bilingual French and English format, which encourages boys and girls who are independent readers in their own language to begin learning a second language. 

I have started to get requests for gift certificates, so I created some in $25, $50 and $100 denominations. Let me know what you think!!

Merci et bonne semaine!

1 comment :

  1. Did you offer those activities for free? I hope I am living in the DC area...Thank you for sharing!

    By the way, you are more than welcome to link-up with me with any posts you have, past or present, about multi-lingual living (parenting, teaching, learning, resources), or anything relating to family, children, and education. Just click “Add your link” and copy/paste the URL of your blog post at Keep in touch!