French Birds in France!

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Photo by Pixabay on

One of the pleasures of going to another country is to see how the wildlife varies from at home.  This article for example picks out some of those you might see in Provence.

But as you are learning French, you’ll want to know how to say some of the birds that you might recognise from home.  Here are a few you should definitely know:

duck is le canard – this is important because the French eat a lot of duck and have some great recipes

cockerel is le coq – le coq is often used as a French mascot, for example at rugby games.  A well known French receipe is coq au vin.

lark is l’alouette which you might recognise from a popular French song.

owl is l’hibou which is a lovely sounding word

and finally, one which you’ll already know is the French for chicken which is le poule.

For a full list of vocabulary of popular birds in French and English (you can register to test yourself and keep track of your progress) go to

Buying a House in France

Are you thinking of buying a house in France or a French speaking country?forsale

You will almost certainly be doing some decorating, and may even be employing the services of a builder!  Either way, don’t leave it to chance that they speak good enough English – do your own preparation and groundwork and learn the following terms.

If you need a far more comprehensive list, go to


Builder: l’entrepenneur
Plumber: le plombier
Electrician: l’électricien
Cabinet-maker: l’ébéniste
Carpentry: la charpenterie
Brick layer/mason: le maçon
Architect: l’architect
Chimney sweep: le ramoneur
Craftsman: l’artisan
Foreman: le contremaître
Locksmith: le serrurier


Damp-proof course: la couche isolante
Rising damp: l’infiltration
Damp: la humidité
Woodworm: le vers de bois
Dry rot: la carie sèche
Crack: la lézarde / la fissure

Tools and Materials

Partition wall: la paroi
Wood-burning stove: le poêle

Central heating: le chauffage central
Under-floor heating: le chauffage sous-sol
Mains drainage: le tout à l’égout
Mains water: l’eau de la ville
Stop cock: la robinet de fermeture
Septic tank: la fosse septique
Fuse-box: le coupe-circuit
Mains cable: câble de distribution
Chipboard: l’aggloméré

Emulsion paint: la peinture émulsion
Masonry paint: la peinture crépi
Gloss: la lustre
Matt: mat
Sandpaper: le papier de verre
To prime: apprêter
Undercoat: la sous-couche
Scaffolding: l’échafaudage
Skip: la benne

Take the French Challenge

Here’s the challenge…

Listen to the first level 1 article at Write it down in French – every word – and then check it against the transcript provided to see if you got all the words right, made any spelling mistakes, missed any accents (or got them the wrong way) etc. Then translate the article into English and check against the translation provided.

Did you find it easy? Then work your way up the levels until you get to the point that you are struggling to understand all the words. At this point use the speedy vocab link (or look up words in a dictionary).

You will now be accelerating your French Language Learning.

Bonne chance !

10 Top Tips for Learning French

  1. Listen to audio or watch recordings – essential if you want to go to French and understand and ultimately speak French.
  2. Get away from straight translation from English – get familiar with phrases and responses that you know well enough to not need to translate it word by word.
  3. Write down your own transcripts of audio or video – French learners often focus only on the gist and pick out the key words but ignore the linking words that give the meaning and context; writing it down forces you to work out every word.
  4. Use repetition – most of us can’t learn a vocab list and then remember it 6 months later – do frequent mini-tests on what you have already learnt; you’ll also be amazed and motivated by what you do remember.
  5. Learn the Grammar – even if you want to focus on speaking and listening you will be held back if you don’t recognise the difference between the future, the past, the present and the conditional; so ensure that basic grammar makes up at least a small part of your weekly routine.
  6. Approach French in topics – study a topic at a time so your mind makes links between related grammar, vocabulary and ideas.
  7. Learn the French that fits you – for example people are likely ask you what you do so learn off by heart the responses to explain why you are in France, what you do and where you are from.
  8. Focus on which words are accented as well as pronunciation – otherwise you’ll struggle to understand or be understood – for example the negative hint ‘ne’ of ‘ne … pas’ is usually just a touch of the ‘n’ or even not heard at all.
  9. Study little and often – 15 minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening every day on top of a weekly longer lesson or study session is perfect!
  10. Work out what motivates you – if you’re not motivated you will give up, or at best won’t practice every day. Do you need to join a class?  Do you need some conversation?  Do you need to have a specific target?

From JL at (we can help with points 1, 3, 8 and 9 above). Learn French, Fast

Take a recording of a French speaker, translate it with the support of a word list and interactive translation tool, then compare a translation with your effort, and finally go back to the translations and understand it fully.  That’s the concept in one slogoentence.

In this blog we’ll give you some of the supporting grammar and French language tips, and the occasional cultural interest blog.  We want you to be motiviated to learn – half the battle is good learning/teaching, the other is motivation.

And we’d like to hear back from you – ideas, suggestions and things you find difficult – all welcome.

From the RapideFrench .com team.  Bon chance.