The cinematic French people stereotype shows them as “bons vivants”, fond of good eating, good drinking and good discussions. For example, French people love skiing, the national winter sport, they also enjoy watching the French Open “Roland Garros”, encouraging cyclists during the “Tour de France”, and let’s not forget that the French football team won the 2018 FIFA World Cup!  And these are only some of the sports French people love and practice. So, in order to learn more about French lifestyle, this article will allow you to widen your knowledge about the following aspects:

  • different kinds of outdoor sports : ball games, water sports, winter sports, mountain or Alpine sports, extreme or adventure sports and martial arts
  •  the participants or game players
  • vocabulary used to talk about different kinds of matches
  • free time activities and hobbies

Well, are you ready to handle vocabulary about sports and hobbies in French? Let’s not waste time!

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Some Classic and Fun Ball Games

Balls games are popular all over the world and France is not an exception. Among the ball games, football remains the most popular sport, but there are also many others. Indoors and outdoors, ball games allow people to develop team values, agility and keep in good shape. Check out the following classification of ball sports we have prepared for you. Notice how the English word remains, but it is accompanied by “le”, the definite article.Sometimes,to sound more familiar, the words are shortened.

Classification Of Ball Games

Ball Games List

Ball GamesSports de balle et ballon
a. Goal games:a. Sports où il faut marquer des buts pour gagner:
football or soccerle football, le foot (familier)
basketballle basket
rugby le rugby
b. Racket And Ball Games:b. Sports de raquette et balle:
tennisle tennis
badmintonle badminton
table tennis or ping-pongle table tennis ou ping-pong
c. Net Games:c. Sports joués avec un filet:
volleyballle volley-ball, le volley
footvolleyle footvolley
d. Bat And Ball Games:d. Sports de balle et de batte:
baseball le baseball
cricketle cricket

The Players and Participants in Ball Games

Let’s see how to talk in French about some of the players of the sports already mentioned.

List Of Ball Games Players

Goal Games PlayersLes joueurs des sports de balle où il faut marquer des buts pour gagner
playerun joueur, une joueuse
substituteremplaçant
teamune équipe
refereeun arbitre
coachun entraineur
goalkeeperun gardien
fan, supporterun fan, un supporteur
spectatorun spectateur
teammateun coéquipier, une coéquipière
rookieun débutant, une nouvelle recrue
opponentsles adversaires
Football PlayersJoueurs de foot
defenderun défenseur
forwardun attaquant
strikerun buteur
winger un ailier
Basketball playersJoueurs de basket
point guardun meneur
small forwardun ailier
the sixth man le sixième homme, le remplaçant
Rugby Players Joueurs de rugby
captainun capitaine
fullbackun arrière
hookerun talonneur
Tennis playersLes joueurs de tennis
tennis playerle joueur, la joueuse de tennis
ball catcherle ramasseur de balles
Volleyball PlayersUn volleyeur, une volleyeuse
setterle passeur
volleyball hitterl’attaquant, l’attaquante
libero playere libéro
Baseball PlayersLes joueurs de baseball
batterfrappeur
pitcherlanceur
Cricket PlayersLes joueurs de cricket
batsmanbatteur
bowlerlanceur
fielderchasseur

The competitions

Sport matches are so much fun. In football, for instance, there are two main kinds: exhibition games, also called “friendlies,” and regular games. Friendlies allow players to train, keep in shape and experiment different tactics. Watching games on TV or live allows fans to encourage their team, enjoy how their favorite players make awesome moves, tasting victory and the magic of unpredictability. Let’s see some vocabulary to talk about ball game competitions:

List Of Vocabulary Related to Matches and Competitions

Some General TermsVocabulaire général
goalle but
fieldle terrain
to scoremarquer
scorele résultat
to wingagner
to loseperdre
to tie/to draw
faire match nul
foul, infractionune faute
offsidehors jeu
headerune tête
to score a headermarquer de la tête
The World Cup (soccer)La Coupe du Monde
Basketball termsMots pour parler du basket
a shotun tir
basketle panier
hoopl’anneau
out of boundshors jeu
to shoottirer
to bouncefaire rebondir
to jumpsauter
Tennis termsMots pour parler du tennis
first week/ second weekla première/ la deuxième semaine
first/ second/ third /roundle premier tour/ le deuxième/le troisième tour
Round of 16les huitièmes de final
Quarter finals/Semi finalsles quarts de finale
les demi-finales
The trophy le trophée
VolleyballVolley-ball
aceace
attackattaque
a serve/ to servele service, servir
BaseballBaseball
to runcourir
strikeune prise
baseball diamondun terrain de base-ball
inningtour de batte
infield/outfield
champ intérieur/extérieur
CricketCricket
umpirearbitre
wicketguichet
bowling creaseligne de retrait
popping creaselimite du batteur

Water Sports

Some terms that can be useful when talking about this kind of sport:

Water SportsSport Nautiques
In The WaterSports nautiques dans l’eau
swimmingla natation
divingle plongeon
scuba divingla plongée sous-marine
water aerobicsl’aquagym
On The WaterSur l’eau
water skiing le ski nautique
surfingle surf
sailingfaire de la voile
kiteboardingle kitesurf

Winter Sports

In winter, people can practice skiing, ice skating and many variations of these sports. Those are activities that demand lots of physical stamina and that will lead you to push your limits. Let’s study some of them.

Winter sportsSports d'hiver
Individual SportsSports Individuels
Alpine skiingle ski alpin
ice skatingle patinage sur glace
snowboarding le snowboard (le surf de neiges)
lugela luge
Team SportsSports en équipe
ice hockeyle hockey sur glace
bandyle bandy ou le hockey russe

Mountain sports

France has some famous mountain ranges: the Alps, the Pyrenees, The Jura, The Vosges Mountains, The Massif Central and the Auvergne Mountains. These gorgeous landscapes offer the opportunity to practice both winter and summer sports.

List of Mountain Sports

Mountain sportsSports de montagne
mountaineeringalpinisme
climbingl’escalade
mountain bikingfaire du vélo tout-terrain
hikingla randonnée pédestre
canyoningle canyonisme

Adventure Sports

Well, some of the sports we have previously mentioned will quench your thirst for adventure. But if you want some more, you can add the following extreme challenging activities to your list.

List Of Adventure Sports

Extreme /Adventure SportsSports extrêmes
Motorized SportsSports mécaniques
wakeboardingle wakeboard
rallyingle rallye automobile
air racingla course aérienne
Non-motorized sportsSports extrêmes sans véhicule
bungee jumpingle saut à l'élastique
parachutingle parachutisme
skateboardingle skateboard
BMX racingBMX Supercross

Combat Sports And Martial Arts

Martial arts and combat sports teach you to defend yourself, to control your anger and to develop self-confidence.

List Of Combat Sports And Martial Arts

Combat Sports And Martial Arts Sports de combats et arts martiaux
fencingl’escrime
wrestling /professional wrestlingla lutte / le catch
judole judo
karatele karaté
capoeirala capoeira

Hobbies and Free Time Activities

Do you like reading comics, going jogging or going to museums? In the chart below, you will find  some sentences that will help you talk about some free time activities.

List Of Hobbies and Free Time Activities

Hobbies and free time activitiesActivités quotidiennes et passe-temps
I like watching documentaries on tv.J’aime regarder des documentaires à la télé.
I really miss going to the movies!Ça me manque d’aller au cinéma.
In France, the first Sunday of every month, museums are free. So I always go to see art exhibitions.En France, le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’entrée aux musées est gratuite. Donc, j’y vais toujours pour regarder des expositions d'art.
When I’m stressed out, I like going shopping.Quand je suis stressée, j’aime bien faire du shopping.
Going jogging makes me feel relaxed. Faire du jogging me fait me sentir apaisée.
I bought a camera because I am starting photography lessons. Je me suis acheté un appareil photo car je vais commencer un cours de photographie.
Kevin is playing a new video game and has invited me to play online with him.Kevin est en train de jouer à un nouveau jeu vidéo et il m’a invité à jouer en ligne avec lui.
My friend Bob often goes to the countryside in order to take a break from his routineMon ami Bob va souvent à la campagne pour se dépayser.
Mrs. Smith loves taking long walks with her dog.Madame Smith aime beaucoup faire de longues promenades avec son chien.
I downloaded a vegan recipe book because cooking is my passion.J’ai téléchargé un livre de recettes véganes car faire la cuisine est ma passion.

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