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The French, and French-speaking people, know that it’s important to enjoy the good things in life, like food!
One of the joys of French culture is the enjoyment they get from good food (and wine). One of the many food items that the French take joy in is the different types of fruits available year-round.
There are a lot of fruits in the French diet as well as the French language. This was a welcome development that sprung from the French colonial expansion that began in the 16th century.
France established colonies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and India. At its height, it was one of the largest empires in history. They spread their language and their culture to their colonies and, in exchange gained access to the foodstuff from those areas – including a variety of tropical fruit that was not seen in Europe before.
If you are learning French, one of the many interesting and useful things you can learn is what to call different fruits in French. Talking about your favorite fruits, or asking about the different fruits in season is a great way to make small talk and get to know your new French friends a little better.
The general French term for fruit is “un fruit”. In France or French-speaking areas, you’re likely to find either fresh or dried fruits. In French, fresh fruit is called “des fruits frais”, while dried fruit is referred to with the phrase “des fruits secs”.
Here are some common types of fruits in France that you will easily find in the local market or big chain supermarket.
English translation: Apple
English translation: Pear
English translation: Lemon
English translation: Grapes
English translation: Muskmelon
English translation: Blackberry
English translation: Peach
English translation: Prune
English translation: Apricot
English translation: Cherry
English translation: Strawberry
English translation: Raspberry
English translation: Avocado
English translation: Grapefruit
English translation: Melon
English translation: Blueberry
English translation: Cranberry
English translation: Plum
Tropical fruits are fruits that originated from areas in the tropical regions. French and French-speaking cultures enjoy a variety of these fruits as well. Many of these fruits came from colonies that France established in the Caribbean and Asia.
English translation: Mango
English translation: Banane
English translation: Orange
English translation: Goyave
English translation: Papaye
English translation: Pomegranate
English translation: Watermellon
English translation: Pineapple
English translation: Kiwi
English translation: Coconut
English translation: Fig
English translation: Mandarine or tangerine
English translation: Lime
While French speakers around the world enjoy the taste of fruit and will eat fruits “as is”, they are also fond of using fruits as ingredients and as flavoring to their dishes.
Here are a few other fruit-related food items in French. It might be a good idea to know a few of them for when you are craving a sweet and fruity treat.
In France, they refer to juice as “les jus”. If you want to talk about a specific type of fruit juice, you add the name of a fruit after “le jus” and “de”.
So, for example, you want to order a glass of orange juice with your breakfast, you will ask for jus d’orange. If you prefer apple juice, you ask for jus de pomme.
In English, tea is used to refer to a beverage that is made by steeping plants in hot water. This can include black or green teas, which are made of tea leaves, or herbal or fruit teas which are made by steeping dried herbs and or fruits in water.
In French, if your “tea” is made from steeping tea leaves, it is “thé”. If it is made by steeping herbs or fruits, it’s referred to as either a “une tisane” or “une infusion”.
If you want to speak about a specific type of herbal or fruit tea, you add the name of the fruit after either “une tisane” or “une infusion”.
So, for example, lemon tea is “une tisane de citron”.
The French love to have some jam on their bread or crackers. In general, a jam in French is called “la confiture”.
If you want to talk about or order a specific type of jam, you should add the name of the fruit after saying “la confiture”. So, strawberry jam is “la confiture de fraise”.
While French speakers love eating fruits on their own, they can also be found as ingredients in a pie or a cake. If the main ingredient is a specific fruit, it might even be named after that fruit.
Pie in French is “une tarte”, while cake is “un gâteau”. If you want to refer to a specific pie or cake made of fruits, you add the make of the fruit afterward.
So, apple pie in French is “une tarte aux pommes”, while a lemon pie is “une tarte au citron.” Meanwhile, a strawberry cake is “un gâteau aux fraise”.
In French, yogurt is “yogourt”. If you are looking for a specific type of fruit-flavored yogurt, in French you refer to it as “yogourt” plus the fruit name. So, if you are looking for strawberry yogurt in a French supermarket, you are looking for “yogourt aux fraises”.
Learning the names of fruits in French is a great way to build up your vocabulary of French words, it could also help you learn how to understand and use French idioms about food.
To help you learn these fruits in French that we’ve listed here, we’ve compiled them into a downloadable PDF. We suggest that you download this list and study them at your convenience.
We also recommend, however, that you take this list with you and book a session with your online native French-speaking tutor where you can talk about words for fruits in French. Go through this list with your tutor, who can clarify their meanings and give you some pointers on their pronunciation.
Make sure that you also use your burgeoning knowledge about French fruit to practice having interesting conversations with French speakers. Ask your tutor about their favorite fruits and tell them about your own favorites as well. They’ll probably have some interesting recommendations on fruits and fruit-based treats to try!
1. Pomme English translation: Apple 2. Poire English translation: Pear 3. Citron English translation: Lemon 4. Les Raisins English translation: Grapes 5. Cantaloup English translation: Muskmelon 6. La Mûre English translation: Blackberry 7. Pêche English translation: Peach 8. Prune English translation: Prune 9. Abricot English translation: Apricot 10. Cerise English translation: Cherry 11. Fraise English translation: Strawberry 12. Framboise English translation: Raspberry 13. Avocat English translation: Avocado 14. Pamplemousse English translation: Grapefruit 15. Melon English translation: Melon
1. Mangue English translation: Mango 2. Banana English translation: Banane 3. Orange English translation: Orange 4. Guava English translation: Goyave 6. Papaya English translation: Papaye 7. Grenade English translation: Pomegranate 8. Pastèque English translation: Watermellon 9. Ananas English translation: Pineapple 10. Kiwi English translation: Kiwi
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