Utensils in French

Instructor: Kirsten Dickerson

Kirsten has taught French and English for fifteen years and has a Master's degree in Education.

In this lesson, you will learn the French words for all the kitchen and cooking utensils you may come across at a dinner party. We'll also go over some dishwashing terms, just in case you decide to help clean up after the party!

Un dîner en Provence - A Dinner in Provence

While on vacation in the south of France in Aix-en-Provence, you meet a friendly local couple at the flower market. They help you buy some of your favorite flowers - les jacinthes (hyacinths) and les tournesols (sunflowers) - and show you around the Richeme Market, the local fruit and vegetable market. It's your lucky day, because they invite you to a dinner party they're hosting at their maison (house) on Friday night!

You arrive a little bit late, as is the custom, with a bouquet of fleurs (flowers) and some chocolats (chocolates) in hand. After enjoying a before-dinner drink, called un apéritif, and some salty snacks like olives and nuts, you sit down to a seriously delicious multi-hour dîner (dinner).

Une jolie table - A beautifully decorated table
place setting

Mettre La Table (Setting The Table)

In front of you on the table you find an impressive collection of forks, spoons, and knives. You mother always told you to start from the outside in, but what are all these utensils called in French? Let's take a look!

French Pronunciation English
les ustensiles ü-ston-seels utensils
le couteau koo-toh knife
la fourchette foor-shet fork
la cuillère kwee-yehr spoon
le verre vehr glass
le verre à vin vehr ah vahn wine glass
la tasse tahs cup
l'assiette ah-see-yet plate
le bol bohl bowl
la serviette sehr-vee-yet napkin
la nappe nahp tablecloth

With one last sip of Pastis, the typical black licorice-flavored digestif (after-dinner drink) of the region, you top off a fabulously Provençal dinner of wine, salmon, pork, salad, an impressive selection of cheeses, fresh lemon tart, and coffee!

Les ustensiles (The utensils)
les ustensiles

Faire La Vaisselle (Doing The Dishes)

To say merci (thank you), you insist on helping with la vaisselle (vay-sell), the dishes. Making your way to the adorable and sunny cuisine (kitchen) you soon find yourself elbow-deep in suds. What terms do you need to know for washing the dishes?

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