Faire les courses

French reading practice with side-by-side translation

 Reading comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Faire les courses en France Shopping in France

Autrefois, les Français faisaient leurs achats dans toute une sĂ©rie de petits magasins spĂ©cialisĂ©s : le lait et le fromage Ă  la crĂ©merie, la viande chez le boucher, les fruits et les lĂ©gumes au marchĂ© ou bien chez le primeur, et cetera.

Translation

It used to be that the French did their shopping in a whole series of small, specialized shops: milk and cheese at the dairy, meat at the butcher shop, fruit and vegetables at the outdoor market or greengrocer, etc.

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Depuis des annĂ©es, avec le dĂ©veloppement – et la commoditĂ© – des supermarchĂ©s, cette habitude se perd. Il est beaucoup plus facile, plus rapide et, en gĂ©nĂ©ral, moins cher de faire ses courses dans un supermarchĂ©, et les petites boutiques disparaissent progressivement.

Translation

For years, with the growing number – and convenience – of supermarkets, this habit has been on the wane. It’s a lot easier, faster, and, in general, less expensive to do one’s shopping at a supermarket, and the small shops are gradually disappearing.

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Et ce ne sont pas seulement les magasins d’alimentation qui s’en vont ; les hypermarchĂ©s – avec leurs rayons de produits alimentaires, quincaillerie, vĂȘtements, Ă©lectromĂ©nager, jouets et autres produits non comestibles – dĂ©tournent beaucoup de clients aussi. RĂ©sultat : toutes sortes de magasins sont obligĂ©s de cesser leurs activitĂ©s. La seule exception, dans une certaine mesure, semble ĂȘtre les boulangeries.

Translation

And it’s not only food stores falling by the wayside; superstores – with their aisles of food products, hardware, clothing, appliances, toys, and other nonedible products – divert a lot of customers too. Result: all kinds of shops are forced to go out of business. The only exception, to some extent, seems to be bakeries.

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Bref, il se passe en France la mĂȘme chose que dans beaucoup d’autres pays : les grands magasins mangent les petits, et on Ă©change l’originalitĂ© contre la commoditĂ© et les prix attractifs. Que l’on soit pour ou contre ces changements, on ne peut pas nier que ça transforme la culture française.

Translation

In short, the same thing is happening in France as in many other countries: big stores eat the little ones, and originality is traded for convenience and low prices. Whether you’re for or against these changes, you can’t deny that it’s altering French culture.

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Grocery shopping in France

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