My early trips to l’épicerie were an interesting exercise in how much I trusted my French. I took gambles on whether the bottle I was buying was l’assouplissant (softener) or la lessive (detergent), hoping it wasn’t l’eau de Javel (bleach).
Before having the luxury of un lave-vaisselle (a dishwasher) I used to rely on du liquide vaisselle (dish soap) and des éponges (sponges). That means looking at many different products that even if I know le mot français (the French word), I often don’t know la marque (the brand)!
Cependant (however), before struggling to realise what the difference between French soap brands are, I had to also learn the vocabulary. The difference between la lessive, le liquide vaisselle et le savon (detergent, dish soap, and hand soap) is very important!
Luckily I knew how to say faire la vaisselle (wash dishes) so when I was confusingly staring at the different bottles at l’épicerie, I at least knew how to say what I was looking for.
La Vaisselle – Washing Dishes In French
Excusez-moi monsieur, vous cherchez quelque chose ?
Oui…. J’ai besoin du savon pour faire la vaisselle.
Vous voulez dire du liquide vaisselle ?
Je crois… oui…
Suivez-moi, monsieur, c’est juste ici.
Excuse me, sir, are you looking for something ?
Yes… I need soap for washing dishes.
Do you mean dish washing soap?
I believe so… yes…
Follow me sir, it’s right over here.
I will admit I was not sûr à cent percent (one hundred percent sure) that le liquide vaisselle was the right word. I figured if l’employé (the employee) knew it would work with la vaisselle (dirty dishes), it should be the right thing.
I made my way out of l’épicerie and when it came time to faire la vaisselle I was relieved to find out that I bought the right kind of soap!
Voici un vocabulaire de la vaisselle :
Faire la vaiselle – To do the dishes
La vaisselle – Dirty dishes
Le liquide vaisselle – Dish soap
La lessive – Detergent
L’assouplissant – Softener
L’eau de Javel – Bleach
Le savon – Soap
L’assiette – Plate (physical dish)
Le plat – Plate (meal, dish)
La tasse – Cup
Le verre – Glass
Le lave-vaisselle – Dishwasher
Le plongeur – Dishwasher (person).
Blog submitted by: David at The French Property Network - Cle France.
This blog was originally posted on The French Language Blog pages.