At the River — Au bord de la rivière

Rivers are fun places to play in the summer. Some of the rivers in France come all the way from the Alps. The water is cold! And some of them, like the Fontaine de Vaucluse (“The Fountain of Vaucluse”), are springs that surge right out of the ground.

French Rivers — Les fleuves français

France has many rivers used for transporting people and goods, including La Seine, which flows into the English Channel; La Loire, which flows through the center of France, and Le Rhône, which empties into the Mediterranean near the city of Marseilles.

Since big cities usually grow up around rivers, it's not surprising that big French cities, like Paris and Avignon, are located on rivers.

Many of France's rivers transport people and goods. Boats called péniches carry les voyageurs (“travelers”) and heavy things like le sable (“sand”) and les roches (“rocks”). Some of your French friends may even live on péniches that have been converted into houseboats. In Paris, there are many restaurant boats and even a fire boat. The Batobus is a kind of river bus that takes people to where they need to go in Paris, and le bateau-mouche (literally “fly boat”) is a kind of open-air tour boat on La Seine.

Smaller French rivers, like La Sorgue and Le Calavon, are perfect for fishing and boating, or just watching the wildlife. Can you think of the names of some rivers near where you live?

Many of France's rivers are protected by environmentalists so that the wildlife continues to thrive. There, you can usually see canards (“ducks”) and poissons (“fish”). Here are some other things you can find on a quiet stretch of river:

<tgroup cols="2"> <colspec align="left" colname="col1" colnum="1" colsep="0" colwidth="50%"/> <colspec align="left" colname="col2" colnum="2" colsep="0" colwidth="50%"/> <thead> <tr> <td><p><B>English</B></p></td> <td><p><B>French</B></p></td> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><p>a canoe</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>un canoë</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>pebbles</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>des galets</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>a fishing rod</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>une canne à pêche</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>a picnic</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>un pique-nique</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>a swan</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>un cygne</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>a dragonfly</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>une libellule</emphasis></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p>a mosquito</p></td> <td><p><emphasis>un moustique</emphasis></p></td> </tr> </tbody> </tgroup> </table> <h2>Yard, Beach, or River? — <emphasis>Jardin, plage ou rivière?</emphasis></h2> <p>In these blanks, write where you can find the thing or the action in the sentence. Use <emphasis>à la plage, à la rivière</emphasis> or <emphasis>dans le jardin</emphasis>in your answers. If more than one answer is right, then include both or even all three:</p> <p><emphasis>Voici le tournesol</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Je n'ai pas ma canne à pêche</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>J'aime les vagues</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Il aime les châteaux de sable</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Le ciel est beau</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Je vois un chêne</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Je veux de la crème solaire</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>J'ai des coquillages</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Nous n'aimons pas les moustiques</emphasis>.</p> <p><emphasis>Les cygnes sont beaux</emphasis>.</p> <!--/gc--> <div id="pagination"><ul><li class="prev"><a href="" title="At the Beach — A la plage">At the Beach — A la plage</a></li><li class="next"><a href="" title="At the Zoo — Au zoo">At the Zoo — Au zoo</a> </li></ul></div></div> <div id="coda"> <div id="rel"><div class="n5">Related Articles</div><ul> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> At the River — Au bord de la rivière - French for Kids </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Sur - French Expressions with Sur </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Le p'tit renne au nez rouge - French Christmas Carol </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Longest Rivers in France </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Worst Rookie France Travel Mistakes - Your First Trip to France? 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