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Walking Words

Daniel does a lot of walking in his Voyage en France series, showing us around some of France's most beautiful and historic cities and towns. He also uses several walking-related words during his tours:

Et d'emblée depuis cette promenade...

And right away from this walk...

Caption 5, Voyage en France - Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

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In English, "promenade" is a somewhat formal word for a boardwalk or a leisurely stroll. But une promenade is the standard French term for "a walk" or, when you're going somewhere in a vehicle, "a ride" or "drive":


Hier nous avons fait une promenade en voiture
We went for a drive yesterday. 


Its verb form, se promener, means "to take a walk": 


Quand on se promène dans le vieux Conflans...

When we take a walk in Old Conflans...

Caption 22, Voyage en France - Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

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Daniel also frequently uses the word une balade (not to be confused with une ballade, "a ballad"), which has the same meaning as une promenade:


Pendant votre balade dans le vieux Conflans...

During your walk in Old Conflans...

Caption 28, Voyage en France - Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

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Just like une promenadeune balade also has a verb form, se balader:

A se balader avec lui dans les rues de Dakar,

Strolling along the streets of Dakar with him,

on mesure toute la dimension de l'artiste.

one gets a sense of the depths of the artist.

Captions 30-31, Le Journal - Youssou N'Dour

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C'est très, très agréable de se balader

It's very, very pleasant to go for a ride

avec ces bateaux sur la mer.

on those boats on the sea.

Captions 33-34, Jean-Marc - La plage

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As you may know, marcher is the basic French verb for "to walk." But it's also often used informally to mean "to work," "to function," or "to go well": 


Non, c'est juste pour voir si tout marche bien.

No, it's just to see if everything is working well.

Caption 3, Il était une fois: Les découvreurs - 9. Galilée

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Elle est chez les seniors. Et ça marche bien.

She's with the seniors. And it's going well.

Caption 43, Actus Quartier - Fête de quartier Python-Duvernois

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Just as you can say "that works" to mean "OK" or "sounds good to me," in French you can say ça marche:


Tu veux prendre un café aujourd'hui à quinze heures? -Ça marche!
Do you want to get coffee today at three p.m.? -That works!


Now that you know all the different ways of saying "walk" in French, why not go take one? 


Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write to us at or tweet us @yabla.