French Language Blog

Find it all at la Samaritaine Posted by on Jan 26, 2021 in Culture

Since 2005, one of Paris’s iconic grand magasin has been closed. But come the end of the pandemic, la Samaritaine will takes its place again and Parisians and tourists alike will be able to find it all at la Samaritaine.

More than just a store

For over a century (1870 – 2005) la Samaritaine was more than just a store. Sitting at the intersection of the rue de Rivoli and the Pont Neuf and visible from the Seine, la Samaritaine has long been an icon of Haussmannien Paris and les berges de la Seine.

When it opens again though, it will truly be more than just a store mixing luxury with thoughtful urban development.  Under the ownership of the French conglomerate LVMH, the new Samaritaine will house a department store and a five-star hotel, but also offices, rent-controlled appartements, and a day-care center.

You can see some great photos of la Samaritaine en travaux1under construction / in renovations here.

Quand on trouvait tout à la Samaritaine

This fun retro pub highlights la Samaritaine’s most famous slogan, the inspiration for this week’s blog post title. Enjoy!

Vous vous souvenez certainement de ce fameux slogan « on trouve tout à la Samaritaine » You surely remember the famous logan “You can find it all at the Samaritaine”
Et bien dans les années ’70 ce grand magasin, Well, during the ‘70s this department store 
nous avait pondu2From the verb pondre quelques petits bijoux  publicitaire  gave us (lit. laid, as an egg) some real gems of commercials
que nous nous sommes empressés de ressortir à l’occasion du thème de cette émission. that we rushed to bring back given the theme of this episode.
C’est not’(re) séquence rétro … It’s our retro series …


Vendeur: Monsieur désire quelque chose ? Can I help you, Sir? (lit. Sir would like something?)
Client: Oui. Des clous. Yes. Nails.
Vendeur: Il n’y en a pas. There aren’t any.
Client: Bon euh pince crocodile. Well, um, alligator clips.
Vendeur: Ni pinces, ni crocodiles. Neither clips, nor alligators. [French doesn’t seem to make a difference between alligators and crocodiles!]

[Outillages / Tools]

Client: Mais vous avez quand même des outils ? But you do have tools?
Vendeur: Pas d’outils. No tools.
Client: Ah bon ? Et meubles de jardin c’est où ? Really? And garden furniture is where?
Vendeur: Parce que vous voudrez qu’on fasse les outils, les crocodiles, les meubles … Because you think we should have tools, alligators, furniture …
  et pourquoi pas la layette, And why not baby clothes?
  les sports nautiques, Water sports,
  les produits de beauté, Beauty products,
  les sanitaires, Bath products,
  la lingerie fine, Lingerie,
  et puis quoi encore ? And what else then?
Client: Alors qu’est-ce que vous avez ? Well then what do you have?
Vendeur: Des clous !3Saying ‘des clous’ or ‘rien que des clous’ is an expression meaning ‘nothing’ in French. Nails!
Client: Ben justement c’est des … But it’s just that …
Vendeur: Bah je dis ‘des clous’ parce qu’il n’y a rien ici. Il n’y a rien. Well I say ‘nails’ because there’s nothing here. There is nothing.
  Vous n’avez pas vu le nom du magasin ? Didn’t you see the name of the store?
Client: Bah non. Well no.
Vendeur: Tenez. Venez, vous aller voir. Wait. Come, you’ll see.
Client: Ici c’est pas la Samaritaine This is not the Samaritaine.
  Ah je comprends maintenant. Oh, I get it now.
  C’est à la Samaritaine qu’on trouve tout ! It’s at the Samartaine that one finds everything!

Voix: C’est vrai qu’on trouve tout à la Samaritaine.4It’s true! You can find it all at the Samaritaine.

Do you find les pubs as useful for practicing your French as I do? If so, check out this selection of previous posts:.
A fun candy commercial and a little bit of l’histoire des pubs à la télé en France.
Shopping and a little bit of geography.
A retro tale of love … ?

Pour approfondir votre vocabulaire

Last week, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. In French you will find both the cognate inauguration (n.f.) and  the word investiture used for an inaugurationInvestiture shares a common racine5root with the word vêtement6Reminder: The accent circumflex over the first e is likely a sign that there used to be an s in vêtement.. Read – or listen to – more here.

Et pourquoi pas …

Here’s a little song to accompany your petit-déjeuner au trois terrasse de la Samaritaine7breakfast on the three terraces of the Samaritaine.

  • 1
    under construction / in renovations
  • 2
    From the verb pondre
  • 3
    Saying ‘des clous’ or ‘rien que des clous’ is an expression meaning ‘nothing’ in French.
  • 4
    It’s true! You can find it all at the Samaritaine.
  • 5
  • 6
    Reminder: The accent circumflex over the first e is likely a sign that there used to be an s in vêtement.
  • 7
    breakfast on the three terraces of the Samaritaine
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.