French Language Blog

Roland-Garros Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Vocabulary

For those of you who follow tennis, the French Open (known in French as Roland-Garros), just concluded with a pretty major upset in the men’s final: the Swiss Stan Wawrinka beat out No.1 player Novak Djokovic. In the women’s finals, the amazing Serena Williams won for her 20th Grand Slam singles title. Roland-Garros is often called one of the hardest tennis tournaments in the world, particularly because of the difficulty of playing on its clay surface.

The tournament is held at the Stade Roland-Garros, which is nestled just south of Paris’ famous Bois de Boulogne. Also located on the 21-acre complex is the Tenniseum, a fun and interactive museum about the history of tennis. The stadium and the tournament are named after Roland Garros, a French pilot who was killed in battle in 1918. But before becoming known as a combat aviator, Garros was known for being the first to cross the Mediterranean Sea with a monoplane in 1913. The current stadium was opened in 1928 and the French Open has been held there every year since.

Do you want to start following the French Open? Or perhaps your future trip to France will include playing at the famed stadium? Here is some vocabulary you’ll need to get started:

Le tennis — tennis

le jouer de tennis — tennis player

le serveur — the server

le service — the serve

le filet — the net

le court de terre battue — clay court

la raquette — the racket

un juge de ligne — a line judge

le ramasseur des balles — the “ball boy”

la balle  — the ball

l’égalité — tie/deuce

la faute

l’as — ace

And for scoring:

*Love (o) = zéro (“Love” in English, meaning zero points in tennis, actually comes from the French word for “egg,” l’oeuf)

15 = quinze

15 all= quinze-à

30 = trente

30 all = trente-à

40 = quarante

deuce (40 all)=égalité

ad-in= avantage serveur

ad-out = avantage dehors

game, set, and match = jeu, set, et match

Happy playing! Bon jeu!






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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!