French Language Blog

Thank you! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email.
You must click the link in the email to verify your request.

The World Series…in French? Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Sports

Believe it or not, baseball actually has a long history sur le sol français (on French soil). The first game played in France, occurred on March 8, 1889.  Le premier championnat (the first tournament) took place during World War I. Today, baseball is known as a primarily American sport in France and is not given much media coverage despite its long history in the country. Professional baseball in France is overseen by la Fédération française de baseball et softball.

Since we are in the midst of another World Series this week, we’ll look into the role baseball plays in France today. L’équipe de France de baseball is the French national team, which represents the country in both le Championnat d’Europe de baseball and la Coupe du monde de baseball. L’équipe de France de baseball played its first game in 1929 against l’Éspagne (Spain). In 1999, the team took third place in the European championship. However, that was its highest ranking in recent years. In 2016, France finished in seventh place out of twelve teams participating in the championship. Les Pays-Bas (The Netherlands) placed first in that championship, with Spain and Italy taking second and third place, respectively.

Here are some French baseball terms and their equivalents in English:

Arrêt-court  : shortstop

Atteindre une base : to advance a base

Balle courbe : curve ball

Balle rapide : fastball

Coup de circuit : a home run

À domicile : at home

Flèche : a line drive

Frappeur : batter or hitter

Losange : baseball diamond

Monticule : pitcher’s mound

Prise : strike

Retrait sur trois prises : strike out

Sauf : safe

Voltigeur ou joueur de champ extérieur : outfielder


In Québec, baseball is a larger part of local culture with the Québec Capitales the popular local team. Québecois baseball terminology differs in some way from the French terms listed above. Les Capitales won their seventh championship in 2017 when they defeated Rockland Boulders.

Want to hear more? Sign up for one of our newsletters!

For more language learning advice, free resources, and information about how we can help you reach your language goals, select the most relevant newsletter(s) for you and sign up below.

Tags: , , , , ,
Share this:
Pin it

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!