Friday, July 24, 2009

French to English: Spas, Part 1


It used to be that facials and massage were the staples of spa salons, but today we're hearing about new services that are added to the "spa menu."  As the list of offerings grows, the terms get harder to pronounce!



In her article describing the history and evolution of spas, Julie Register said that in 2001, there were over 9,000 spa locations in the United States alone.  For the 1995-1999 period, spas grew at a rate of 21%.

Sign of the times?  Are we more stressed? Do we have more disposable income to spend on personal luxuries (seems like a stupid question considering the present economic crisis), or are we looking back to our ancestors and trying to duplicate their lifestyle?  After all, the concept of the social bath was practised by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans. 

Did you know that an international organization called the International Spa Association (ISPA) represents about 83 countries and claims to be the voice of the spa industry?  Their mission is to spread the word "by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth."

The ISPA web site is worth a visit.  If you're thinking of starting a spa business, this site is a valuable source of information and tips. We'll take some nuggets from the web site and talk about them in our next two posts.  In the meantime, let's get some of those spa terms for you (some are on the slideshow):



bain bouillonnant (ou bain tourbillon) whirlpool bath
enveloppement de boue mud wrap
pédicurie pedicure
manucure (ou soin des mains) manicure
massage facial facial massage
aromathérapie aromatherapy
luminothérapie light therapy
blanchissement des dents teeth whitening
traitement chromalift chromalift
massage aux pierres chaudes hot stone massage
massage suédois Swedish massage
exfoliation aux sels marins spa salt scrub
exfoliation et enveloppement reminéralisant scrub and mineralizing wrap
bain de vapeur steam room

I found this joke on


In my next blog, more spa terms and a visit to ISPA's site!


  1. Hi
    I'm looking for massage in French vocabulare materials on line

  2. Thank you for your comment. I have left a reply on your blog, but I'll post the links here and hope they help you: