French Word of the Day

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

une rafale de vent

a gust of wind

Les rafales de vent ont atteint jusqu’à 100 kilomètres à l’heure.
The wind gusts reached speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph).

Friday, June 29, 2012


n.f., Jupiter

La semaine dernière, Jupiter était au plus près de la Terre depuis 47 ans.
Last week, Jupiter was the closest to Earth in 47 years.

More advanced learners can see if they can follow along in this explanation of Jupiter and Uranus. If you received this in an e-mail and have difficulty viewing the video, visit our Web site at

Vocabulary Section: Astronomy and Space, Word of the Day
Thursday, June 28, 2012

en arrière-plan

in the background

Les nuages sont en arrière-plan de la photo.
The clouds are in the background of the photo.

It’s very useful in conversation to be able to describe spatial relationships — the idea of where one thing is in relation to another. Today’s phrase is an example.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



Je suis ravi de faire votre connaissance.
I’m delighted to meet you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

un pneu

a tire

Savez-vous changer un pneu crevé?
Do you know how to change a flat tire?

Other expressions:
pneus toutes-saisons = all-season tires
pneu neige = snow tire
gonfler un pneu = to inflate a tire

Sunday, June 24, 2012

ajouter au panier

add to the shopping cart
(literally, panier is basket)

Quand vous faites des achats en ligne, vous ajoutez des articles au panier.
When you shop online, you add items to the shopping cart.

Today’s word is part of the French vocabulary for  online shopping.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

léger, légère

light (in weight or effect)

C’était facile de lever sa valise, parce qu’elle était légère.
It was easy to lift her suitcase, because it was light.

For all the daily words we’ve reviewed together, we’ve never spent much time covering adjectives — at least not as a dedicated topic. We’ll try to change that this week with an assortment of useful French adjectives that will help you add some depth to your conversations.

Review last week’s words by taking our weekly quiz.

Vocabulary Section: Adjectives, Word of the Day
Friday, June 22, 2012

un grille-pain

a toaster

Vous pouvez dorer le pain dans un grille-pain.
You can brown the bread in a toaster.

Monday, June 18, 2012

télécharger la musique

to download music

De plus en plus, les gens achètent et téléchargent leur musique du Web.
Increasingly, people buy and download their music from the Web.

Vocabulary Section: Arts and Culture, Music, Word of the Day
Sunday, June 17, 2012


to whisper

Marie chuchote à l’oreille de son bébé.
Marie is whispering in the ear of her baby.

Vocabulary Section: Sounds, Verbs, Word of the Day
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