French Language Blog

Editor’s Note: Understanding Acronyms and Abbreviations Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Grammar, Vocabulary

Image by John Bauer.

Image by John Bauer.

French uses many sigles (acronyms) and abréviations (abbreviations) in everyday writing beyond textspeak. There are many in English aussi (as well) that people don’t think about very often: etc, eg, ie, PS, and many more.

I was reading an article en français (in French) and I came across un sigle that I couldn’t understand:


There was nothing obvious about it, and I couldn’t come up with anything that would fit the letters! After a quick search I learned that it was:

Note de la redaction
Editor’s note

It’s used when the editor wants to add in their own opinion or clarification in a quote or a citation. When I read it I couldn’t think of a good English equivalent. That confusion made me think about what other sigles and abréviations are used in French that are very common in everday writing.

Voici une petite liste de sigles et abréviations en français :

Train à grande vitesse
High speed rail

Restaurant universitaire
University restaurant (dining hall)

Version originelle sous-titrée
Original subtitled version

Sans domicile fixe
Without fixed home (homeless)

Relevé d’identité bancaire
Bank identity statement (bank account details)

Technologies d’informations et de la communication
Information and communication technologies (Information technologies IT)

That is to say (That is, ie)

eg (for example)

et cetera
et cetera (and so on, etc)

PS (note added to the end of a letter)

Let me know in the comments if you’ve come across any French sigles or abréviations that confused you!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Tom sanders:

    SRC, for Societe Radio-Canada, the French broadcasting company in canada. “Societe” required some getting used to. It can be a false friend, meaning “company” or “corporation” in French. Not “society,” as in “the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.”

  2. Lotti Nixon:

    Love all of your helpful info!thanks!