French Language Blog

Heat And Thunderstorms – Warm Thoughts Of L’Été Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Vocabulary

With le mois de juin (the month of June) almost over thoughts of l’été (summer) fill the warm air. La canicule may be on everyone’s mind, but ce mois (this month) is also about la fête des pères and, bien sûr (of course), mon anniversaire!

Photo by Robert Meeks on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Les stores are open everywhere to cool things down by letting in la brise (the breeze). La climatisation (air conditioning) is rare en France so you have to make do with les fenêtres ouvertes et les ventilateurs (open windows and fans). While la chaleur (the heat) can make it hard to think of anything else, l’été also brings happier summer thoughts of le soliel (the sun) and les vacances (vacations).

Personnellement (personnally), growing up en Floride, l’été always makes me think of la saison des ouragans (hurricane season). The change in seasons may be subtle in the sub-tropical state, but the increasing humidity and decreasing tourism are the signs of a Florida summer.

En France, l’été is the height of la saison touristique (the tourist season). The colder months of the year do not attract as many visitors, but the hot months of l’été bring in les touristes (tourists) from all over the world to France. It definitely makes it easier to voyager (travel) when you don’t have to worry about packing les vêtements d’hiver!

La saison touristique en France always makes me smile, because it is the opposite of what I grew up with. En Floride, the hot summers mark the end of the la saison touristique and the start of les orages (thunderstorms). Chaque après-midi (every afternoon) the sky turns dark and the sound of thunder fills the humid air.

Remembering ces orages quotidiens (these daily thunderstorms) doesn’t just remind me of la Floride, but also that la foudre et le tonnerre (lightning and thunder) are somewhat rare en France. It gets very hot and there is even the occasional averse de grêle (hailstorm), but summer thunderstorms are few and far between.

This became apparent when I tried to share mon expérience estivale (my summer experience) with mes amis (my friends) in France. They were used to the couple of weeks of la canicule and la fête de la musique, but mes amis had trouble imagining un orage rolling in every day!

Voici un vocabulaire des orages :

Photo by Jacques Leblanc on Flicker. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

L’été – Summer
Estival – Summer (adj)
Le temps – Weather
La météo – Weather forecast
La chaleur – Heat
Chaud – Hot
L’orage – Storm, thunderstorm
L’ouragan – Hurricane
La saison – Season
Le nuage – Cloud
Nuageux – Cloudy, overcast
La pluie – Rain
Le soleil – Sun
La grêle – Hail
L’averse de grêle – Hailstorm
La foudre – Lightning
Le tonnerre – Thunder
Tonner – To thunder
Le tourisme – Tourism
Le touriste – Tourist
La climatisation – Air conditioning
Le ventilateur – Fan
La brise – Breeze

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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.