French Language Blog

Il Fait Chaud – It’s Hot In France Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

The past few days have been hot, incredibly hot. La canicule (the heatwave) is here and that means trying hard to keep cool while the sun is up. After a few too many days without la climatisation (air conditioning), I had to buy un ventilateur.

"fan" by Niels Epting on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

fan” by Niels Epting on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Just a few weeks ago I was enjoying SGDQ, but this past week la canicule is finally here. The uncomfortably hot time en été (in Summer) when France turns into an oven. Dealing with la chaleur (the heat) en été is a common problem in France and a youtubeur français (French youtuber), Cyprien, even made a fun video about the struggles of surviving la canicule!

Click on l’icône en forme de roue dentée (the gear icon) to turn off the 3D effect and turn on subtitles.

Hier (yesterday), I had my own struggle with la canicule. I woke up to la chaleur extrême (the extreme heat) and before I could make du café (some coffee), I needed to take a shower. Washing off la transpiration (the sweat) made the start of my day better, but I needed to find a better way to se rafraîchir (cool off).

La climatisation isn’t very common in France. Il fait chaud (it’s hot) for only a few days or weeks of the year. Unless you have un ventilateur chez vous (a fan at home), all you can do is ouvrir les fenêtres (open the windows) and hope le vent (the wind) finds its way in.

I put off buying un ventilateur because la chaleur hadn’t been that bad this year, but hier was different. As soon as I was done with le petit déjeuner (breakfast), I went to the nearest arrêt de bus (bus stop) and made my way to une grande surface (a supermarket, a big-box store).

Once I was in the store, I was welcomed by la climatisation of the building and I was happy to en profiter (enjoy it) for a moment before looking for mon nouveau ventilateur (my new fan). It wasn’t long before I found un ventilateur and had to go back to la chaleur.

The hot trip to mon appartement (my apartment) ended with me finding the tools to put together le nouveau ventilateur. Heureusement (fortunately), I could then point it at my face toute la journée (all day)!

If la canicule is still here tomorrow, I think I’ll have go to la piscine (the pool) to se rafraîchir.

Voici un vocabulaire de la canicule :

La canicule – Heatwave
La chaleur – Heat
La climatisation – Air conditioning
Le ventilateur – Fan
Chaud – Hot
L’air chaud – Hot air
Le vent – Wind
L’été – Summer
Se rafraîchir – To cool off
La piscine – Pool
La plage – Beach
Les boissons froides – Cold Drinks
La glace – Ice cream
La glace à l’eau – Popsicle

Keep learning French with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

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. Bill Cunningham:

    Tres bin et merci. Bill