French Language Blog

Le Trajet And Rising Water Levels – Commuting Vocabulary In French Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Vocabulary

Anyone who has ever commuted, whether it’s à l’école ou au bureau (to school or to the office) knows just how annoying anything that slows the the daily trip can be.

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

En France, there is a stereotypical reason for commutes to be delayed that most students and workers have had to use at least once:

La grève
Workers strike

While la grève exists all over the world, with how common they seem to occur en France they are something of a private joke among les Français (French people).

Ceci dit (that said), En France and around the world, la grève is unfortunately not the only reason le trajet (the commute) can be disturbed. Sometimes roads are closed or subway lines are down for regular maintenance or new construction. Peu importe (no matter) the reason, anything that makes le trajet a little longer is annoying for daily commuters.

En janvier dernier (last January), during the coldest days of the year, a rather unique situation affected my personal commute à Paris. On my way home from mon boulot (my job), I arrived at a stop where I normally changed lines on my way home, but on this particular day toutes les entrées (all the entrances) were blocked. Before I could ask anyone what was going on, I heard the disappointing announcement:

Ligne fermée à cause de la montée des eaux
Line closed due to rising water levels

La crue de la Seine! In a panic to find a way home I checked le plan de métro (the subway map) to find the quickest route. With the sudden closure of our normal trajet, I was stuffed into an incredibly crowded subway car as I slowly made my way home.

While it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, I will now never forget how to say:

Fermé à cause de la montée des eaux
Closed due to flooding

Voici un vocabulaire de trajet :

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

Le trajet – The Commute
Faire la navette – To Commute
Se rendre à – To Commute To
Les transports en commun – Public Transportation
Le métro – The Subway
Le bus – The Bus
Le RER – The Commuter Train (in Paris)
Le tramway – The Streetcar
Le plan de métro – The Subway Map
La carte – The Map
La grève – Workers Strike
Les travaux – Construction
La crue – The Flood
La montée des eaux – Rising Water Levels
La voiture – The Car
Le covoiturage – The Carpool
Le trafic – The Traffic

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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.