French Language Blog

Welcoming Le Froid – Cold Weather In French Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Vocabulary

It’s getting cold en France and more than making it harder to sleep, le changement (the change) has also left me feeling sick as a dog. While I rest in mon nouveau lit I also have to to pack up les vêtements d’été and start thinking about le temps hivernal (the winter weather) ahead.

Image by Andy B on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

When I came to France I had to learn about the two important things you have to do with the arrival of the cold months of the year:

  • Make sure the heating works
  • Make sure I know where my winter clothes are 

L’hiver en France (Winter in France), or at least à Paris, is somewhat mild and la neige (snow) is pretty rare, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cold. Au contraire, dès Septembre (starting from September), the city regularly flirts with temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

While there may not be de la neige, le changement de saison (the change in seasons) is marked by shorter colder days and un manque de soleil (a lack of sun). En automne (in Autumn), la canicule becomes a distant memory as un ciel nuageux (overcast skies) with intermittent rain becomes the norm.

While les fenêtres (the windows) start to close and it gets harder to stay warm, the good news is that la saison touristique (the tourist season) is at an end, making it a good time to visit the more popular attractions if you want to avoid la foule (the crowd)!

Of course le temps hivernal also brings up thoughts of les fêtes de fin d’année (the end of the year holidays). Before long we’ll all be able to sing Bonjour Noël while enjoying du vin chaud !

Before it gets too cold, take a moment to refresh your vocabularie du froid and have no problem discussing le temps en hiver (the weather in Winter).

Voici un vocabulaire du froid : 

Image by Alex Pearson on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Cold (adj) – Froid
Cold (noun) – Le froid
Cold (disease) – Le rhume
Flu – La grippe
Cloudy – Nuageux
Overcast – Couvert, sombre, nuageux
Rain – La pluie
Rainy – Pluvieux
To Rain – Pleuvoir
Sleet (noun) – Le grésil
To Sleet – Grésiller
Snow – La neige
To Snow – Neiger
Heater – Le chauffage
Blanket – La couverture
Hot Chocolate – Le chocolat chaud
Cold Weather – Le temps froid
Winte Weahter – Le temps hivernal
Season – La saison
Autumn (noun) – L’automne
Autumn (adj) – Automnal
Winter (noun) – L’hiver
Winter (adj) – Hivernal
Holidays – Les fêtes
Mulled Wine – Le vin chaud

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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.