Technology Vocab: 50+ French Words You Need to Know if You Own a Smartphone or Use the Internet

Are you way more into snail mail than email?

Or are you a techie till the end, your heart racing and your palms sweaty when you find yourself without a solid Wi-Fi connection?

Regardless of which camp you’re in, technology is here to stay.

But hey, in many cases it makes life—French-learning life included—simpler.

So can you talk about all of this technology en français?

Whether you love it or hate it, now is the time to update your French vocabulary for life in the 21st century. We live in the ère numérique (digital age), so to express opinions about new technology, you’re definitely going to need some tech-related vocab.

Why Learn Technology-related French Vocabulary?

Even the l’Académie française (The French Academy, a national institution which is the authority on things related to the French language) has been forced to accept the fact that haute technologie (high technology) isn’t going away anytime soon.

In response to an onslaught of neologisms and anglicisms, l’Académie française has adapted, allowing for the French language to keep up with the times. By learning technology vocabulary, you’ll not only come acrossa fair amount of English loan words, you’ll also come across quintessentially French ones as well.

The building blocks of the French language are grammar and vocabulary. This means that even if your grammar game is on point, you’ll need a broad vocabulary to be able to communicate effectively about a wide range of subjects. Once you’ve got the basics down, you should move on to more domain-specific vocabulary.

The tech domain, like the business world, is a subculture with its own lingo. No need to be intimidated, though! Learn the lingo and you’ll find that your reading and listening comprehension will also improve. Besides that, you’ll wow native speakers as you wax poetic on Wi-Fi.

Get Geeky: French Resources for Technology Lovers

Reading blogs and listening to podcasts is a great way to see and hear French technology vocabulary in action. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Begeek. Begeek is the one-stop shop for you gadget lovers out there. Begeek contains a variety of articles pertaining to the tech world, product reviews and promotional codes.
  • Presse-Citron. Think of Presse-Citron, founded by Eric Dupin, as an online lifestyle magazine for the startup-launching set. On this site you’ll find posts on subjects ranging from e-books and environmentalism to smartphones and startups.
  • Soft Power: Le magazine des InternetsThis one-hour France Culture podcast hosted by Frédéric Martel revolves around the creative industry, with a special emphasis on mass media and the Internet. Each week Martel interviews journalists and researchers who discuss the stakes of living in “The Information Age.”
  • Ubergizmo. Ubergizmo is a frequently updated website containing no-nonsense reviews of “the electronics you love and the ones that you love to hate.”

50+ French Technology Vocab Words to Navigate Life in the 21st Century

Basic French Technology Vocabulary

Here are some French vocabulary words for computer hardware and some terms that harken back to Web 1.0.


Arobase (f, although the gender hasn’t quite been settled yet) — @.

This is the name for the commercial “at” symbol: @.  Since the advent of the Internet, countries have come up with different names for this curious character. According to some, the French term arobaseapproved by l’Académie française—is a derivative of a rond bas (a surrounded [letter] “a”). Neat, right? So instead of saying “at” when you’re telling someone your email address, you say arobase (at).

Mon adresse courriel est Frenchy arobase mail point com.[] (My email is Frenchy at mail dot com.)

Base de données (f) — Database.

La base de données aide la société à trouver les meilleurs clients.
(The database helps the company find the best clients.)

Bureau (m) — [Computer] desktop.

In the non-tech world, bureau refers to either a desk or an office.

Il y a trop de fichiers sur mon bureau.
(There are too many files on my desktop.)

Clavier (m) — Keyboard.

Computers made in the United States have QWERTY keyboards (QWERTY being the first six letters on the top left letter row of the keyboard), but did you know computers made in France have AZERTY ones?

Les ordinateurs fabriqués en France ont des claviers AZERTY.
(Computers made in France have AZERTY keyboards.)

Clé USB (f) — USB stick.

USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus,” which in French translates to Bus universel en série. Because the Anglophone world seems to dictate tech-lingo, we say clé USB (USB stick) instead of the “more French” clé BUS.

J’ai toujours une clé USB sur moi.
(I always have a USB stick with me.)

Courriel (m) — Email.

The word courriel is an abbreviation of courrier éléctronique (literally: electronic mail). (Courrier refers to a piece of mail delivered by post.) The anglicism un e-mail (an email) is often used, but courriel is preferred byl’Académie française. In Quebec, the term courriel is more popular than it is in Europe.

Un mél (an email) is another term for email. Think of it as a Frenchified version of the anglicism. The Académie française accepts Mél. as an abbreviation for message éléctronique (electronic message), much likeTél. is used as an abbreviation for (numéro de) téléphone (telephone [number]).

J’ai envoyé un courriel à Charlotte.
(I sent an email to Charlotte.)

Curseur (m) — Cursor.

Je déplace le curseur avec la souris.
(I move the cursor with the mouse.)

Disque dur (m) — Hard drive.

If you want to be more specific you can refer to either un disque dur interne (internal hard drive) or un disque dur externe (external hard drive).

Mon disque dur externe a beaucoup de stockage.
(My external hard drive has a lot of space.)

Donnée (f) — [A point of] data.

You will most often see this in its plural form, données.

Les données sont sur le serveur.
(The data is on the server.)

Dossier (m) — Folder.

J’ai créé un dossier pour chaque matière sur mon ordinateur.
(I made a folder for each subject on my computer.)

Écran (m) — Screen.

L’écran est sale.
(The screen is dirty.)

Fichier (m) — File or document.

Toutes les informations sont dans ce fichier.
(All of the information is in this file.)

Internet (m) — The Internet. (You guessed it!)

The definite article le (the) is rarely used before the word Internet in French. It’s treated like a proper noun, hence its capitalization. La toile (the web) and le net (the ‘Net) are two other French terms for the Internet.

Elle passe beaucoup de temps sur Internet.
(She spends a lot of time on the Internet.)

Logiciel (m) — Computer program.

J’utilise trois logiciels au quotidien.
(I use three programs on a daily basis.)

Mémoire (f) — Memory.

Combien de mémoire a ton ordinateur ?
(How much memory does your computer have?)

Mot de passe (m) — Password.

J’ai oublié mon mot de passe.
(I forgot my password.)

Moteur de recherche (m) — Search engine.

Le moteur de recherche a remplacé l’encyclopédie.
(The search engine has replaced the encyclopedia.)

Ordinateur (m) — Computer.

In colloquial spoken French you’ll often hear the shortened ordiCute, right? The French for “laptop” is ordinateur portable, which translates literally to “carry-able computer.” You’re more likely to hear a person refer to their portable (laptop), which, incidentally, is also the word for cell phone. Context usually clues you in regarding the item in question.

L’ordinateur de Sarah a un grand écran.
(Sarah’s computer has a big screen.)

Site web (m) — Web site.

Easy peasy! It’s common for French speakers to refer to un site (a site), tout simplement (quite simply).

La société a un nouveau site web.
(The company has a new website.)

Souris (f) — Mouse.

Je navigue sur le site à l’aide de la souris.
(I explore the site with help of the mouse.)

Traitement de texte (m) — Word processing.

J’utilise un logiciel de traitement de texte pour prendre des notes.
(I use a word processing program to take notes.)


Enregistrer To save.

In other contexts, enregistrer can also mean “to record.”

J’enregistre le fichier tout de suite.
(I am saving the file right away.)

Saisir  To enter or to input.

In other contexts, the verb saisir can also mean “to grasp,” both literally and figuratively, as in “to understand (a concept or idea).”

Je saisis les informations dans la base de données.
(I’m entering the information into the database.)

Sauvegarder — To backup.

Je sauvegarde mon travail toutes les deux heures.
(I backup my work every two hours.)

Supprimer — To delete.

J’ai supprimé quelques fichiers.
(I deleted some files.)

Web 2.0 and Beyond: French Vocabulary for the Digital Age

Although definitions may vary, the Web 2.0 generally is characterized by user-generated content and social media. Gone are the days where we passively consume information on websites. As modern-day internautes (Internet users—the noun can be either masculine or feminine depending on who it refers to), we actively engage with it, going so far as to create it.

Like I said earlier, with new technology comes new vocabulary. You’ll notice that many terms are loan words borrowed from the English. Let’s take a look, shall we?


Abonné(e) (m or f) — Subscriber.

Le bulletin éléctronique a 2 000 abonnés.
(The newsletter has 2,000 subscribers.)

Application (f) — Application.

It’s not uncommon to hear appli (appl) for short.

L’application dictionnaire me facilite la vie.
(The dictionary application makes my life easier.)

Blog (or blogue) (m) — Blog.

Michel tient un blog de musique.
(Michel runs a music blog.)

Commentaire (m) — Comment.

J’ai laissé un commentaire sur le blog de Michel.
(I left a comment on Michel’s blog.)

Compte (m) — Account.

J’ai un compte Facebook.
(I have a Facebook account.)

Écran tactile (m) — Touch screen.

Mon téléphone portable a un écran tactile.
(My cell phone has a touch screen.)

Fil d’actualité (m) — Newsfeed.

Mon fil d’actualité contient des articles intéressants.
(My newsfeed contains interesting articles.)

Lecteur (m) — Reader.

Lectrice (reader) is the feminine form.

Le blog de Michel a beaucoup de lecteurs.
(Michel’s blog has a lot of readers.)

Like (m) — A (Facebook) like.

Alternatively (and more French-ly), you can say une mention j’aime (literally translates to an “I like” distinction).

La photo de Caroline a reçu beaucoup de likes.
(Caroline’s picture got a lot of likes.)

Mise à jour (f) — Update.

J’ai effectué une mise à jour de logiciel sur mon ordinateur.
(I did a program update on my computer.)

Mot-dièse (m) — Hashtag.

Dièse refers to what (American) English speakers know as the pound sign (#). It’s worth noting that un hashtag is much more commonly used than mot-dièse (hashtag).

Sur Twitter, les sujets de discussion sont classés grâce à des mots-dièse.
(On Twitter, discussion topics are organized by hashtags.)

Nom d’utilisateur (m) — Username.

J’ai choisi un nom d’utilisateur très simple.
(I chose a very simple username.)

Page d’accueil (f) — Home page.

La page d’accueil est très simple.
(The home page is very simple.)

Photo de profil (f) — Profile picture.

Marie change souvent sa photo de profil.
(Marie changes her profile picture often.)

Piratage (m) — (Illegal) downloading or hacking.

Le piratage des films est interdit.
([Illegally] downloading movies is forbidden.)

Profil (m) — Profile.

Le profil de Sarah est très détaillé.
(Sarah’s profile is very detailed.)

Réseau social (m) — Social network.

Les adolescents passent beaucoup de temps sur les réseaux sociaux.
(Teenagers spend a lot of time on social networks.)

Selfie (m, although the gender hasn’t been entirely settled yet) — Selfie.

Selfie is short for self-portrait, which is autoportrait (self-portrait) in non-virtual French.

Carole prend beaucoup de selfies.
(Carole takes a lot of selfies.)

Tweet (m) — A tweet.

Les tweets de Rémy sont drôles.
(Rémy’s tweets are funny.)

Utilisateur (m)  User.

Ce réseau social a beaucoup d’utilisateurs.
(This social network has a lot of users.)


Bloquer  To block.

Sandrine a bloqué son ex sur Facebook.
(Sandrine blocked her ex on Facebook.)

Mettre à jour  To update.

J’ai mis à jour mon profil.
(I updated my profile.)

Partager — To share.

Carine a partagé un article intéressant sur Facebook.
(Carine shared an interesting article on Facebook.)

Publier — To publish.

Michel a publié un article intéressant sur son blog.
(Michel published an interesting article on his blog.)

S’abonner — To subscribe.

Je m’abonne au blog de Michel.
(I subscribe to Michel’s blog.)

Se connecter — To log in.

Je me connecte sur Facebook tous les jours.
(I log on to Facebook every day.)

S’inscrire — To register or to sign up.

Alexandre ne veut pas s’inscrire sur Facebook.
(Alexandre does not want to sign up for Facebook.)

Signaler  To report.

J’ai signalé le contenu offensant du site.
(I reported the site’s offensive content.)

Suivre — To follow.

Je suis Leonardo DiCaprio sur Tweeter.
(I follow Leonardo DiCaprio on Twitter.)

Surfer  To surf (the Internet).

Antoine surfe sur Internet pendant son cours d’anglais.
(Antoine surfs the Internet during his English class.)

Taguer — To tag, as in to identify someone in a picture.

Marc m’a tagué(e) dans une photo.
(Marc tagged me in a picture.)

Télécharger — To download/upload.

J’ai téléchargé le nouvel album de Christine and the Queens.
(I downloaded Christine and the Queens’ new album.)

Tweeter  To tweet.

Caroline tweete souvent.
(Caroline tweets often.)

Whew! I hope your memory’s not full! Once you pick a method that fits your fancy (I recommend the memory palace) and you learn these words, your journey through French cyberspace will be smooth sailing.

SOURCE/CREDIT:  Fluent U blog


The Results Are In! The 3 Best Online French Grammar Checkers

You’ve put a lot of sweat and tears into your French…

…but maybe you still flub your grammar sometimes.

Hey, that’s okay.

We all make mistakes.

The good news is, French grammar checkers can rescue you from at least some of those mistakes.

You may think the capabilities of automated checkers are so limited that there is simply no point in bothering.

However, the best ones can actually be really handy: These checkers will flag things like gender errors, failure to use the subjunctive or article issues (like using des instead of de).

And they’ll also check your spelling, of course.

Plus, if you can wait a little longer, there are sites where human beings are willing to graciously fill the role of online grammar checker.

For the purposes of this article, I put all of the major free online grammar checker options to the test, as well as one popular site where human native speakers correct each other’s texts.

My test text was a 450-word description of my apartment for Airbnb; I translated it into French, intentionally including mistakes that are common for beginning and for advanced students of the language, as well as some mistakes common for un-schooled speakers who “pick up” French by speaking it.

And who am I kidding, I also made some nice, fat grammatical errors of theunintentional sort.

For comparison, I submitted my text to a professional, native-speaking French writer and translator who happens to be a friend.

Each grammar checker had its merits as well as flaws. All of them have free options for French learners.

In this post, we’ll look at only the absolute best of the best checkers, whom they’re best for and how to use them.

Check My French! The 3 Best Online French Grammar Checkers


This website is pretty plain and the tool is not as well-known as the others, so I was surprised that it won out overall in terms of thoroughness of corrections, ease of use of the interface and clarity of the grammar explanations.

Here’s what you should know about Scribens:

  • It flagged gender problems throughout the text, including where an adjective was not immediately adjacent to the noun it was modifying. For example, it corrected “le chambre principal est petit” to la chambre principale est petite” (the master bedroom is small); other checkers often failed to catch petit.
  • It did not erroneously flag too many proper nouns, like Barcelone(Barcelona), Picasso and Gaudí, which some checkers did.
  • It corrected some more complex issues, like use of the subjunctive, and even had a convenient drop-down box with the corrected subjunctive for you to click on to replace your own silly text. Most others didn’t offer features for such complex types of correction.
  • A great feature for learners and grammar nerds is that it not only provides that drop-down box with the corrected word that you can click on, but also a short grammar explanation within the box, and a link to therègle générale (general rule), a page that provides even more explanation and—important for learners—a few examples.
  • The free version allows you to paste quite a bit of text into a box and check it immediately on the page. There is a premium version for €39.90 that allows you unlimited text and has plugins for browser windows and desktop word processing programs.

This is the best choice for those who are starting out with French and want to have their grammar explanations and the interface in English. It allows you to check a smaller block of text in one go, and did not flag quite as many true mistakes as Scribens, but may still be more useful for you depending on your level and preferences.

Here’s what you should know about BonPatron:

  • It caught some subjunctive issues and other more complex grammar issues.
  • It does not have a drop-down menu that allows you to select the correction; you have to type it yourself. Some learners may find this beneficial, however.
  • The grammar explanations in English were somewhat generalized but quite clear. This is not going to tell you the exact correct answer necessarily, just that, for example, you need a feminine article of some sort.
  • There is a check box to indicate if you are writing in the first-person feminine, so that the tool will check the text accordingly. I tested this, and it seems to work fine.
  • At the bottom of the page, your errors are linked to pages with much longer grammar descriptions in English of French grammar rules that you have violated.

The Human Grammar Checkers at Lang-8

There are a lot of issues with French that no automatic grammar checker is going to catch and make clear to you, especially if you’re not a native speaker.

Written French can be a vast horror, and if you happen to need a lot of guidance with your writing, using any automatic grammar checker can be like putting a Band-Aid over a severed limb.

That’s why it’s great to know about Lang-8, a resource that lets you get your writing corrected by native speakers.

I submitted the same text for correction on Lang-8, and then for karma (and for the site’s point system) corrected some other users’ texts in English. About 24 hours later, I received my correction.

The writer who corrected my text on Lang-8 changed many of my phrasings; some because they were wrong, but also a lot just because she could come up with words that sounded better, or were more standard in a given context.

For example, I wanted to say that there were both “tripots et restaurants chics” (dive restaurants and fancy places) in my lively neighborhood.Tripots apparently sounds awful, though, so she reformulated my phrase to“restaurants du plus populaire à l’ultra-chic.”

There are also cultural issues to consider in cross-cultural writing that, for now, no grammar checker is likely to master. “You shouldn’t call the bedroompetite at all,” she said. “By Parisian standards it’s actually quite large! No French person will be disappointed.”

So you may not be lucky enough to have a French writer friend nearby to check your text, but you can get always get native speakers to correct it at Lang-8.

The Lang-8 correction was not quite as complete as my friend’s, but absolutely far more complete than any of the automatic grammar checkers.

While you never know how well the native speakers on the site know their own language (French is a challenge even for the French), one advantage is that several people may eventually correct your text, so you get various perspectives on what is correct or the best phrasing (although this can be confusing, too).

Lang-8 has a social feature that allows you to friend other users and build a more personal connection, so that you can develop relationships and people to count on as you move forward with your writing. It’s not uncommon to make appointments with other users on Skype to talk through texts, for example.


The verdict? If you can understand a French interface and grammar explanations, use for quick grammar checks. If not,, which has good explanations in English.

But, as discussed, all of the automatic options are limited in terms of what they can do to help you write correctly in French, so if you have the time you should make the effort to exchange corrections with someone on Lang-8.comor in real life.

With the tools above, you should be better able to tackle the correction of any French text that you might produce, whether it’s for the pleasure of writing, improving your language skills or more concrete tasks like convincing traveling Francophones to rent out your “normal”-sized room.

 Credit/Source: for FluentU by MOSEHAYWARD

Dordogne named among the ‘best places in Europe’

Dordogne named among the 'best places in Europe'

Photo: Dale Musselman/Flickr

This rural southwestern département has made this year’s Lonely Planet list of top ten destinations in Europe for 2016.

Last year it was the mountainous Auvergne region that Lonely Planet shone a light on and now in the spotlight is an area in southwestern France that locals and expats have already cherished for quite some time: the Dordogne.

The area, often jokingly called Dordogneshire – given the huge number of British living there – came in fourth out of ten on Lonely Planet’s Best of Europe list.

Often referred to by its previous name, the Périgord, this département sits between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenées mountain range (highlighted in red below).

It takes its name from the stately Dordogne river that flows from the Auvergne mountains to the sea near Bordeaux.

“Nowhere does French art de vivre (art of living) quite like the Dordogne,” says Lonely Planet, going on to call it a “Garden of Eden… stitched from dreamy chateaux, market towns and walnut groves.”

Photo: Stephane Mignon/Flickr

You might know Lyon as the culinary capital of France, but Lonely Planet would beg to differ.

“For travellers following the increasingly hip ‘local produce, homemade’ mantra, this foodie region – without the crowds of Provence and 100 percent au naturel – has never been so alluring.”

Photo: Jonny/Flickr

Indeed, apart from its gorgeous countryside and flourishing British expat population, the area is famous for its cuisine, often based on duck or goose. Foie gras, confit de canard, truffles, and walnut cake are just a few of the local specialties. 

Lonely Planet recommends that to take full advantage of this foodie region, you need to “dive into the markets”, “dine at the region’s top tables”, “quaff the local wines”, and “gorge on truffles”. 

After that, the travel guide advises checking out the area’s abundance of castles which have earned it the nickname “The Other Chateau Country” (after the Loire Valley) as well as the multitude of prehistoric cave paintings, Lascaux being the most famous.

Photo: @lain G/Flickr

It’s not only Lonely Planet that has taken notice of the Dordogne; British Airways just started offering direct flights from London.

Best go now before the crowds move in.


Chateau de Puymartin

exterior2Built in the 13th century and destroyed during the 100 year war, this castle was rebuilt by Radulphe de Saint-Clar around 1450.  It was then partly restored in the 19th century by his descendant, The Marquis de Carbonnier de Marzac, ancestor of the family currently residing in a private section of the chateau.

The legend of the Dame Blanche retraces the life of Therese de Saint-Clar, who was imprisoned for 10-15 years and died in the chateau’s tower by her jealous husband, following her tryst with a Protestant lover.


Les Jardins d’eau

Only 8km from Sarlat in Carsac-Aillac, there are gardens created in 1999 which feature a rare collection of aquatic plants on a Gallo-Roman site. Strolling along the pathways provides a visual splendor of colorful nature at its best, with benches placed at strategic places to relax in the shade and take in the tranquile setting – a lovely way to discover the area and enjoy a beautiful setting.



overview pond

red lotus


French Riviera / Cote d’Azur

Sun and sea, nature, villages perched, beauty, diversity, art, activity, traditions, & yachts:  some words that come to mind, from living here for over 8 years, but what stands out the most is (Mediterranean) BLUE!  The one thing I would change would be to have sandy beaches in Nice, rather than pebbly ones.

Overview of Nice and all that this area has to offer – watch new Tourist Office video HERE



Product of the month: The Périgord Walnut

The Perigord walnut is an extremely healthy and versatile nut grown in southwestern France. Perigord is the old walnutsname for this region, which is now usually referred to in English as the Dordogne. Most of the Perigord walnut production area is located in the Dordogne department, but there are also significant amounts produced in the neighboring Corrèze and Lot departments and small areas of other neighboring ones.

It has benefited from a Protected Designation of Origin status since 2002, but the walnut has had a history in the region that dates back thousands of years. While the walnuts grown today aren’t quite the same, walnuts themselves have been found at 17,000-year-old prehistorical Cro-Magnon sites in the Périgord walnut-producing region.
The Périgord walnut production area is located in and around the départment of Dordogne in southwestern France.

Walnuts continued to play a major role in the culture of the area ever since then and are inextricably linked to the region’s history. During the early Middle Ages, peasants would often pay off their debts with Perigord walnuts and by the 13th century, tithes to local churches were paid in walnut oil. The oil was at one time considered to be worth its weight in gold and contributed greatly to the wealth of the region due to its widespread and many varied uses. In 1730, it was found that more than three fourths of the national peasant population used nothing but Perigord walnut oil for cooking. Besides culinary uses, the oil can also be used as body oil or in painting.

The Périgord walnut can be used in so many ways in cuisine that the list of culinary dishes it can’t be used in is probably a lot shorter than the list of dishes it is included in. The possibilities are almost endless: Salads, mousses, covered in chocolate, baked in breads, used in cheeses, roasted or used as oil – the Périgord walnut is a versatile nut that has thousands of applications. It’s even used to make a type of liqueur, Eau-de-vie de Noix du Périgord, and a type of wine in the region (vin de noix – “walnut wine”), bringing a subtle, nutty flavor to the drinks.


There are numerous health benefits of consuming this walnut. The Périgord region of France has one of the lowest rates of heart disease – by some estimates it has the second-lowest rate in the world. The cholesterol-lowering properties of the walnut, which play a large role in local cuisine, certainly help to play a part in this. The walnut is also rich in fiber and antioxidants, high in protein, and filled with healthy minerals like magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Credit/Source:  French Food in the U.S.