French Sailing Terms

French - English Translations

Whilst auto translate programmes can help make many standard French terms more understandable, more specific technical and general yachting terms are often more problematic, so have been included in the table below.

 

For a more extensive list of translations consult the excellent online dictionaries complied by Prof. Ken Turner:

 

Français-Anglais Lexique de Navigation Maritime

English-French Sailing Dictionary

 

Additionally the weather guru Frank Singleton provides this very helpful guide to the terms used in the Meteo forecast:

 

French Weather Terms by Frank Singleton

 

Finally there are also the very informative marine terms dictionaries by Mandragore:

 

Dictionnaire Anglais-Français des termes marins

Dictionnaire Français-Anglais des termes marins

 

EnglishFrançaisFrançaisEnglish
Aheaden AvantA terreAshore
Anchor chainChaîne d'ancre (f)AbondantHeavy
Anchor warpOrin (m)Acte de francisation (m)Certificate of registry
Anchor winchGuindeau (m)AgitéeRough
AshoreA terreAlmanach nautique (m)Nautical almanac
AsternArrière (m)Annuaire des marées (m)Tide tables
BabystayBas Etai (m)Anticyclone (m)High pressure
Backing windVent contraire (m)Arbre d'hélice (m)Propeller shaft
BearingrelèvementArrièreStern
BeatingAu prèsArrière (m)Astern
BilgeCaleAu prèsBeating
Bilge keelsBi-quilles (f)Au ventUpwind
Bilge pumpPompe de cale (f)AugmentantIncreasing
BoathoistPortique roulant (m)Averse (f)Shower
BoatyardChantier Naval (m)Avis de coup de vent (m)Gale warning
BowEtrave (f)Balcon arrière (m)Pushpit
CalmCalme (m)Balise satellite (f)EPIRB
Cap shroudsGal haubans (m)Banc de brouillard (m)Fog bank
Certificate of registryActe de francisation (m)Barre à roue (f)Wheel
ChandleryShipchandler (m)Bas Etai (m)Babystay
Commercial portPort de commerce (m)Bas haubans (m)Lower shrouds
CompanionwayDescente (f)Bastaque (f)Running backstay
Compass courseCap compasBi-quilles (f)Bilge keels
Cruising chuteSpi asymétrique (m)Bruine (f)Drizzle
CustomsDouanesBrume (f)Haze
Cutter stayEtai intermédiaire (m)Brume légere (f)Mist
Dead reckoningEstime (f)CaleBilge
DecreaseDiminutionCale (f)Slip
DeepProfondCalme (m)Calm
DeepeningS'approfondissantCap compasCompass course
DismastedDémâtèCapitainerie (f)Harbourmaster's Office
DispersingSe dispersantChaîne d'ancre (f)Anchor chain
DisturbancePerturbation (f)Chaise d'hélice (f)Propeller bracket
DownstreamEn avalChandelier (m)Stanchion
DriesDécouvrantChantier Naval (m)Boatyard
DrizzleBruine (f)Club nautique (m)Yacht club
Drying portPort d'échouage (m)Compas de relèvement (m)Handbearing compass
EngineerIngénieur - Mécanicien (m)Contre-étai (m)Jackstay
EPIRBBalise satellite (f)CouvertOccluded
Estimated positionPoint estimé (m)Crête (f)Ridge
ExtendingS'étendantCreuxTrough
FallingDescendantDécouvrantDries
FerryTransbordeur (m)DémâtèDismasted
FillingSecomblantDépression (f)Low pressure
Fin keelQuille profonde (f)Dérive (f)Leeway
Fire extinguisherExtincteur (m)DescendantFalling
First aidPremier secoursDescente (f)Companionway
Fishing harbourPort de pêche (m)DiminutionDecrease
FloodFlotDouanesCustoms
Fog bankBanc de brouillard (m)Embouchure (f)River mouth
ForestayEtai (m)Emetteur radio (m)Radio transmitter
Foul groundFond malisainEn amontUpstream
FreshFraisEn avalDownstream
Gale warningAvis de coup de vent (m)en AvantAhead
GPSGPSEn train de coulerSinking
GustRafale (f)Epave (f)Wreck
Handbearing compassCompas de relèvement (m)Estime (f)Dead reckoning
Harbour guideGuide du port (m)Etai (m)Forestay
Harbourmaster's OfficeCapitainerie (f)Etai intermédiaire (m)Cutter stay
HazeBrume (f)Etrave (f)Bow
HeavyAbondantExpert maritime (m)Marine surveyor
HeightHauteurExtincteur (m)Fire extinguisher
High pressureAnticyclone (m)Filin de remorque (m)Tow line
IncreasingAugmentantFlotFlood
IsobarIsobareFond malisainFoul ground
IsolatedIsoléFoudre (f)Lightning
JackstayContre-étai (m)FraisFresh
Jumper stayGuignol (m)Gal haubans (m)Cap shrouds
Landing placePoint d'accostage (m)GPSGPS
LeewayDérive (f)Grue (f)Mast crane
LiferaftRadeau de sauvetage (m)Guide du port (m)Harbour guide
LightningFoudre (f)Guignol (m)Jumper stay
List of lightsListe des feuxGuindeau (m)Anchor winch
LocalLocaleHaute merSeaway
Low pressureDépression (f)HauteurHeight
Lower shroudsBas haubans (m)Hélice (f)Propeller
Man overboardHomme à la mer (m)Homme à la mer (m)Man overboard
Marine surveyorExpert maritime (m)Houle (f)Swell
Mast craneGrue (f)Ingénieur - Mécanicien (m)Engineer
MistBrume légere (f)Instructions nautiquePilotage book
ModerateModéréIsobareIsobar
ModeratingSe modérantIsoléIsolated
MooringMouillage (m)LentSlow
MotoringNaviguer au moteurListe des feuxList of lights
MovingSe déplacantLivre de bord (m)Ship's log
Nautical almanacAlmanach nautique (m)LocaleLocal
OccludedCouvertMal de merSeasickness
PilotPilote (m)MarinSeaworthy
Pilotage bookInstructions nautiqueMauvaisPoor
PoorMauvaisMétéoWeather report
PratiquePratiqueModéréModerate
PrecipitationPrécipitationMontantRising
PropellerHélice (f)Mouillage (m)Mooring
Propeller bracketChaise d'hélice (f)Naviguer au moteurMotoring
Propeller shaftArbre d'hélice (m)Neige (f)Snow
PushpitBalcon arrière (m)Oeuvres mortesTopsides
RadarRadar (m)Oeuvres vivesUnderwater hull
Radio receiverRécepteur radio (m)Orin (m)Anchor warp
Radio transmitterEmetteur radio (m)Papiers de bateauShip's papers
RDFRadio gonio (f)Perturbation (f)Disturbance
RidgeCrête (f)Pilote (m)Pilot
RisingMontantPoint d'accostage (m)Landing place
River mouthEmbouchure (f)Point de rapportWaypoint
RoughAgitéePoint estimé (m)Estimated position
Running backstayBastaque (f)Pompe de cale (f)Bilge pump
SailmakerVoilier (m)Pont tournant (m)Swing bridge
ScatteredSporadiquesPort de commerce (m)Commercial port
SeacockVanne (f)Port de pêche (m)Fishing harbour
SeasicknessMal de merPort de plaisance (m)Yacht harbour
SeawayHaute merPort d'échouage (m)Drying port
SeaworthyMarinPortique roulant (m)Boathoist
Ship's logLivre de bord (m)PratiquePratique
Ship's papersPapiers de bateauPrécipitationPrecipitation
ShowerAverse (f)Premier secoursFirst aid
SinkingEn train de coulerProfondDeep
SlightUn peuQuille profonde (f)Fin keel
SlipCale (f)Radar (m)Radar
SlowLentRadeau de sauvetage (m)Liferaft
SnowNeige (f)Radio gonio (f)RDF
StanchionChandelier (m)Rafale (f)Gust
StaysailTrinquette (f)Rail de fargue (m)Toe rail
SternArrièreRécepteur radio (m)Radio receiver
Storm jibTourmentin (m)relèvementBearing
Storm trysailVoile de cap (f)Réservoir à eau (m)Water tank
SwellHoule (f)S'approfondissantDeepening
Swing bridgePont tournant (m)Se déplacantMoving
Tide tablesAnnuaire des marées (m)Se dispersantDispersing
Toe railRail de fargue (m)Se modérantModerating
TopsidesOeuvres mortesSecomblantFilling
Tow lineFilin de remorque (m)S'étendantExtending
TroughCreuxShipchandler (m)Chandlery
True courseVrai cap (m)Sous-marinUnderwater
UnderwaterSous-marinSpi asymétrique (m)Cruising chute
Underwater hullOeuvres vivesSporadiquesScattered
UpstreamEn amontTourmentin (m)Storm jib
UpwindAu ventTransbordeur (m)Ferry
VariableVariableTrinquette (f)Staysail
VHFVHF (f)Un peuSlight
Water tankRéservoir à eau (m)Vanne (f)Seacock
WaypointPoint de rapportVariableVariable
Weather reportMétéoVent contraire (m)Backing wind
WheelBarre à roue (f)VHF (f)VHF
WreckEpave (f)Voile de cap (f)Storm trysail
Yacht clubClub nautique (m)Voilier (m)Sailmaker
Yacht harbourPort de plaisance (m)Vrai cap (m)True course