Scientific vocabulary in French

Science covers a broad range of knowledge, studying the world and its phenomena. With various branches, sciences require the use of specific vocabulary to define each element. Whether you are a science student, professional, or simply curious and passionate, it is necessary to be familiar with the technical vocabulary associated with the sciences.

Scientific professions

Science is vast and universal, primarily practiced by individuals dedicated to advancing research. Professions are diverse, but here are the most well-known:

  • Un scientifique: a scientist
  • Un chercheur: a researcher
  • Un biologiste: a biologist
  • Un physicien: a physicist
  • Un mathématicien: a mathematician
  • Un ingénieur: an engineer
  • Un chimiste: a chemist
  • Un géologue: a geologist
  • Un astronome: an astronomer

Physics vocabulary or "physique" in French

Physics is the study of matter and energy, allowing observation of numerous phenomena on Earth and in space. Here are some essential words to master in physics:

  • Densité: density
  • Gravité: gravity
  • Lumière: light
  • Masse: mass
  • Particule: particle
  • Poids: weight
  • Pression: pressure
  • Puissance: power
  • Rayon: radius
  • Réflexion: reflection
  • Réfraction: refraction
  • Système: system
  • Température: temperature
  • Tension: voltage
  • Vitesse: speed
  • Volume: volume

Chemistry vocabulary or "Chimie" in French

Chemistry is the science that studies all atomic and molecular components of matter and their transformations. The world is composed of numerous chemical elements; here are commonly used words in chemistry:

  • Acide: acid
  • Atome: atom
  • Base: base
  • Catalyseur: catalyst
  • Composé: compound
  • Element: element
  • Gaz: gas
  • Ion: ion
  • Laboratoire: laboratory
  • Liaison chimique: chemical bond
  • Liquide: liquid
  • Masse molaire: molar mass
  • Molécule: molecule
  • Réaction: reaction
  • Solution: solution
  • Solvant: solvent

Biology vocabulary or "biologie" in French

Biology is the science that studies living organisms, their structure, function, evolution, and interactions with the world. This scientific branch includes various subdomains like genetics, cellular biology, and botany.

  • ADN: DNA
  • Anticorps: antibody
  • Antigène: antigen
  • Cellule: cell
  • Espèce: species
  • Essai clinique: clinical trial
  • Évolution: evolution
  • Gène: gene
  • Génétique: genetic
  • Globule: blood cell
  • Mutation: mutation
  • Organisme: organism
  • Système immunitaire: immune system

Sciences also integrate mathematics, using specific terms in fields such as astronomy, geology, and ecology, each with distinctive vocabulary.

Useful French verbs in science

In science, verbs play an essential role in describing processes, actions, and interactions. To communicate effectively in a scientific context, here are some verbs to know:

  • Analyser: to analyze
  • Calculer: to calculate
  • Classer: to classify
  • Comparer: to compare
  • Conclure: to conclude
  • Décrire: to describe
  • Démontrer: to demonstrate
  • Enquêter: to investigate
  • Expérimenter: to experiment
  • Expliquer: to explain
  • Formuler une hypothèse: to hypothesize
  • Identifier: to identify
  • Mesurer: to measure
  • Observer: to observe
  • Prédire: to predict
  • Synthétiser: to synthesize

French expressions specific to the sciences

A lot of everyday expressions in French-speaking countries have their origins in the sciences. Here are some examples:

  • Ce n’est pas sorcier!: It is not a rocket science!
  • Être dans ton élément: To be in your element
  • Scruter (quelque chose) à la loupe: To put something under the microscope
  • Avoir des atomes crochus: To have chemistry

Learning scientific vocabulary becomes easy with Swiss French School's unique and effective method for learning French. Through interactive lessons, you can pace your learning and receive 24/7 support for guaranteed results.

For a deeper dive into the scientific field, Swiss French school offers learning medical vocabulary in French: professions, anatomy, symptoms, and diseases—discover the incredible world of medicine.

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