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January 28, 2015

If, for whatever reason, you happen to read French newspapers, you may sometimes come across words or expressions that might sound weird to you.

The vocabulary below will help you to better understand French articles.

If you want yet more, I have prepared a nice little bonus for you. You can access an extended version of this vocabulary list (+35 additional French expressions) as a print-ready PDF.

You will also gain access to the French Learning Package (a growing collection of free resources that will help you learn French Faster and Better) + the weekly newsletter which includes a vocabulary and expression list with MP3 for pronunciation assistance.

french newspaper words vocabulary

Note: qqn = quelqu’un / qqch = quelque chose

Sth = something / sb d = somebody

the international communityla communauté internationale
the political spectrum/the political chessboardl’échiquier politique
the political stagela scène politique
his fine wordsses beaux discours
it is probably just pie in the skyce ne sont sans doute que des paroles en l’air
to keep pace with aller de pair avec
a (mighty) step forward un (grand) pas en avant
there is still a long way to go il y a encore beaucoup de chemin à parcourir
to have peaks and troughsavoir des hauts et des bas
(sth that) comes as a (heavy/severe/shattering) blow to (...)(qqch qui) porte un coup sévère à
economic recovery has been sluggish so far la reprise économique a été timide jusqu’à maintenant
sth is lagging behind (...)qqch à la traine par rapport à
stocks could take a tumble les actions pourraient dégringoler
the economy is beginning to pick up again l’économie commence à repartir
the economy is back on its feet again l’économie s’est rétablie , s’est remise sur pied
the economy is running out of steam l’économie s’essouffle
two billion extra mouths to feed2 milliards de bouches supplémentaires à nourrir
wreaks havoc on the populationcause des ravages au sein de la population
to meddle in sths’immiscer dans qqch
to span over (thirty years)couvrir une période de (trente ans)
to give a wink and a nodun clin d’œil
checks-and-balancesl’équilibre des pouvoirs
unrestdes troubles sociaux, une agitation sociale
bribe(s) (bribing)pot(s)-de-vin
to buy off sby / to buy sby offacheter qqn
to hit back at (...)répondre aux critiques/ frapper en retour/ se venger de qqn?/riposter
political turmoilles bouleversement(s) politique(s) l'agitation, effervescence, tourmente
to face down sth/sbytenir tête à un évènement, à qqn
thresholdle seuil, la porte, la lisière

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See also: 6 Excellent French Newspapers for All Levels

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About the author 

Frederic Bibard

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

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