40 Common French Acronyms and Abbreviations -
Talk in French

40 Common French Acronyms and Abbreviations

Learning and mastering a new language requires that you read a lot.

Books, newspapers, blog articles—varied reading materials that you can get your hands on. Reading will help you polish your sentences and make it easy for you to form correct grammar structures on the fly.  

But while reading, you will come across some abbreviations and acronyms, especially in news articles whether in printed newspapers or online. To help you decipher those letters, in this article we will be introducing you to a list of 40 common abbreviations in the French language.

If you’re looking for the shortcuts used in messaging, there is a separate article for that (it’s here).  For this one, it’s all about acronyms commonly found in daily speech as well as in news articles.

Get this list in PDF format when you click the yellow button below.

French acronyms list pdf format

ABagriculture biologiqueorganic farming
ADNacide désoxyribonucléiqueDNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
AOCAppellation d'origine contrôléeguarantee of origin
APIAlphabet phonétique internationalIPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
BCBGbon chic bon genrePreppy
BDBande Dessinéecomics/ comic book
BPboîte postalepost office box (P.O. Box)
CBcarte bleue, carte bancairecredit/ debit card
CDDcontrat à durée déterminéeshort-term contract
CDIcontrat à durée indéterminéelong-term/permanent contract
Ciecompagniecompany (Co.)
CVcurriculum vitaerésumé
DADirection ArtistiqueArtistic direction (used when discussing movies or video games)
DABdistributeur automatique de billetsATM (automated teller machine)
DELFdiplôme d'études en langue françaisea certification issued for French language proficiency
É.-U.États-UnisUnited States (U.S.)
FLEFrançais Langue EtrangèreFrench as a foreign language (similar to ESL teaching certifications)
Gogiga octetGB (gigabyte)
HThors taxesubtotal excluding tax/ tax not included
Momega octetMB (megabyte)
ONGorganisation non gouvernementaleNGO (non-government organization)
ONUOrganisation des Nations uniesUN (United Nations)
OVNIObjet volant non identifiéUFO (unidentified flying object)
PCposte de commandementHQ (headquarters)
PDGprésident-directeur généralCEO (chief executive officer)
PIBproduit intérieur brutGDP (gross domestic product)
PMEPetite ou Moyenne EntrepriseSmall or Medium sized Enterprise (SME)
RATPRégie autonome des transports parisiensParis public transportation authority (métro and bus)
rdcrez-de-chausséeground floor/ 1st floor
RERRéseau express régionalhigh speed train service between Paris and the suburbs
RFla République françaiseThe French Republic
RNrevenu nationalGNP (gross national product)
rdvrendez-vousdate, meeting
SAsociété anonymeJoint-stock company; similar to Inc. (incorporated)
SAMUsecours d'aide médicale d'urgenceambulance
SARLsociété à responsabilité limitéeLtd (limited liability company)
SDFsans domicile fixehomeless people / no permanent address
SIDAsyndrome immunodéficitaire acquisAIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
SVPs'il vous plaîtpls (Please)


Do you have any other French acronyms and abbreviations to add to this list? Make sure to add it in the comments section.

For a complete list of French vocabulary, check out the most comprehensive vocabulary e-book from Talk in French. Click the photo below.

Pin this!

common French acronyms

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 Twitter and Google +

follow me on: