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July 20, 2019

Common French Abbreviations

Learning French requires that you read a lot. But while reading, you will come across some French acronyms and abbreviations. 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 shortcuts used in messaging, there is a separate article for that (see: French Text Slang and Messaging Abbreviations).  For this one, it’s all about French acronyms commonly found in daily speech as well as in French news articles.

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Now without further ado, here's your list of French acronyms.

French Acronyms and Abbreviations List

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)

Your turn

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

For a complete list of French vocabulary, check out our French Vocabulary Mastery Course below. 

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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 Instagram

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