Science Fiction and Fantasy Vocabulary in French Language Resources

I am a book worm and one of my favorite genres, aside from history or historical fiction, is that of la fantaisie/fantasy (fantasy) and la science-fiction (science fiction).

I read in French as much as I read in English so I thought I would share some of the most common fantasy/science fiction vocabulary in my reading. Please let me know if you feel if anything is missing from this list!

Please note that some of these are words that I have come across in my reading and some are ones that I have added on my own – any that seem out of place are those that I had to look up while reading.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Vocabulary in French with English Translations

échouer – to fail

les ténèbres – darkness, obscurity

rebiffer – to balk

farouchement – fiercely

les pommettes – cheekbones

jaillirent – gushed

en sueur – sweaty

chamade – racing, pounding

aiguiser – whet

chuintements – hissing

une lame – blade

un ordre de chevalerie – an order of chivalry

un chevalier – knight

un système de magie – a magic system

une épée – a sword

un bouclier – a shield

une lance – a spear

une armure – a suit of armor

une cotte de mailles – chainmail

une quête – a quest

épique, héroïque – epic, heroic

une théorie du complot – conspiracy theory

le protagoniste – the protagonist

l’antagoniste – the antagonist

le héros – heroes

le méchant – the villain

une dystopie – dystopia

un dragon – a dragon

un serviteur – minion

les elfes – elves

les nains – dwarves

les gobelins – goblins

sous-création – world-building (I’m not totally sure about this one)

les androïdes – androids

l’intrigue – intrigue

Bilbon et Frodon Sacquet – Bilbo and Frodo Baggins

Book Titles

Le Seigneur des anneaux – The Lord of the Rings

Le Hobbit – The Hobbit

Trône de fer – Game of Thrones

Le Cycle de L’Assassin Royal – The Farseer Trilogy

Le Meilleur des mondes – Brave New World

La Guerre des étoiles – Star Wars

Harry Potter à l’École des Sorciers – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Conan le Barbare – Conan the Barbarian

Le Maître du Haut Château – The Man in the High Castle

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  • This is so cool! I took french class in high school for two years.. but can’t remember a thing! i think the only words i recognized here are the and a.. haha! i need to brush up & find a language partner.

    • Thanks Esther. How are your Spanish studies going?

      • it’s not really going.. haha for some reason my rosetta stone has been acting really glitchy on my computer. i don’t know if it’s bc of an update on my computer.. and the app is super old or what.

        • That’s a bummer. Rosetta Stone now owns LiveMocha, an online language learning software that for the most part is free. It used to be much easier to use than it is now, but it still might be better than the software that isn’t working for you? Costco also has a sort of knockoff version of Rosetta Stone that’s between $20-40. I used it for Italian.

          • I’ll have to check it out! i don’t think i’m going to make my goal this year.. so next year gotta come back strong! 🙂 how many languages are you trying to learn?

          • Hi Esther, I am currently focusing on Mandarin but once I’m comfortable with my level I plan to review Croatian and begin Japanese.

  • I also love science fiction and fantasy. I tried to read Leviathan 2 by Scott Westerfeld in French. It was easy enough I just couldn’t finish it before I had to take it back to the library. It’s always very interesting to see your favourite words and expressions in another language. 🙂

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