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French Terrorism Vocabulary

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Jul 13, 2020

French terrorism terms presented as a list of French vocabulary with English translation including the pronunciation of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur with Audio.

1 – French Terrorism Vocabulary

  1. Le terrorisme = terrorism (watch out for the pronunciation, in English, it sounds like “rezum” at the end. In French, the ee is long so it sounds like “reez me”
  2. Un/une terroriste = a terrorist
  3. La terreur = terror
  4. La peur = fear
  5. Avoir peur = to be afraid (watch out, we use “to have” fear in French)
  6. La panique = panic

2 – Un attentat = a terrorist attack

  1. Une attaque = an attack
  2. Une bombe = a bomb
  3. Un détonateur = a detonator
  4. Une explosion = an explosion
  5. Un incendie criminel = a criminal fire
  6. Exploser une bombe = to trigger a bomb (proper)
  7. Faire sauter une bombe = to trigger a bomb (colloquial)
  8. Diffuser une bombe = to defuse a bomb
  9. Une alerte à la bombe = a bomb scare/alert
  10. Une voiture piégée = a car bomb
  11. Un auteur d’attentat-suicide / une bombe humaine / un kamikaze = a suicide bomber

3 – Un otage = an hostage – always masculine, strong liaison in N (un notage)

  1. Un prisonnier = a prisoner
  2. Un ravisseur = a kidnapper
  3. Prendre / exécuter / libérer un otage = to take / kill /free hostages
  4. Traquer les terroristes = to track down terrorists
  5. Soupçonner quelqu’un = to suspect someone
  6. Un suspect (c and t silent) = a suspect

4 – Une arme = a weapon

  1. Une arme a feu = a firearm
  2. Un revolver, un pistolet = a handgun
  3. Une mitrailleuse = a machine gun
  4. Une mitraillette = an automatic handgun, a Tommy gun
  5. Un fusil = a rifle
  6. Une balle = a bullet
  7. Tirer sur quelqu’un = to shoot at someone
  8. Se faire tirer dessus = to be shot at
  9. Tuer quelqu’un = to kill someone
  10. Abattre quelqu’un = To intentionally kill someone with a weapon / to strike someone down
  11. Abattre un avion = to bring down a plane
  12. Blesser quelqu’un = to wound someone
  13. Un blessé, une blessée = a wounded man/woman
  14. Un mort (t silent) = a dead man
  15. Une morte (t pronounced) = a dead woman
  16. Un passant innocent = an innocent bystander
  17. Dons de sang/dons du sang = blood donation
  18. Appel aux dons du sang = (official) request for blood donations

5 – Renforcer la sécurité = to tighten security

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  1. Un, une témoin = a witness
  2. Interroger = to interrogate, to question
  3. Un barrage = a road-block
  4. Une frontière = a border
  5. Fermer/ ouvrir les frontières = close/open up the borders
  6. Fouiller = to search for
  7. Revendiquer une attaque = to claim responsibility for an attack
  8. Etre impliqué dans = to be involved in
  9. Une cellule terroriste = a terrorist cell
  10. Un réseau = a network

6 – Un extrémiste = an extremist

  1. Le fanatisme = fanaticism
  2. Au nom de = in the name of
  3. La politique = politic
  4. La religion = religion
  5. La Chrétienté = Christianity
  6. Le bouddhisme = buddhism
  7. L’Islam = Islam
  8. Dieu = God
  9. Allah = Allah
  10. Un musulman, une musulmane = a Muslim
  11. Un chrétien, une chrétienne = a Christian
  12. Un juif, une juive = a Jew
  13. Un bouddhiste = a Buddhist
  14. Une guerre de religion = a religious war
  15. Une guerre politique = a political war
  16. Le racisme = racism
  17. Daesh = Isis/Isil/IS – there might be slight differences but most often, France news will use “Daesh” or Etat islamique (EI)

7 – What Does Fluctuat Nec Mergitur Mean?

“Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” is the motto of the city of Paris and it was featured a lot after the 2015 Terror Paris attacks.

It’s latin, so pronounce each letter and the u like “ou”. The English translation is “floats, not sinks”.

So “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” means that the city of Paris is like a solid boat: it may be rocked by the waves, it will float and not sink.

8 – Pronunciation of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur with Audio

Well, there are two pronunciations for “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur”… It’s latin, so to pronounce it in Latin, say each letter, the G is hard like Gorilla, and the u is typically pronounced like “ou”, and the R is rolled.

But many French people pronounce it with a French accent…

So it’s your choice! Click the play buttons below to hear me pronounce “”Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” in Latin and French

9 – Pronunciation of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur with Audio – Latin

10 – Pronunciation of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur with Audio – French

You may also be interested in What Does “Je suis Charlie” means and Vive la France – How to Express Patriotism in French.

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