French Word of the Day: ‘location’ (another pesky false friend)

French Word of the Day: 'location' (another pesky false friend)
If you're planning a holiday to France anytime soon or are already on one, chances are you've come across the word "location" a fair amount. But what does it actually mean?

Why have we chosen the word “location”?

As it's the summertime and many of you are either planning to visit France, or may well already be here, it seemed a fitting moment to address this particular false friend.

It's also word that is cropping up quite a bit in the news at the moment as stories about holidays and holidaymakers abound (see below).


So what does “location” actually mean?

When on holiday, you'll obviously be hoping to go to a great location — in the English sense of the word… and once you've found the right spot, you might also be in need of the ideal “location” — in the French sense. 

Confused? This is because “location” in French is actually the word for rental accommodation.

The word “location” in French comes from the French verb “louer” (to rent). In the same way that “rental” derives from the English verb 'to rent'.

It's a word you'll often see if you're looking to rent something: “location saisonnière” or “location de vacances” refers to holiday lets, “location de voiture” is car rental, “location de vélos” is bike rental, and so on.


Some examples of recent headlines in the French press using “location” include:

Location pour les vacances : 6 conseils pour éviter les arnaques

Summer rentals: 6 tips to avoid being ripped off

Choisir sa location de vacances en toute sérénité

Choosing your holiday rental with peace of mind

Here are some other examples of “location” in use:

Je cherche une location pour les vacances.

I am looking for holiday accommodation.

Avez vous des appartements en location?

Do you have any flats for rent?

I'm am looking for a bike rental.

Je cherche un magasin de location de vélos.

If you have a tricky French word you want us to include in our French Word of the Day series, please email [email protected]


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