For members


French Word of the Day: Déclic

Originally a technical term from the world of mechanics, this word has now expanded to have a variety of more philosophical meanings.

French Word of the Day: Déclic
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know déclic? 

Because sometimes it is important to switch things up in your life.

What does it mean? 

A déclic, pronounced “day-kleek”, has multiple meanings. 

In a literal sense, it is used in the field of mechanics to talk about a “switch” that triggers a machine into action or stops it from working altogether (a “kill switch”).

In a similar vein, a déclic is used to talk describe the sound that such a switch might make. 

But the word is more often used in a metaphorical sense to signify a “wake-up call”, “pivotal change” or sudden boost in momentum. 

In this sense, you would use it like this:

La naissance de ma fille a été un déclic – The birth of my daughter was a wake-up call

Rien de plus beau que les gens inspirants pour donner le déclic aux autres – There is nothing more beautiful than inspirational people pushing others forward 

Comment avoir le déclic pour changer ta vie? – How can you reach the turning point to change your life?

Rencontrer des malades peut tout de même créer le déclic – Meeting sick people can be a wake-up call

L’équipe espère avoir un déclic – The team hopes to have a boost

Related terms 

Comprendre soudainement – to suddenly understand

Avoir une révélation – to have an epiphany 

Prise de conscience –  the act of becoming aware 

Déclencher – to trigger 

Provoquer – to provoke 

Member comments

  1. I am wondering whether there is an easy way to find a link to an extended stay visa? I have tried and but nothing. I’d be garteful to know if anyone else has managed to get one. We do not want/need to have such a little time at our French hideaway! Thanks. Jenny x

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For members


French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?


Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener