Hanukkah Vocabulary

Festive French Vocabulary

French Hanukkah vocabulary
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The Jewish festival of Hanukkah lasts for eight days sometime between late November and the end of each year. The dates vary because they are not based on the Gregorian calendar, aka solar calendar. Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev, the ninth month in the Hebrew calendar.

How do you say Hanukkah in French?

The name of the holiday has several spellings in both French and English because Hebrew is written with a different alphabet, which leads to spelling variations when transcribing it.

English   French
Hanukkah   Hanoucca
Hanukah   Hanouccah
Hanukka   Hannouccah
Chanukah   Hanouka

So "Happy Hanukkah!" may be any of the following in French:

  • Joyeux Hanoucca !
  • Joyeux Hannouccah !
  • Joyeux Hanouccah !
  • Joyeux Hanouka !

In addition, Hanukkah is known by two other names:

  1. The Festival of Lights – la Fête des Lumières
  2. The Feast of Dedication – la Fête des dédicaces
  Decorations and Details   Décorations et détails  
  blessing   une bénédiction  
Dreidel candle   une bougie  
coin   une pièce  
December   décembre  
door   une porte  
Dreidel (spinning top)   la toupie  
  eight days   huit jours  
  family   la famille  
  game   un jeu  
  gift   un cadeau  
  Hebrew (language)   l’hébreu Hanukkah menorah
  Jewish   juif
  kosher   casher, kasher
  lighter   un briquet
  match   une allumette
  menorah   la hanoukkia*
  miracle   un miracle
  November   novembre
  pocket money   l’argent de poche  
  prayer   une prière  
  rabbi   le rabbin  
  Sabbath   le sabbat  
  song   une chanson  
Star of David star of David   l’étoile de David  
sunset   le coucher de soleil  
temple   le temple  
Torah   la Torah  
victory   la victoire  
window   une fenêtre  
  Hanukkah Foods   Aliments de Hanoucca  
  applesauce   la compote de pommes  
  bread   le pain  
  brisket   la poitrine de bœuf Oil
  cheese   le fromage
  chicken   le poulet
  dairy products   les produits laitiers
  doughnut   un beignet
  milk   le lait
  oil   l’huile (feminine)
  potato pancake, latke   une galette de pommes de terre
  sour cream   la crème aigre  
  turkey   la dinde  
  Hanukkah Verbs   Verbes de Hanoucca  
  to burn   brûler  
  to eat   manger  
  to fry   frire  
  to light (a candle, the menorah)   allumer (une bougie, la hanoukkia)
  to sing   chanter  

 * Une hanoukkia is a special nine-branched menorah for Hanukkah. A regular seven-branched menorah is called une ménorah.

French quiz Hanukkah vocab quiz
French Hanukkah menorah challenge
French listening Bilingual article: Joyeux Hanoucca !

 Related features

French holiday expressions

More from LKL

French vocabulary for other holidays

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French Hanukkah vocab

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2 Responses

  1. Faux Frenchie 6 January 2015 / 19:55

    My dictionary (Collins-Robert) spells it Hanoukka. Looks like it’s not an “aspirated” H? So it would liaise with the x in Joyeux, right? Namely: Joyeu zHan(insert your favorite spelling here).

    BTW, I didn’t mean the other spellings were “wrong,” just that I’d found yet another variant. 🙂

    • lkl 7 January 2015 / 8:23

      I can’t imagine that it’s a mute h – names and foreign words almost always start with an aspirated h. I suspect it’s a mistake on Collins-Robert’s part; the only way to be sure would be to ask a Vrai Frenchie. 🙂

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