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 
Dreidelcandle 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’hébreuHanukkah 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 Davidstar 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 bœufOil
 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 quizHanukkah vocab quiz
French Hanukkah menorah challenge
French listeningBilingual 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. 🙂