English: Our cruising altitude will be thirty-five thousand feet.
French: Notre altitude de croisière sera de trente-cinq mille pieds.
Greetings from Boston. Bonjour de Boston. On a rather long layover in BOS, so popped downtown for some New England Clam Chowda by the harbour. I'm on my way to Europe and going off the grid for a couple of weeks, so blog posts will return then! See you soon. À bientôt.
Flight time is a piece of information that’s nice to know for passengers. On the other hand, not too many passengers will care about the altitude at which the airplane will cruise (usually measured in feet), besides aviation buffs. Nevertheless, cruising altitude is still a piece of information that’s commonly announced because it’s very important for the pilots’ job.
We are flight attendants first and foremost, and unlike other French courses, we understand the logistics of this job. We know that pilot announcements can sometimes come at very inopportune times, when you’re very busy doing something else in flight. Their announcements can also get unnecessarily detailed. As such, it can be hard to remember all these details while you’re preoccupied with something else. In these situations, we only try to remember the important points that passengers care about, and admittedly, we often drop things like flight altitude in our translations.
As we touched upon a few posts ago, Canadian French for Flight Attendants recognizes that the goal is not to train flight attendants to become perfect, professional translators, but to give you the tools to translate the main points and the information that your passengers care about.
That being said, this is one way you can use to translate flight altitude.
Altitude de croisière=Cruising altitude
Remember in French, we say ‘’The flight time is *of* 2 hours”. “Le temps de vol est *de* 2 heures’’. Likewise, we literally say in French ‘’The cruising altitude will be *of* 35,000 feet”. “L’altitude de croisière sera *de* 35,000 pieds”.
This is how this translation will look like on paper, as a full sentence and proper verb conjugations. In our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course, you’ll notice that we’ll teach a simpler way of translating flight time and altitude, using a simpler sentence structure that avoids verb conjugations altogether, which is more suitable for spoken French.
Want to learn to speak the French you need to work as a flight attendant? Learn even more with Canadian French for Flight Attendants.