The sky is clear.

English: The sky is clear.

French: Le ciel est dégagé.

There are many many different ways to describe the weather beyond simply “sunny”, “rain”, “snow”, “windy” etc. For a pilot, weather details are important as it affects their flying. They care about jet streams, wind direction, wind speed, cloud types, cloud altitudes, ceiling levels etc. You’ll find that they often announce all this unnecessarily detailed weather information to the passengers as well. But as you may expect, most passengers don’t care about the weather in this much detail. They just want to know what the temperature is, and whether it’s sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy. They may also care if anything will affect the plane’s ability to land, such as low visibility, extremely strong winds, or freezing rain. This is great news for us flight attendants since we don’t necessarily need to learn the vocabulary to become professional meteorologists in French, just enough to translate what the passengers care to know. Listen to your pilots’ weather announcement and pick out the bits that are relevant to passengers and translate those.

Sky conditions are relevant to passengers. Your pilots may say that it’s sunny or the sky is clear. “Clear sky” is more general than “sunny” as it’s applicable at night time too when the sun’s not out. So to keep things simple, we can translate both “it’s sunny” and “the sky is clear” as “le ciel est dégagé”.

Ciel (m)=Sky, heaven


You’ll hear your francophone colleagues say “clair” instead of “dégagé”, which is analogous to the English word “clear”. “Dégagé” is a more useful word for flight attendants and you’ll find our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course using “dégagé” in other flight attendant contexts as well.

Remember you’ll need to say “le ciel est dégagé” if you’re announcing current weather, and “le ciel sera dégagé” if you’re announcing future arrival weather. Our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course avoids tenses, which simplifies translations for you.