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The winds are light.

English: The winds are light.

French: Les vents sont légers.

Your pilots will often announce wind conditions. Wind speed and direction are important to pilots as it affects their flying and landing. Stronger winds at ground level may also cause a more turbulent ascent or descent. Wind direction at runway level also usually determines which runway is used for take-off and for landing, as planes generally need to take off and land into the wind.

For the passengers though, few if any really care what the wind speeds are or which direction they’re coming from. They may only care if the winds are going to cause significant turbulence during take-off or landing, or if the winds are strong enough to cause delays.

Take Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) as an example and the diagram of the airport's five runways below. As a flight attendant in Canada, you'll very likely fly in and out of YYZ very often. (It's an older diagram from Wikipedia as Terminal 2 no longer exists, but is still pictured.) You can see that the airport has three east-west runways but only two north-south runways. As planes usually take off and land into the wind, if the winds are strong enough and coming from the north or south, the airport uses its two north-south runways instead of its three east-west runways to process all of its departures and arrivals. During this time, the airport cannot handle its traffic at its regular capacity and air traffic control may need to delay flights. The weather may be fine otherwise, but this is an example of how something as simple as wind direction may cause delays.

When winds are light, they generally will not cause significant turbulence nor delays for take-off or landing, so when the pilots do mention that the winds are light, admittedly, we often drop this in our translation. Nevertheless, you can still translate this as “les vents sont légers”.

Les vents (m,pl)=The winds


Léger=Light (not heavy)

Our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course also chooses to keep translations about wind to a bare minimum, only focusing on points that passengers care about. In our Module 4, we will also cover translations you can use during air traffic control delays, such as the one mentioned above.


Want to learn to speak the French you need to work as a flight attendant? Learn even more with Canadian French for Flight Attendants.


Seoul, May 2019. Séoul, mai 2019. This is the Korean War Memorial. The museum itself is free and a good learning experience, giving you some insight on the causes of the rift between the North and the South. Peace monuments are erected outside the museum. As a side note, they were also setting up for Seoul's Hip Hop festival that day in front of the memorial.


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