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To de-ice. De-icing. Anti-icing.

English: To de-ice. De-icing. Anti-icing.

French: Dégivrer. Dégivrage. Antigivrage.

Speaking of weather, let’s focus on one very important aspect of aviation. When the weather is cold, an airplane often needs to be de-iced before take-off in order to remove any snow, frost, or ice that’s sticking to the wings or other critical surfaces of the aircraft.

If you’ve ever flown (even as a passenger) during the winter months, especially in Canada, your aircraft probably had to get de-iced before take-off. As a flight attendant in Canada, de-icing is something you’ll regularly come across flying in the winter months. Even when surface temperatures are well above zero, de-icing may sometimes still be necessary if the plane accumulated ice and frost on its wings from its previous flight. Flying at higher altitudes, the temperature is much colder and moisture may have frozen to the wings.

De-icing is the process by which the snow, frost and/or ice is removed from the wings and critical surfaces. Anti-icing is done to prevent new snow, frost and/or ice from forming, namely while de-icing is done when precipitation is still coming down and sticking to the wings and critical surfaces.

In French, we have:

To de-ice=Dégivrer

De-icing=Dégivrage (m)

Anti-icing=Antigivrage (m)

While the word “ice” is the root of the English words, the root “givre” (m) is the root of the French words.

Givre (m)=Frost.

Canadian Francophones tend to use a lot of anglicisms and French expressions derived from English. You may remember that the French word for “ice” is “glace” (f). For example “de l’eau, sans glace” “some water without ice” or “du jus avec de la glace” “some juice with some ice”. When speaking of de-icing, you’ll therefore hear many of your French Canadian passengers say “déglacer” “déglaçage” instead of “dégivrer” “dégivrage”. On one cold, winter morning, a passenger got on the airplane and asked me “On va-tu déglacer?” “Are we going to de-ice?”

French for de-icing is covered in Module 4 of our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course. Learn not only the technical aviation French that other French courses do not teach, but also the informal aviation French terms that passengers will use with you.


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. For any K-pop enthusiasts, in the western part of Seoul, you'll find Hongdae Shopping Street. Besides the abundant shops and restaurants, you'll also see street performer K-pop groups. Here are two clips I took. These groups are performing one beside the next and crowds of people have gathered around to watch.


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