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Can anyone tell me the French words for chimney, fireplace, mantelpiece and hearth? Because my dictionary, Google Translate and Babelfish translate all these words to Cheminée which makes for a ridiculously imprecise conversation.

How does one distinguish between these words in French?

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You may want to steer away from "translating" tools and use a real dictionary. See also this question on online resources for translations, including dictionaries. –  Joubarc Oct 7 '11 at 4:41
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1 Answer

Google is not wrong here, cheminée is an accurate translation for all your words. If you want to be more precise, though, you can use

  • foyer : fireplace
  • âtre : hearth
  • manteau de cheminée : mantelpiece
  • conduit de cheminée : chimney (the whole pipe)
  • souche de cheminée : chimney (the visible roof structure)
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I didn't mean to say that Google is incorrect, just that when you're trying to discuss this topic, having the same word for every piece of the puzzle makes it a touch um... vague :P Thank you though, I really appreciate your help. –  Ben Alabaster Oct 6 '11 at 22:48
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