Recently, I was on holiday in Paris. During my stay, I saw some French posters related to the film "Frozen".

The French title, "La Reine des neiges" literally translates to "The Queen of snows" - in other languages, it is merely "snow queen", though. Why is it plural in French?

I am aware that this is also the title of the original Danish Andersen fairy tale - this might just be a historic translation. Still, I wonder if there is more to it.

  • 2
    I'd go with “neige” is uncountable (same as much vs many). “La Reine de neige” is the “Queen made of Snow“, “La Reine de la neige” would be “The Queen of that snow” (pointing out a special area of snow, which sounds weird, which in with another version with forest “The Queen of the forest” of that particular forest vs “The Forest Queen”, of all forests).
    – Larme
    Oct 13, 2016 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


La neige is just that ephemeral substance while les neiges is more abstract, generic, poetical and somewhat timeless.

It is used in expressions like les neiges d'antan, les neiges éternelles and les neiges du Kilimandjaro. Compare "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" to "Kilimanjaro Snow", the latter looks like a weather forecast or ski resort ad.

  • This the best answer, this kind of plural exists in English too, and La Reine de la neige would be totally correct (but less poetic).
    – Destal
    Oct 13, 2016 at 20:22
  • @SimonDéchamps Yes, a reine de la neige might more bring a gold medal from the winter olympics or be a car winning the Monte-Carlo Rallye, not be a "real" queen (or princess) struggling with her superpowers ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Oct 13, 2016 at 22:01

"La Reine des neiges" does mean "Snow Queen". In French, you would not say "La Reine de neige" or "La Reine de la Neige" because it does not necessary sound right. In this case, I do not know exactly why it is plural in French and not in English. I believe it is only a question of preference and the way it sounds.

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