I am reading a book and several papers in mathematics which are in French. Sometimes I have problems in translating (understanding) some words or phrases. I am looking for some online (or downloadable) dictionary.

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    You need to be careful with some math-speficic terms. For example, variété in French stands most often for a manifold which may be confusing when varieties mean something different in English. For these kind of terms, it's probably best to check the translation via switching Wikipedia from French to English. – Mark Jan 24 '13 at 9:04
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    Asking about general recommendation for dictionaries isn't considered constructive (see french.stackexchange.com/questions/3164/…). Your question is though very interesting, because mathematics vocabulary, locutions, and conventions are very specific and resources are not easily accessible either online or offline. – Stéphane Gimenez Jan 24 '13 at 11:14
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    you should look for the maths word in the english wikipedia, and then click to the french page to have the translation. – oli Jan 24 '13 at 16:47
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    Some additional tricky points: French wikipedia is pretty hit-or-miss for math definitions, especially compared to English wikipedia. Also, to expand on Mark's remark, there are many other false friends. e.g. «sommable» (for a series) would translate as "absolutely summable" in English. There are also some tricky things in the names of topological spaces satisfying the various separation axioms. – Samuel Lisi Jan 28 '13 at 12:58
  • My suggestion would be to find a francophone mathematician and invite them to coffee or cake in exchange for answering a handful of questions. – Samuel Lisi Jan 28 '13 at 13:01

I have found the following resources to look up for mathematical words and phrases in French:

Online list:

Downloadable pdf file:


There is the larousse



Although if you understand French in general, I would suggest you get a French only dictionary rather than a translation dictionary.

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    Just to clarify, the OP is not asking about the word “mathematiques”. I'm pretty sure the Larousse is of no help whatsoever with translation of mathematical terminology… – Stéphane Gimenez Jan 24 '13 at 11:06

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