I am interested to know if there is some consolidated resource for matching space and satellite terminology between English and French.

Examples of words to translate include: Orbital Elements, Space Weather, Satellite Operations, Uplink / Downlink, Surface Discharge, etc..

I would like to not use Google Translate if there is already some standard terms that I am not aware of.

I am already familiar with the IATE dictionary multi-language translations, but I am interested to know if there are translations more specific to the space industry.

Thank you in advance!

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    $\begingroup$ Just barely related: what are these circular spots on the Ariane V SRB nozzles? $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2020 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting question. There were a number of native French speaking astronauts in the shuttle program - Perrin, Chrétien, Payette - but I don't remember any training documents in French for them. Sadly I suspect they were expected to use English. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2020 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you @russel, it is amazing how the Solid Rocket Booster translates to "Powder-based Acceleration Stage". This is the type of matching that I am interested in capturing. Every bit helps, Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Manny
    Oct 1, 2020 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ I understand @OrganicMarble, thank you for the trivia insight!! $\endgroup$
    – Manny
    Oct 1, 2020 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


Some resources exist to assist with this effort:

  1. (Book) Dictionnaire de l'aeronautique et de l'espace francais - anglais ISBN-10 : 0828811695 ISBN-13 : 978-0828811699 Publisher : French & European Pubns (June 1, 2005) Editor: Henri Goursau

Amazon link to purchase

  1. (Book-French only) Dictionnaire de l'Astronomie et de l'Espace Authors: Philippe de La Cotardière, Jean-Pierre Penot Editor: Larousse ISBN: 2-03-720332-2

Amazon link to purchase

This book is only in French, so the understanding/translation of terms requires some partial knowledge of French to identify the exact terms in English by "extrapolation".

  1. (Webpage): The Interactive Terminology for Europe IATE Dictionary, an effort of the European Union to translate terms in all European languages.

  2. (Webpage) Astronautics Vocabulary, provided by the Canadian Space Agency. A convenient, alphabetically sorted list of various terms.

I hope the above can be useful to someone! Manny


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