Whether you’re a fan of astrology or think it’s just plain pseudoscience, learning the zodiac signs in French is well worth your while. You’ll be able to chat about them and read your horoscope in French, which is a useful tool for improving your comprehension and vocabulary.
The Zodiac Signs
Here’s a list of the zodiac signs in English in French. In brackets I’ve included the symbol of each sign, which is the animal, mythological create, object or person that represents it. Of course, it is also the name of the relevant star constellation.
As you’ll see, whilst we have retained the Latin names in English, they have been translated in French. For example, le bélier literally means “the ram” in modern French, but in English, the word “aries” would generally not be used to refer to an actual ram.
Onviously the centaur and sea-goat aren’t real animals, but if a French text discussed them in the context of mythology, le sagittaire and le capricorne would be used. Similarly, whilst a water-carrier is generally not a modern day job, some characters in Greek mythology were water-carriers, and in French, these can be referred to as les verseaux.
Aries = le Bélier (the ram)
Taurus = le Taureau (the bull)
Gemini = les Gémeaux (the twins*)
Cancer = le Cancer (the crab)
Leo = le Lion (the lion)
Virgo = la Vierge (the maiden)
Libra = la Balance (the scales)
Scorpio = le Scorpion (the scorpion)
Sagittarius = le Sagittaire (the centaur)
Capricorn = le Capricorne (the sea-goat)
Aquarius = le Verseau (the water-carrier)
Pisces = les Poissons (the fish)
*le gémeau is an ancient form of the word le jumeau, which translates as twin in modern French. Therefore, in Old French dialects, les gémeaux would have translated as twins, in the context of both the star sign and two identical children. Nowadays, the French use les jumeaux to refer to twins, and les Gémeaux is reserved for horoscopes.
Talking About the Zodiac Signs and Your Horoscope in French
To ask someone what their star sign is, you could say the following:
<< Quel est votre signe astrologique ? >>
<< Tu es de quel signe ? >>
<< C’est quoi ton signe ? >>
If you want to tell someone your star sign – I’ll use Leo as an example – you can reply like this:
<< Je suis lion. >>
<< Je suis du lion. >>
As shown with this example, you can either leave out the article like you do when saying your job (e.g. je suis facteur), or use de + the definite article.
If using de + the definite article , remember to use the right agreement. For example,
Je suis de la Vierge.
Je suis des Poissons.
Je suis du Scorpion.
Here’s some additional vocabulary and phrases you can use when talking about the star signs:
“What does the horoscope say for Libra?” = << Que dit l’horoscope pour la Balance ? >>
astrologer = l’astrologue (not to be confused with l’astronome, which means astronomer)
the zodiac = le zodiaque
the zodiac signs = les signes du zodique
a star sign = un signe astrologique, un signe astral, un signe
the four elements = les quatres éléments
the fire signs = les signes de feu
the air signs = les signes d’air
water signs = les signes d’eau
earth signs = les signes de terre