Important French vocabulary for business and finance

Learning French can open many doors in international business and finance, as it is spoken in some of the world’s most influential economic hubs like Paris, Geneva, and Montreal. To communicate effectively in these industries, you’ll need to know specific vocabulary related to business and finance. Here, we cover important French terms, their definitions, and provide example sentences to help integrate these words into your lexicon.

An “entreprise” is a business or company. This term is a cornerstone in discussing business matters in French.
Je travaille pour une grande entreprise internationale.

Chiffre d’affaires
“Chiffre d’affaires” refers to a company’s turnover or total revenue. Knowing financial terms such as this is essential.
L’entreprise a augmenté son chiffre d’affaires de 10% l’année dernière.

Profit in French is “bénéfice.” This is what remains from revenue after all expenses are deduced.
Cette année, nous avons réalisé un bénéfice record.

Conversely, “perte” means loss. It’s important to articulate negative outcomes in financial terms as well.
La perte nette a été réduite par rapport à l’année précédente.

“Marché” can refer to a market in both physical (a marketplace) and economic senses (such as the stock market).
Le marché boursier a été très volatile ce mois-ci.

An “investissement” is an investment. Whether it’s time or money, the concept of investing is key in business dialogue.
Ils ont fait un gros investissement dans la technologie verte.

A “prêt” is a loan. This financial instrument is fundamental when discussing banking and finance.
La banque nous a accordé un prêt pour agrandir nos locaux.

“Actions” are shares or stocks. This term is central to conversations about investments and equity markets.
Nous envisageons d’acheter des actions dans cette entreprise.

“Obligations” are bonds. These fixed-income securities are part of many investment and debt discussions.
Le gouvernement a émis de nouvelles obligations pour financer le projet.

A “bilan” is a balance sheet, a crucial document that provides insight into a company’s financial health.
Le comptable prépare le bilan de fin d’année.

“Capital” means capital. It can refer to financial assets and also to the capital stock of a corporation.
Ils cherchent à augmenter leur capital pour se développer à l’international.

“Bourse” means stock exchange. It’s the marketplace where stocks, bonds, and other securities are traded.
Notre société sera cotée en bourse le mois prochain.

“Comptabilité” translates as accounting. It encompasses all the practices of recording and analyzing financial transactions.
Je dois rencontrer le département de comptabilité pour passer en revue les dépenses.

“Fonds” can mean funds or a fund. It’s often used to talk about investment bodies or money set aside for a particular purpose.
Nous avons placé de l’argent dans un fonds de retraite.

Taux de change
“Taux de change” is the exchange rate. In international business, this is a critical term when dealing with multiple currencies.
Le taux de change entre l’euro et le dollar affecte nos importations.

Mastering these terms will help you engage more confidently and professionally in French business or financial settings. Whether discussing company performance, stock markets, or financial strategies, being able to convey your message in French can be a valuable asset. Practice using these words in context to become more fluent in the language of business and finance.

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