Tag Archives: travaux in English

Friday’s French – travaux

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This is going to be a very short post because we are up to our necks in travaux. Travaux, the plural of travail is, interestingly enough, from the low Latin trepalium, instrument of torture, derived from the Latin tres, three, and palus, stake.

Jean Michel en pleins travaux en train de percer un mur de 70 cm.
Jean Michel en pleins travaux : percement d’un mur de 70 cm.

Well, I can tell you, the pain in both my hands (being left-handed I am fairly ambidextrous) from wielding spatulas, trowels, paint brushes and rollers for the last week certainly makes it feel like torture! The end result will be a laundry, initially without a sink.

Travaux is a very useful word and covers practically anything. Note that in French, it is always used in the plural and never in the singular, in this context. And you can use it by itself without any explanation. Nous faisons des travaux = We doing renovation works/alterations/plumbing and so on.

renovation work = travaux de rénovation

roadworks = travaux routiers

woodwork = travaux sur bois

plumbing work = travaux de plomberie

alterations = travaux d’aménagement

major projects = grands travaux

farm work = travaux de la ferme

metalwork = travaux sur métal

I’m sure you can find plenty of others! Je dois reprendre mes travaux de peinture!

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