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Ouest – Translation & Pronunciation (West in French)

Ouest – Translation & Pronunciation (West in French)

Today’s word of the day is ouest, which translates to “west” in French. This word made it onto my word-of-the-day list as I’ve found many students aren’t quite sure of the pronunciaiton. For this word, we must break the French reading rules. I’ll explain below.




Word origin

Interestingly, according to, the modern French ouest comes from Old English west, which in turn is related to Westen in German. The Latin noun for west is occidens, which is related to “the Occident” in English and l’Occident in French, both meaning the western hemisphere.


West in French is pronounced: oo-ehst or [wɛst]. The French reading rules state that the last consonant of a word ending in two consonants is to be ignored. However, this rule does not apply to ouest and est (east). Pronounce the final T.

Example sentences

In today’s lesson we’re using the reflexive verb se trouver several times. In the non-reflexive form, trouver means “to find”. As a reflexive verb, se trouver means “to be located”.

This lesson on our site covers Californie (California) and this lesson covers les États-Unis (the United States). This lesson covers le côté vs la côte (side vs coast).

La Californie se trouve sur la côte Ouest des États-Unis.

California is located on the West Coast of the United States.

In French l’état de Washington refers to Washington state. This lesson covers the French names for all 50 states.

L’état de Washington se trouve dans le nord-ouest du pays.

Washington state is located in the northwest of the country.

The word for country, le pays can be hard to pronounce. Read it with two syllables: pay-ee. We cover this word in this lesson.

L’Ouest n’acceptera pas une invasion de ce pays.

The West will not accept an invasion by this country.

La France est un pays situé dans l’Europe de l’Ouest.

France is a county that’s located in Western Europe.


Et voilà ! Now you know how to use and pronounce ouest (west) in French. Now check out our lesson covering the explanation of the word ville (city).

Example of how to use "ouest" (west) in French.
Le Désert des Mojaves se trouve dans l’Ouest des Etats-Unis. The Mojave Desert is located in the Western United States.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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