Those funny Pangrams that have every letter of the alphabet aren’t restricted to English. Here are some French Pangrams and their translations. Not sure what a pangram is? I got you covered there too.
What is a pangram?
A pangram is a sentence that has all the letters of the alphabet.
The word pangram comes from the Greek root “Pan,” which means “all” and “gram,” which is attached to root words to form nouns that refer to “something written“, “drawn” or “recorded” such as telegram, pictogram or anagram.
Pangrams are also referred to as holoalphabetic sentences or alphabet sentences
What are pangrams used for?
People once used pangrams to practice penmanship and handwriting. As the use of typewriters grew, they were used for typewriting drills and exercises. Today pangrams have many more uses:
- Graphic designers use them to see what each letter looks like before using a new font.
- Practicing calligraphy.
- Pangram puzzles are often part of a spelling bee where contestants are given letters and try to form words out of them.
The perfect pangram
It’s almost impossible to make the perfect pangram.
It would require creating a sentence using all of the letters of the alphabet ONLY once. None of the letters can be solitary letters, acronyms, abbreviations, numbers, or proper nouns. And the sentence has to be easily understood, not gibberish like “Mr. Jock, TV quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx.”
That’s why most pangrams have more than 26 characters, and the best pangrams are the shortest ones that are the most easily understandable.
The quick brown fox
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is the most well-known pangram in English that’s been around since 1885, maybe longer. It uses exactly 35 letters of the alphabet, has no single letters, acronyms, numbers or proper pronouns, but most importantly, it’s easy to understand.
In languages that don’t use roman letters, such as Chinese, Korean and Thai, things get a little more complicated.
Take Japanese and Chinese which have tens of thousands of characters. The Thai language has 72 characters, 44 consonants and 28 vowels. The Khmer alphabet has 74 letters, is written from left to right and contains no spaces. Pangrams do exist in these languages but they have a different set of rules to creating them.
French Pangram Examples
French pangrams (une pangramme) are similar to English ones. They should contain all 26 letters of the alphabet but if you include all the accented letters and ligatures, that number increases to 42 letters.
- Accented letters: (à – â – ä – é – è – ê – ë – ï – î – ô – ö – ù – û – ü – ÿ – ç)
- Ligatures: ( æ et œ).
The most well known French pangrams
The two most well-known Pangrams in the French language have to do with whisky, Kiwis and zephyrs.
1) Portez ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume (37 letters no accents)
Take this old whisky to the blond smoking judge.
This is not the oldest or shortest French pangram, but it’s the best known amongst French speakers.
Some think it was invented by Georges Perec, an unusual French writer who wrote a novel without the letter “E”—“La disparition,”
2) Voix ambiguë d’un cœur qui au zéphyr préfère les jattes de kiwis” (53 letters with accents)
Ambiguous voice of a heart which prefers kiwi bowls to a zephyr
This French pangram is often used to test typography fonts and demonstrate what all the letters look like before downloading the font to use in graphic designs or word processing software on computers.
Other French Pangrams
Here are some other French Pangrams that are not quite as well known as the first two on this list but are famous enough.
3) Voyez le brick géant que j’examine près du wharf (39 letters)
Look at the giant brig I’m examining next to the wharf
4) Buvez de ce whisky que le patron juge fameux. (36)
Drink some of this whisky which the boss finds excellent.
5) Joyeux, ivre, fatigué, le nez qui pique, Clown Hary skie dans l’ombre. (53 lettres)
Happy, drunk, tired, itchy, Clown Hary is skiing in the shadows.
6) Bâchez la queue du wagon-taxi avec les pyjamas du fakir (46 letters)
Cover up the taxi-railcar tail with fakir’s pajamas.
7) Hier, au zoo, j’ai vu dix guépards, cinq zébus, un yak et le wapiti fumer (55 letters)
Yesterday at the zoo I saw ten cheetahs, five zebus, a yak and the elk smoking
8) Monsieur Jack, vous dactylographiez bien mieux que votre ami Wolf (55 letters)
Mister Jack, you type much better than your friend Wolf
9) Dès Noël où un zéphyr haï me vêt de glaçons würmiens je dîne d’exquis rôtis de bœuf au kir à l’aÿ d’âge mûr & cætera ! (116 letters accented)
From Christmas when a hated zephyr puts Würmian ice cubes on me, I dine on exquisite roast beef with a mature aÿ kir & etc!
This is the French pangram to use if you want to practice your typing and use every single character including the accented ones. It’s a little hard to translate because certain words are cultural and don’t translate well.
kir à l’aÿ: Kir is the name of a French aperitif (French cocktail.) Aÿ is a region that makes wine and sparkling wine.
Wurmiens is a borrowed word which as far as I can tell means ice from the Alps during the Pleistocene period.