Note on French confusing words in the chemistry lab

It is a note of French vocabularies that colleagues often use in my lab but are difficult to be derived by the direct translation from English. This is just for my personal purposes to avoid Franglais / Franglish. Thus I don’t guarantee any credibility of these information, though any advices /suggestions would be appreciated 🙂



  • Faire le vide (dan le sas) = Evacuate (the airlock chamber)
    There is the direct translation “évacuer” in French but I usually hear the expression combined with “faire”
    *Other examples: Faire la synthèse, etc… (To be added)


  • Il permet / ~, qui permet / permettant
    The expression often used to explain the purpose of tools, a strategies, or concepts.


  • Broyer = grind but Le Broyeur (le broyage) = a mill (milling)
    Direct translation of a mill / milling is moulin / moudre. Broyeur / broyage correspond to
    Grinder / Grind. However, “broyage” is often used to refer the procedure of “milling” (e.g. le broyage planétaire)


[Experimental Apparatus / Tools]

  • Le materiél de laboratoire = Laboratory equipment
    Somehow “le materiél” refers general equipments or utensils for laboratories.


  • Le rampe à vide = Schlenk line


  • Names of Verrerie (= Glassware)
    Le ballon = round-bottomed flask
    Le flacon = small bottle for samples or wash bottle (formal name: la Pisette)
    Le pilulier = a sample tube for solids
    La fiole à vide = Büchner flask
    L’ampoule à decanter = Separatory funnel


  • Le bidon = a container (of wastes)
    “Le bidon” means a can in English but it usually refers any kind of container for wastes regardless of their materials.


  • Un bec de feu = Burner