# symbol -- (AE) number sign / pound sign / sharp -- (BE) hash / square -- (FR) dièse / carré / numéro / croisillon

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by stevenpomeroy, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. stevenpomeroy New Member

    USA - English
    what is the french word for the symbol "#" pound; found on a standard telephone and keypad, etc.

    Moderator note: Multiple threads have been merged to create this one.

    If you want a quick answer, see below; otherwise, just read the whole thread! :p


    • UK: hash (sometimes square)
    • USA: pound sign (sometimes number sign)
    • Canada: pound

    • France: dièse
    • Canada: carré (sometimes dièse)
    • Belgium: carré
    • Switzerland: dièse

    N.B.: Strictly speaking, dièse is the sharp sign (♯) used in musical contexts but that word is used abusively to refer to the hash/pound sign (#).
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2013
  2. halifacub New Member

    Canada french
    we just say : le carré (the square)
  3. ishatar

    ishatar Senior Member

    France, French
    In France it's usually called "dièse".

    "Tapez sur la touche étoile (*) de votre téléphone".

    "Appuyez sur la touche dièse (#)".
  4. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    dièse is the name of this symbol # when used in music, and also in other contexts as Ishatar explained
  5. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    And just on a point of interest, in the UK # is called "hash" ("pound" being £, or lb).
    Telephone instructions: press star, press hash. In the US do people say "press pound"?

  6. stevenpomeroy New Member

    USA - English
    Yes, americans do say: "press pound," As far as weight measures are concerned, we obviously use lb. (pound) as well. Do British people say press the asterisk?
  7. OlivierG

    OlivierG Senior Member

    Toulouse, France
    France / Français
    Isn't the "#" symbol called "number" ?
  8. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    No, as I mentioned, we say
    "press star" ... *
    "press hash" .. #

    "Type in your account number and then press star"
    "To begin again, press hash"

  9. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    I know that in the US, "#" is used to mean "number", as in the cast lists of films, where you see such things as

    Soldier #1
    Soldier #2

    # is not used with this meaning in GB. We either use "No" to stand for "number" (Symphony No 3) or, more often than not in situations like the cast list above, just use the bare numbers

    Soldier 1
    Soldier 2

  10. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    The symbol # is often used to mean number (in references to orders, invoices, etc. for instance). In that case, the French equivalent is . My question is : what do you call the symbol in English (in French it is called dièse) ?
  11. DDT

    DDT Senior Member

    Paris, France
    Italy - Italian
    Isn't that "hash" or simply "number"?

  12. sOULbROTHER Member

    J'ai souvent entendu que l'on l'apelle "Grid", mais je sais pas si c'est le meilleur choix.
  13. julieb01 Senior Member

    Grenoble + Vendée
    France, French
    The WR dictionnary says it is "sharp"
  14. there is a programming language in computer science call C# also called c sharp
  15. mnzrob Senior Member

    Denver, Colorado USA
    Chicago English and German
    The actual sign (#) is called "pound" in english. As far as I know, "sharp" is only used in musical context.

  16. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    I know that in music, the sign is called sharp, e.g. fa# (fa dièse) in French, F# (F sharp) in English, but would you use sharp in the sentence below ?

    The sharp symbol is commonly used to mean number in invoices, orders, etc.
  17. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    Rob, isn't the pound sign THIS : £ ?
  18. byutennismenace Member

    USA and english
    The "pound" symbol is commonly used to mean number in invoices, orders, etc.
  19. byutennismenace Member

    USA and english
    £ is pound in money. # is pound in numbers. Ambiguity is the key to the english language. ;)
  20. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    Would anybody use this phrase : the hash mark ?
  21. byutennismenace Member

    USA and english
    Yes, I think that you would be perfectly understood if you were to use "hash mark"
  22. gliamo Senior Member

    France, French
    Yes, # is hash.

  23. charlie2 Senior Member

    I always thought it is the hash (sign) and I only know that it is called pound now that I have read this thread. I checked my dictionary which says that calling it pound is American English.
  24. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    I have only ever heard "hash" for this, none of the other terms before this thread, apart from in terms of music where c# represents "c sharp". Whether it follows that "#" in this context is a "sharp" or not, I'm not sure.

    You hear "hash", at least in the UK, a lot in terms of telephones eg "press 1 for x press 2 for y and press hash to return to the main menu".
  25. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    On French telephones you hear messages that say appuyez sur dièse.
    Edition :
    Ceci n'était qu'une parenthèse.
  26. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    Looks like 'hash' is British / Irish English and 'pound sign' is American English, then ...

    Many thanks !
  27. mnzrob Senior Member

    Denver, Colorado USA
    Chicago English and German
    Yeah, in the US on the phone you hear "...press pound to return to the main menu."

    I've never heard anybody refer to it as a hash. I always thought a hash mark was just a line.

  28. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada

    hash character
    <character> "#", ASCII character 35.

    Common names: number sign; pound; pound sign; hash; sharp; crunch; hex; INTERCAL: mesh. Rare: grid; crosshatch; octothorpe; flash; ITU-T: square, pig-pen; tictactoe; scratchmark; thud; thump; splat.

    The pronunciation of "#" as "pound" is common in the US but a bad idea; Commonwealth Hackish has its own, rather more apposite use of "pound sign" (confusingly, on British keyboards the pound graphic happens to replace "#"; thus Britishers sometimes call "#" on a US-ASCII keyboard "pound", compounding the American error). The US usage derives from an old-fashioned commercial practice of using a "#" suffix to tag pound weights on bills of lading. The character is usually pronounced "hash" outside the US.

    The name "octothorpe" was made up by a Bell Labs supervisor, Don Macpherson.

    Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © 1993-2005 Denis Howe
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  29. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I agree with mnzrob that a hash mark in US usage is a line, and # is a pound sign.
  30. mingze13 Senior Member

    In abbreviations, can the symbol # be understood to mean 'number'?

    I am wrestling with abbreviating 'numero', 'nombre', and 'nom' (name), and am having trouble devising distinct abbreviations. '#' would be a handy addition.

    Merci beaucoup,
  31. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    In French, we use for numéro. :)
  32. mingze13 Senior Member

    Bonjour, Agnes -- je le sais, le "No" avec superscript. Merci!

    Mais j'ai des difficultes dans mon projet avec pas assez de l'espace, et aussi plusieurs mots qui se rassemblent lui-memes (whew- did I get that right? resemble each other?).

    En anglais la plus belle, nous employons 'number,' bien sur, mais de temps en temps aussi nous pouvons ecrire "#". J'ai l'espoir que c'est le meme cas en francais.

    a bientot--
  33. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    ...qui se ressemblent entre eux :)

    I think we would understand the sign # followed by a number (#27 for number 27), even if we wouldn't use it ourselves... But not if you put the sign # by itself (for example, to indicate that one must fill in a number)
  34. canacs Member

    English Canada

    Est-ce que quelqu'un sait le mot pour "pound key" en Francais? C'est ce symbole sur le telephone: #.

  35. zaby

    zaby Senior Member

    # est le "dièse". Pour le "pound key" du téléphone, on dit "la touche dièse"
  36. Cavatine Senior Member

    French - France
    # --> dièse

    (aussi utilisé pour la notation de la musique, d'ailleurs: morceau en fa dièse)
  37. Garuda New Member

    On dit en général "la touche dièse"
    Car le signe # ressemble au signe "dièse" utilisé dans les partitions musicales.
  38. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Certains utilisent aussi la touche "carré", particulièrement au Canada, mais pas exclusivement.
  39. chickpea

    chickpea Senior Member

    Denver, CO
    English - US/Peru
    Is "carré" an approrpriate French translation for "pound sign", as in "please enter your acct number, followed by the pound sign."
    I can't seem to find a translation for it online.

    Please help.

    Thank you!
  40. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    I don't know what a "pound" sign is like, apart from "£". This sign "#" is called a hash in British English phone talk and is translated as "un dièse".

    It is a bit like a square so I wondered if it was the term for which you were looking?:)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  41. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    # is called pound sign in AE because it is sometimes used to represent pounds (weight): 5# = 5 lbs. = "five pounds"--but this is an old-fashioned usage. It is now mostly used to indicate number (no.), as in the thread postings on this forum (#1, #2, etc.)

    There is no confusion here with BE pound (sterling--"£") since it's not a currency here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  42. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Isn't it hash in BE ?
  43. Tresley

    Tresley Senior Member

    Yorkshire / United Kingdom
    British English
    Yes Jean, we call it a 'hash sign' (#) in the UK and it's mentioned in the Word Reference dictionary as such.


    Thank you Wildan for explaining why it's called a 'pound sign' in North American. I just cound not work out why this was so, but now I understand.
  44. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    In BE un dièse is either a hash or, in musical notation, a sharp sign. Dièse is also an adjective meaning sharp (in pitch) or 'of or pertaining to a hash' as in "appuyer sur la touche dièse". The only thing that would be recognised as a pound sign in BE is £.
  45. alisonp Senior Member

    English - UK
    I think it was BT (British Telecom - phone company) or something the other day where I was trying to work my way through their automated telephone system and was surprised to be told to "press square".
  46. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    Square? Weird! It's not square at all; more of an extended parallelogram - but I sometimes call it 'noughts and crosses'.

    The British, by the way, are notoriously bad at using the correct words for anything to do with IT. A common English solecism is the use of 'forward slash' (for /) instead of 'slash'.

    "Hash", by the way, is potentially ambiguous since it also means "yesterday's muck cooked again" (which I have heard jocularly abbreviated to YMCA) - in other words old food re-heated in some lugubrious sauce - it is the origin of the pleonastic expression "a re-hash"
  47. joss5119 New Member

    Bonjour à tous,
    J'aimerais traduire ce mot "touche dièse". Pourriez-vous m'aider ?
    Merci d'avance et à bientôt de vous lire, Joss.
  48. dunescratcheur Senior Member

    France 30
    France, English
    Touche dièse = Hash key
  49. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Ou encore pound sign. […]
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  50. phynaert Senior Member

    Lille, France
    France - French
    Here is a full Wikipedia article on the topic for English.

    So we have: pound, square, hash. Curiously it seems that sharp is not used.

    In French: dièse and carré, with a more frequent use of dièse.

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