Discuss and learn French: French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture etc.
"salient" is only used by very educated people. I've never even heard it used in conversation other than by a historian or other literary person when being interviewed. It appears often in academic writing -- "the salient points, features, etc." It's the same usage in French but is it more commonly used in conversation?
It is then defined as "prominent, protruding, jutting" -- "C'est l'homme au nez saillant - It's the man with the prominent nose." Is this usage heard?
In France, "saillant" is known, but not often used. The 3 more known and used associations I have already heard are :
"des muscles saillants"
"des pommettes saillantes" (cheekbones)
and in maths class, there are "des angles saillants"
in other meanings, it's rarely used, I've never heard.
An addition to chantal comments
Saillant is mainly used in construction or in the industry (ex the edge of sheet metal parts )