Heading off to France soon? Don’t get on the plane before you know some basic French survival phrases. It’s no secret, after all, that there is tension between the French and the English, and for that reason, speaking in English doesn’t always get you the friendliest response.
But if you make an effort to speak French, you’ll be amazed at how much friendlier people are and how willing they are to help you.
Learn some basic French Expressions
Being able to say hello, goodbye, thank you and please goes a long way in any language. It shows you’re making an effort, and helps you feel like you know at least a bit of the language. This basic expressions will allow you to greet people and respond to their questions.
Bonjour – Hello / good morning
Salut – Hi (Informal)
Bonsoir – Good night
Comment allez-vous? – How are you? (Formal)
Très bien, merci et vous? – Well thanks and you? (Formal)
Ça va? – How are you doing? (more Informal)
Très bien, merci et toi? – Well thanks and you? (Informal)
Au revoir – Goodbye
Excusez-moi – Excuse me
S’il vous plaît – Please
Merci – Thank you
Oui – Yes
Non – No
Feeling confident in your skills? Take a French level test to see how good your French is!
You’re going to need a bit more that yes, no, and please to get around France though. Make sure you also add these phrases to your French vocabulary.
Je ne parle pas bien le français – I don’t speak French well
Parlez anglais? – Do you speak English?
Où sont les toilettes? – Where are the toilets?
Combien ça coûte? – How much does it cost?
Je ne comprends pas – I don’t understand
Plus lentement s’il vous plaît – Slower please
Puis-je avoir l’addition? – Can I have the check / bill?
Excusez-moi, où est la tour Eiffel? Excuse me, where is the Eiffel Tower?
Pouvez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît? – Can you help me please?
Une verre de vin, s’il vous plaît – A glass of wine, please
Navigate Airports and Train Stations
Finally, familiarise yourself with the signs you’ll see most commonly in airports and train stations to avoid any confusion when getting around!
Arrivées – Arrivals
Départs – Departures
Livraison des Bagages – Baggage claim
Enregistrement – Check-in
La Douane – Customs
Entrée – Entrance
Sortie – Exit
La Gare – Railway station
Le quai – Platform
One day spent in France listening to the world’s most romantic language is enough to make you want to learn how to speak it properly. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to learn! Get in touch with us to find out more about French lessons tailored to meet your needs.