French is spoken not only in France but also in Africa, Canada, the Seychelles among others and it can take you to all four corners of the world. More than 250 million people speak French and it is one of the most widely learned foreign languages. Rich in culture and the arts the French speaking regions have an allure and a ‘je ne sais quoi’ that has been replicated by no other culture. Whether its fashion or wine, cinema or food, French chic is aspired to throughout the world.
Having a look at our list of useful phrases in French provided by Cactus Language is the perfect starting point to prepare your trip!
- Hi/Hello = Salut (informal – use only with people you know)
- Good morning/afternoon = Bonjour
- It’s a pleasure to meet you = C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer
- Do you know a good patisserie around here? = Est-ce que vous connaissez une bonne pâtisserie tout près d’ici?
- Do you like macaroons? = Aimez-vous les macarons?
- Yes = Oui [Wee]
- No = Non [Nohn]
- I love your accent = J’aime bien votre accent
- Thank you = Merci
- Could I have a glass of red wine to go with that? = Pourrais-je avoir un verre de vin rouge pour accompagner ça?
- Please = S’il vous plaît
- Where is the nearest toilet please? = Où sont les toilettes les plus proches?
- Where can I hire a bicycle near here? = Où puis-je louer un vélo près d’ici?
- Is it safe to swim at this beach? = Est-ce que on peut se baigner sans danger à cette plage?
- Do you know a park where we can have a picnic? = Est-ce que vous connaissez un parc où on peut piqueniquer?
- You can never eat too much camembert! = On ne mange jamais trop de camembert!
- I’m having a great time! = Je m’amuse beaucoup!
- I like French cinema = J’aime le cinéma français.
- Can you give me directions to the nearest chateau? = Pourriez-vous m’indiquer le chemin pour le château le plus proche?
- OK = D’accord (I agree) / Ça va (I am fine)
- Goodbye = Au revoir
- Excuse me = Pardon
- Good night = Bonne nuit
- See you soon = A bientôt
Bonus Phrase: What’s new? = Quoi de neuf?
Top Tip: The French are formal until you get to know them well. Be sure to address everyone formally – i.e. Madame, Monsieur and vous (you).
Top Tip: French people have a love affair with their regional wines! Let them suggest a fine local wine, add some local bread and cheese on the side and embrace the ‘joie de vivre’ which you have been day-dreaming about.