Canada

French Lessons: Useful Phrases for the French Speaking World

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That’s me, just hanging out by the Seine in Paris.

So, you’re traveling to the French speaking world? Perhaps it’s a lovely romp through Paris, the city of light, you’ve got in mind? Or perhaps you’re headed towards the beautiful Canadian city of Montreal? Perhaps you’re even planning on a wonderful week in the gorgeous, French speaking Caribbean island of Saint-Martin?

Honestly, you’re not going to have any problems getting around as an English speaker in these places, but I say half the fun of traveling somewhere that they speak a different language is getting to put a little bit of that language into practice!

Here are a few useful phrases you can use when traveling through the French speaking world:

Yes: Oui.
No: Non.
Please: S’il vous plaît.
Thank you: Merci.
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup.
You’re welcome: De rien.
How are you?: Comment allez-vous?
I don’t understand:  Je ne comprends pas.
Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais?
I don’t speak French: Je ne parle pas français.
I don’t speak French very well: Je ne parle pas très bien français.
Excuse me: Excusez-moi.
Pardon me: Pardon.
Can you help me, please?: Pouvez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît?
Can I get on the internet?: Puis-je me connecter à l’Internet?
Is there a public phone here?: Y a-t-il un téléphone public ici?
Where is the bathroom?: Où sont les toilettes?
How much does that cost?: Combien ça coûte?
Could you repeat that?: Pourriez-vous répéter?
What’s your name?: Comment vous appelez-vous?
Where is the metro (subway)?: Où est le métro?

If you’re really interested in learning more than just a few phrases in French, you can also check out these resources that I’ve used myself in my French studies and have found useful and enjoyable (also, they are free, which is a huge plus):

App: Duolingo

Podcast: Coffee Break French

Also check out this YouTube Video from JeFrench:
(they also have another good basic phrases video on their site).

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9 replies »

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I will be going to Paris in March (first time= so excited!) and I’ve been wanting to learn some basic French. This is perfect! I have tried Duoling and I felt as though you need at least a basic understanding of the language for it to actually work. Since I have no experience with the language whatsoever, it didn’t really work for me, but the phrases you listed above are exactly what I needed. Thanks again!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome, glad to help! Definitely check out the Coffee Break French podcast as well. It starts for absolute beginners and I think does a pretty good job of introducing you to the language and getting some good pronunciation practice as well. I like to listen to it when I’m in the car on my way to work in the morning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It really depends on where you are in France, but not everybody speaks solid English so it’s great to come prepared with a few phrases! This is a great post! 🙂 ❤ Don't let learning a bit of the beautiful French language scare you from visiting such wonderful sites and cities!!!

    Like

    • Absolutely! If you’re in the well-trodden tourist places, you’ll find a lot of people who speak English. But it’s also nice to go out into the countryside or into some of the other towns and explore, and people are less likely to speak English in those places. Always good to know a little of the language!

      Liked by 1 person

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