Parlez-vous français? (Do you speak French)- Série 1/3Wouldn’t your trip in France be slightly better if you spoke a word or two in French? Don’t worry; Our new blog series “Parlez-vous français?” will teach you the essentials. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey! We promise you’ll speak so much better than Joey J
Although it means ‘good day’, French use Bonjour! to simply say Hello! Keep in mind that despite its frequent use, you may also hear people say Bonsoir (Good evening/night) depending on the time of the day. Bonsoir can also be used to say good-bye.
Salut is the informal way of saying both Hello and Goodbye. Feel free to use this word amongst friends and peers, however, keep in mind that it is an informal word. For instance, saying Salut! to your waiter may be considered impolite. Instead, stick with Bonne journée and Bonsoir (or Bonne soirée).
Thank you – French people are known with their politeniess. Thus, Merci is one of the words you’ll hear the most. You could say de rien or pas de soucis, which is more informal than de rien or avec plaisir (with pleasure) to say you’re welcome.
- S’il vous plaît
Having mentioned how polite French people are, the direct translation of S’il vous plait would be if it pleases you. This expression is used to say please. When in France, make sure you say this after making a demand.
- Pardon & Excusez-moi
These two expressions usually confuse English-speakers. You should say Pardon if you think you disturbed someone (i.e. Sorry,) and Excusez-moi if you would like someone to repeat what they just said (i.e. Excuse me)
- Ça va?
It is the French way of saying is it going? It is a convenient of asking how the other person is doing in small talks. It is the informal way of saying “comment ça va”, how is it going?. Funny how the answer is also ça va, nevertheless you can understand from the tone of the persons’ voice if it’s really going well or not.
- Carafe d’eau
This one comes handy when you dine in a restaurant and your waiter asks you if you would like to drink something. If you would like to have some water, and not pay for it, always say carafe d’eau, and (s)he will bring you some tap water – no need to say that tap water is potable in France. Also do not forget to add a fancy s’il vous plait at the end.
- Combien ça coûte?
Ever wondered how much a Ladurée macaron costs? To find out just walk into the nearest Ladurée and say combine ça coût?, not will your server only adore your accent but you will also get to impress every other tourist struggling with their order.
- Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Qu’est-ce que c’est means what is this?. You could use this one whenever you have difficulty defining something.
- Où est …?
Last but not least, if you’re visiting Nice, and wondering where the beach is, feel free to ask someone excusez-moi où est la plage, s’il vous plaît?
- Au revoir
Everything comes to an end and you would say au revoir to someone when it’s time to say goodbye! The direct translation would be until next time. Depending on the time of day Bon après midi (Good afternoon) & Bonsoir can also be used to say good-bye.
Good job! You have completed the first part of your accelerated French training! You are two articles away from excelling in French. Stay tune – more to come soon!