France is widely-renowned for its mouthwatering cuisine, picturesque towns, and elegant language: le francais. If you’re planning to travel there or simply wish to learn the language better, learning some basic French travel phrases will make your trip smoother and will only further your understanding of its beauty and history.
Example: Saying, Please speak more slowly can be useful when your speaking partner speaks too quickly, as well as show that you’re making an effort to learn the language! It also shows your partner that you’re making an effort!
How to Say Hello
There are multiple ways of greeting someone in French, and it’s essential that one knows their differences. Some greetings may be more suitable depending on the context and formality of a situation – for instance using “coucou” isn’t appropriate when greeting your boss but may be used among friends and family members.
Bonjour is perhaps the best-known way of greeting in French and is usually safest choice in most situations. Translating directly as “good day,” this greeting may or may not include a handshake depending on who it’s addressed to and their context.
Salut is another more casual greeting that resembles “hi,” though only use it with close family or friends as using it with strangers could be seen as rude.
For a formal greeting, use bien le bonjour with bow. This greeting may also be appropriate in business or professional environments. More casually, comment ca se passe pour toi is another way of asking how people are. Additionally, “rebonjour” (essentially just another version of “hello again”) may come up, which can come in handy when running into someone again quickly or needing to reconnect later on.
How to Say Goodbye
Saying goodbye in French can be tricky, as there are multiple phrases available to choose from. To ensure an appropriate response and relationship between you and the person being spoken to, select an appropriate phrase from your relationship and situation – for instance if seeing them again later that day “Au revoir” would likely suffice, while for formal events “Bonne soiree” (Have a nice evening) usually suffices.
Alternatively, “until next time” (a la prochaine) can be an easy and casual way to say goodbye in both formal and casual settings, popular among friends or those involved in casual relationships.
“See you later” is another informal way of bidding someone farewell, perfect for intimate social encounters or more formal settings if desired – including Monsieur, Madame and Mademoiselle greetings.
If you plan to meet someone soon, a suitable way of saying so is “see you soon”, with emphasis placed on formal situations where it’s likely you’ll actually meet again soon after speaking to them; otherwise it could come off as impolite. If possible, be more specific by specifying an hour – as doing this might come across as impolite otherwise!
How to Ask for Directions
Traveling abroad means being able to communicate in French fluently is crucial – whether that’s so you can find the fastest route to the Eiffel Tower, or just find out the distance to a cafe nearby, being able to ask for directions will make your experience that much more pleasurable! Being able to ask directions will only add another element of fun!
To ask for directions in French, say “Ou est” followed by the name of your desired location. If unsure, say either “Je cherche” or “Je ne sais pas”.
Once you know the basic directions, it can be beneficial to learn some transition words such as “Pourvu” and “Apres”. These will assist in answering multiple queries or giving directions to others!
“Il faut” (meaning “it must be”) is another essential word to know; it can be applied in many situations from ordering food to asking directions. To get more specific, simply combine “il faut prendre l’ascenseur” or “il faut remonter”, depending on your subject matter.
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How to Ask for Help
Once in an emergency situation, knowing how to ask for assistance in French can save both time and energy. From police assistance to friendship assistance, being understood when asking for help is of the utmost importance. When asking for assistance from authorities or friends alike, these few simple words will ensure you’re heard clearly without being over-pronounced when calling out for aid. When asking for help in French the most commonly used word is au secours (pronounced ‘a-shoo-rs). L’aide should only be used directly when necessary whereas coup de main can be used when asking someone directly for smaller favours from someone close.
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