Learn French When You Travel in France

i travel in french

France offers an unparalleled diversity of shopping opportunities, from elegant boutiques on the Champs-Elysees to dusty antiques at brocantes or modest Bouquinistes (“book sellers”) along the Seine. In order to navigate these experiences successfully, some basic French vocabulary is key.

For example, when asked where they’re headed they will require the verb aller – this enables you to respond effectively with “Where are you heading?”

What is French?

French (le francais [l frs]), originally spoken only in France and now spoken worldwide as both native or second languages, is one of several Indo-European tongues of French origin that has come into widespread usage as both first or second languages. An estimated 60 million people speak it daily as either their primary or secondary language – including over 13.3 million native French speakers in France and Corsica alone! French serves as official language of some 25 countries as well as being taught as the medium of instruction at many schools worldwide; its roots lie within Western Romance language grouping that together with Latin, provides much of modern romance language development.

While it is possible to travel France without knowing French, having at least some knowledge is always useful. When greeting someone it is polite to say bonjour or good morning and merci. By spending time considering how to pronounce these phrases in French will make you appear more fluent.

If you are uncertain whether someone speaks English, politely ask “Parlez-vous anglais?” (do you speak English). Most will respond positively and be eager to assist.

For Miss Piggy fans, one of her signature phrases may already be familiar: “excuse-moi” (/ ex-koo-say mwa/). This is an effective way of communicating in French with your peers while showing respect. Another powerful way is using phrases such as s’il vous plait (/ seel-voo-play/).

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Basic French Vocabulary

Communication in any language depends on a wide vocabulary. Whether traveling through France or settling down there permanently, learning basic French words and phrases will help you interact with locals – including learning basic greetings such as bonjour and l’addition, s’il vous plait – much easier. And they will appreciate any effort to speak their native tongue!

Knowledge of basic French will make any trip more enjoyable – from travel phrases and restaurant/shopping terms, to culture-rich French countryside landscape.

You’ll also discover this section has many helpful lists of words and phrases organized by topic to make learning essentials easier, with helpful explanations, French pronunciation tips, cultural advice, and cultural background information all at your fingertips! Plus! Don’t forget about all of our helpful explanations, French pronunciation tips and cultural advice that will only add depth and enrich your experience!

Travel can be daunting when you don’t speak the local language, but with proper preparation and the appropriate resources you can easily navigate your French adventure! For instance, knowing how to ask about train fares, times, and locations will come in handy if taking public transit; also FluentU is here if you need words for friends and family in French – they take authentic videos like music videos, movies, news updates, inspiring talks into personalized language lessons based on them!

Basic French Phrases

Knowing these basic French phrases will enable you to converse more freely with locals and navigate more effortlessly – from greeting them and asking for directions, right through to introducing yourself.

First and foremost, bonjour will serve as your greeting in French – this term can be used with anyone from acquaintances to close relatives alike.

Merci (thank you) is another essential French phrase, used to express appreciation for a service or gesture and often combined with s’il vous plait (please).

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Finally, “enfin” is a French filler word similar to the English “eh?” It can often be found added onto the end of sentences but can also be used to convey surprise or express agreement.

Naturally, French will also come in handy when communicating. Ou est (where is) is one of the most useful phrases for travelers – use it when asking directions or looking up restaurants and attractions!

Basic French Etiquette

No matter if you are traveling internationally or learning French as a new language, knowing the rules of etiquette is key for an enjoyable and respectful experience. From how many kisses on each cheek to proper greetings for visitors there are various nuances which will ensure an enjoyable and pleasant interaction.

An effective greeting should always begin with “Bonjour,” particularly when seeking directions, ordering coffee/food in a restaurant, or checking into a hotel. Doing this shows respect for both you and the person with whom you’re conversing as well as their time and space.

French people tend to be very formal. Therefore, when greeting strangers you should use bonjour, merci, s’il vous plait and au revoir when speaking or asking a question. Additionally, it is wise not to use any slang words or speak too quickly when answering their queries.

They prefer more relaxed conversations with their friends, yet expect proper table manners when dining together. This includes keeping hands off of the table, not picking your teeth or licking your fork or knife while eating and not making comments about how you don’t like something on the menu.

People often dislike making small talk with strangers and will resent you for talking too much about yourself. Additionally, it’s not appropriate to discuss personal matters such as age, income and marital status. Art, food culture and current events are better topics of conversation.

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