Learning basic French for travel: Simple Phrases to Help You Get Around
If you are planning to travel to France or any French-speaking country, learning some basic French phrases can make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free. While many people in the tourist industry speak English, using a few simple French phrases can help you navigate public transportation, order food at a restaurant, and interact with locals. Here are ten simple phrases to help you get around while traveling:
- Bonjour – Hello This is a basic greeting that you can use any time of day. French people typically greet one another with “bonjour” in the morning and afternoon, and “bonsoir” in the evening.
- S’il vous plaît – Please You can use this phrase when making a request, such as ordering food or asking for directions.
- Merci – Thank you This is a polite way to express gratitude for a service or favor.
- Pardon – Excuse me You can use this phrase to get someone’s attention or to apologize for interrupting.
- Au revoir – Goodbye This is a common farewell phrase that you can use when leaving a store, restaurant, or meeting someone.
- Parlez-vous anglais? – Do you speak English? If you’re struggling to communicate in French, you can use this phrase to ask if someone speaks English.
- Je ne parle pas français – I don’t speak French This is a useful phrase to know if you need to explain that you don’t speak French.
- Où est…? – Where is…? This phrase is useful for asking directions, such as “Où est la gare?” (Where is the train station?)
- Combien ça coûte? – How much does it cost? This phrase is useful for shopping, asking about the price of a product or service.
- Je voudrais… – I would like… Use this phrase to order food, such as “Je voudrais une baguette, s’il vous plaît.” (I would like a baguette, please.)
By learning these basic French phrases, you can navigate your way around a French-speaking country with more confidence and ease. Practice these phrases before your trip and use them as much as possible while you’re there. Remember, even if your French skills aren’t perfect, the effort to communicate in the local language is appreciated by locals and can lead to more authentic and enjoyable experiences.