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Say Bonjour to Your New Language: Master French For Beginners with Must-Know Phrases and Pronunciation!

French for beginners

French for Beginners: Hey there! Are you planning an exciting adventure to France? That’s awesome! You’re in for a treat as you’ll get to immerse yourself in the local culture and indulge in some delicious French cuisine. However, getting around might not always be as smooth as you’d like it to be.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! To make your trip even more enjoyable, it’s a great idea to brush up on some basic French. Trust us, it’ll come in handy when you encounter situations where people may not speak English.

We’ve compiled a list of 50 useful French phrases for travelers like you. These phrases are commonly used, and knowing them will make navigating throughout France a breeze.

So, get ready to have a fantastic time in France, and don’t forget to practice these helpful French phrases. Bon voyage!

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My own interests in French began when my parents enrolled me in a French-speaking international school in the Philippines. From there, I continued my studies through a language-tutorial program and have never stopped learning since. I use resources such as Duolingo, French movies, and music to stay engaged and improve my proficiency.

But the true test of my language abilities came when I visited France in 2019. I was thrilled to be able to communicate with locals and easily navigate my way around. It was truly a bucket list moment.

And now, I want to share with you some popular French phrases that you can use to enhance your own language abilities and cultural experiences. Whether you’re ordering meals or asking for directions, these phrases will come in handy. So why not join me in the journey of language learning and discover the joys of the French language? Bonne chance!

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
Hello/Good day!Bonjour!bohN-zhoohr!
Good evening!Bon soir!bohN-swahr!
Good-bye!Au revoir!ohr-vwahr!
Please.S’il vous plaît.seel vooh pleh.
You’re welcome.Je vous en prie./De rien.zhuh vooh-zahN pree./duh ryahN.
Thank you.Merci.mehr-see.
You’re welcomeDe rienduh ryehn
Excuse me.Pardon./Excusez-moi.pahr-dohN./eks-kew-zey-mwah.
What is your name?Comment vous appelez-vous?koh-mahn voo zah-pley voo?
My name is . . . .Je m’appelle. . . .zhuh mah-pehl. . . .
Pleased to meet you.Enchanté./Enchantée.ahN-shahN-tey.
Good byeAu revoiroh ruh-vwar
How are you?Comment ça va?koh-mahn sah vah?
And you?Et toi?ay twah?
Nice to meet you.Enchanté(e)ahn-shahn-teh
OuiYesWee
NonNoNoh
See you soonÀ bientôtah byehn-toh
EnglishFrenchPronunciation
Do you speak English?Parlez-vous anglais?pahr-ley voo ahn-gley?
Would you help me please?Pourriez-vous m’aider?pooh-ree-ey vooh mey-dey ?
What time is it?Quelle heure est-il ?kehl uhr eh-teel?
What’s the weather like?Quel temps fait-il?kehl tahN feh-teel?
How much does . . . cost?Combien coûte…?kohN-byaN kooht. . . ?
Where can I find . . .?Où est-ce que je peux trouver. . .?ooh ehs-kuh zhuh puh trooh-vey….?
Where is the toilets?Où sont les toilettes?oo son les twa-let?
Do you have. . . ?Avez-vous…?ah-vey vooh. . . ?
Where is. . . ?Où est…?ooh eh…?
Could you please speak more slowly?Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît?pooh-ree-ey-vooh pahr-ley plew lahNt-mahN, seel vooh pleh?
Could you repeat that, please?Pourriez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît?pooh-ree-ey-vooh rey-pey-tey, seel vooh pleh?

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to approach someone whom you don’t know, it is important to follow certain etiquettes to avoid offending them or making them feel uncomfortable. One of the most commonly used and polite ways to initiate a conversation with someone is by using the phrase “Excusez-moi Madame/Monsieur.” This phrase can be translated as “Excuse me, Madam/Sir” and is used to get the attention of the person you wish to speak with.

Once the person has turned their attention towards you, it is recommended to ask them if they speak English by using the phrase “Parlez-vous anglais?” This phrase translates to “Do you speak English?” and is a good way to determine if you can communicate with the person in a language that you both understand. If the person does not speak English, you can try to ask if they speak another language that you know or if they know someone who does.

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
Where are we?Où sommes-nous?ooh som-z nu
It’s to the left.C’est à gauche.seh-tah-gosh
It’s to the right.C’est à droite.seh-tah-dwahrt
It’s straight ahead.C’est tout droitseh too dwah
Is it far/close?Est-ce que c’est loin/proche?ess-kuh suh seh lo-a(n)/pro-sh?
Where is…?Où se trouve… ?
How can I get to…?Comment je peux aller à… ?
I’m lost.Je suis perdu(e)
I’m looking for…Je cherche…
Can you show me on the map?Est-ce que vous pouvez me montrer sur la carte ?
Is it far?Est-ce que c’est loin ?
How far is…?À quelle distance se trouve… ?
Can I take the subway/bus/taxi to get there?Est-ce que je peux prendre le métro/bus/taxi pour y aller ?
Thank you very much for your help.Merci beaucoup pour votre aide.

When visiting cities in France, you may encounter waiters who speak some English, but it’s always appreciated if you make an effort to communicate with them in French. Greeting them with a “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir” and ordering food in French can go a long way in establishing a good rapport with the locals.

However, in smaller French villages, it’s less likely that waiters will speak English, so it’s advisable to have a few basic French phrases on hand to help you communicate effectively. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification if you’re struggling to understand, as most French people are friendly and willing to assist visitors. By making an effort to learn some French and respecting the local customs, you’ll have a more enjoyable experience in France.

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EnglishFrenchPronunciation
WaiterMonsieur/Madamem’syhur / mah-dam
The menu, please.Le menu, s’il vous plaît.luh muh-new, seel vooh pleh.
I’d like. . . .Je voudrais. . . .zhuh vooh-dreh. . . .
I’ll have…Je prendrai…zhe prawn-dray
What do you recommend/suggest?Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez / suggérez?kehs-kuh voo ruh-kuh-mahn-day / su-jhay-ray?
Do you have…?Avez-vous…?ah-vay voo…?
Another (beer) please.Encore (une bière), s’il vous plaît.ahN-kohr (ewn byehr), seel vooh pleh.
The check, please.L’addition, s’il vous plaît.lah-dee-syohN, seel vooh pleh.
A receipt, please.Un reçu, s’il vous plaît.uhN ruh-sew, seel vooh pleh.
Enjoy your meal.Bon appétit!bohN-nah-pey-tee!
A cupUne tasseoon tahs
A glassUn verreuhn vehr
A forkUne fourchetteoon foor-shet
A spoonUne cuillèreoon kuy-ehr
A knifeUn couteauuhn koo-toh
Some saltpepper – Du sel /poivredew sehl / pwahv
AppetizersLes entréeslays-on-tray
Main coursesLes platslay plah
DessertsLes dessertslay day-ser
EnglishFrenchPronunciaton
MondaylundiluhN-dee
Tuesdaymardimahr-dee
Wednesdaymercredimehr-kruh-dee
Thursdayjeudizhuh-dee
FridayvendredivahN-druh-dee
Saturdaysamedisahm-dee
Sundaydimanchedee-mahNsh
EnglishFrenchPronunciation
JanuaryjanvierzhahN-vyey
Februaryfévrierfey-vryey
Marchmarsmahrs
Aprilavrilah-vreel
Maymaimeh
JunejuinzhwaN
Julyjuilletzhwee-yeh
Augustaoûtooht
Septemberseptembresehp-tahN-bruh
Octoberoctobreohk-toh-bruh
Novembernovembrenoh-vahN-bruh
Decemberdécembredey-sahN-bruh

So there, I hope you find the lists helpful. Until then, bonne journée!

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Polly Amora

Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net. A corporate warrior by day, and a perpetual explorer by heart. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, loud & outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and bourbon are two of her weaknesses.

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22 Comments

  1. As a French speaker, I found it so interesting how you represent the pronunciation of these expressions! Amazing.

  2. French seems like an easy language to learn! Thanks for the easy sentences and words! I am going to learn more French!

  3. This seems to be the perfect guide for the people who are new to learning french. Very helpful post.

  4. I took four years of French study in high school. I still remember how to read a few words, but most of it I’ve forgotten. French is not an easy language to learn!

  5. I always say that we should learn some new skill during quarantine and this is one of the best that we can invest on! I’ve always wanted to learn other languages when I was in college but I hadn’t have the opportunity because it was not part of our curriculum. Now, I’m going to save this! Thanks for this easy material you have shared! ☺ Very helpful!

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