Parlez-vous anglais? Mastering French Travel Phrases

Parlez-vous anglais? Mastering French Travel Phrases for Your Next Holiday in France

Okay, let’s face it, if you’re leaving for France in three weeks, you probably won’t master the French language in time for your vacation. Embarking on a travel adventure through the picturesque landscapes of France is a dream come true. Nothing spoils it more than being afraid that—”they won’t understand me!” Yikes! What is an adventurous traveler to do? Bridging the language divide should not be as scary as it may sound. With some time on your hands, you could knock out a semester at Alliance Française if you have one nearby, but that’s time and money, and you’re maybe not looking to be an expert French speaker quite yet.  Many language apps like Duolingo, MosaLingua, and Pimsleur (which I haven’t tried yet but was always my go-to language learning tool for self-learning) all promise to make you comfy enough to go beyond, “Bonjour.” I’m here to help you get a kick start on that quest for French perfection (or something close enough). To ensure you savor every moment, mastering a few essential French travel phrases can make your experience even more delightful. Whether you’re exploring the charming streets of Paris, the lush vineyards of Montmartre, or the vibrant markets of Paris, these phrases will help you navigate with ease and connect with locals on a deeper level.

Basic Greetings and Polite Expressions

When traveling in France, being able to greet people politely is a must. These basic French travel phrases will help you start conversations on the right foot. Whether you’re saying “bonjour” in the morning or “bonsoir” in the evening, a little effort goes a long way.

  • Bonjour (bohn-zhoor) – Hello / Good morning
  • Bonsoir (bohn-swahr) – Good evening
  • Bonne journée (bohn zhoor-nay) – Have a nice day
  • Merci (mehr-see) – Thank you
  • S’il vous plaît (seel voo pleh) – Please
  • Excusez-moi (ehk-skew-zay mwah) – Excuse me
  • De rien (duh ryeh) – You’re welcome
  • Oui / Non (wee / noh) – Yes / No

At the Market

Markets in France are a treasure trove of fresh produce, cheeses, and local delicacies. Using these French travel phrases at the market will make your shopping experience more enjoyable. Ask for prices, quantities, and specialties with confidence.

  • Combien ça coûte? (kohm-byen sah koot) – How much does it cost?
  • Je voudrais acheter… (zhuh voo-dray ah-shuh-tay) – I would like to buy…
  • Avez-vous des spécialités locales? (ah-vay voo day spay-see-ah-lee-tay loh-kahl) – Do you have any local specialties?
  • Un kilo de… (uhn kee-loh duh) – A kilogram of…
  • Une tranche de… (oon trahnsh duh) – A slice of…

Dining Out

Dining in France is an experience to savor. With these essential French travel phrases, you can navigate restaurant menus, ask for recommendations, and cater to your dietary needs. Enjoy your meals with confidence and ease.

  • La carte, s’il vous plaît. (lah kahrt seel voo pleh) – The menu, please.
  • Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez? (kehs-kuh voo reh-koh-mahn-day) – What do you recommend?
  • Je suis végétarien(ne). (zhuh swee vay-zhay-tah-ryen) – I am vegetarian.
  • L’addition, s’il vous plaît. (lah-dee-syon seel voo pleh) – The bill, please.
  • Un verre de vin rouge / blanc. (uhn vehr duh van roozh / blahn) – A glass of red / white wine.

Navigating the City

Exploring French cities can be a delight if you know where you’re going. These French travel phrases will help you ask for directions, find your way, and get the assistance you need. Whether you’re in Paris or a quaint village, you’ll be able to navigate like a local.

  • Où est…? (oo eh) – Where is…?
  • Je cherche… (zhuh shehrsh) – I am looking for…
  • Pouvez-vous m’aider? (poo-vay voo meh-day) – Can you help me?
  • À gauche / À droite (ah gohsh / ah drwaht) – To the left / To the right
  • Tout droit (too drwaht) – Straight ahead

Accommodation and Services

Staying at hotels or guesthouses in France will be a breeze with these French travel phrases. You can check in, inquire about amenities, and make your stay comfortable by communicating your needs clearly.

  • J’ai une réservation. (zhay oon ray-zher-vah-syon) – I have a reservation.
  • Quelle est l’heure du check-out? (kehl eh luhr doo check-out) – What time is check-out?
  • Y a-t-il un Wi-Fi gratuit? (ee yah-teel uhn wee-fee grah-twee) – Is there free Wi-Fi?
  • Puis-je avoir une autre serviette? (pwee zhuh ah-vwahr oon oh-truh sehr-vyeht) – Can I have another towel?
  • Le petit déjeuner est compris? (luh puh-tee day-zhuh-nay eh kohm-pree) – Is breakfast included?

Emergency Phrases

Safety is paramount when traveling. These French travel phrases are essential for emergencies. Knowing how to ask for help, find a pharmacy, or call for medical assistance can make a big difference in urgent situations.

  • Appelez une ambulance! (ah-puh-lay oon ahm-byoo-lahns) – Call an ambulance!
  • J’ai besoin d’un médecin. (zhay buh-swan duh mehd-sahn) – I need a doctor.
  • Où est la pharmacie? (oo eh lah fahr-mah-see) – Where is the pharmacy?
  • J’ai perdu mon passeport. (zhay pehr-doo mohn pahs-pohr) – I lost my passport.
  • Aidez-moi, s’il vous plaît. (eh-day mwah, seel voo pleh) – Help me, please.

Learning these essential French travel phrases will enhance your travel experience and open doors to authentic interactions and unforgettable memories. So, pack your bags, brush up on your French, and get ready for an extraordinary culinary journey through the heart of France.

Join Our Culinary Tours in France!

Ready to put your French travel phrases to the test? Join us on one of our Let’s Eat Uzès and Let’s Eat Paris culinary tours and immerse yourself in French cuisine’s rich flavors and traditions. From market visits to hands-on cooking classes, we offer a unique and delicious experience. Visit Let’s Eat The World to book your next culinary adventure!

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Bon voyage et bon appétit!


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