15 Essential French Phrases to Know Before You Go to France
Okay, so you have a week or so until you go to France and are completely discouraged from attempting to learn the language. I got you. My best friend, who was born and raised in France, compiled a list of the top fifteen essential French phrases before my last trip to France.
Here are the crucial French phrases to memorize before your trip, to ensure a smoother travel experience, and to demonstrate respect to the locals:
Merci = Thank you
Pardon = Pardon
Oui = Yes
Non = No
Désolé = Sorry
S'il vous plaît = Please
Bonjour = Hello, good morning (can use any time of day)
Salut = Hi and goodbye
D’accord = Okay
Bonsoir = Good evening
Comment ça va? = How are you doing?
Je m'appelle = My name is
Je ne parle pas français = I do not speak French
L'addition s'il vous plait = The check, please
Enchanté = Pleasure (used after making an acquaintance)
Plus de vin s'il vous plaît = More wine, please
Je suis perdu = I am lost
These phrases can be used in tandem, after you drink too much wine and get lost :)
How to Improve Pronunciation for Free
For pronunciation practice I suggest watching some French YouTube videos on repeat, and really listening to their accent — if you get lazy with pronunciation the French will not understand you. Here is a video I like.
Download the free app and practice with the intro lessons about 2-4 weeks before you go.
The French Experiment
A cool digital resource to learn French from native French speakers. I haven’t used it, but it looks ideal if you’re trying to learn on a budget.
If you have any friends who actually speak French, learn from them! French requires the use of different muscles that English does not. I know this may sound weird, but watch the way a person’s mouth moves when they speak French—phonetics is critical to understanding how to achieve proper pronunciation.