Key French Phrases You'll Need to Navigate Paris

Making your way to Paris without a single word of the language of love? Never fear, that’s why we’re here! We’ve created a list of key phrases required to navigate the French capital. If you’re lucky, you’ll fool everyone into thinking you’re a Parisian native! Best pop on a traditional beret too, just for good measure. We also have an Italian pronunciation guide too, just in case you’re heading that direction in the near future. But today, we’re learning key French phrases for your next trip to Paris!

Eiffel Tower

Greetings

  • Bonjour! (bon-zhoohr) – Hello/Good day!
  • Salut! (sah-loo) – Hi/Bye!
  • Bon soir! (bon swahr) – Good evening!
  • Au revoir! (oh ray-vwah) – Goodbye!
  • Coucou! (soo-soo) – Hey there!
  • Allô? (ah-low) – Hello?
  • À plus! (ah ploo) – See you later!
  • À tout à l’heure! (ah toot a luhr) – See you soon/See you in a while!

General Phrases & Pleasantries

  • Je m’appelle _____ (jeh mah-pell _____) – My name is ______
  • S’il vous plait (seel voo play) – Please
  • Merci (merr-see) – Thank you
  • De rien (duh ree-an) – You’re welcome
  • Pardon/Excusez-moi (par-dohn/excuse-ay-mwah) – Excuse me
  • Enchanté (ohn-shawn-tay) – Pleased to meet you

Questions

  • Est-ce que vous parlez anglais? (es-kuh voo par-lay ong-lay) – Do you speak English?
  • Comment allez-vous? (coh-mon tal-ay-voo) – What’s your name?
  • Où est…? (ooh-ay) – Where is..?
  • Où sont les toilettes? (ooh sont lay twah-lettes) – Where are the bathrooms?
  • Avez-vous ____? (ah-vay voo) – Do you have _____?
  • Comment vous appelez-vous? (coh-mon voo app-ell-ay voo) – What’s your name?
  • Pourriez-vous m’aider? (poo-ree-ay voo may-day) – Would you help me please?
  • Quelle heure est-il? (kell urr ay-teel) – What time is it?
  • Quel temps fait-il? (kell tomp fay-teel) – What’s the weather like?

Combien coût ____? (con-bee-an coot) – How much does ____ cost?

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Days

  • lundi (lan-dee) - Monday
  • mardi (mahr-dee) – Tuesday
  • mercredi (mehr-cred-ee) - Wednesday
  • jeudi (juh-dee) - Thursday
  • vendredi (von-dread-ee) - Friday
  • samedi (sam-dee) - Saturday
  • diamanche (dee-mahnsh) – Sunday
  • Hier (ee-ayr) – Yesterday
  • Aujourd’hui (oh-jord-ooh-ee) – Today
  • Demain (du-man) - Tomorrow

Months

  • janvier (john-vee-ay) - January
  • février (fev-ree-ay) - February
  • mars (mahrs) - March
  • avril (av-reel) - April
  • mai (may-ee) - May
  • juin (ju-wahn) - June
  • juillet (ju-wee-ay) - July
  • août (oot) - August
  • septembre (sep-tom-bruh) - September
  • octobre (oc-tow-bruh) - October
  • novembre (no-vom-bruh) - November
  • décembre (day-som-bruh) – December

Numbers

  • zéro (zay-roh) - 0
  • un (ahn) – 1
  • deux (duh) – 2
  • trois (twah) – 3
  • quatre (cah-truh) – 4
  • cinq (sank) – 5
  • six (sees) – 6
  • sept (set) – 7
  • huit (weet) – 8
  • neuf (nuff) – 9
  • dix (dees) – 10
Cafe on a street in Paris, France

Ordering Food & Drink

  • Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez/suggérez? (kehs-kuh vooh ruh-koh-mahn-dey/sooh-zhey-rey?) – What would you suggest?
  • Le menu, s’il vous plait (luh muh-new, seel voo play) – The menu, please
  • Je voudrais ______ (jeh voo-dray _____) – I’d like _______
  • Encore _____, s’il vous plait (ohn-core _____, seel voo play) – Another ______, please
  • Un reçu, s’il vous plait (ahn ray-su, seel voo play) – A receipt, please
  • L’addition, s’il vous plait (lah-dee-shawn, seel voo play) – The check, please

Emergency Scenarios

  • Au secours! (oh scoor) – Help!
  • Au feu! (oh fuh) – Fire!
  • Je suis malade (jeh swee mah-lad) – I am sick
  • Police! (poh-lees) – Police!
  • Cherchez un docteur/un médecin! (sher-shay uhn doc-turr/mayd-san) – Get a doctor!
  • Appelle une ambulance (ah-pell oon ahm-boo-lohnce) – Call an ambulance!

Credit to dummies for their handy French cheat sheet for the pronunciation of some of these key phrases.

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