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  • Writer's pictureKatie Ugland

French Words to Know for Travel

Going to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language can be intimidating. While people all over the world speak English, it’s still useful to know the basics of the language spoken in the country you’re visiting. France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe so having some French under your belt will be extremely helpful! With that said, here’s a list of common French phrases that’ll make your trip run more smoothly!


Bonjour- Hello

Bonne journée- Have a good day

Salut- The informal way to say hi

Bonsoir- Good Evening

Bonne Soirée- Have a good evening

Bienvenue- Welcome!

When You’re Confused

Parlez-vous Anglais?- Do you speak English?

Je ne parle pas français- I do not speak French

Je ne comprends pas- I do not understand

Restaurant Phrases

Je voudrais…- I would like…

Carafe d’eau- Jug of water. In many European countries, restaurants charge for water and won’t automatically bring tap water to the table. If you want to avoid the extra fees, use this phrase to get free water.

Où sont les tiolets?- Where are the toilets?

C’est bon- It’s good

Merci/ Merci Beaucoup- Thank you/ Thank you very much

De rien- You’re welcome

L’addition, s’il vous plaît- The check, please

C’est combien?- How much is it?

Other Common Phrases

Allez-y- Go ahead. This phrase is extremely common to say so it’ll be helpful to know.

Pardon- The French don’t say excusez moi as much as you think. It’s much more common to use pardon in everyday situations such as getting off the metro system or running into someone on accident.

Wrapping it up

Knowing these phrases before you visit France will make you feel more comfortable and confident! Using them will make communicating on your trip much easier and the French will appreciate your effort. And if you’re worried about messing up… C’est la vie! At least you’re trying!

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