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French Family Guide: Talking About Your Family in French

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Your romance with a lovely French local has gained momentum and the time has come for one of the most terrifying milestones of ‘serious’ relationships: meeting your mother-in-law. Whether she’s a gatekeeper mom or just genuinely interested in her daughter’s “one and only,” chances are, you’ll be asked a lot of questions that will make you say: “Damn, how do I say mother in French? Or father or family in French?”

When meeting your parents-in-law, or any random person before a work meeting or over a beer, the trick is to find some common ground and get the other person to talk about something they can relate to. Hence, before you get to know a person and learn about your common interests, talking about their family or yours is a highly effective icebreaker.

Besides, have you ever noticed how often our relatives randomly pop into seemingly unrelated conversations? “My wife this,” “My mother that,” “My brother has the same thing,” and “My cousin has done that too!” As soon as you get comfortable with the vocabulary and the basic structures, it will unveil a whole lot of conversation opportunities and a wealth of follow-up questions to keep it going!

Learn how to describe family in French with FrenchPod101’s guide to family in French for beginners, and never lack the proper word again!

Table of Contents

  1. French Family Vocabulary: Complete Family Word List
  2. Beyond the Blood
  3. How to Talk About Family
  4. The French Family is Changing Rapidly
  5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

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1. French Family Vocabulary: Complete Family Word List

Before we get to talk about our family or inquire about somebody else’s, we’re gonna need some serious vocabulary! But don’t worry about the size of the list, just pick and remember whichever ones apply to your situation and the ones you’re typically going to ask about (siblings, kids?). You’ll learn the rest in due time as you continue talking about family in basic French.

1- The Inner Circle

Here are the most basic family members in French, the ones you’ll likely talk the most about.

La famille “The family”
Un parent “A relative”
Mes parents
Mes vieux
“My parents”
“My folks” [Slang. Literally: “My old-ones”]
La mère
Ma maman
“The mother”
“My mom”
Le père
Mon papa
“The father”
“My dad”

/!\ Do not confuse mon parent, meaning “my relative,” and mes parents meaning “my parents.

Un parent meaning “a relative,” and des parents meaning “relatives,” both refer to relatives of any kind, while mes parents (possessive plural) means: “my parents” (in the sense of: mother and father).

Examples:

  • Je vais voir mes parents.
    “I’m going to see my parents.”
  • J’ai des parents dans la région.
    “I have relatives in the region.”
  • Comment vont ses parents ?
    “How are his parents doing?”
  • Tu vis chez tes parents ?
    “Are you living with your parents?”
  • Tu vis chez des parents ?
    “Are you living with relatives?”

Father and Son Skipping Stones

Tel père, tel fils. (Like father, like son)

Les frères et soeurs “The siblings”
La soeur
Une grande-soeur
Une petite soeur
Ma soeur aînée
“The sister”
“An older sister / A big sister”
“A younger sister / A little sister”
“My elder sister”
Le frère
Un grand-frère
Un petit frère
Mon frère cadet
“The brother”
“An older brother / A big brother”
“A younger brother / A little brother”
“My youngest brother”

As you can see, there’s no specific word for “siblings” and we simply use “brothers and sisters.” For example, you could ask someone:

  • Tu as des frères et soeurs ?
    “Do you have siblings?”
Les enfants
Mes gosses
“The children”
“My kids”
Ma fille “My daughter”
Mon fils “My son”

/!\ Be careful with the slang word gosses or “kids.”

In France, it’s very common and not overly familiar to use. However, in Canadian French, it has a completely different meaning and is vulgar slang for “testicles.” You can imagine how confusing these meanings could lead to some awkward misunderstandings.

2- French Extended Families

Extended family in French culture is important, so here are some words to help you start conversations about your loved ones outside your inner circle.

La marraine “The godmother”
Le parrain “The godfather”

I’m talking about the one sending money on your birthday, not Marlon Brando.

Les grand-parents “The grandparents”
La grand-mère
Ma mamie
Ma grand-maman
Mémé
“The grandmother”
“My granny”
“My grandma”
“Granny”
Le grand-père
Mon papy
Mon grand-papa
Pépé
“The grandfather”
“My grandpa”
“My granddad”
“Gramps”
Les arrière-grand-parents “The great-grandparents”
(Literally: “The back-grandparents” when translated.)
L’arrière-grand-mère
Mon arrière-grand-maman
“The great-grandmother”
“My great-grandma”
L’arrière-grand-père
Mon arrière-grand-papa
“The great-grandfather”
“My great-granddad”
Les petits-enfants “The grandchildren”
(Literally: “The little children” when translated.)
La petite-fille “The granddaughter”
Le petit-fils “The grandson”
Les arrière-petits-enfants “The great-grandchildren”
L’arrière-petite-fille “The great-granddaughter”
L’arrière-petit-fils “The great-grandson”
La tante
Ma tata / tatie / tantine
“The aunt”
“My aunt” (childish version)
L’oncle
Mon tonton
“The uncle”
“My uncle” (childish version)
La cousine “The cousin” (female)
Le cousin “The cousin” (male)

Make sure to visit our vocabulary list about Family Members, with audio recordings to practice your pronunciation. It’s available for free on FrenchPod101.

Family Celebrating Around A Table

Famille nombreuse, famille heureuse. (Big Happy Family)


2. Beyond the Blood

Families extend beyond the people you share a blood relationship with. Let’s dive into the various types of these unrelated relatives.

1- Couples

Whether you’re in a relationship, engaged, married, single, divorced, separated, widowed, in a civil union, or in the type of situation Facebook describes as c’est compliqué (it’s complicated), talking about your marital status will often be useful.

Ma petite amie
Ma copine
“My girlfriend” (Literally: “My little friend” when translated.)
Mon petit ami
Mon copain
“My boyfriend”
Mon ex “My ex-boyfriend / girlfriend”
Ma femme
Mon épouse
“My wife”
Mon mari
Mon époux
“My husband”
Ma fiancée “My fiancée”
Mon fiancé “My fiance”
Ma compagne
Ma partenaire
Ma concubine
“My companion”
“My partner”
“My concubine”
Mon compagnon
Mon partenaire
Mon concubin
“My companion”
“My partner”
“My concubine”
Mon ex-femme
Mon ex-épouse
“My ex-wife”
Mon ex-mari
Mon ex-époux
“My ex-husband”
Ma maîtresse “My mistress”
Mon amant “My lover”

2- In-laws

Once you get married, you strap yourself to a whole bunch of “in-laws” that, with a bit of luck and a lot of work, might become as close as your own relatives.

Les beaux-parents “The parents-in-law”
La belle-mère “The mother-in-law”
Le beau-père “The father-in-law”
La belle-soeur “The sister-in-law”
Le beau-frère “The brother-in-law”
La belle-fille “The daughter-in-law”
Le beau-fils “The son-in-law”

Don’t you think that “beautiful mother” (belle-mère) or “handsome father” (beau-père) have a nicer ring to them than the legalish “mother-in-law” or “father-in-law?” As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like it helps to counter the negative association that many people have with the idea of having parents-in-law.

Man Kissing His Mother-In-Law on the Cheek

Meeting your “beautiful mother” (Belle-mère - Mother-in-law)

3- Recomposed Family

Blended or reconstituted families (when the parents have children from previous relationships, but all the members come together under one roof) are increasingly common in France, and are slowly becoming the new normal. They bring unexpected stepfathers, stepbrothers, and usually a lot of complications to work through everyone’s differences. But it can also make broken families whole again and take a turn for the better.

La belle-mère “The stepmother”
Le beau-père “The stepfather”
La belle-fille “The stepdaughter”
Le beau-fils “The stepson”
La demi-soeur “The stepsister”
Le demi-frère “The stepbrother”
La demi-soeur “The half-sister”
Le demi-frère “The half-brother”

/!\ Hold on! There’s something confusing here: does belle-mère stand for “mother-in-law” or “stepmother?” Both!

As inconvenient as it sounds, French uses the same set of words for parents-in-law and step-parents. But it’s not a problem, because it’s usually obvious from the context, right? Not always, and quite often, you’ll have to clarify who you’re talking about when referring to your “steps” or “in-laws.”

/!\ Wait…what about la demi-soeur? Is it the “stepsister” or the “half-sister?” Both!

Demi literally means “half” and demi-soeur perfectly translates to “half-sister.” But then, we don’t have words for the step brothers & sisters, and it’s common to use demi-frère and demi-soeur, to make up for the lack of better words.

I personally use zéro-demi (or “zero-half” in English) to emphasize the difference, but there’s nothing official about it, and you won’t find it outside of this article!


3. How to Talk About Family

French Parents

Now that we have a strong arsenal of new words at our disposal, let’s see how you can use them in a conversation. First, we’ll see how to talk about your marital status, then how to mention them in various ways, and finally how to ask questions and learn more about your friends’ families.

1- Your Marital Status

You could be asked about your marital status by friends or colleagues, for paperwork by any administrative office, or by a potential romantic interest on a date. Either way, no time to get it mixed-up!

Start with:

Je suis _______.
“I am _______.”

And just pick from the list:

en couple “In a relationship”
marié
mariée
“married”
fiancé
fiancée
“engaged”
célibataire “single”
divorcé
divorcée
“divorced”
veuf
veuve
“a widow”
pacsé
pacsée
“In a civil union”

For example:

  • Je suis marié.
    “I am married.” [Masculine]
  • Je suis divorcée.
    “I am divorced.” [Feminine]
  • Je suis célibataire.
    “I am single.” [Same for both genders.]

Most of these words are self-explanatory, but let’s talk about the civil union for a minute. The pacs or PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité, or “Civil Solidarity Pact” in English) is, with the classic civil marriage, one of the two forms of civil union in France.

It was created in 1999, originally to give the same rights and legal protection to same-sex couples. Creating a new type of union instead of changing the traditional marriage was a clever way to not upset the conservative segment of the population, and it proved extremely successful.

Nowadays, the PACS is getting increasingly popular, especially for straight couples who find it more flexible and less bureaucratically heavy than getting married. They represent more than 95% of the total couples getting a PACS. Numbers are also showing that the PACS is slowly taking over traditional marriage.

Wedding Celebration

Je suis mariée. (I am married.)

2- Questions and Answers About Family

With all the words that we’ve learned in the first part of this article, you’ll be able to talk about your family and ask the other person about their parents or brothers and sisters. Let’s have a look at the most common structures:

Est-ce que tu as _______ ?
“Do you have _______?”

Or simply:

Tu as _______ ?
“Do you have _______?”

For example:

  • Tu as des frères ?
    “Do you have brothers?”
  • Est-ce que tu as des cousins ?
    “Do you have cousins?”
  • Tu as des enfants ?
    “Do you have children?”

You can answer with:

J’ai _______.
“I have _______.”

Examples:

  • J’ai une soeur aînée.
    “I have an elder sister.”
  • J’ai deux frères.
    “I have two brothers.”
  • Je n’ai pas d’enfants.
    “I don’t have children.”
  • J’ai trois mères.
    “I have three mothers.”
    This one is guaranteed to raise a lot of questions at a dinner party.

3- Talking About Family Members

There are many ways you could mention your relatives, and a number of things you may want to talk about, but here are a few examples to help you get the basic structures and elaborate from there:

  • Mes parents habitent à Toulouse.
    “My parents are living in Toulouse.”
  • Mes parents sont divorcés.
    “My parents are divorced.”
  • Mon père est décédé l’an dernier.
    “My father died last year.”
  • Ma grand-mère est Brésilienne.
    “My grandmother is Brazilian.”
  • Mon grand-père est photographe.
    “My grandfather is a photographer.”
  • Mes grand-parents vivent en Floride.
    “My grandparents live in Florida.”
  • Ma soeur aînée a deux ans de plus que moi.
    “My elder sister is two years older than me.”
  • Mon demi-frère a bientôt vingt ans.
    “My half-brother will be twenty soon.”
  • Ma femme s’appelle Maurice.
    “My wife is called Maurice.”

Check out our Top 10 Quotes About Family on FrenchPod101.

Family Photo with Dark Lighting

Mes parents habitent en Transylvanie. (My parents are living in Transylvania.)


4. The French Family is Changing Rapidly

Over the last few decades, the very concept of family in France has evolved, mutated, and broadened its definition. The family unit in French culture is now a mix of modernity and tradition, and while some are celebrating those changes, others are claiming that this once “sacred” institution got lured by progress and lost its way.

Before 1950, the French family was traditionally composed of two parents and often many children, as abortion remained illegal until 1975. Couples were getting married young, often before their 20s, and didn’t divorce. The woman usually stayed home and was subject to the authority of her working husband.

Between 1950 and 2000, families began changing quickly. Divorces became increasingly frequent, as well as single-parent families. After WWII, women began emancipating, claiming more importance and freedom in and out of the household. More and more mothers started working, and the patriarchal system gave way to a more balanced separation of tasks and authority. French laws began evolving at the same time, reflecting these changes of mentalities.

After 1980, divorces and remarriage became commonplace, and three types of families were now frequently found all over France: “traditional” families, single-parent families (children raised by only one parent, usually the mother), and blended families (remarried partners living with children from former relationships).

Nowadays, the definition of the family has expanded a lot, thanks to the PACS (civil union) and the 2013 law on marriage and adoption for same-sex couples. 80% of women from 25 to 49 years old are working (even though income inequality remains an issue), and families are forming later in life.

The average age that mothers have their first child is around 30, and households rarely have more than one or two children. Children born outside of the traditional structure of a married couple are more and more frequent, with the rise of civil union or common-law union.


5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

Family Quotes

In this guide, you’ve learned a lot about how to talk about your family or ask about your friends’ relatives, from the giant word list to the most common questions and answers.

Did I forget any important words or expressions? Do you feel ready to get out there and reveal your most intimate family secrets, using everything you’ve learned today?

Make sure to explore FrenchPod101, as it has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and learn new words. Our vocabulary lists are also a great way to revisit the words in this article and learn their pronunciation.

Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching. Practice talking about your family in French with your private teacher so they can give you personalized feedback and advice, and help you with your pronunciation.

About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

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French Travel Phrases: Your Survival Kit for Smooth Trips

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If you’re reading this, you already know why you want to travel to France, be it the beauty and diversity of its landscapes, the appeal of its cuisine, or its wealth of history. But you may find yourself in need of helpful French travel phrases, and fast!

As a travel destination, France is notorious for a reason and it will delight the casual beach-goers and culture vultures alike. But to be fair, it’s not the cheapest travel destination and the language barrier can be challenging. Even though the number of English speakers has been rising rapidly over recent years, we’re still lagging behind most of our European neighbors. Even in the most touristic spots, you might bump into a waiter, a taxi driver, or a ticket seller who doesn’t speak anything but French.

This is where our French travel phrases will come in handy!

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to travel around France, from the basic daily words to specific topics such as transportation, restaurants, hotels, and much more. You’ll also find more French travel tips to help you find your way around your new favorite country with these key French travel phrases!

Without further ado, let’s move on to our list of French travel phrases.

Table of Contents

  1. Survival Basics: Simple French Travel Phrases
  2. Lost in Translation
  3. Shopping
  4. Moving Around
  5. Hotel / Hostel
  6. Restaurants
  7. Asking for Directions
  8. Emergencies
  9. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

Log

A Photo of Arras

Arras, in the “Hauts-de-France” region.


1. Survival Basics: Simple French Travel Phrases

In this chapter, I gathered a list of basic French travel phrases and words that can prove useful in most encounters in France. These French phrases for travel are just what you need to get started on your journey here. Later on, we’ll examine more specific scenarios and make sure you’re well-equipped for anything that could come your way! You’ll certainly be glad to know this survival French for travelers!

1- Being Polite

As I’ve mentioned in other articles, France invented the word “étiquette” and is still a place where courtesy matters…a lot. I’m not saying all French behave like white knights of exquisite politeness, but knowing how to greet and thank your French hosts and friends will take you a long way, while doing so in their language makes you instantly more likable.

Bonjour !
Bonsoir !
“Hello!”
“Good evening!”
Comment tu t’appelles ? [Casual]
Comment vous appelez-vous ? [Formal]
“What is your name?”
Enchanté. “Nice to meet you.”
Au revoir. “Goodbye.”
Merci (beaucoup). “Thank you (very much).”
Non merci. “No, thank you.”
S’il te plaît. [Casual]
S’il vous plaît. [Formal]
“Please.”
Je t’en prie. [Casual]
Je vous en prie. [Formal]
“You are welcome.”
Excuse-moi. [Casual]
Excusez-moi. [Formal]
“Excuse me.”
(Je suis) désolé. “(I am) sorry.”

These are just the ten most useful phrases. To read more on this topic or to practice some of these French travel phrases with pronunciation, please have a look at the following resources on FrenchPod101:

2- General Toolkit

Now that you’ve shown your good manners, let’s look at a few more essential French phrases for travellers. Here are some common words and expressions to gracefully make your way through France.

Oui / Non “Yes / No”
J’aime / Je n’aime pas “I like / I don’t like”
Pourquoi ? “Why?”
Quelle heure est-il ? “What time is it?”
Où sont les toilettes ? “Where are the toilets?”

This is a small sample of the most common general phrases. You can find out more on our List of 24 Key Phrases with audio recordings, on FrenchPod101.


2. Lost in Translation

Even if you’re well-prepared and almost fluent, there will be times when your interlocutor doesn’t make sense to you, and you’ll have to make them repeat. Heck, even as a native speaker, I’m helpless with the thickest cases of southern French accents! So just know that even knowing the best French travel phrases won’t always save you from the awkwardness of asking someone to repeat what they said.

It’s perfectly fine to ask someone to talk slower, repeat themselves, or rephrase what they were saying. Most French people will be happy to see you putting in the effort and will help you understand.

Tu peux répéter ? [Casual]
Pouvez-vous répéter (s’il vous plaît) ? [Formal]
“Can you repeat (please)?”
Un peu plus lentement, s’il te plaît. [Casual]
Un peu plus lentement, s’il vous plaît. [Formal]
“A bit slower, please.”
Je suis désolé, je ne comprends pas. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
Que signifie ___ ?
Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire ?
“What does ___ mean?”
“What does it mean?”
Comment on dit ___ en Français ? [Casual]
Comment dire ___ en Français ? [Formal]
“How do you say ___ in French?”
“How to say ___ in French?”
Tu parles Anglais ? [Casual]
Est-ce que tu parles Anglais ? [Casual]
Vous parlez Anglais ? [Formal]
Parlez-vous Anglais ? [Formal]
“Do you speak English?”

A Person Confused By Something Someone Is Saying

Je ne comprends pas ( “I don’t understand” )


3. Shopping

From the sparkling fancy boutiques of the Champs-Elysées to the dusty antiques of a typical Brocante (”Garage sale”), from the sprawling suburban malls to the modest Bouquinistes ( “Book sellers” ) along the Seine river, France caters for all tastes and budgets.

French shopping is usually a painless experience: Prices are displayed almost everywhere and credit cards are widely accepted, even in small bakeries or convenience stores. We don’t do five hours of siesta in the middle of the day, and unless you’re strolling around the Eiffel Tower in the crowd of souvenir sellers who won’t let you leave without a dozen dust collectors, shop owners aren’t likely to jump on you.

Combien ça coûte ?
Combien coûte ce ___ ?
“How much is it?”
“How much is this __?”
Combien coûte un kilo ?
Combien ça coûte à l’unité ?
“How much is it for a kilo?”
“How much is it for one?”
J’en voudrais XX. “I would like XX of this.”
A emporter / Sur place “To take away / To eat here”
Je peux payer par carte ? “Can I pay with card?”
Je vais payer en liquide.
Je vais payer en espèce.
“I will pay with cash.”

A Fruit Stand On A Street Market

Le marché ( “The market” )

For more shopping words, check out our free Shopping vocabulary list.

While shopping in France, you’ll also need to know how to handle prices or quantities. Make sure to read my previous article about French Numbers: From 0 to Infinity, and Beyond and the complementary vocabulary list.


4. Moving Around

No list of basic French phrases for tourists would be complete without information on talking about your ride. Whether you travel by bus, train, taxi, or plane, you need to be able to ask your way around, inquire about the timetables and details of the trip, navigate until you board the correct ride, and figure out when to get off.

Here are the most popular ways to move around France:

  • Le train ( “Train” )
    This is the fastest, most comfortable, and usually most scenic way to travel from one city to another. However, compared to buses, it can be pretty expensive, especially when booked at the last minute. Although locals will often complain of the trains being late or canceled, our national network is actually pretty strong and reliable compared to those of some of our close neighbors.
  • Le bus intercité ( “Intercity bus” )
    Bus travel has been developing rapidly in recent years and offers cheap prices to compete with the train and car sharing services. For instance, you can book an overnight trip from Paris to Nice for 28€ while a train on the same date would be around 60€.
  • Moving around the city with Les transports en commun (”The public transport”): Bus, Métro, or Tram ( “Bus,metro, or Tramway” )
    The subterranean metro or Trams are only available in big cities, but you can always move around with a local bus. Without the monthly or annual card, individual trips can be purchased for around 2€ in the metro or tram station, or directly on the bus.
  • Le taxi ( “Taxi” ) is the expensive alternative to public transportation that you only want to take when you’re going to the airport in the middle of the night or going back home dead drunk after an intense night out.
  • Questionable business practices aside, Uber is a much cheaper and more convenient substitute to taxis, and it’s well-developed in France.
  • L’avion ( “Plane” )
    Keeping in mind the dire environmental cost, traveling by plane is by far the fastest way to cover long distances and the prices of the Billets d’avion ( “Plane tickets” ) have continued to drop steadily over the years. Prices are especially low if you can book around a month in advance.

A Train Passing A House

Le train ( “The train” )

Now, where do you want to go?

La gare (ferroviaire) “The railway station”
Le terminal de bus
La station de bus
“The bus terminal”
“The bus station”
La station de taxis /métro / tram “The taxi / metro / tramway station”
L’arrêt de bus “The bus stop”
L’aéroport “The airport”

Then, using your brand new words, find your way there:

Je voudrais aller à l’aéroport. “I would like to go to the airport.”
Pouvez-vous m’indiquer la gare ? “Could you show me where the railway station is?”
Où est la station de métro la plus proche ? “Where is the closest metro station?”
Pouvez-vous m’appeler un taxi ? “Could you call a taxi for me?”
Je cherche le terminal de bus. “I’m looking for the bus terminal.”

Now, you have to ask the right questions before buying your tickets:

Où puis-je acheter un billet ? “Where can I buy a ticket?”
Aller simple / Aller-retour “One-way trip / Round trip”
Combien coûte le billet pour Dunkerque ? “How much is the ticket to Dunkerque?”
A quelle heure part le prochain train pour Dunkerque ? “At what time is the next train to Dunkerque leaving?”

Personally, I don’t see why anyone would go to Dunkerque, but I’ll let you be the judge of that (or rather don’t!).

And finally, you’ll just have to figure out where your ride is leaving from and when you should get off:

Est-ce le bon quai pour aller vers Issy ? “Is this the right platform to go to Issy?”
Est-ce que ce train s’arrête à Issy ? “Does this train stop in Issy?”
Pouvez-vous me prévenir quand nous arriverons à Issy, s’il vous plaît ? “Could you please tell me when we’ll arrive at Issy?”
Porte d’embarquement “Boarding gate”

To learn more vocabulary about transportation, please check out our lists of vocabulary for Airplanes, Bus or Train Stations, and Crossing Borders.


5. Hotel / Hostel

Preparing For Travel

As the most visited country in the world (nothing wrong with a bit of bragging!), France has no shortage of accommodation of all shapes, sizes, and prices. You’re not likely to run out of options when looking for a place to spend the night. But you may still want a couple of French travel tips and phrases regarding your stay.

Prices vary greatly depending on the season and proximity to the tourist attractions, but considering the quality of the transport network all over the country, it’s usually fine to sleep outside of the city center.

While the Gîtes ruraux (”Rural houses” used as vacation rentals) and Chambres d’hôte ( “Bed & Breakfast” ) are popular choices among locals for their summer vacations, the most common options are still L’hôtel ( “The hotel” ) and its budget version, L’auberge de jeunesse (”The hostel” or “Youth hostel”).

The City Of Nice

Nice, on the Mediterranean coast.

Most visitors in France will book their room through the usual Booking.com or HostelWorld, but there are times when you just want to stroll around and find the perfect place all by yourself. Here’s how to ask for a room in French:

Avez-vous une chambre disponible pour XX personnes ? “Do you have a room available for XX people?”
Lits séparés / Lit double / Dortoir “Twin beds / Double bed / Dorm room”
J’ai une réservation au nom de Bob Wilson. “I have a booking in the name of Bob Wilson.”

Next step: you probably have some questions about the room.

Est-ce que la chambre a ___ ?

  • Une fenêtre
  • Un balcon
  • Une salle de bain
  • Un ventilateur
  • L’air conditionné
“Does the room have ___?”

  • “A window”
  • “A balcony”
  • “A bathroom”
  • “A fan”
  • “Air-conditioning”
Est-ce que je peux voir la chambre ? “Can I see the room?”
Combien coûte une nuit ? “How much is it for one night?”
Combien coûte une nuit par personne ? “How much is it per person for one night?”
Est-ce que le petit déjeuner est inclus ? “Is breakfast included?”
A quelle heure est le petit déjeuner ? “At what time is the breakfast?”


6. Restaurants

Survival Phrases

You’ve found a nice room with a convenient location in this cute family-run hostel. You’ve dropped your bags and are now ready for more adventures. But wait, what’s that sound? Is that the infamous Beast of Gevaudan or your growling stomach?

If there’s one thing France is acclaimed for, it has to be the food! Good food is at the heart of our friends, family, and even business meetings; alongside wine, it stands as the cornerstone of our philosophy of Art de vivre (”The Art of Living”).

Some people imagine French meals as fancy and snobbish, but this is mostly untrue. From the biggest cities to the tiniest towns, you can always find a good Brasserie ( Literally “Brewery” ) to serve you a generous portion of typical and unpretentious food such as Cassoulet (A mixture of white beans and sausage simmered in goose fat), Steak au poivre (”Pepper steak”), or Tartare de boeuf (”Beef tartare”), served with a glass of Beaujolais.

Many restaurants have the menu displayed outside, which is really convenient if you want to quietly check your options before entering. When they don’t, you can simply ask for it before sitting; if you don’t like what you see, just give it back, thank them politely, and leave.

Est-ce je peux voir le menu, s’il vous plaît ? “Can I please see the menu?”
Merci, bonne soirée ! “Thank you, have a good evening!”

Otherwise, if you like what they offer, go ahead! Most restaurants will take you to a table, while simple Brasseries, Pubs, or fast food places will let you seat yourself.

1- How to Order Drinks

Before you order the food, the first question you’ll usually hear is:

  • Voulez-vous boire quelque chose ? ( “Do you want something to drink?” )
  • Voulez-vous commander quelque chose à boire ? ( “Would you like to order a drink?” )

It’s worth noting that when you order a meal, water is always free in France (we have a law explicitly stating it). I’m talking simple tap water in a pitcher, and not sophisticated bottled sparkling water, but this is an amazing feature of French restaurants, especially if you’re on a budget! And you can get refills.

To ask for your free water, don’t just ask for water; sneaky waiters could take your order as mineral water and charge you for it. Instead, use this phrase:

Une carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît. “A jug of water, please.”

The important word here is Carafe (”Jug”), as it differentiates this from a paid order of mineral water. Also, don’t worry: water is properly filtered all over the country and it’s always fine to drink from the tap.

Oh, and you know what else is always free? Delicious French bread!

French Fries

Did you know that French Fries are not French?

2- How to Order Food

Alright, now, let’s get some food on this table!

If you have any specific diet or allergy, it’s probably best to start with this:

Je suis allergique aux cacahuètes. “I’m allergic to peanuts.”
Est-ce que ce plat contient des cacahuètes ? “Does this dish contain peanuts?”
Avez-vous des plats végétariens ?
Avez-vous des plats végans ?
“Do you have vegetarian dishes?”
“Do you have vegan dishes?”

And here’s how to order something from the menu:

Quel est le plat du jour ? “What is today’s special?”
Je voudrais un plat du jour.
Je voudrais un menu du jour.
“I would like today’s special.”
“I would like today’s menu.”
En entrée, je voudrais une salade.
En plat, un steak au poivre.
En dessert, une tarte aux pommes.
“For a starter, I would like a salad.”
“For main, a pepper steak.”
“For dessert, an apple pie.”

Your stomach has stopped growling, your belly’s full of French delicacies, and your mind is at peace. It’s time to thank the chef and ask for the bill:

C’était délicieux, merci ! “That was delicious, thank you!”
L’addition s’il vous plait.
Pouvons-nous avoir l’addition, s’il vous plait ?
“Check, please.”
“Can we get the check, please?”
Peut-on avoir des additions séparées ? “Can we have separate bills?”

You can find more vocabulary and practice your pronunciation with our vocabulary list on Restaurants and key phrases for restaurants.


7. Asking for Directions

As Mandy Hale says, “Sometimes when you lose your way, you find yourself.” But sometimes, you just get severely frustrated and waste your day trying to reach this freaking museum your GPS keeps making you circle around.

One way or another, you’ll always end up relying on the help of locals to reach well-concealed destinations. Let’s start with the most common questions:

Je cherche le Panthéon.
Où se trouve le Panthéon ?
Pouvez-vous m’indiquer le Panthéon ?
“I’m looking for the Pantheon.”
“Where is the Pantheon?”
“Could you tell me where the Pantheon is?”
Comment aller au Panthéon ? “How can I go to the Pantheon?”
Dans quelle direction se trouve le Panthéon ? “Which way is the Pantheon?”

Signs In France

Je suis perdu. ( “I am lost.” )

As I often noticed while traveling, asking for directions is always the easy part, but making anything of the other person’s answer can prove much more challenging. Here are some examples of the answers you could receive:

Allez tout droit, puis prenez la première rue à gauche. “Go straight, then take the first street on the left.”
Tournez à droite quand vous sortez de la gare. “Turn right when you leave the train station.”
Traversez la rue en face de la gare. “Cross the street in front of the train station.”

To understand these kinds of instructions, it all comes down to knowing the right keywords, such as Droite (”Right”), Gauche (”Left”), En face (”In front”), Tout droit (”Straight”), and a few others.

Check out our lists of vocabulary for Position Words and Direction Words on FrenchPod101 to learn more about this.

And here’s more vocabulary and recordings about Key Places in Town, as well as the French Tourist Attractions.


8. Emergencies

In case of an emergency, you don’t want the language to get in the way of you and the help you need. Let’s have a look at the main emergency words (which may just be the most important French travel phrases when you need them) and how to use them.

A l’aide !
J’ai besoin d’aide !
“Help!”
“I need help!”
Le médecin
Pouvez-vous appeler un médecin ?
Où puis-je voir un médecin ?
“The doctor”
“Can you call a doctor?”
“Where can I see a doctor?”
L’hôpital
C’est une urgence.
Je dois aller à l’hôpital.
Appelez une ambulance !
“The hospital”
“It’s an emergency.”
“I need to go to the hospital.”
“Call an ambulance!”
La pharmacie
Où est la pharmacie la plus proche ?
Des médicaments
J’ai une assurance de voyage.
“The pharmacy”
“Where is the closest pharmacy?”
“Medication”
“I have travel insurance.”
La police
Appelez la police !
Où puis-je trouver le commissariat ?
“The police”
“Call the police!”
“Where can I find the police station?”
Il n’y a plus de fromage dans le frigo ! “There is no more cheese in the fridge!”

Emergency

C’est une urgence ! ( “It’s an emergency!” )

For more words on this topic, make sure to visit our free list of vocabulary about The Words and Phrases to Help You if You are in an Emergency.

If you’re in need of medical assistance, you’ll be glad to know about the Common Health Problems and some basic vocabulary about Medicine.


9. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

French travel phrases in language learning are so important, and in this guide, you’ve learned a LOT of French travel phrases. I hope it wasn’t too overwhelming! Using these travel phrases to learn French will surely benefit you, but you don’t have to remember them all, as long as you keep these phrases accessible in a notebook or on your phone.

Did I forget any important words or expressions? Are you ready to get out there and ask locals about your travel needs?

Make sure to explore FrenchPod101, as it has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and learn new words. The vocabulary lists are also a great way to revise and listen to the words. And you’re in luck, because we have tons of lists about traveling:

Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching. Practice creating French travel phrases with your private teacher so they can give you personalized feedback and advice, or record them for you, so you learn the correct pronunciation.

Log

About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

French Numbers: From 1 to Infinity…and Beyond!

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Numbers are everywhere, in countless aspects of our daily life: from counting time to money, people, or things. As it is, they’re a vital part of our communication skills, especially in our modern societies where digital worlds and capitalism are prominent.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: French numbers aren’t the easiest to learn and, once again, the proverb “There is an exception to every rule” applies perfectly. However, stick with me for a while and you’ll quickly learn how to count to with French numbers from 1 to 100. From there, I’ll show you how easy it gets to keep going higher and higher, as far as our minds can fathom…and more!

Table of Contents

  1. Counting from 0 to 9
  2. How to Count with Your Fingers in France
  3. Counting from 10 to 20
  4. How to Use Numbers: Your Age
  5. Counting up to 100
  6. How to Use Numbers: Phone Numbers
  7. Counting up to 1000 and Beyond
  8. How to Use Numbers: Prices
  9. Why is it Taboo to Talk Money in France?
  10. How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Numbers

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1. Counting from 0 to 9

French Numbers

Undoubtedly the most important of all, these ten numbers are the foundation of everything we’ll learn in this article. Just swallow that frog and the rest will be a walk in the park! Here are examples of both the numerical version of the numbers and how the French write numbers.

  • 0 Zéro
  • 1 Un
  • 2 Deux
  • 3 Trois
  • 4 Quatre
  • 5 Cinq
  • 6 Six
  • 7 Sept
  • 8 Huit
  • 9 Neuf

Find out about and practice your accent using our list of numbers with audio recordings on FrenchPod101.com.


2. How to Count with Your Fingers in France

Counting on your fingers is something you usually take for granted…until you go to France. It’s nothing really complicated: just one of these tiny cultural differences that may leave you confused when you see it for the first time.

In North America and many other places, people count like this:

  1. Index finger up
  2. Index and middle fingers up
  3. Index, middle and ring fingers up

In France we have a different start:

  • Thumb up
  • Thumb, and Index finger up
  • Thumb, Index, and middle fingers up

What comes after is a matter of preference. Some French will do 4 from the thumb to ring finger while some people fold their thumb and use all 4 other fingers.

Be careful when you get to 6, as you’ll use the second hand with your thumb up!

This Is How I Count to 3 with French Fingers

This Is How I Count to 3 with French Fingers


3. Counting from 10 to 20

Remember when I said the rest would be a walk in the park? Well, maybe I got slightly carried away, as numbers from 10 to 20 are still a little irregular. But the rest will be a piece of cake, I promise!

  • 10 Dix
  • 11 Onze
  • 12 Douze
  • 13 Treize
  • 14 Quatorze
  • 15 Quinze
  • 16 Seize
  • 17 Dix-sept
  • 18 Dix-huit
  • 19 Dix-neuf
  • 20 Vingt

These numbers are only irregular until 16 (Seize), then, simply combine 10 (Dix) and the appropriate number, separated by a hyphen “-”.

For example, 10 combined with 8 becomes Dix-huit.


4. How to Use Numbers: Your Age

Here’s how to ask someone their age:

Casual “How old are you?” Formal “How old are you?”
Tu as quel âge ? Quel âge avez-vous ?

There’s nothing tricky about how to answer:

  • J’ai 20 ans. (“I’m 20 years old.”)

This literally means: “I have 20 years.”

  • J’ai is the contraction of Je and ai, which means: “I have.”
  • ans is the plural of the word An which means: “Year.”

/!\ Remember that the French can be a bit more demanding about politeness than some other countries and it can be seen as rude or insensitive to ask a woman about her age.

Find out more about this in our list of 10 lines to introduce yourself or in my previous article about how to introduce yourself in French!

Quel Age As-tu ?

Quel Age As-tu ?


5. Counting up to 100

We are back for more big numbers!

  • 30 Trente
  • 40 Quarante
  • 50 Cinquante
  • 60 Soixante
  • 70 Soixante-dix
  • 80 Quatre-vingt
  • 90 Quatre-vingt-dix
  • 100 Cent

There’s no magic trick here. You’ll have to memorize them, but if you take a closer look, some of them sound like their base number:

  • Trois ► Trente
  • Quatre ► Quarante
  • Cinq ► Cinquante
  • Six ► Soixante

Then enter the crazy ones:

  • Soixante-dix literally means “Sixty-ten” (60 + 10 = 70)
  • Quatre-vingt means “Four-twenty” (4 * 20 = 80)

Ready for 90?

  • Quatre-vingt-dix means “Four-twenty-ten” (4 * 20 + 10)

Well, this is mathematically correct, I can’t argue with that. But what a mess! Blame it on the ancestral celtic counting system.

In Switzerland and Belgium, French speakers made smarter choices and came up with original numbers. I’m only mentioning it for the sake of exhaustivity but they are NOT used in France and many French are unaware of their very existence.

  • Swiss numbers: 70 = septante, 80 = huitante, 90 = nonante
  • Belgian numbers: 70 = septante, 90 = nonante

So… Twenty Multiplied by Four... Plus Ten… Divided by the Square Root of Pi..?

So… Twenty Multiplied by Four… Plus Ten… Divided by the Square Root of Pi..?

Now, let’s fill in the gaps and see how to make numbers such as 23 or 75.

Up to 69, French numbers are regular. Then, it gets a bit out of control, but nothing you can’t handle!

Numbers from 21 to 69

  • 21 Vingt et un
  • 22 Vingt-deux
  • 23 Vingt-trois
  • 24 Vingt-quatre
  • 25 Vingt-cinq
  • 26 Vingt-six
  • 27 Vingt-sept
  • 28 Vingt-huit
  • 29 Vingt-neuf

Vingt et un (21) literally means “Twenty and one.”

All others are just a combination of Vingt (“Twenty”) and the respective number, separated with a hyphen, as in Vingt-cinq (25).

All numbers up to 69 follow the same rule. For example:

  • 31 Trente et un
  • 54 Cinquante-quatre
  • 67 Soixante-sept

Numbers from 71 to 99

Because 70 and 90 are respectively “60 and 10” and “80 and 10,” the next numbers follow the same rule:

  • 71 isn’t written as “60 and 10 and 1” but as “60 and 11”: Soixante et onze.
  • 94 isn’t written as “80 and 10-4” but as “80-14”: Quatre-vingt-quatorze.

But once again, it wouldn’t be French without exceptions! Luckily, this time, there are only two:

  • 81 should be “80 and 1” like all other numbers ending with 1, but it’s not. Instead, it’s written like any other figure: Quatre-vingt-un
  • 91 follows the same route and instead of being “80 and 11,” it’s just “80-11”: Quatre-vingt-onze.

Here’s a tab with all of these numbers up to 99:

●71 Soixante et onze ●81 Quatre-vingt-un ●91 Quatre-vingt-onze
●72 Soixante-douze ●82 Quatre-vingt-deux ●92 Quatre-vingt-douze
●73 Soixante-treize ●83 Quatre-vingt-trois ●93 Quatre-vingt-treize
●74 Soixante-quatorze ●84 Quatre-vingt-quatre ●94 Quatre-vingt-quatorze
●75 Soixante-quinze ●85 Quatre-vingt-cinq ●95 Quatre-vingt-quinze
●76 Soixante-seize ●86 Quatre-vingt-six ●96 Quatre-vingt-seize
●77 Soixante-dix-huit ●87 Quatre-vingt-sept ●97 Quatre-vingt-dix-sept
●78 Soixante-dix-huit ●88 Quatre-vingt-huit ●98 Quatre-vingt-dix-huit
●79 Soixante-dix-neuf ●89 Quatre-vingt-neuf ●99 Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf

And cent! (100)


6. How to Use Numbers: Phone Numbers

The 10-digit French phone numbers are usually given in five groups of numbers. For instance: 03 27 42 24 06 57.

In any group starting with zéro (0), the zéro is pronounced. For example, the number above will be: Zéro-trois, vingt-sept, quarante-deux, vingt-quatre, zéro-six, cinquante-sept.

Note: Some numbers in 800 can sometimes be told otherwise, but there’s no reason to worry about that. Everybody will be just fine if you read it like any other number.

But what are phone numbers good for, if not to ask a cute girl or a handsome guy for their Whatsapp number? Here are a few lines you could use in an informal / casual situation:

  • Je peux avoir ton numéro ? (“Can I have your number?”)
  • Tu peux me donner ton numéro ? (“Can you give me your number?”)
  • Tu me passes ton numéro ? (“Will you give me your number?”)

Je Peux Avoir Ton Numéro ?

Je Peux Avoir Ton Numéro ?


7. Counting up to 1000 and Beyond

Once you know how to count up to 100, you know how to count up to 999. Here’s how:

  • 200 Deux-cent
  • 300 Trois-cent
  • ( … )
  • 900 Neuf-cent

Then, you can easily assemble big numbers by just combining what you already know:

    207 Deux-cent-sept

    556 Cinq-cent-cinquante-six

    983 Neuf-cent-quatre-vingt-trois

Now, I promised you “infinity and beyond,” so let’s reach the stars with some enormous numbers!

1,000 Mille

10,000 Dix-mille

100,000 Cent-mille

1,000,000 (106) Un million

1,000,000,000 (109) Un milliard

1,000,000,000,000 (1012) Un billion

( … )

10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 (10100) Un gogol

And how do they combine? Just like every other number!

  • 2019 Deux-mille-dix-neuf
  • 1,286,347 Un million- deux-cent-quatre-vingt-six-mille-trois-cent-quarante-sept

If you want a nice visual recap of all of these numbers, consider subscribing to our Premium content and check out this video about French numbers in 3 minutes!

“To Infinity and Beyond!” (Buzz Lightyear)

“To Infinity and Beyond!” (Buzz Lightyear)


8. How to Use Numbers: Prices

With all these big numbers, you’re ready for any kind of shopping in France, even if you want to buy a brand new Airbus. So, let’s see how to deal with prices, with examples.

Let’s say you’re in a shop, wondering about the price of a Playstation:

  • Combien ça coûte ? (“How much is it?”)
  • Combien coûte cette Playstation ? (“How much is this Playstation?”)
  • Combien vaut cette Playstation ? (“How much is this Playstation worth?”)
  • Quel est le prix de cette Playstation ? (“What is the price of this Playstation?”)

Most common answers would be:

  • La Playstation est à 300€. (“The Playstation is 300€.”)
  • Elle coûte 300€ (“It costs 300€.”)
    In this last example, the sentence starts with “Elle” because “Playstation” is feminine in French but you can also use the neutral form and say: Ca coûte 300€.

For more vocabulary about shopping, check out our list of words and expressions for online shopping with audio recordings on FrenchPod101.com.


9. Why is it Taboo to Talk Money in France?

Talking about your salary is common in North America and no big deal in many other countries, but in France there remains some kind of taboo or at least a veil of secrecy around it. Many French get slightly uncomfortable if you bring the topic to the table. But why is that?

The origins of this malaise aren’t entirely clear. Some sociologists claim it comes from our humble farming origins where most French were working the land and money wasn’t really a thing. Others say it’s of religious nature, tracing it back to when Catholicism was prominent in the country and mainly turned to poor people. Some suggest that under the influence of Marxism, wealth and profit are seen as immoral or unethical.

1. What do People Say About it?

If you ask French workers why they don’t want to talk about their salary, there can be a wide variety of answers but the main reason seems to be that people consider they’re not paid enough for what they offer to their employer.

We tend to believe that our salary somehow reflects what we’re worth and that revealing your low salary is like admitting your limitations as a person. If my salary is supposed to match my skills, what does it say about me if I’m not earning much? At best, it means I’m not paid enough and that’s a sign of weakness. At worst, it means I get a fair payment for my mediocre performance.

But what if you’re paid well? In this case, talking money becomes a taboo for different reasons. Some wealthy French will avoid the topic out of fear of arousing jealousy or envy. Some think it would make their poorer friends uncomfortable or dissatisfied with themselves, while others simply claim it’s a personal subject and doesn’t have to be made public.

However, most of the time, it can be a topic of conversation between trusted friends or family, and you shouldn’t always see it as an unbreakable taboo.

Differences in Salary

Differences in Salary


10. How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Numbers

In this guide, you’ve learned how to play with numbers in French, from the basic figures up to the most ridiculously oversized ones!

Do you feel ready to ask someone for their phone number, or inquire about prices while shopping on the Champs Elysées?

If you want more French numbers practice, why not try writing the age and years of birth of some of your friends, or try to translate and pronounce big numbers from French shops?

Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching and have your private teacher answer your questions about numbers, or any other topic! Be sure to visit FrenchPod101.com for many other effective learning tools so that you can master French in no time!

About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

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How To Post In Perfect French on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak French, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in French.

At Learn French, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your French in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in French

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in French. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

François eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down François’s post.

Soirée restau entre mecs ;)
“Night out at a restaurant with the guys ;)”

1- soirée restau

First is an expression meaning “night out at the restaurant.”
In France, many people go out to eat with their friends on Fridays and Saturdays because there’s no work the following day. Students, however, like to have parties on Thursday evenings.

2- entre mecs

Then comes the phrase - “with the guys.”
In general, French men like to meet up with their male friends at least once a month to catch up and relax.

COMMENTS

In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

1- Et moi alors? :p

His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “What about me? :p”
Use this expression to joke with your partner about being excluded.

2- Ca a l’air délicieux!

His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “It looks delicious!”
Use this expression to show your appreciation of the appearance of the food.

3- Ca a l’air délicieux!

His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Where is it?”
Use this question to find out more about a location - in this case, the restaurant.

4- Bon appétit!

His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy your meal!”
This is an old-fashioned wish for a good and enjoyable meal.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • soirée: “party”
  • restau: “restaurant”
  • mec: “guy”
  • moi: “me”
  • avoir l’air: “look”
  • délicieux: “delicious”
  • appétit: “appetite”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a French restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in French

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these French phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Léa shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of the two of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Journée shopping avec ma petite soeur adorée :D
    “Shopping day with my beloved little sister :D

    1- journée shopping

    First is an expression meaning “shopping day.”
    In France, people like to go shopping over the weekends in malls, either with their friends, their partners or by themselves, when they’re looking for something in particular.

    2- avec (ma petite soeur) adorée

    Then comes the phrase - “with my beloved (little sister).”
    Use this phrase to say that you really enjoy being with a person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Sympa !

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “Nice!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling positive about the poster’s comment.

    2- Profitez-bien :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy :)”
    Use this expression to wish someone a good experience, short and sweet.

    3- Il faudra que tu me montres ce que tu as acheté !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You’ll have to show me what you bought!”
    Use this expression to be conversational and show interest in the poster’s activities.

    4- Par ce temps pourri ? Vous avez du courage ! :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “With this crappy weather? You’re brave :p”
    Use this expression if you want to tease the poster in a friendly manner.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • journée: “day”
  • soeur: “sister”
  • sympa: “nice”
  • profiter: “enjoy”
  • montrer: “show”
  • acheter: “buy “
  • temps: “weather”
  • courage: “courage”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in French

    Sports events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in French.

    François plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au programme d’aujourd’hui: beach-volley !
    “On today’s agenda: beach volleyball! ”

    1- Au programme d’aujourd’hui

    First is an expression meaning “on today’s agenda.”
    Use this phrase to explain your plans for the day. This phrase is generally followed by a noun but can be followed by a list if it’s a busy day.

    2- beach-volley

    Then comes the phrase - “beach volleyball.”
    In social media, nouns are often used by themselves to point out something particularly important.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Un peu de sport ne te fera pas de mal mon vieux :p

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “Some sports won’t hurt you, old boy :p”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling negative or pessimistic about the poster’s choice of sport. It could also be meant to tease the poster.

    2- Ton équipe a gagné ?

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Did your team win?”
    Ask this if you want the poster to share

    3- Amuse-toi bien :)

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun :)”
    Use this expression as a short well-wish.

    4- Trop bien, la prochaine fois je veux venir moi aussi !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “That’s (so) great. I wanna come next time!”
    Use this expression to show your excitement for the game, and to share your desire to join the next one.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • programme: “program”
  • beach-volley: “beach volleyball”
  • mon vieux: “old boy”
  • équipe: “team”
  • gagner: “win”
  • s’amuser: “have fun”
  • trop bien: “great”
  • la prochaine fois: “next time”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in French

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Léa shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    J’adore cette chanson.
    “I love this song.”

    1- J’adore

    First is an expression meaning “I love.”
    Use this phrase when you’re really into something.

    2- cette chanson

    Then comes the phrase - “this song.”
    The pronoun before the noun indicates that you’re talking about one thing in particular.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Moi aussi ! Il faut qu’on aille au concert ensemble !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Me too! We need to go to the concert together!”
    Use this expression to indicate that you share the poster’s enthusiasm for the music, and wants to be part of the group attending the concert.

    2- C’est pas trop mon genre de musique ;)

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not really my type of music ;)”
    Use this expression to share a personal opinion about the music.

    3- C’est la première fois que je l’entends mais j’aime bien :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “It’s the first time I’m listening to it, but I like it :)”
    This is another personal experience and opinion to share.

    4- Personnellement, je préfère la musique classique.

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “I prefer classical music.”
    Use this expression to share a personal preference for different music.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • adorer: “love”
  • chanson: “song”
  • ensemble: “together”
  • genre: “kind”
  • musique: “music”
  • bien aimer: “like”
  • musique classique: “classical music”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. French Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in French!

    François goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au concert tant attendu :D
    “At the long-awaited concert :D

    1- au concert

    First is an expression meaning “at the concert.”
    Sometimes, to answer the question “Where are you?”, you can respond briefly by using a preposition followed by the name of the place you’re at.

    2- tant attendu

    Then comes the phrase - “long awaited.”
    In France, people generally enjoy going to concerts, especially when their favorite singer is in town. The most popular music genres are pop and rock, but France has a wide variety of bands that play different kinds of music. American music is also very popular in France.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- J’ai hâte que ça commence !

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait for it to start!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling enthusiastic and impatient for the event to start.

    2- Vous êtes au concert de qui ?

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Awesome :)”
    Use this expression to indicate your positive feelings in a short manner.

    3- Vous êtes au concert de qui ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Whose concert are you at?”
    Use this question for more details about the location of the concert.

    4- Prends plein de photos !

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Take lots of pictures!”
    Use this expression to show your interest in the topic, and instruct the poster to keep an image record of the event.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • concert: “concert”
  • avoir hâte: “look forward”
  • commencer: “start”
  • génial: “awesome”
  • de qui: “whose”
  • plein de: “a lot of”
  • photos: “pictures”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in French

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these French phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Léa accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Mon téléphone est cassé ! :’(
    “My phone is broken! :’(”

    1- mon téléphone

    First is an expression meaning “my phone.”
    In France, smartphones are becoming increasingly popular. There are many brands, colors and sizes suited for different people’s preferences.

    2- est cassé

    Then comes the phrase - “is broken.”
    This phrase is used to express that something is not working anymore. It can be used with different objects: electronic devices, toys, kitchenware, etc.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Oh non :(

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Oh no :(”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sympathetic with the poster’s poor luck.

    2- On va aller faire du shopping ce week-end !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s go shopping this weekend!”
    Use this phrase to suggest that you will accompany the poster to a shop for a new phone.

    3- Comment tu as réussi à faire ça ? :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “How did you manage to do that? :p”
    Use this expression if you want to know how the phone broke, but not in an interrogative manner.

    4- Tu as perdu beaucoup de données importantes ?

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “Did you lose a lot of important data?”
    Use this expression to show your concern about what the poster might have lost from the phone.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • téléphone: “phone”
  • casser: “break”
  • shopping: “shopping”
  • week-end: “weekend”
  • réussir: “manage”
  • perdre: “lose”
  • donnée: “data”
  • important: “important”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in French. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in French

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in French!

    François gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Pfff… rien à faire à la maison… des idées ?
    “Pfff… nothing to do at home… any ideas?”

    1- Pfff… rien à faire à la maison

    First is an expression meaning “pfff… nothing to do at home.”
    In French social media, onomatopoeias can be written down, and the verb is omitted to emphasize the main idea.

    2- des idées?

    Then comes the phrase - “any ideas?.”
    During their free time, French people often enjoy relaxing at home, hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing video games, reading books, going to the cinema, playing sports or doing other kinds of activities.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Non désolé :p

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “No, sorry :p”
    Use this expression to show you are void of any ideas to relieve boredom.

    2- On sort ce soir ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “You wanna go out tonight?”
    This is an invitation to go out with the poster in order to keep busy.

    3- Je suis sûre que tu trouveras quelque chose d’intéressant à faire ;)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m sure you’ll find something interesting to do ;)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic that the poster will soon be busy.

    4- Et si vous lisiez un livre ?

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “How about reading a book?”
    This is a suggestion or idea to combat boredom.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • rien: “nothing”
  • maison: “home”
  • idée: “idea”
  • désolé(e): “sorry”
  • sortir: “go out”
  • quelque chose: “something”
  • lire: “read”
  • livre: “book”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in French

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in French about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Léa feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    La journée était longue, je suis morte…
    “It was a long day, I’m dead…”

    1- La journée était longue

    First is an expression meaning “It was a long day.”
    In France, people can legally work 35 hours per week (generally from Monday to Friday) and are entitled to five weeks of paid leave per year, which they can take whenever they want. Families with children generally go on vacation for a few weeks during the summer when their children are on holiday and don’t have to go to school.

    2- je suis morte

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m dead.”
    Sometimes people express themselves in strong, exaggerated language to convey their feelings.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Reposez-vous bien, nous avons une réunion importante demain.

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Rest well. We have an important meeting tomorrow.”
    These phrases convey plans for the next day at work, relevant to the poster.

    2- ça va?

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Are you ok?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling concern for the poster.

    3- Vivement ce week-end ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait for this weekend ^^”
    Use this expression to be encouraging, implying that rest is in sight for everyone.

    4- Moi aussiiiiii !

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Me tooooooo!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling the same as the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • journée: “day”
  • long: “long”
  • mort(e): “dead”
  • se reposer: “rest”
  • réunion: “meeting”
  • vivement: “can’t wait for”
  • aussi: “too”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in French! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in French

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in French.

    François suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    J’ai super mal à la cheville :(
    “My ankle hurts really badly :(”

    1- J’ai super mal

    First is an expression meaning “It hurts really bad.”
    To talk about pain in French, the speaker begins his sentence with a personal pronoun because he’s talking about his own feelings.

    2- à la cheville

    Then comes the phrase - “at my ankle.”
    To talk about where something hurts, you generally use this preposition, then the noun (preceded by the corresponding article).

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu es allé chez le médecin ?

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Have you seen a doctor?”
    Use this question to obtain more information about the action the poster has taken regarding their injury. It also shows concern.

    2- Mon pauvre…

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Poor you…”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sympathy with the poster.

    3- Ça arrive, c’est pas la fin du monde !

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “It happens. It’s not the end of the world!”
    Use this expression to remind the poster that it is not the worst injury.

    4- Tu guériras sûrement rapidement :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “You’ll probably recover soon :)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic about the poster’s prospects of speedy recovery.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • avoir mal : “be hurting”
  • cheville: “ankle”
  • médecin: “doctor”
  • pauvre: “poor”
  • ça arrive: “it happens”
  • fin: “end”
  • monde: “world”
  • guérir: “recover”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in French

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Léa feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Ce temps est déprimant.
    “This weather is depressing.”

    1- Ce temps

    First is an expression meaning “This weather.”
    The weather varies greatly depending on where you are in France. In Paris, which is in the north of France, it is often cloudy, rainy or cold. In the south, temperatures are generally warmer.

    2- est déprimant

    Then comes the phrase - “is depressing.”
    On rainy days, people generally like to stay at home, relax and not do much. Instead of going out, they prefer watching TV, reading, cooking, playing video games or board games etc.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Moi j’aime la pluie :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “I like the rain :)”
    Use this phrase to express a preference for rainy weather.

    2- Au moins il n’y a pas besoin d’arroser les plantes :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “At least there’s no need to water the plants :p”
    Use this expression if you are being frivolous and wish to keep the conversation light.

    3- C’est parfait pour une soirée film ;)

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “It’s perfect for a movie night ;)”
    Use this expression as a suggestion to comfort the poster.

    4- Moi aussi je ne suis pas motivé pour faire quoi que ce soit.

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “I’m not motivated to do anything either.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling the same as the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • temps: “weather”
  • déprimant: “depressing”
  • pluie: “rain”
  • arroser: “water”
  • plante: “plant”
  • soirée film: “movie night”
  • motivé(e): “motivated”
  • quoi que ce soit: “anything”
  • How would you comment in French when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in French

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    François changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Léa together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    “En couple avec Léa”.
    “”In a relationship with Léa.”"

    1- En couple

    First is an expression meaning “In a relationship.”
    In France, it’s common to post about relationship statuses when something changes to see how everyone reacts.

    2- avec Léa.

    Then comes the phrase - “with Léa..”
    French people also like to add the name of whom they are with. Not only to satisfy their friend’s curiosity, but also to show that they are proud to be with that person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Je m’en doutais.

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “I suspected it.”
    Use this expression to show the announcement is not surprising.

    2- C’est pas trop tôt !

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “It’s about time!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling positive about the relationship.

    3- Bien joué mon vieux ;)

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Well done, buddy ;)”
    Use this expression to congratulate the poster.

    4- Vous formez un beau couple :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “You’re a nice couple :)”
    Use this expression to compliment the couple.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • en couple: “in a relationship”
  • se douter de: “suspect”
  • C’est pas trop tôt: “It’s about time”
  • bien joué: “well done”
  • mon vieux: “buddy”
  • former: “form”
  • couple: “couple”
  • What would you say in French when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in French

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in French.

    Léa is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Je me marie aujourd’hui :D
    “I’m getting married today :D

    1- Je me marie

    First is an expression meaning “I’m getting married.”
    Nowadays, with the PACS system (a contractual form of civil union), fewer people are getting married than in previous generations. For those who do, they typically get married later in life. In France, it’s socially acceptable to have children without being married.

    2- aujourd’hui

    Then comes the phrase - “today.”
    The date is optional but can be used to emphasize that it’s a very special day.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Je vous souhaite beaucoup de bonheur :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “I wish you tons of happiness :)”
    Use this expression as a warmhearted well-wish to the couple.

    2- Tu as l’air magnifique dans cette robe !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You look gorgeous in that dress!”
    Use this expression to compliment the bride.

    3- Je suis super contente pour vous 2 :)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m really happy for you two :)”
    Use this expression to show that you are pleased for the sake of the couple.

    4- Vive les mariés ! :D

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Long live the newlyweds! :D
    This is an uncommon way to congratulate the couple and wish them a long marriage.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • se marier: “get married”
  • beaucoup: “a lot”
  • bonheur: “happiness”
  • magnifique: “gorgeous”
  • robe: “dress”
  • content: “happy”
  • vive les mariés: “long live the newlyweds”
  • How would you respond in French to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in French

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in French.

    François finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Dans quelques mois nous serons 3 ;)
    “In a couple of months there will be 3 of us ;)”

    1- Dans quelques mois

    First is an expression meaning “In a couple of months.”
    To show that you’re excitedly awaiting something, you’ll often start by talking about the date.

    2- nous serons 3

    Then comes the phrase - “there will be 3 of us.”
    In French, sometimes people don’t always write exactly what they mean. Instead, they will hide the meaning a bit, inviting others to interact.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu vas être papa ? :o

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “You’re gonna be a dad? :o
    Use this expression if you feel humorous and pretend to be unbelieving.

    2- C’est une fille ou un garçon ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Is it a girl or a boy?”
    Use this question to gather more information.

    3- Je suis sûre que vous serez des parents géniaux :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m sure you’ll be great parents :)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic about the couple’s parenting skills.

    4- Félicitations :D

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations :D
    Use this expression to congratulate the couple in a traditional, understated way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • mois: “month”
  • papa: “dad”
  • fille: “girl”
  • garçon: “boy”
  • être sûr(e): “be sure”
  • parents: “parents”
  • félicitations: “congratulations”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting French Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in French.

    Léa plays with her baby, posts an image of the little angel, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Ma petite princesse.
    “My little princess.”

    1- Ma petite

    First is an expression meaning “my little.”
    Nowadays many women focus on their careers and may delay having children until they’re 30 years old.

    2- princesse

    Then comes the phrase - “princess.”
    French people often use a variety of cute nicknames or terms of endeardment like “sweetie” or “honey”. Some nicknames that might sound strange to English speakers include “my cabbage” or “my flea”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Elle est trop chou !

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “She’s so cute!”
    Use this phrase to agree with the poster about the baby’s powers of charm.

    2- Je viens faire du baby-sitting n’importe quand ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll come to babysit anytime ^^”
    Use this expression to be helpful.

    3- Quel beau sourire!

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “What a beautiful smile!”
    Use this expression to pay the baby a compliment.

    4- Elle est le portrait craché de son papa :)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “She’s the spitting image of her daddy :)”
    This phrase is a neutral comment which relates to the baby’s resemblance to the father.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • petit(e): “little”
  • princesse: “princess”
  • chou: “cute”
  • baby-sitting: “babysitting”
  • n’importe quand: “anytime”
  • beau: “beautiful”
  • sourire: “smile”
  • portrait craché: “spitting image”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in French! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. French Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    François goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Pique-nique avec la famille :)
    “Picnic with the family :)”

    1- Pique-nique

    First is an expression meaning “picnic.”
    Starting a sentence with a noun shows that it’s the most important part of what you want to say.

    2- avec la famille

    Then comes the phrase - “with the family.”
    In France, people have family reunions that can last for hours. There are many dishes in a typical French course, and family gatherings are a great opportunity to catch up with relatives you don’t see that often.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Passe le bonjour à tout le monde de ma part stp !

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Say hi to everyone please!”
    Use this expression if you know the family and wish to send them greetings.

    2- J’ai une tête affreuse sur cette photo !

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “I look horrible in this picture!”
    Use this expression to be self-deprecating about your own appearance.

    3- Super! Le temps est idéal pour un pique-nique :)

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Great! The weather is perfect for a picnic :)”
    Use this expression to share your enthusiasm for the good weather.

    4- Profitez-bien de votre week-end !

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy your weekend!”
    Use this expression as a traditional wish that the poster enjoy their time with the famly over the weekend.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • pique-nique: “picnic”
  • famille: “family”
  • passer le bonjour: “say hello”
  • tout le monde: “everyone”
  • tête: “head”
  • affreux: “horrible”
  • idéal: “ideal”
  • profiter: “enjoy”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in French

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in French about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Léa waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Départ dans une heure :)
    “Departure in an hour :)”

    1- Départ

    First is an expression meaning “departure.”
    French people typically go to southern France or to other warm places in Europe during their holidays. Most European countries are close to each other and don’t require visas for EU citizens, which makes it easier to go to different places.

    2- dans une heure

    Then comes the phrase - “in an hour.”
    French airlines are usually on time. Delays or cancellations can happen but are not that common.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Bon voyage !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Have a nice trip!”
    Use this expression to be old fashioned.

    2- Tu vas où exactement ?

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Where exactly are you going? ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    3- Je veux un souvenir !

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “I want a souvenir!”
    Use this expression if you demand a gift from the poster, bought at the holiday destination.

    4- La chance ! Moi aussi je veux y aller !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You’re so lucky! I wanna go too!”
    Use this expression to indicate that you envy the poster and wants to join them. You’re not seriously asking to go; it’s just an expression that emphasizes envy in a nice way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • départ: “departure”
  • heure: “hour”
  • bon voyage: “have a nice trip”
  • où: “where”
  • exactement: “exactly”
  • souvenir: “souvenir”
  • chance: “luck”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in French!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in French

    So maybe you’re strolling around at a local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy French phrases!

    François finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Je me demande à quoi ça sert…
    “I wonder what this is for…”

    1- Je me demande

    First is an expression meaning “I wonder.”
    Use this expression when you aren’t sure about something.

    2- à quoi ça sert

    Then comes the phrase - “what this is for.”
    In France, people sell all kinds of things at flea markets. Sellers are usually trying to get rid of old stuff they don’t use anymore by selling them for cheap rather than throwing them away.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Aucune idée !

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “No idea!”
    Use this expression when you have not clue regarding the identity of the find.

    2- C’est joli :)

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Where did you find that?”
    Use this question if you wish to know where the item was found.

    3- C’est joli :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “It’s pretty :)”
    Use this expression to indicate your liking of the item.

    4- Ca a l’air vieux.

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “It looks old.”
    This is an opnion regarding the item’s appearance - in this case, it looks aged.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • se demander: “wonder”
  • quoi: “what”
  • servir à: “be used for”
  • aucun : “no”
  • trouver: “find”
  • joli: “pretty”
  • avoir l’air: “look”
  • vieux: “old”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in French

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in French, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Léa visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Où suis-je ? ^^
    “Where am I? ^^”

    1- Où

    First is an expression meaning “Where.”
    When French people travel, they love seeing touristy stuff. Everyone who goes to Paris has certainly been to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum.

    2- suis-je?

    Then comes the phrase - “am I?.”
    It’s common on social media for people to add obscure pictures of where they are so that others can guess and share their opinions about that place.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu t’amuses à ce que je vois ;)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Too easy ;)”
    Use this expression if you think the location is easily identifiable. Or you could be bluffing!

    2- Sur la photo ! lol

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “On the picture! lol”
    Use this expression if you are in a joking, frivolous mood.

    3- Tu t’amuses à ce que je vois ;)

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I see that you’re having fun ;)”
    Use this expression just to comment in a positive way.

    4- C’est une très belle ville, n’est-ce pas ?

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a beautiful city, isn’t it?”
    Use this to make conversation by stating a fact and asking for agreement. Often, this is a rhetorical question, but it could be a good conversation starter too.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • trop: “too”
  • facile: “easy”
  • sur: “on”
  • à ce que je vois: “from what I can see”
  • ville: “city”
  • n’est-ce pas: “isn’t it”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in French

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in French!

    François relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Moment de détente :)
    “A moment of relaxation :)”

    1- Moment

    First is an expression meaning “Moment.”
    On French social media, it’s a common practice to shorten sentences by starting with a noun that expresses duration to explain what you’re doing.

    2- de détente

    Then comes the phrase - “of relaxation.”
    To relax, people in France enjoy walking in the park, sunbathing, going to the spa, and other such activities.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu le mérites ;)

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “You deserve it ;)”
    Use this phrase to express warm feelings towards the poster.

    2- C’est le même endroit où tu vas chaque année ?

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Is it the same place you’ve been going to every year?”
    Use this question to garner more information from the poster.

    3- J’arriiiiiiiiiiiiiiive :D

    His wife’s high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I envy you :p”
    Use this expression if you feel envious of the poster.

    4- J’arriiiiiiiiiiiiiiive :D

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Comiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing :D
    Use this expression if you are feeling frivolous, and wish to join the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • moment: “moment”
  • détente: “relaxation”
  • mériter: “deserve”
  • même: “same”
  • endroit: “place”
  • année: “year”
  • envier: “envy”
  • arriver: “arrive”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in French When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Léa returns home after a vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Qu’on est bien chez soi !
    “How nice it is at home!”

    1- Qu’on est bien

    First is an expression meaning “How nice it is.”
    This phrase is equivalent to “home sweet home,” but cannot be translated literally into English. It’s typically used when speaking to oneself.

    2- chez soi

    Then comes the phrase - “at home.”
    When French people travel, they either like to bring souvenirs from where they went or write postcards to their family and friends.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Contente de te revoir ! :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back! :)”
    This is a traditional welcoming phrase when someone returns from a trip away from home.

    2- Tu nous as manqué.

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “We missed you.”
    Use this expression to indicate your feelings to the poster about missing them.

    3- Prochaine étape: défaire la valise… amuse-toi bien :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Next step: unpack the suitcase… have fun :p”
    Use this comment to make conversation in a playful way.

    4- C’était comment ? ^^

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “How was it? ^^”
    Use this question if you want to know more about the trip.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • chez soi: “at home”
  • content(e) de te revoir: “welcome back”
  • manquer: “miss”
  • prochain: “next”
  • étape: “step”
  • défaire: “unpack”
  • valise: “suitcase”
  • comment: “how”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media during a public celebration day such as Candlemas?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in French

    It’s a national celebratory day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    François leaves this comment about the meal served on Candlemas.

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au menu du jour: des crêpes pour la Chandeleur :D
    “On the menu today: crepes for Candlemas :D

    1- Au menu du jour:

    First is an expression meaning “On the menu today:.”
    Beginning with this phrase shows that you are offering something different than usual.

    2- des crêpes pour la Chandleur

    Then comes the phrase - “crepes for Candlemas.”
    Candlemas takes place 40 days after Christmas. It used to be a Christian celebration and a symbol of prosperity for the coming year. Now, however, it’s just a day where you make crepes; no one really cares about the origin. People generally eat their crepes with Nutella, jam, honey, sugar, etc. But in some recipes you don’t add sugar to the dough, so you can make salty crepes like ham and cheese.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ouaaaaaais ! Merci.

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Yaaaaay! Thanks.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling good about the food.

    2- Je peux passer ? J’ai de la confiture faite maison ;)

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Can I stop by? I have homemade jam ;)”
    Use these phrases to make arrangements with the poster.

    3- Tu en as raté combien en essayant de les retourner ? :p

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “How many did you mess up trying to flip them? :p”
    Use this expression to joke with the poster.

    4- Moi aussi j’en veux !

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “I want some too!”
    Use this expression to show you think the food looks desirable.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • menu: “menu”
  • crêpe: “crepe”
  • Chandeleur: “Candlemas”
  • confiture: “jam”
  • fait maison: “homemade”
  • rater: “mess up”
  • retourner: “flip”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    Candlemas Day and other public celebration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in French

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Léa goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Merci à tous d’être venus :)
    “Thank you all for coming :)”

    1- Merci à tous

    First is an expression meaning “Thank you all.”
    This is a polite expression to show one’s gratitude.

    2- d’être venus

    Then comes the phrase - “for coming.”
    In France, house parties with sweets, cakes, presents and games are popular among children. Adults also enjoy house parties and invite their friends over for food, music and conversation. Otherwise, they meet up with their friends somewhere else to do something special.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Joyeux anniversaire !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday!”
    This is the simple and traditional birthday wish.

    2- Tu as été gâtée ? ;)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Have you been spoiled? ;)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    3- Tu ne rajeunis pas :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “You’re not getting younger :p”
    Use this expression to make playful fun of the poster’s age.

    4- Merci pour l’invitation ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Thanks for the invitation ^^”
    Use this expression to be ironic and a bit sarcastic, if you were not really invited, or to really thank the poster for the invitation to the party.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Merci: “thank you “
  • joyeux anniversaire: “happy birthday”
  • gâter: “spoil”
  • rajeunir: “rejuvenate”
  • invitation: “invitation”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in French

    Impress your friends with your French New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    François celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Bonne année à tous !
    “Happy New Year, everyone!”

    1- Bonne année

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year.”
    In France, people light fireworks at midnight to celebrate the New Year. Some New Year’s gatherings happen at big places in big cities. Some people celebrate with their friends at home by having a nice dinner and following the countdown on TV. Afterwards, people wish their friends a happy new year by texting or writing on social media.

    2- à tous

    Then comes the phrase - “to everyone.”
    It’s considered courteous to wish people a happy new year on social media where everybody can read the post.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Bonne année à toi aussi :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year to you too :)”
    This is the traditional reply to a New Year wish from anyone.

    2- Bonne santé !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Good health!”
    This is another common wish appropriate to this time of year.

    3- Meilleurs Voeux !

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Best wishes!”
    Yet another traditional New Year wish, that’s also appropriate for other special occasions.

    4- Quelles sont tes bonnes résolutions ? ^^

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “What are your New Year’s resolutions? ^^”
    Ask this question if you want to start the conversation about this favorite topic.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Bonne année: “Happy New Year”
  • santé: “health”
  • meilleur: “best”
  • voeu: “wish”
  • bonne résolution: “New Year’s resolution”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in French

    What will you say in French about Christmas?

    Léa celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Noël en famille :D
    “Christmas with the family :D

    1- Noël

    First is an expression meaning “Christmas .”
    On the 24th of December, people usually enjoy a big meal in the evening. Then they go to bed and in the morning they open the presents that Santa Claus brought. Some families have another big meal on the 25th for lunch as well. Afterwards, they spend the rest of the day with their families.

    2- en famille

    Then comes the phrase - “with the family.”
    In France, Christmas is the most important family event of the year. Many shops are closed because it’s the one time of the year that everyone in France is spending time with their families.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Joyeux Noël :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas :)”
    This is the traditional Christmas wish.

    2- Le père Noël t’a apporté beaucoup de cadeaux cette année ? :p

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Did Santa Claus bring you many presents this year? :p”
    Use this expression to make conversation about receiving gifts, which is a common tradition over Christmas.

    3- Le père Noël t’a apporté beaucoup de cadeaux cette année ? :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t eat too much :p”
    Use this expression if you want to playfully warn your friend about their eating habits. Usually not meant seriously.

    4- Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Happy Holidays!”
    This is another traditional wish appropriate to this time of year.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Noël: “Christmas”
  • Joyeux Noël: “Merry Christmas”
  • Père Noël: “Santa Claus”
  • cadeau: “present”
  • manger: “eat”
  • bonnes fêtes de fin d’année: “happy holidays”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in French

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which French phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    François celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Dîner en amoureux pour nos 1 an de mariage.
    “Candelit dinner for our one-year wedding anniversary.”

    1- dîner en amoureux

    First is an expression meaning “candelit dinner.”
    In France, people don’t eat out at nice restaurants that often as they can be expensive. But on special occasions, like a wedding anniversary, couples usually enjoy a nice dinner and other fancy activities afterwards.

    2- pour nos un an de mariage

    Then comes the phrase - “for our one-year wedding anniversary.”
    Anniversaries are a big deal in France. Couples often celebrate their love by doing something special together as well as by giving each other gifts like jewelry, perfume, flowers etc…

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- J’ai hâte.

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait.”
    Use this expression to show you eagerly anticipate the occasion.

    2- Comme c’est romantique !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “How romantic!”
    Use this comment to express your positive opinion of the anniversary.

    3- Déjà? Le temps passe super vite !

    His wife’s high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Already? Time flies so fast!”
    Use this expression to make conversation in a humorous way.

    4- Joyeux anniversaire de mariage les amoureux :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Happy wedding anniversary you lovebirds :)”
    This is a traditional wish for a wedding anniversary, used with a term of endearment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • dîner: “dinner”
  • en amoureux: “romantic”
  • mariage: “wedding”
  • romantique: “romantic”
  • temps: “time”
  • vite: “fast”
  • anniversaire de mariage: “wedding anniversary”
  • amoureux: “lovebirds”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn French! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in French

    Apologize in French: How to Say Sorry in French

    Thumbnail

    “An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything.” (Lynn Johnston)

    Whatever our reasons are, it’s never easy nor pleasant to apologize. Even in our native language where we can express all the subtleties needed to tone things down and smooth off the rough edges, “Sorry” still seems to be the hardest word.

    Now, imagine you have to offer your apologies in another language, like French. Would you know how to say “sorry” in French? Of course, you won’t want to risk any further mishap or an unfortunate choice of words that could put you in a tougher spot.

    Learning how to say “sorry” in French will not only help you go through delicate situations when you’ve made a mistake or behaved poorly. It will also provide you with a collection of ready-made formulas that you can use as a polite lubricant in everyday interactions. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to tell someone you’re sorry in basic French. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your French Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. The 3 Most Important Words
    2. Take Responsibility
    3. Sorry Gestures
    4. How to Accept an Apology
    5. Make it Official
    6. French Culture of Apologies
    7. How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Apologizing

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in French

    Man Saying Sorry


    1. The 3 Most Important Words

    When it comes to learning how to say “sorry” in French, vocabulary is, of course, a huge player. Although they can take many different forms, apologies in France mainly come down to only three words:

    • Excuse (“Apology”)
    • Désolé (“Sorry”)
    • Pardon (“Pardon”)

    Once you start practicing their variations, outlined below, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. As you’ll see, there are variations for saying a formal apology in French, as well as casual variations.

    1- S’excuser (“To apologize”)

    Here are Casual and Formal variants of “Excuse me” with their literal translations:

    Casual “Excuse me” Formal “Excuse me”
    Je m’excuse. (“I excuse myself.”) Je m’excuse. (“I excuse myself.”)
    Excuse-moi. (“Excuse me.”) Excusez-moi. (“Excuse me.”)
    Veuillez m’excuser. (“Please, excuse me.”)
    Toutes mes excuses. (“All my apologies.”)
    Je vous présente mes excuses. (“I present you my apologies.”)

    Je m’excuse (“I excuse myself”) may sound weird once literally translated, but this is the most popular way to say that you’re sorry. In French, it doesn’t actually sound like you’re asking for forgiveness and forgiving yourself in the same sentence!

    2- Pardonner (“To forgive”)

    Here are Casual and Formal variants of “Forgive me” with their literal translations.

    Casual “Forgive me” Formal “Forgive me”
    Pardon. (“Forgiveness.”) Pardonne-moi. (“Forgive me.”)
    Je te demande pardon. (“I ask for your forgiveness.”) Pardon. (“Forgiveness.”)
    Pardonnez-moi. (“Forgive me.”) Je vous demande pardon. (“I ask for your forgiveness.”)

    How to use it:

    Sentences with S’excuser (“to apologize”) or Pardonner (“to forgive”) can all be used to express that you’re sorry about your actions or the situation.

    For example: If you accidentally bump into someone and spill their coffee, you could say: Oh, toutes mes excuses ! or Je vous demande pardon !

    Excuse-moi and Excusez-moi are two common polite formulas that you can use in everyday situations, just as their English counterpart, “Excuse me.”

    Pardon (“forgiveness”) works just as well for casual or formal encounters.

    For example: You want to reach for your cheese in the fridge and someone you don’t know is standing in the way. You could say: Excusez-moi to catch his attention.

    With a friend, you would use the casual Excuse-moi for the same result.

    In both cases, you could also say: Pardon (“forgiveness”).

    3- Être désolé (“To be sorry”)

    Last but not least, Désolé (“Sorry”) is another cornerstone of the French apologies and works for casual and formal situations.

    • Désolé [Male] / Désolée [Female] (“Sorry”)
    • Je suis désolé(e) (“I am sorry”)

    Now, depending on the gravity of the situation, you may not want to sound overly laid-back when saying “I’m sorry” in French. Here are some ways to emphasize your apologies along with how to combine that apology with Désolé.

    • Vraiment (“Really”) — Je suis vraiment désolé. (“I am really sorry.”)
    • Sincèrement (“Sincerely”) — Je suis sincèrement désolé. (“I am sincerely sorry.”)
    • Réellement (“Truly”) — Je suis réellement désolé. (“I am truly sorry.”)
    • Tellement (“So”) — Je suis tellement désolé. (“I am so sorry.”)

    On the other hand, if the incident is so trivial that it doesn’t even deserve Désolé, you might want to go for our super-casual Oups (“Oops”).

    Not sure when you should say “Sorry?” Have a look at our list of phrases to say when you are angry on FrenchPod101. If you hear some of these directed at you, there’s a good chance you might want to apologize for something!

    Not Sure To Say Sorry


    2. Take Responsibility

    3 Ways To Say Sorry

    Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see how to go a step further. If you ask for forgiveness, you may want to accept the blame and acknowledge that you’re guilty of your bad deeds. Here’s how:

    • Je regrette. (“I regret.”)
    • Je suis navré. (“I’m sorry.”)
    • C’est ma faute. (“It’s my fault.”)
    • Je ne le ferai plus. (“I won’t do it again.”)
    • Je n’aurais pas dû dire ça. (“I should not have said that.”)
    • Comment puis-je me faire pardonner ? (“How can I be forgiven?”)

    In an informal setting, you could use a bit of slang (with care, as both of these terms are very familiar):

    • J’ai merdé. (“I’ve messed up.”)
    • J’ai déconné. (“I’ve screwed up.”)

    You can find more examples and useful phrases on our list of Common ways to say Sorry, as well as an audio recording to practice your accent.


    3. Sorry Gestures

    When working on your apology in learning French, gestures are an important aspect to consider. Although there’s no ‘official’ gesture to express that you’re sorry or to ask for forgiveness, having your body language in line with your words never hurts. In France, here are a few gestures to pick up:

    • Hold your hands up, as if you’re held at gunpoint.
    • Place one hand over your heart.
    • Open your hands in front of your hips, palms up or down.
    • Slightly extend one hand, palm up, toward the other person.
    • Hold your hands together perpendicularly in front of you.

    Remember to look at the other person in the eyes while apologizing. Keeping eye contact inspires trust and evokes a deeper connection. The other person will be more likely to believe in the sincerity of your apologies with a straight and confident look than with shifty eyes.

    Eye Contact


    4. How to Accept an Apology

    Now, what do you do when you’re on the other side of the apology? If you believe in the sincerity of the other person and feel ready to accept their apologies, you need to know how to proceed. And if you’re apologizing to someone, you need to understand what they might say in reply.

    In the case of a trivial matter that didn’t really require an apology:

    • C’est rien. (“It’s nothing.”)
    • C’est pas grave. (“It’s nothing serious.”)
    • Pas de soucis. (“No worries.”)

    For something more serious, here are a few examples:

    • J’accepte tes excuses. / J’accepte vos excuses. (“I accept your apologies.”)
    • Merci de t’être excusé. / Merci de vous être excusé. (“Thank you for apologizing.”)
    • Ne t’en fais pas. / Ne vous en faites pas. (“Don’t worry.”)
    • Je comprends. (“I understand.”)


    5. Make it Official

    Saying Sorry

    While most situations allow you to show some creativity with your apologies, there are some cases where it’s codified and doesn’t leave much room for improvisation.

    1- Condoléances (“Condolences”)

    Expressing your condolences is just as socially codified in France as anywhere else in the world. Here are a few examples of condolences sentences that you may want to use, should the need arise:

    • Je vous présente mes sincères condoléances.
      (“I offer you my sincere condolences.”)
    • En ces moments difficiles, je vous apporte tout mon soutien.
      (“During these difficult moments, I offer you my full support.”)
    • Je partage votre douleur et vous adresse mes sincères condoléances.
      (“I feel your pain and offer my sincere condolences.”)

    On a personal note, while these are certainly appropriate as a token of respect toward strangers or distant acquaintances, I would recommend something warmer and more personal for your friends.

    Unfortunately, there’s no prefabricated formulas for this but you can find some resources in our free vocabulary list for the Day of the Dead.

    Pink Roses

    2- Professional Apologies

    Any company is eventually bound to present apologies, be it toward customers, partners, or investors. Once again, professional apologies are highly codified and are usually expressed with formulas without too much soul.

    There’s no strict template but they usually look like these:

    • Veuillez nous excuser de la gêne occasionnée.
      (“Please, excuse us for any inconvenience.”)
    • Je suis au regret de vous informer que ___
      (“I’m sorry to inform you that ___”)
    • Nous vous présentons nos excuses pour ce désagrément.
      (“We offer you our apologies for this inconvenience.”)
    • Je vous prie de nous pardonner pour ___
      (“Please, forgive us for ___”)


    6. French Culture of Apologies

    We’ve all heard before how the French are rude or insensitive, and especially if you’re coming from a country where the customer-centric approach reigns supreme, you’re bound to miss the exquisite courtesy you’ve been lulled by before coming to France.

    1- The French VS The Customers

    “And then, he slammed in on the table like an angry French waiter!”

    As much as it makes me laugh, it also saddens me a little that my compatriots are mainly famous for their bad manners and rough tempers. And it’s not just waiters; it applies to most of our daily interactions as customers, from the supermarket to the bank, the phone company or the tickets booth in the subway.

    Being born and bred in France, it never struck me as a problem or even an oddity. But when I traveled to countries with a strong customer-centric philosophy such as Australia or Japan, I immediately noticed the difference:

    • In Australia, I was being called “Sweetheart” or “Love” by a cashier I was seeing for the first time.
    • In Japan, it seemed to me that the staff would apologize for bringing me the bill, then apologize for taking my money, and apologize again for giving the change back.
    • In France, I consider myself lucky when they look me in the eyes and I’d be shocked if they ever thank me for anything, even more so apologize.

    All things considered, this is just a different approach to customer interactions and it shouldn’t be taken as an offensive behavior or a lack of empathy. French professionals are just not as inclined to apologize as in other countries.

    Tables and Chairs

    2- The French VS The Feelings

    Now, outside of these artificial business constructions, and more generally speaking: Why is it difficult for French people to apologize?

    To understand this, you need to consider the balance between “Reason” and “Feelings.” It varies wildly from one culture to the next and to keep it simple, let’s say that the French tend to overvalue rationality at the expense of their emotional landscape.

    As I mentioned in another article, our body language is more restrained, our gestures aren’t as exuberant as those in North America, and our intonation isn’t as loud and assertive as those in Latin America.

    Being rational creatures, the French are less likely to apologize for what they might see as “wrong reasons.” One such reason being to calm someone down or to alleviate their resentment.

    We tend to think that it’s more important to be right than kind and won’t apologize unless we sincerely believe that we’ve done or said something wrong. On one hand, it’s a positive trait, as we keep things straight and honest. On the other hand, this isn’t the best way to handle emotional people who care more about their connection with you than your quest for the truth.

    “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.” (Mark Matthews)


    How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Apologizing

    In this guide, you’ve learned how to say “sorry” in French, as well as when you want to make amends for your bad deeds or in everyday situations as polite formulas. We’ve also seen how to take the blame and recognize our fault.

    Do you have anything you need to apologize for? Don’t wait any longer and offer a heartbreaking apology using what you’ve learned today!

    A good exercise is to write an apology about an imaginary blunder, trying to combine the different sentences that we’ve seen. Also make sure to explore FrenchPod101, as it has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and vocabulary!

    Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching and have your private teacher answer any of your questions or give you feedback on your “apology essay!”

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in French

    About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

    Your Guide to French Texting Slang: MDR, DSL and More

    What do kids say these days? The digital culture keeps French learners just as confused as our grandparents when it comes to the newest expressions à la mode.

    The good thing is that once you master a few texting codes, you’ll be able to communicate in written French on a daily basis. Sometimes, texting can be so much easier than talking face-to-face!

    Table of Contents

    1. French Texting Slang 101: Consonants, Abbreviations, and Sounds
    2. Texting Slang to Agree on a Meeting
    3. Conveying Emotions with French Texting Slang
    4. Slang Etiquette: Being Polite While Texting in French
    5. Debating in Abbreviations
    6. The Daily Texting Slang: Holding Conversations in Abbreviated French
    7. Bonus—The Mystery Emojis
    8. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

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    1. French Texting Slang 101: Consonants, Abbreviations, and Sounds

    Let’s start with the basics! Just like in English texting slang, many abbreviations replace syllables or even words with letters and numbers that sound like them.

    • Example: “U” = “You”

    In French texting slang, the most current symbols include:

    • 2, symbol for de = “of”
    • G, symbol for J’ai = “I have”
    • C, symbol for C’est = “It is”
    • é, symbol for Est = “is”
    • K, symbol for qu, found in the following abbreviations:
      • Ki, short for Qui = “Who”
      • Kel, short for Quel = “Which”
      • Koi, or Kwa, short for Quoi = “What”
      • Kan, short for Quand = “When”
    • T, symbol for T’es or Tu es = “You are”


    2. Texting Slang to Agree on a Meeting

    Since organization is one of the main reasons people text, the slang dictionary of expressions related to meetings is particularly rich.

    • 12C4, short for Un de ces quatre = “Someday” or more literally “one of the upcoming days”
    • 2vant, short for Devant = “In front of”
    • Bi1to, short for Bientôt = “Soon”
      • Example: A bientôt = “See you soon!”
    • D100, short for Descend = “Get downstairs”
    • DRR, short for Derrière = “Behind”
    • H24 = “24h/day” or “all the time”
    • RSVP, short for Réservez s’il vous plaît; or RSTP, for Réserve s’il te plaît = “Please confirm your presence, whether you use the tutoiement or the vouvoiement with the person you’re talking with”
    • TDS, short for Tout de suite; or DQP, short for Dès que possible = “ASAP”
    • V1, sort for Viens = “Come on”; “Come on in”; “Join in”


    3. Conveying Emotions with French Texting Slang

    There are emojis, as well as a fine choice of slang abbreviations, to color the conversation in a pinch. Pick your favorites!

    • 5pa, short for Sympa = “Nice”; “Cool”
      • Example: C 5pa ici = “It’s cool here”
      • NB: C Pas 5pa, short for C’est pas sympa = “That’s not cool”
    • AC2N, short for Assez de haine = “Stop the hate”
    • BLC, short for Je m’en bats les couilles = Literally “I’m beating my balls over this,” basically a rude way to say “I couldn’t care less.” Clearly to be used with caution.
    • CPG, short for C’est pas grave = “INBG” or “It’s no big deal”
    • DSL, short for Désolé = “Sry” or “Sorry”
    • JPP, short for J’en peux plus = “I can’t take this anymore”
    • JSPR, short for J’espère = “I hope so”
    • JTM, short for Je t’aime = “I love you”
    • LStomB, short for Laisse tomber = “WTV” or “Let it go”
    • MDR, short for Mort de rire = “LOL” or literally “Dead from laughter”
    • MSK, short for Miskine = Miskine is an Arabic word for “idiot.” It’s used to convey sympathy or spite.
    • OKLM, short for Au calme = Literally “In a calm place,” it’s used to mean that you’ve found your peace of mind.
    • PTDR, short for Pété de rire = “LMAO”, “ROFL”, or literally “Bursting from laughter”
    • Put1, short of Putain = One of the most famous French swear words; it literally means “Whore” but is used more like “Fuck” in English.
      • Example: Put1 g oublié mes clés! = “Fuck, I forgot my keys!”
      • NB: Obviously, use with caution!
    • MRD, short for Merde = “Shit,” another swear word
      • NB: Again, use with caution!
    • RAF, short for Je n’en ai rien à faire = “I don’t care,” as a rather strong statement
      • Example: RAF 2 T PBS = “I don’t care about your problems!”
      • NB: It could also mean Rien à foutre meaning “I don’t give a fuck.” Use with caution.
    • Snif = “Sob,” which is an onomatopoeia meant to indicate sadness
      • Example: Snif tu peux pas venir à la soirée! = “So sad you can’t come to the party!”
    • TG, short for Ta gueule = “Shut up.” Use with caution.
    • T NRV, short for T’es énervé = “U mad”
      • NB: If your interlocutor uses verlan, a slang that reverses the syllables of words, this could come out as T VNR.
    • TOK, short for T’es OK = “Are u OK”
    • WLLH, short for Wallah = “By God”; “I swear to God”
    • WSH, short for Wesh = “Hey”; “Yo”
    • X, symbol for Bisous (or Bzou in texting slang), or for Je crois = “I believe”
      • Example: Je x ke c bon. OK, XXX
      • “I think it’s all right.” “OK, XOXO”


    4. Slang Etiquette: Being Polite While Texting in French

    Believe it or not, in French even texting slang has its own etiquette!

    We all know how ending a text message with an actual dot can set a completely different tone.
    And the French remain attached to manners and politeness in all context. So, don’t neglect the following abbreviations:

    • A+, short for A plus tard = “See you later”, as in “in a while”
    • A tt, short for A tout à l’heure = “See you later”, as in “in a few hours”
      • NB: This is the expression most appropriate to mean “BRB”
    • A2m1, short for A demain = “See you tomorrow”
    • ALP, short for A la prochaine = “See you next time”
    • Bjr, short for Bonjour = “Hello”
    • Bsr, short for Bonsoir = “Good night”
    • CC, short for Coucou = “Hey there”
    • Koi29, or QDN, short for Quoi de neuf = “What’s up”; “What’s new”
      • Bugs Bunny’s famous “What’s up, doc?” became Quoi de neuf, docteur? in the cartoon’s French version.
    • MR6, short for Merci = “Tks”; “Thank you”
    • OKP, short for Occupé = “Busy”; a quick way to let the person you’re talking with know that you can’t answer just now. However, it’s a little short, and not too polite.
    • P2K, short for Pas de quoi; or 2ri1, short for De rien = “Ur welcome”, in response to thanks
    • RE, short for Retour = “I’m back online”; a signal to restart the conversation
    • SLT, short for Salut = “Hi”
    • STP, short for S’il te plaît; SVP, short for S’il vous plaît = “Please,” depending on whether you use the tutoiement or the vouvoiement
    • TKT, short for T’inquiète or, more formally, Ne t’inquiète pas = “Don’t worry”
      • Example: Tkt g géré l’exam = “No worries, I aced the test”

    NB: If you really have to be polite while addressing an authority figure of any kind, just avoid slang altogether. And in any case, spelling the whole phrase out is much more pleasant and meaningful!


    5. Debating in Abbreviations

    Text Abbreviations

    Respect Twitter and other forums’ character limits with use of a few useful expressions.

    • 1TRC, short for Intéressé = “Interested”; a way to mark your interest or to signal that you’re following the conversation
    • 1mposibl, short for Impossible = “Impossible”
    • AMHA, short for A mon humble avis = “IMHO” or “In my honest opinion”
    • ASKIP, short for A ce qu’il paraît = “It seems that”
    • Cbi1, CB1, short for C’est bien = “That’s good”
      • NB: Don’t confuse with Cbn, short for Combien = “How many” or “How much”
    • C ça, short for C’est ça = “That’s right”
    • EnTK or EntouK, short for En tout cas = “In any case”
    • Fo, short for Faut or Faux = “Must” or “False”
      • Example: Fo HT du p1 or C pa fo
      • “We must buy more bread” or “That’s not wrong”
    • ID, short for Idée = “Idea”
    • PEH, short for Pour être honnête = “TBH” or “To be honest”; “TBF” or “To be fair”


    6. The Daily Texting Slang: Holding Conversations in Abbreviated French

    Woman Looking at Phone

    Finally, French texters simply abbreviate a large number of words used in daily conversations. Don’t get confused if you come across any of the following:

    • 6né, short for Cinéma = “Cinema”
    • Ac or Av, short for Avec = “With”
    • Auj or Ajdh, short for Aujourd’hui = “Today”
    • Ayé, short for Ca y est = “Done”
    • B1sur, short for Bien sûr = “OFC” or “Of course”
    • BCP, short for Beaucoup = “A lot”
    • CAD, short for C’est à dire = “That is”
    • C cho, short for C’est chaud = “That’s rough”; “That’s intense”; “That won’t be easy”
    • Chuis, short for Je suis = “I am”
    • Cki, short for C’est qui = “Who dis”; “Who is this”
    • CT, short for C’était = “It was”
    • Com dab, short for Comme d’habitude = “As usual”
    • Dacc, Dac, or Dak, short for D’accord = “OK,” or literally “We have an agreement”
    • Dc, short for Donc = “So”
    • GHT, short for J’ai acheté = “I bought”
    • GT, short for J’étais = “I was”
    • Je C, JC, or Je cé short for Je sais = “I know”
      • NB: “IKR” or “I know, right,” would be better translated by a more intense expression: Je céééé = “IKR.”
    • Grave = “Totally”
    • JSP, short for Je ne sais pas = “IDK” or “I don’t know”
      • NB: NSP, short for Ne sait pas = “Does not know”
    • Je vé, JV, short for Je vais = “I am going to”
    • JMS, short for Jamais = “Never”
    • Keske, short for Qu’est-ce que = “What is”
    • Kestufou, short for Qu’est-ce que tu fous = “What the hell are you doing?” Use with caution.
      • Example: Kestufou ça fé 1h quejt’attend! = “What the hell are you doing, I’ve been waiting for you for an hour!”
    • Kwa, short for Quoi = “What”
    • MSG, short for Message = “Message”
    • PB, short for Problème = “Problem”
      • Example: Pas 2 pb = “No problem”
    • PK or PKoi, short for Pourquoi = “Why”
    • QQ or QQ1, short for Quelqu’un = “Someone”
    • RAS, short for Rien à Signaler = “Nothing to report”
    • TJS, short for Toujours = “Always”
    • TLM, short for Tout le monde = “Everyone”
    • Tps, short for Temps = “Time”
    • TT, short for Tout = “All”
    • VRT, short for Vraiment = “Truly”
    • Ya, short for Il y a = “There is”


    7. Bonus—The Mystery Emojis

    Two People Box Head with Smiley Face

    Emojis aren’t always what they seem! You might want to be careful when you send someone a peach or an eggplant.

    • A fire = Sexy
    • A frog + a cup of tea = “Just saying”
    • A new moon = Discomfort; secret; afterthought
    • An owl, symbol for C’est chouette = “That’s cool”
      • NB: Une chouette is French for “an owl”
    • A peach = Someone’s butt
    • A pig = Something kinky, with a sexual connotation


    How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

    Slang in general—and texting slang in particular—evolves very fast. Don’t forget to add on to this list as you chat with your French friends!

    We’ll update this lesson whenever necessary. Who knows what other expressions the younger French generations will make up next?

    This lesson is but one of FrenchPod101’s explorations of the various French slang words! In our future articles, we’ll work on oral slang, French TV shows, and regional expressions.

    Sign up today to make sure you don’t miss them!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Talking Online in French

    How to Introduce Yourself in French — Be Unforgettable!

    We all want to make a great, long-lasting first impression. Just moved to France and are eager to make new local friends? Are you traveling and looking for people to practice your French with? Or maybe you’re on the hunt for a job, anxious to outshine the competition?

    The beauty of the introduction is that you don’t need to be fluent to come up with a catchy script that you can use in any social occasion, be it professional or casual, in person or in writing. No matter your level of French, if you learn the right tips and tricks, you’ll make people interested and they’ll remember you.

    From situational French phrases to talking about your family in French, this complete guide will reveal all the secrets and best lines to introduce yourself in French like a boss and be unforgettable!

    Table of Contents

    1. Warm Up With a Greeting!
    2. How to Learn about Each Other
    3. Specific Introduction Lines
    4. How to Leave an Impression
    5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More about Introducing Yourself

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    1. Warm Up with a Greeting!

    Before anything else, you want to follow the French etiquette and start with a greeting. That said, let’s go ahead and learn some greetings in French.

    1- Bonjour or Salut?

    Do you remember our short list of fail-proof greetings? Here’s how we start the conversation:

    • Bonjour (“Hello” or “Good day”) can be used from morning to sundown, in almost any case. Neither too formal nor too relaxed, you cannot go wrong with it.
    • Bonsoir (“Good evening”) is the night-time counterpart of bonjour and can be used professionally as well as with friends.
    • Salut (“Hi”) is the casual bonjour that you use at any time of the day, with friends and peers.

    2- Tu or Vous?

    French has two forms of “you.” When meeting new people, you’ll always have to figure out which one to use. Don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward!

    Vous is for formal encounters and Tu is for more casual interactions. If you meet someone for the first time, there’s a good chance you’ll use Vous, unless you’re meeting friends of friends or meeting strangers in an informal context such as a bar or a club.

    Here’s a simple summary:

    • Friends, peers, family, kids or teens, animals: Tu
    • Anybody else: Vous (until decided otherwise by both parties)
    • Whenever in doubt: Vous

    3- Handshake or La Bise?

    Another tricky question: Should you shake hands or use La bise, our typical French custom of kissing on the cheeks?

    • If you’ve used Salut and Tu and you’re greeting someone of the opposite sex, there’s a good chance you could go for La bise.
    • Otherwise or whenever in doubt, go for a firm handshake! Remember that La bise is one of the more casual greetings in French, though common.

    Make sure to check out our complete guide about “How to Say Hello in French” for more vocabulary and cultural insight about the subtle art of French greetings!

    You can also practice your accent using our list of Common Ways to Say Hello with audio recordings on FrenchPod101.


    2. How to Learn about Each Other

    Now, let’s have a look at the classic questions and answers that usually come up when you meet someone. You’ll learn not only how to answer these questions and tell about yourself, but also to inquire about the other person and learn more about them.

    Most questions have two forms (casual and formal) while most answers simply have one form.

    1- What’’s Your Name?

    To give your name or ask someone’s in French, we use the verb S’appeler.

    Casual “What’s your name?” Formal “What’s your name?”
    Comment tu t’appelles ? Comment vous appelez-vous ?
    Tu t’appelles comment ?
    • Je m’appelle Bob (“My name is Bob”) literally means: “I call myself Bob.”
      • This is the most common way to state your name. It works in both formal and casual situations.

    Next, you can return the question:

    Casual “And you?” Formal “And you?”
    Et toi ? Et vous ?

    When asked back, in a casual situation, you can answer:

    • Moi, c’est Bob. (“I’m Bob.”)

    2- Where are You From?

    Unless you’ve worked hard on your accent with FrenchPod101, your new friends will most likely guess that you’re not from France and ask you where you’re from. Here’s how:

    Casual “Where are you from?” Formal “Where are you from?”
    D’où tu viens ?
    Tu viens d’où ?
    Tu es d’où ?

    (“Where are you from?”)

    De quel pays tu viens ?
    Tu viens de quel pays ?
    Tu es de quel pays ?

    (“From what country are you from?”)

    Tu es de quelle nationalité ?
    (“What is your nationality?”)

    D’où venez-vous ?
    Vous venez d’où ?
    Vous êtes d’où ?

    (“Where are you from?”)

    De quel pays venez-vous ?
    Vous venez de quel pays ?
    Vous êtes d’où ?

    (“From what country are you from?”)

    De quelle nationalité êtes-vous ?
    Quelle est votre nationalité ?

    (“What is your nationality?”)

    If you’re from another country, you can answer with any of these:

    • Je viens de Chine. (“I’m coming from China.”)
    • Je suis Chinois. [Male] / Je suis Chinoise. [Female] (“I am Chinese.”)

    If you want to state the city where you’re currently living, it would be:

    • Je viens de Paris. (“I’m coming from Paris.”)
    • J’habite à Paris. (“I’m living in Paris.”)

    Check out our extensive list of Vocabulary for Nationalities and learn how to state where you’re from. It’s so important to learn useful contextual French phrases like this!

    3- What’s Your Profession?

    It’s common in France to ask about the other person’s job early in the conversation. It usually comes before what we see as more personal details, such as age, marital status, or family. If your new friend has a cool profession and you can follow-up with more questions, this can also be a great ice-breaker! Here’s what you’ll need to know about talking about your profession in French!

    Casual “What is your profession?” Formal “What is your profession?”
    Tu fais quoi dans la vie ?
    (“What are you doing in life?”)
    Tu fais quoi comme travail ?
    Tu fais quel métier ?

    (“What is your job?”)
    Quel est votre métier ?
    Quelle est votre profession ?
    Quel travail faites-vous ?

    (“What is your occupation?”)

    Possible answers are:

    • Je suis étudiant(e). (“I’m a student.”)
    • J’étudie la biologie. (“I’m studying biology.”)
    • Je travaille dans l’informatique. (“I’m working in IT.”)
    • Je suis dans la finance. (“I’m working in finance.”)
    • Je suis charpentier. (“I’m a carpenter.”)

    A bit of slang: Travail or Métier (“Occupation” or “Profession”) are often replaced in casual conversations with any of these slang alternatives:

    • Boulot; Taf; Job

    Find more job names on our list of jobs in French with translations and audio recording. And if you’re a student, you can find another list about School Subjects.

    4- Tell Me about Your Family!

    This isn’t likely to come up right away when meeting new people, but as you get to know more about them, this conversation topic is perfectly fine. Below you’ll find information on talking about your family in French.

    Casual “Tell me about your family.” Formal “Tell me about your family.”
    Tu es marié(e) ?
    (“Are you married?”)

    Tu as des enfants ?
    (“Do you have kids?”)

    Tu as des frères et soeurs ?
    (“Do you have brothers and sisters?”)

    Vous êtes marié(e) ?
    (“Are you married?”)

    Vous avez des enfants ?
    (“Do you have kids?”)

    Vous avez des frères et soeurs ?
    (“Do you have brothers and sisters?”)

    Some possible answers are:

    • Oui, je suis marié(e). (“Yes, I’m married.”)
    • Non, je suis célibataire. (“No, I’m single.”)
    • Non, je suis divorcé(e). (“No, I’m divorced.”)
    • J’ai deux enfants. (“I have two kids.”)
    • J’ai un petit frère et une grande soeur. (“I have a little brother and a big sister.”)

    Learn more on talking about your family in French with our list of Must-know French Terms for Family Members.

    5- How Old are You?

    The French are a bit more demanding on politeness than other countries. For instance, it can be seen as rude or insensitive to ask a woman about her age, unless you’re talking to a young girl or woman that would obviously not shy away from the question.

    In most cases, it’s absolutely fine, though. Don’t let us scare you with French etiquette! Talking about your age in French really just comes down to the information below.

    Casual “How old are you?” Formal “How old are you?”
    Tu as quel age ? Quel age avez-vous ?

    You can answer with:

    • J’ai 30 ans. (“I’m 30 years old.”)

    As you grow older, it’s perfectly acceptable to start lying about your age. ;)

    Shake Hands

    6- What are Your Hobbies?

    Now that we’ve got the mundanities out of the way, let’s share more personal information by talking about our hobbies and passions in French.

    Casual “What are your hobbies?” Formal “What are your hobbies?”
    C’est quoi tes hobbies / passe-temps?
    (“What are your hobbies?”)

    Tu fais quoi dans ton temps libre ?
    Tu fais quoi pendant tes loisirs ?

    (“What do you do with your free time?”)

    Quels sont vos hobbies ?
    (“What are your hobbies?”)

    Que faites-vous de votre temps libre ?
    Quels sont vos loisirs ?

    (“What do you do with your free time?”)

    You could answer virtually anything, but here are some examples:

    • Je joue au tennis. (“I’m playing tennis.”)
    • Je joue du piano. (“I’m playing piano.”)
    • Je passe mes nuits sur HBO. (“I spend my nights on HBO.”)
    • J’écris un journal de voyage. (“I’m writing a travel diary.”)

    We have a vocabulary list about hobbies with translations and recordings, as well as a free PDF lesson with even more words for you to learn!

    The best way to learn how to pronounce all these introduction sentences? Check our list of 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself and practice your French pronunciation!


    3. Specific Introduction Lines

    Now that we’ve seen the most common questions and answers, let’s see how to introduce yourself with useful French phrases in more targeted situations with short conversation examples:

    1- When You Travel (Meeting Friendly Locals)

    • Tu voyages depuis longtemps ? (“Have you been travelling for a long time?”)
      • Je voyage depuis deux mois. (“I have been travelling for two months.”)
    • Tu as visité quels autres pays ? (“What other countries did you visit?”)
      • Je suis allé(e) en Espagne et en Italie. (“I have been to Spain and Italy.”)

    Find more vocabulary and recordings in our Travel and Traveling vocabulary lists.

    2- At Work (Meeting Your Coworkers)

    • Tu travailles dans quel service ? (“In which division are you working?”)
      • Je travaille aux ressources humaines. (“I’m working with HR.”)
    • Tu bosses sur quoi en ce moment ? (“What are you working on right now?”)
      • Je viens de commencer un nouveau projet. (“I have just started working on a new project.”)

    Cheers

    3- In a Casual Social Event (Meeting Friends, a Date)

    • Tu fais quoi demain soir ? (“What are you doing tomorrow night?”)
      • Je vais au cinéma avec un pote. (“I’m going to a movie with a pal.”)
    • Tu as un copain ? / Tu as une copine ? (“Do you have a boyfriend / girlfriend?”)
      • Non, on a rompu il y a deux semaines. (“No, we broke up two weeks ago.”)

    4- Family Meetings (Meeting Your Parents-in-law)

    • Vous vous êtes rencontrés comment ? (“How did you meet?”)
      • J’ai rencontré Julie à l’université. (“I have met Julie at the university.”)
    • Comment tu connais Bastien ? (“How do you know Bastien?”)
      • On travaille ensemble. (“We work together.”)


    4. How to Leave an Impression

    1- Less is More!

    Don’t make it all about yourself. As tempting as it is to talk about your dancing eyebrows talent, snail-watching hobby, or any of your groundbreaking achievements, try to keep it to yourself and keep some mystery alive. When someone asks something about you, you don’t have to divulge a whole chapter of your biography. Just throw some juicy teasers and play hard-to-get. It’ll make you more interesting and appealing.

    In the meantime, talking less about yourself will leave you more time to inquire about the other person, ask them questions, and learn more about their culture and passions! Listen to what they have to say; don’t think about what you want to say next.

    2- Show Your Interest

    When meeting someone for the first time, it’s customary in France to drop a word of appreciation once you’ve learned that person’s name. This can take different forms:

    • Enchanté(e) (“Delighted”) is the easiest and most common.
    • Ravi(e) de vous rencontrer or Heureux / Heureuse de vous rencontrer (“Happy to meet you”)
    • C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer (“It’s a pleasure to meet you”)
      You can cut it down to Un plaisir de vous rencontrer (“Pleased to meet you”) or even Un plaisir (“A pleasure”).

    But there are many other ways to show your interest when you greet in French:

    • Je m’appelle Julie. (“My name is Julie.”)
      • C’est un très joli prénom. (“It’s a really pretty name.”)
    • Je suis photographe. (“I’m a photographer.”)
      • Génial ! Quel genre de photos ? (“Great! What kind of photos?”)
    • J’ai 40 ans. (“I’m 40 years old.”)
      • Vraiment ? Tu fais beaucoup plus jeune. (“Really? You look so much younger.”)

    3- Start the Conversation in French

    French people love to hear French. This is partly because we’re terrible at foreign languages, but the fact is that even if you only babble a few words of French to your new local friends before switching to English, you’re likely to make a good first impression!

    Whatever your level is, even if you’re a complete beginner, our advice is to always start the conversation in French. It doesn’t matter if you only know how to say Bonjour (“Hello”) or Je ne parle pas français. (“I don’t speak French.”). Starting the conversation in French will get you off to a much better start than if you open with English.


    5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More about Introducing Yourself

    In this guide, you’ve learned how to introduce yourself in French, from greeting to talking about your job and passions. You’ve also seen how to learn more about them while showing your interest.

    Do you feel ready to introduce yourself to your new French friends and make sure nobody ever forgets about you? How would you introduce yourself to your colleague or to a girl you like? And what would you ask?

    A good exercise is to write down your presentation and tell as much as you want about you. Following this guide, you already have everything you need to write a great introduction. But if you want to go further, FrenchPod101 has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and vocabulary!

    Go further with MyTeacher for one-on-one guidance tailored to your needs. Practice introducing yourself to your private teacher and get personalized feedback and advice!

    We hope you learned a lot of practical greetings in French, along with useful contextual French phrases to help you as you start out your travels in France. Best wishes!

    About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

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    Fête de la Musique: Celebrating World Music Day in France

    In France, ninety-seven percent of French people know about Fête de la musique (”World Music Day”)!

    On World Make Music Day (or simply Make Music Day), France celebrates music and encourages anyone and everyone to create music, along with many other countries.

    This is the most characteristic aspect of World Music Day: It encourages absolutely everyone to do some music; anyone can sing or play an instrument, alone or in a band, in public spaces. Hence the wide range of styles and talents during the Fête de la musique French festivals.

    World Music Day in France is a prime example of how a country’s holidays can reveal what its people hold near to their hearts. And any successful language learner can tell you that comprehending a country’s culture is a necessary step in mastering its language. At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Music Day in France?

    Though sometimes referred to as the biggest music festival in France, World Music Day is completely different from a music festival. La fête de la musique, also known as “World Music Day,” is the celebration of music and life through free concerts and presentations, mainly outdoors, on the summer solstice each year. This popular manifestation encourages professional and amateurs alike to play instruments on the streets.

    The idea of Music Day first appeared in 1976. It was conceived by the American musician Joel Cohen, who worked at the time for the radio station “Radio France” (France Musique). Back then, Cohen was proposing “Musical Saturnalians” for the two solstices, the winter one on December twenty-first and the summer one on June twenty-first.

    After the presidential elections of 1981, Maurice Fleuret adopted the idea, which Jack Lang (then Minister of Culture) put in place. It took place for the first time on June 21, 1982, and was officially declared the following year. Music Day immediately met an increasing success, which has spread to this day well beyond the French borders.

    2. When is World Music Day?

    Musical Notes on a Page

    On June 21, France celebrates World Music Day. This is usually on the date of the summer solstice, the perfect time of year for outdoor music fun! As mentioned earlier, the 21 June France celebration date for this holiday was chosen in 1982.

    3. World Music Festival: France’s Celebrations

    La fête de la musique (meaning “World Music Day̶ ;) is such a fun day. Anywhere you go, music is present. On Music Day, France is home to all types of music styles that are represented by young, talented musicians—from newly created bands to professionals making it their way of life. Concerts are organized with elaborate production, and musicians on their own or in small groups play with their instruments on street corners. Everyone performs for free, just for the pleasure of sharing their art.

    People who appreciate the music, but aren’t actually playing, enjoy the day by walking through the yards of castles, schools, and town squares to enjoy the performances. The mature public usually appreciate orchestras, choruses, and operas which take place in scheduled places and times in large towns. The younger generations prefer to dance and party till dawn at programmed concerts offered by the city.

    Bars and restaurants take on bands and musicians to attract people inside or on their patio. People can also find music playing in prisons, hospitals, airports, and subways.

    French bars and restaurants usually have to close a little after midnight. But on Music Day, they’re allowed to stay open much later to welcome the public. Furthermore, the date of the twenty-first most often corresponds with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Night falls very late, so French people often use this as an excuse to continue celebrations late into the night!

    4. Most Common Musical Instruments in France

    A Music Festival

    Do you know which musical instrument is played the most by French people?

    In France, the most played musical instrument is the guitar, closely followed by the piano. But the piano is the instrument that is most taught in music schools, whereas many people play the guitar as amateurs, without a teacher.

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for World Music Day

    Woman Playing an Instrument

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Music Day in France!

    • Jazz — “Jazz
    • Rue — “Street”
    • Guitare — “Guitar”
    • Violon — “Violin”
    • Concert — “Concert”
    • Musique rock — “Rock music
    • Batterie — “Drums”
    • Festival — “Festival”
    • Fête de la musique — “Music Day”
    • Groupe — “Band”
    • Jouer — “Play”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Music Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Did you know about World Music Day before reading this article? Does your country have elaborate celebrations for Music Day like France does? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about the culture in France and the French language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com. We provide practical learning tools for every learner to ensure that anyone can master French! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study up with our free French vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow French students on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin learning French one-on-one with your own personal teacher through our MyTeacher program.

    Learning a new language, and absorbing the culture around it, is no easy task. But it’s well worth the effort and determination you put into it! And FrenchPod101 will be here with you for each step of your journey to mastery.

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    It’s French Movie Night ! Our Guide of the Best Films for French Learners

    It’s your turn to pose on the red carpet ! You may not yet be able to chat with Marion Cotillard or have a drink with Gérard Depardieu. But you can watch the movies that made them famous.

    Sounds like the easy way out of homework ? Not quite ! At FrenchPod101, we advocate diving into the pop culture as one of the best ways to master a new language.

    • It’s a unique way to practice your oral comprehension skills, and to get acquainted with the natural French flow.
    • Watching a movie allows you to test your French-learning level in a relaxed environment. It’s much less pressure than trying to chat with a native speaker ! And if you don’t understand something, you can still pause or even add subtitles.
    • You will also expand your cultural horizons and find a new motivation to learn.

    No classroom can offer this kind of experience !

    Thanks to Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services, the best movies for learning French are already available online. Whether you like romance, drama, or comedy, FrenchPod101 has the perfect selection for your French movie night. Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in French.

    Ways to improve pronunciation

    Table of Contents

    1. Oldies but Goldies: Classics to Understand the French Culture
    2. Master the French Sense of Humor
    3. French Movies to Take on a Romantic Blind Date
    4. Our Favorite French Dramas
    5. Bonus - La Belle et La Bête
    6. Conclusion

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    1. Oldies but Goldies : Classics to Understand the French Culture

    If you’ve ever heard of la Nouvelle Vague (The New Wave), you know you don’t want to miss out on classic French cinema. Here are the most common French vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

    Top verbs

    1- Jules et Jim (“Jules and Jim”), directed by François Truffaut (1962)

    Level : Intermediate

    Rebellious Jules and his shy friend Jim both fall in love with the charismatic Catherine. Unbeknownst to them, France is on the brink of World War I.

    Director François Truffaut is a legend of French cinema. And young Jeanne Moreau shines in this love triangle story. She delivers one of the film’s most iconic quotes, in the form of a made-up nursing rhyme :

    Tu m’as dit “Je t’aime”, je t’ai dit “Attends”
    J’allais dire “Prends-moi”, tu m’as dit “Vas t’en”

    You told me “I love you”, I told you “wait”.
    I was about to say “take me”, you said “go away”.

    2- A Bout de Souffle (“Breathless”), directed by Jean-Luc Godard (1960)

    Level : Intermediate

    Michel, a young rebel on the run, seduces aspiring journalist Patricia, who joins him on his flight to Italy.
    This iconic New Wave movie marks Jean-Paul Belmondo’s first breakthrough as an actor.

    (SPOILER) Michel’s death scene is the set of a famous dialogue between him, Patricia, and detective Vital. Whether Michel is blaming Patricia or the whole world remains voluntarily ambiguous.

    MICHEL: C’est vraiment dégueulasse.
    PATRICIA: Qu’est-ce qu’il a dit?
    VITAL: Il a dit que vous êtes vraiment “une dégueulasse”.
    PATRICIA: Qu’est-ce que c’est “dégueulasse” ?

    MICHEL: It’s really gross
    PATRICIA: What did he say?
    VITAL: He said that you are “really gross”.
    PATRICIA: What is it, “gross”?

    3- Jean de Florette, directed by Claude Berri (1986)

    Level : Advanced

    In post-WWI’s rural Provence, Ugolin Soubeyrand (Daniel Auteuil) and his cunning grandfather César (Yves Montand) scheme to trick naive Jean de Florette (Gérard Depardieu) out of a plot of land he just inherited.

    But that’s not all—the saga continues ! Manon des Sources stars a young Emmanuelle Béart as Manon, and here, Jean de Florette’s daughter might be the demise of Ugolin.

    (SPOILER) Ugolin remains morally ambivalent to the end. After the death of Jean in the first movie, he confesses to César :

    “Ce n’est pas moi qui pleure. C’est mes yeux.”
    I’m not crying. It’s my eyes.

    Both movies are adapted from Provençal writer Marcel Pagnol’s novels. They’re rather easy to read, so check them out to see how the movies compare !


    2. Master the French Sense of Humor

    Movie genres

    This selection is slightly longer than the other genres for two reasons:

    1. Comedies are an obvious favorite for a fun learning experience
    2. Your French friends will be delighted to share these cultural references with you
      Quotes from these movies often pop up in casual conversations, so feel free to take notes !

    1- Les Visiteurs (“The Visitors”), directed by Jean-Marie Poiré (1993)

    Level : Intermediate

    Middle-Age Count of Montmirail (Jean Reno) and his servant Jacquouille la Fripouille (Christian Clavier) are sent to the 20th century by mistake. They discover modern civilization as they try to come back to their own time.

    One of the (many) famous quotes is from Jacquouille’s distant descendant Jacquard :

    “Qu’est-ce que c’est que ce binz ?!”
    What’s all this mess?!

    2- Le Père Noël est une Ordure (“Santa Claus is a Stinker”), directed by Jean-Marie Poiré (1979)

    Level : Advanced

    Two volunteers for a suicide hotline are stuck with the Christmas Eve shift. They start losing control as several distressed people show up at their headquarters.

    Basically every quote from this movie is famous. A general favorite remains Thérèse’s assessment, while she tastes a pastry of dubious origins :

    “C’est fin, c’est très fin, ça se mange sans faim !”
    It’s refined, very refined, you can eat it without hunger!

    The movie started as a successful play. Original troupe of actors, Le Splendid, brought it to film, and its members—Thierry Lhermitte, Gérard Jugnot, Christian Clavier, and Josiane Balasko—became iconic French movie stars.

    Another classic comedy by the same troupe is Les Bronzés font du ski, directed by Patrice Leconte in 1979.

    3- Le Dîner de Cons (“The Dinner Game”), directed by Francis Veber (19 8)

    Level : Advanced

    Snobbish Parisian Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) organizes “idiots’ dinners” with his friends. Each must invite an unknowing “idiot” guest, to be ridiculed by the other guests. After the party, they vote for the “idiot of the evening.”

    But things take an unexpected turn when Pierre invites François Pignon (Jacques Villeret), an employee of the Finance Ministry.

    One of the best quotes may also give you an idea of the kind of puns to expect. Pierre tells François about one of his friends, named Juste Leblanc.

    FRANCOIS : Ah bon, il n’a pas de prénom ?!
    PIERRE : Je viens de vous le dire : Juste Leblanc. Votre prénom, c’est François, c’est juste ? Eh bien lui, c’est pareil, c’est Juste.
    FRANCOIS : …

    FRANCOIS: So, he doesn’t have a first name?!
    PIERRE: I just told you: Juste Leblanc. Your first name, it’s François, right? Then it’s the same for him, it’s Juste.
    FRANCOIS: ….

    As such puns may be difficult to get for French learners, you might want to use the subtitles. We promise it’s worth it !

    4- Astérix : Mission Cléopâtre (“Asterix & Obelix : Mission Cleopatra”), directed by Alain Chabat (2002)

    Level : Intermediate

    Time for more recent movies ! This one is every French Millennial’s favorite. When lovers Cleopatra (Monica Bellucci) and Cesar (Alain Chabat) make a gamble, Gallic heroes Astérix and Obélix (Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu) are sent to help Cleopatra’s architect Numérobis (Jamel Debbouze).

    The most diligent fans can recall from memory Otis (Edouard Baer)’s lengthy monologue. When Obélix asks him if he’s satisfied with his situation as a scribe, he answers :

    “Vous savez, moi je ne crois pas qu’il y ait de bonne ou de mauvaise situation. Moi, si je devais résumer ma vie aujourd’hui avec vous, je dirais que c’est d’abord des rencontres. Des gens qui m’ont tendu la main, peut-être à un moment où je ne pouvais pas, où j’étais seul chez moi. Et c’est assez curieux de se dire que les hasards, les rencontres forgent une destinée… Parce que quand on a le goût de la chose, quand on a le goût de la chose bien faite, le beau geste, parfois on ne trouve pas l’interlocuteur en face, je dirais, le miroir qui vous aide à avancer. Alors ça n’est pas mon cas, comme je disais là, puisque moi au contraire, j’ai pu : et je dis merci à la vie, je lui dis merci, je chante la vie, je danse la vie… Je ne suis qu’amour ! Et finalement, quand beaucoup de gens aujourd’hui me disent « Mais comment fais-tu pour avoir cette humanité ? », et bien je leur réponds très simplement, je leur dis que c’est ce goût de l’amour, ce goût donc qui m’a poussé aujourd’hui à entreprendre une construction mécanique, mais demain, qui sait ? Peut-être simplement à me mettre au service de la communauté, à faire le don, le don de soi…”

    You know, I do not think there is a good or bad situation. If I had to summarize my life today with you, I’d say it’s first of all meetings. People who reached out to me, maybe at a time when I could not, where I was alone at home. And it’s quite odd to say that accidents, encounters forge a destiny … Because when you have the taste of the thing, when you have the taste of the thing well done, the beautiful gesture, sometimes we do not do not find the representative, I would say, the mirror that helps you move forward. So that’s not my case, as I said there, since I, on the contrary, I could: and I say thank you to life, I say thank you, I sing life, I dance life … I am only love! And finally, when many people today say to me, “But how do you do to have this humanity? “Well, I tell them very simply, I tell them that it is this taste of love, this taste that pushed me today to undertake a mechanical construction, but tomorrow, who knows? Maybe just to put myself at the service of the community, to make the gift, the gift of oneself …

    5- OSS 117 - Le Caire Nid d’Espions (“OSS 117 : Cairo, Nest of Spies”), directed by Michel Hazanavicius (2006)

    Level : Intermediate

    The French actually have an acute self-mocking sense of humor. If you can’t believe it, watch the adventures of chauvinistic, “typically French” special agent OSS (Jean Dujardin) as he stumbles around 1950’s Cairo. And listen to him declare to an Egyptian ambassador :

    “On est en 1955 les gars, faut se réveiller. Les ânes partout, les djellabas, l’écriture illisible, ça va hein ! S’agirait de grandir ! S’agirait de grandir…”

    Guys we are in 1955, it’s about time to wake up. Donkeys everywhere, djellabas, unreadable writing, it’s enough! You need to grow up! You need to grow up…

    Don’t miss the sequel ! OSS 117 : Rio ne répond plus (OSS 117 : Lost in Rio) gets back to Hubert Bonnisseur de la Bath for a new mission in the 60s.


    3. French Movies to Take on a Romantic Blind Date

    French cinema takes care of its glamorous reputation ! The French love a romantic story with a quirky twist.

    1- Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (“Amélie”), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001)

    Level : Intermediate

    Shy waitress Amélie decides to fight her own isolation by transforming the life of her neighbors for the better. She evokes her paradoxical situation with one of her friends, a painter :

    AMELIE : Vous savez, la fille au verre d’eau, si elle a l’air un peu à côté, c’est peut-être parce qu’elle est en train de penser à quelqu’un.
    RAYMOND : À quelqu’un du tableau ?
    AMELIE : Non, plutôt à un garçon qu’elle a croisé ailleurs. Mais elle a l’impression qu’ils sont un peu pareils, elle et lui.
    RAYMOND : Autrement dit, elle préfère s’imaginer une relation avec quelqu’un d’absent que de créer des liens avec ceux qui sont présents ?
    AMELIE : Non, peut-être même qu’au contraire, elle se met en quatre pour arranger les cafouillages de la vie des autres.
    RAYMOND : Mais elle, les cafouillages de la sienne de vie, qui va s’en occuper ?

    AMELIE: You know, the girl with the glass of water, if she looks a little lost maybe it’s because she’s thinking of someone.
    RAYMOND: To someone on the board?
    AMELIE: No, rather to a boy she met elsewhere. But she has the impression that they are a little similar, she and him.
    RAYMOND: In other words, she prefers to imagine a relationship with someone who is absent than to create links with those who are present?
    AMELIE: No, maybe even on the contrary, she goes out of her way to arrange the mess of the lives of others.
    RAYMOND: But she, the mess of his life, who will take care of it?

    Bonus : The movie is set in Montmartre, one of Paris’s most charming districts.

    2- L’Auberge Espagnole (“Pot Luck”), directed by Cédric Klapisch (2002)

    Level : Intermediate

    French student and typical Millennial Xavier (Romain Duris) takes advantage of the Erasmus program to spend one year in Barcelona. New roommates and chance encounters will mark his life in unexpected ways.

    We get to know Xavier better, through his inner discourse :

    “Quand on arrive dans une ville, on voit des rues en perspective, des suites de bâtiments vides de sens. Tout est inconnu, vierge. Voilà, plus tard on aura habité cette ville, on aura marché dans ses rues, on aura été au bout des perspectives, on aura connu ses bâtiments, on y aura vécu des histoires avec des gens. Quand on aura vécu dans cette ville, cette rue on l’aura pris dix, vingt, mille fois. Au bout d’un moment, tout ça vous appartient parce qu’on y a vécu.”

    When we arrive in a city, we see streets in perspective, row of buildings empty of meaning. Everything is unknown, virgin. Here we are, we will have lived in this city, we will have walked in its streets, we will have been at the end of the perspectives, we will have known its buildings, we will have lived stories with people. When we have lived in this city, this street will have taken ten, twenty, thousand times. After a while, all of this belongs to you because you lived there.

    3- L’Ecume des Jours (“Mood Indigo”), directed by Michel Gondry (2013)

    Level : Intermediate

    Indie director Michel Gondry delivers a poetic adaptation of Boris Vian’s novel.

    Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloe (Audrey Tautou)’s idylle turns sour when a lotus seed starts to grow in Chloe’s lungs.

    “Si on rate ce moment, on essaie celui d’après ; et si on échoue, on recommence l’instant suivant, on a toute la vie pour réussir… ”

    If we fail at this time, we try another, and if we fail, we start all over again, we have all our life to succeed.


    4. Our Favorite French Dramas

    While drama doesn’t necessarily mean tragic, these classic movies slip on the dark side.

    1- 8 Femmes (“8 Women”), directed by François Ozon (2002)

    Level : Intermediate

    Eight women of the same family are trapped during a storm, and start suspecting each other when they discover the murder of the family’s patriarch.

    This dark musical stars eight of the most prominent French actresses : Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Marie Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier, and Firmine Richard. Each of them gets a musical moment, but the most perceptive one is certainly Marie Darrieux’s final :

    “Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux.”

    There is no happy love.

    2- Les Intouchables (“Untouchables”), directed by Olivier Nakache (2011)

    Level : Intermediate

    Suicidal, disabled Philippe (François Cluzet) finds a new appreciation for life when he hires Driss (Omar Sy) as his personal nurse.

    PHILIPPE, as Driss shaves him : Un petit coup sec, ça me soulagerait.
    DRISS : Je vois que c’est la grande forme, ça me fait plaisir !

    PHILIPPE, as Driss shaves him: A quick tap, it would relieve me.
    DRISS: I see that you’re in great shape, it makes me happy!

    3- La Haine, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)

    Level : Intermediate

    The fate of three friends (among which is Vincent Cassel) takes a turn for the worst when one of them finds a policeman’s gun.

    “C’est l’histoire d’un homme qui tombe d’un immeuble de cinquante étages. Le mec, au fur et à mesure de sa chute, il se répète sans cesse pour se rassurer : jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien…
    Mais l’important, c’est pas la chute. C’est l’atterrissage.”

    It’s the story of a man falling from a fifty-story building. The guy, as he falls, he repeats constantly to reassure himself: so far so good, so far so good, so far so good …
    But the important thing is not the fall. It’s the landing.


    5. Bonus — La Belle et La Bête

    A “story old as time” and a Disney classic, The Beauty and the Beast has been remade several times in the past few years. One French version stars Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux in the titular roles. Disney’s live movie revolves around Emma Watson.

    But the French’s favorite version will always remain the one directed by Jean Cocteau himself. Get over the release date (1946) and discover a surrealistic masterpiece !


    6. Conclusion

    After you’ve gone through this list, feel free to come back for more! FrenchPod101 helps you improve your French through pop culture. From movies and TV shows to everyday expressions and the latest slang, FrenchPod101 makes the language come alive for you. Enjoy this opportunity to learn while having fun, and invite your friends to French movie night!

    Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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    Fête de Voisins: Celebrating National Neighbor Day in France

    National Neighbor Day in France (or Fête de Voisins as voisin is “neighbor” in French) is a day for people to spend time with their neighbors, usually in the form of a party. This is a significant concept in a world that’s becoming more and more adapted to life on the screen, and where people are spending less face time with each other. It can be difficult to even muster a “hello” to fellow neighbors these days!

    On Neighbor’s Day, France encourages its people to get together, socialize, and just appreciate each other. It’s such a revolutionary type of holiday that other places around the world are beginning to celebrate it too (resulting in a European Neighbor’s Day).

    At FrenchPod101, we hope to clue you in on what to expect should you receive a Fête de Voisins invitation, and teach you all about the origins of Neighbor’s Day in France. We hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Neighbor’s Day (Europe)?

    Neighbor’s Day, also called Immeubles en fête (”Building Festival”), is an originally French holiday. Its goal is to let neighbors meet each other in a friendly way, and is the initiative of a Parisian non-profit association.

    This idea was born in 1990 when a group of friends created the association Paris d’amis (”Paris of Friends̶ ;) in the seventeenth district of the French capital. They wanted to strengthen the ties of proximity between inhabitants in the neighborhood and thereby fight isolation.

    The association then carried out numerous projects with this goal, such as a sponsorship service for neighbors with hardships.

    In 1999, the association launched Neighbor’s Day in the seventeenth district of Paris. And its success was immediate because 800 buildings participated, mobilizing more than 10,000 inhabitants!

    2. When is Neighbor’s Day in France?

    Flat Apartment

    The date of Neighbor’s Day varies each year, though it is always the last Friday of May or the first Friday in June. In 2019, it will take place on May 31.

    3. Reading Practice: How Does France Celebrate Neighbor’s Day?

    Neighbor's Getting Together For a Meal

    Learn how Neighbor’s Day is celebrated in France by reading the French text below! You can find the English translation directly below it.

    Le principe est simple—une fête est organisée dans un immeuble, une maison, un jardin…Tout le monde est libre d’organiser cette fête et d’ y participer ! Chaque participant peut amener à boire ou à manger.

    Cette initiative permet de rencontrer ses voisins et de mieux connaître les personnes qui habitent le quartier.

    Cet évènement français a maintenant dépassé les frontières de son pays d’origine, d’abord avec l’extension de la fête à la Belgique et 10 autres villes européennes en 2003, puis avec l’organisation de la Journée européenne des voisins en 2004, qui se déroule dans plus de 150 villes d’Europe, et au-delà avec le Canada, la Turquie et l’Azerbaïdjan.

    Il existe un film français à propos de la fête des voisins ! Réalisé en 2010 par David Haddad, ce film narre l’histoire de Pierrot, gardien qui organise cette fête dans son immeuble. Il s’intitule “La Fête des voisins.”

    The principle is simple—a party is organized in a building, house, garden, and so on. Everyone is free to organize the party and to participate in it! Each participant can bring something to drink or eat.

    This initiative lets neighbors meet and to get to know people who live in the neighborhood better.

    This French event has now crossed the borders of its home country, first with the extension of the holiday into Belgium and ten other European cities in 2003. Then, with the organization of European Neighbor’s Day in 2004, which takes place in more than 150 cities in Europe and beyond in Canada, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

    There is a French film about Neighbor’s Day! Released in 2010 and directed by David Haddad, the film tells the story of Pierrot, a security guard who organizes a party in his building. It’s called “La Fête des voisins.”

    4. Three Largest Cities in France

    Do you know which are the three biggest cities in France?

    The three biggest cities in France are Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. Just these three cities alone house more than three-million people. That’s a lot of neighbors to invite over!

    5. Useful Vocabulary for National Neighbor Day in France

    Real Estate Sign

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Neighbor’s Day in France!

    • Maison — “House
    • Rue — “Street”
    • Étage — “Floor”
    • Voisine — “Neighbor”
    • Fête des voisins — “Neighbor’s Day”
    • Appartement — “Flat”
    • Digicode — “Digital lock”
    • Immobilier — “Real estate”
    • Quartier — “Neighborhood”
    • Lotissement — “Housing estate”

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Neighbor’s Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think of the idea behind France’s Neighbors’ Day? Does your country have a similar holiday (such as National Good Neighbor Day)? And if not, do you wish it did? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about France’s history, culture, and language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com! We have something here for every learner, making it possible for anyone to master French! Find insightful blog posts like this one, free vocabulary lists, and an online forum where you can chat with fellow French students. You can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program by creating a Premium Plus account, to learn French one-on-one with your own personal French teacher.

    Until next time, hang in there, keep your determination fueled, and say hi to your neighbors for us!

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