· By Lisa Masquelier

10 French Phrases to Know Before Your Next Visit to Paris

While many Parisians speak English, making an effort to speak their native language can enhance your experience and help you connect with the local culture. In this blog post, we'll explore 10 key French phrases to know before your next visit to Paris, which will not only enhance your trip but also make a positive impression on the locals.

1. Bonjour (bohn-zhoor) - Good morning / Hello
Starting your day with a warm "Bonjour" is a polite and friendly way to greet people in Paris. It's a simple gesture that can go a long way in making connections.

2. Bonsoir (bohn-swahr) - Good evening
Use "Bonsoir" in the late afternoon or evening to greet people or say goodbye as the day transitions into night.

3. S'il vous plaît (seel voo pleh) - Please
"Please" is a universal word of politeness, and using "S'il vous plaît" when making requests or asking for help can make your interactions more courteous.

4. Merci (mehr-see) - Thank you
Gratitude is always appreciated. Saying "Merci" when receiving assistance, service, or kindness will show your appreciation.

5. Parlez-vous anglais ? (par-lei vooz ahn-gleh) - Do you speak English?
While many Parisians speak English, asking if they do in French shows respect and effort on your part, making communication smoother.

6. Oui (wee) - Yes / Non (noh) - No
These two words are fundamental for answering questions or expressing agreement and disagreement.

7. Excusez-moi (ehk-skew-zay mwah) - Excuse me
When navigating through crowded streets or seeking assistance, saying "Excusez-moi" will help you get the attention you need.

8. L'addition, s'il vous plaît (lad-dih-syon, seel voo pleh) - The check, please
Use this phrase when you're ready to pay the bill at a restaurant or café. It's polite and indicates you're finished with your meal.

9. Où est... ? (oo eh) - Where is...?
When looking for specific locations, use "Où est" followed by the place you're searching for, such as "Où est la Tour Eiffel ?" (Where is the Eiffel Tower?).

10. Parlez lentement, s'il vous plaît (par-lei lahn-te-mahn, seel voo pleh) - Speak slowly, please
If you're struggling to understand someone speaking too quickly, politely request them to speak more slowly with this phrase.

While it's true that you can get by in Paris with English, learning these key French phrases will make your experience more enjoyable and immersive. The effort you put into speaking the local language will be appreciated by the Parisians and can lead to more enriching interactions during your stay. So, embrace the beauty of the French language and use these phrases as a bridge to connect with the charming people and culture of the City of Love. Bon voyage!


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