Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

French phrasebook

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 10:18, 10 December 2011 by Ludovico (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
French speaking areas

French (français) is a Romance language originating in France but spoken in many other parts of the Europe including Luxembourg, Southern Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels) and Western Switzerland. There are also small French speaking regions in northwestern alpine Italy. In North America, French is spoken primarily in Quebec and New Brunswick, but is present in almost every other province in Canada. It is also found in parts of the US state of Louisiana and Maine. The majority of Quebec is francophone and the only bilingual province in Canada is New Brunswick. Although Canada is a bilingual nation, French is spoken by a minority of citizens in all the other provinces and territories. Other countries speaking French include former French colonies in North Africa and West Africa; in Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean; in French Guiana in South America; in Tahiti and numerous other islands in the Indian Ocean and in Oceania. It has long been the language of international diplomacy and communication, and although largely supplanted by English since World War II, it remains de rigueur (of obligatory requirement) for educated people in many societies around the world to have some level of basic French ability. It is also an official language of the UN and the EU.

There are many differences between French spoken in Québec and that spoken in France. One is state and one is king french. The two main differences are that Québec has retained many 18th & 19th century French words, while French spoken in France has incorporated many English words. Furthermore, aside from Europe & Québec, many French-speaking regions have incorporated many local words or formed a distinctive dialect/language known as creole.

Francophonie can help you locate French-speaking regions.

Pronunciation

Like that of English, unlike almost all the other Romance languages, French spelling is not very phonetic. The same letter used in two different words can make two different sounds, and many letters are not pronounced at all. In general, it's not impossible to sound out words, but suffice it to say that many experienced non-native French speakers(and even some native speakers) mispronounce words often.

One thing to note is that final consonants of a word are usually dropped: allez (go) is pronounced ahl-AY, not ahl-AYZ; tard (late) is pronounce tar, not tard. But if the next word begins with a vowel, the consonant may be pronounced; this is called liaison. A final 'e' is also usually silent if the word has more than one syllable.

Stress is fairly even in French, but the stress almost always falls on the last syllable.

For many French words, it is impossible to write something which, when pronounced as English, sounds like the French word. Use the transliteration as a guide to liaison and the French spelling to pronounce the vowels.

Vowels

Vowels in French can have accent marks, which generally have no noticeable impact on pronunciation, but they often distinguish between homophones in writing (ou, meaning or, and , meaning where, are pronounced the same). The only really important one is é, which is always pronounced "ay", and changes the meaning of the word.

a, à, â 
like "a" in "father"
in most cases a central neutral vowel ("schwa") like "a" in "about", sometimes not pronounced at all, sometimes like "é" or "è"
é, è, ê, ai, -er, -es, -ez 
é is towards "e" in "set" or "ay" in "day", and è is more nasal, like the a in "cake" in English, except without the "y" sound at the end. They are not equivalent and they make very distinct sounds.
i, î 
like "ee" in "see" but shorter and tenser
o, ô, au, eau 
generally like "oa" in "boat" or "aw" in "law", can be considered equivalent
u, ù 
like a very tight, frontal "oo" sound (purse your lips as if to say "oo" as in "soon" but try to say "ee") - uu in transcriptions
ou 
like "oo" in "food", but a pure vowel
like "ee" in "see" ; also sometimes used as a consonant, pronounced the same as in English (in 'yes' for example).
eu 
between "ew" in "dew" and "ur" in "burp"; written eu in transcriptions

Semi-vowels

oi 
like "wa" in "walk"
oui 
like "wee" in "week"
ui 
like "wee" in "week", but with a French u instead of the w
œ 
a bit like "eu" but more "open". The distinction between œ and "eu" is very subtle and often irrelevant.

Consonants

Note: Most final consonants are silent except for c, q, f, l, and r (except in the combination "-er", normally found in verb infinitives). Note that the plural ending "-ent" for verbs is never pronounced, though it is pronounced in other words.

like "b" in "bed"
like "k" in "kill" (before "a", "o", and "u" or before a consonent), like "s" in "sun" (before "e", "i", and "y")
ç 
like "s" in "sun" (this letter can only be written before "a" ,"o", or "u")
like "d" in "death" (but a bit heavier than in English, and pronounced on the tongue)
like "f" in "fun"
like "g" in "go" (before "a", "o", and "u" or before a consonent), like "g" in "sabotage" (before "e", "i" and "y").
gu 
like "g" in "goose" (before "e", "i", "y")
gn 
like "ny" in "canyon". This is particularly difficult when followed by oi, as in baignoire (beh-NYWAR) "bathtub".
usually silent, but may sometimes prevent a liaison with the former word
like "g" in "sabotage"
like "k" in "kill" (not native to French)
l, ll 
like "l" in "like"; some exceptions for "ll" in the combination "ille" (pronounced ee-yuh)
like "m" in "me"
like "n" in "nurse" (but see Nasals below)
like "p" in "push" (unaspirated like the t)
q(u) 
most of the time like "k" in "kill" (not like "qu" in "quick"); in some words like "qu" in "quick" (generally before an "a") or the same but with a French u (generally before an "i")
guttural; kind of like coughing up a hairball (similar to a German "ch")
like "s" in "sun"; like "z" in "zero" (between two vowels)
ch 
like "sh" in "bush"; sometimes like "k" in "kill" (in words of Greek origin mostly)
t, th 
like "t" in "take" (unaspirated, it should sound dry and on the tongue, like that of a Spanish speaker)
like "v" in "value"
only in foreign words, mostly like "w" in "wise" and sometimes like "v" in "value" (in particular, "wagon" is "vagon" and "WC" is "VC"!)
either ks (like "x" in "exit") or gz
like "z" in "zero"
ph 
like "f" in "fun" and like "ph" in "Philadelphia"

Nasals

an, en, em 
nasal a (not always pronounced as a nasal, especially if the n or m is doubled: emmental is pronounced as a normal "emm" sound)
on 
nasal o - distinguishing between this and "an" is tricky, it's a deeper, more closed sound
in, ain 
nasal è
un 
nasal eu (sometimes pronounced the same as 'in')
oin 
nasal "wè" (thus, coin is a nasalised "cwè")

Diphthongs

ail 
like "i" in "fight"
ill 
either literally, or like "y" in "three years", with some exceptions (ville is veel, fille is fiy)

Exceptions

  • When there is an accent mark on "e", it prevents diphthongs. Letters should be pronounced separately, following the rule for the accented letter. Example: énergumène, (rowdy character), réunion (meeting).
  • A diaeresis (") may also be used to prevent diphthongs on "e", "u" and "i". Example: maïs (Indian corn or maize).
  • In the combinations "gue" and "gui", the "u" should not be pronounced: it is there only to force the prononciation of "g" as in "go". If the "u" is pronounced, a diaeresis is added on the 2nd vowel : aiguë (sharp).
  • In the combination "geo", the "e" should not be pronounced, it is only there to force the prononciation of "g" as in "sabotage" (in the case the "e" should be pronounced, it is indicated with an accent mark as in géologie).

Note you should not pronounce the "G" where "NG" is used in the prononciation hint.

Phrase list

Basics

Common signs

OPEN 
Ouvert
CLOSED 
Fermé
ENTRANCE 
Entrée
EXIT 
Sortie
PUSH 
Poussez
PULL 
Tirez
TOILET 
Toilette
MEN 
Hommes
WOMEN 
Femmes
FORBIDDEN 
Interdit, Défendu


Hello. (formal)
Bonjour. (bong-ZHOOR)
Hello. (informal
Salut. (sah-LUU)
How are you? 
Comment allez-vous ? (koh-mahn t-AH-lay VOO) formal; Comment vas-tu? (koh-mahng va TUU) informal; Comment ça va ? (koh-mahn sah VAH) informal
Fine, thank you. 
Bien, merci. (byaing, merr-SEE)
What is your name? 
Comment vous appelez vous ? (koh-mahn vooz AP-lay VOO?); lit. "How do you call yourself?"
What is your name? 
("informal") Comment t'appelles-tu? ("koh-mahn tah-pell TUU?")
My name is ______ . 
Je m'appelle ______ . (zhuh mah-PELL _____)
Nice to meet you. 
Enchanté(e). (ahn-shan-TAY) Enchanté (said by a male) Enchantée (said by a female)
Please. 
S'il vous plaît. (seel voo PLEH); Je vous prie. (zhuh vous PREE)formal; S'il te plaît. (seel tuh PLEH) informal
Thank you. 
Merci. (merr-SEE)
You're welcome. 
De rien. (duh RYEHNG); lit. "of nothing".
Yes. 
Oui. (WEE)
No. 
Non. (NOH)
Excuse me. 
Pardon. (pahr-DOHN); Excusez-moi. (ehk-SKEW-zay MWAH)
(I am) Sorry. 
(Je suis) Désolé(e). ("zhuh swee DAY-zoh-LAY); Excusez-moi. (eck-SKEW-zay MWAH)
What's the time? 
Quelle heure est-il ? (kel euhr et-EEL?);
Goodbye 
Au revoir. (oh ruh-VWAHR)
Goodbye (informal
Salut. (sah-LUU)
I can't speak French [well]. 
Je ne parle pas [bien] français. (zhuh nuh PAHRL pah [byaing] frahn-SEH)
Do you speak English? 
Parlez-vous anglais ? (par-lay VOO zahng-LEH?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Est-ce qu'il y a quelqu'un ici qui parle anglais ? (ess keel-ee-AH kel-KUHN ee-see kee PAHRL lahng-LEH)/ Y a-t-il quelqu'un ici qui parle anglais ? (ee yah-TEEL kel-KUHN ee-see kee PAHRL lahng-LEH)
Help! 
Au secours! (oh suh-KOOR)
Look out! 
Attention ! (ah-tahn-see-OHN)
Have a nice day
Bonne journee (bong zhoor-NAY)
Good Day
Bonjour (bong-zhoo(r))
Good morning. 
Bon matin. (bong mah-TANG)
Good evening. 
Bonsoir. (bong-SWAHR)
Good night. 
Bonne nuit. (boh-NWEE)
Good night (to sleep
Bonne nuit. (boh-NWEE)
Sweet dreams 
Fais de beaux reves (feh duh bo RAI-vuh)
I don't understand. 
Je ne comprends pas. (zhuh nuh KOHM-prahn pah)
Where is the toilet? 
Où sont les toilettes ? (OOH sohn leh twah-LET?)
How do you say _____? 
Comment dit-on _____ ? (koh-mahn dee-TONG _____ ?)
What is this/that called? 
Comment appelle-t-on ceci/ça ? (koh-mahn tah-pell-TONG suh-SEE/SAH?)

Problems

Leave me alone. 
Laissez-moi tranquille! (less-ay mwah trahn-KEEL!)
Buzz off. 
Dégage! (day-GAHZH!) / Va t'en! (va TAHN)
Don't touch me! 
Ne me touchez pas! (nuh muh TOOSH-ay PAH!)
I'm calling the police. 
J'appelle la police. (zhah-PELL la poh-LEES)
Police! 
Police! (poh-LEES)
Stop! Rapist! 
Arrêtez! Au viol! (ah-reh-TAY! oh vee-YOL!)
Stop! Thief! 
Arrêtez! Au voleur! (ah-reh-TAY! oh vo-LEUR!)
Help! 
Au secours! (oh suh-KOOR!)
I need your help. 
Aidez-moi, s'il vous plaît! (aih-day MWAH, SEEL voo PLEH!)
It's an emergency. 
C'est une urgence! (seh tuun uur-ZHAHNS)
I'm lost. 
Je suis perdu. (ZHUH swee pehr-DUU')
I've lost my bag. 
J'ai perdu mon sac. (zhay pehr-DUU mon SAK)
I've lost my wallet. 
J'ai perdu mon portefeuille. (zhay pehr-DUU mon POHR-tuh-fuhye)
I'm sick. 
Je suis malade. (zhuh swee mah-LAHD)
I've been injured. 
Je me suis blessé. (zhuh muh swee bleh-SAY)
I need a doctor. 
J'ai besoin d'un médecin. (zhay buh-ZWAHN dun may-TSAN)
Can I use your phone? 
Puis-je utiliser votre téléphone? (pwee zhuh uu-tee-lee-ZAY vot-ruh tay-lay-FONE)
What is it? 
Qu'y a-t-il? (key ah-TEEL)

Numbers

un/une (uhn)/(uun)
deux (deu)
trois (trwah)
quatre (kaht)
cinq (sank)
six (seece)
sept (set)
huit (weet)
neuf (nuf)
10 
dix (deece)
11 
onze (onz)
12 
douze (dooz)
13 
treize (trayz)
14 
quatorze (kat-ORZ)
15 
quinze (cans)
16 
seize (says)
17 
dix-sept (dee-SET)
18 
dix-huit (dee-ZWEET)
19 
dix-neuf (deez-NUF)
20 
vingt (vent)
21 
vingt-et-un (vang-tay-UHN)
22 
vingt-deux (vang-DEU)
23 
vingt-trois (vang-TRWAH)
30 
trente (trahnt)
40 
quarante (kar-AHNGT)
50 
cinquante (sank-AHNGT)
60 
soixante (swah-SAHNGT)
70 
soixante-dix (swah-sahngt-DEES) or septante (sep-TAHNGT) in Belgium and Switzerland
80 
quatre-vingt (kaht-ruh-VANG); huitante (weet-AHNT) in Belgium and Switzerland (except Geneva); octante (oct-AHNT) in Switzerland
90 
quatre-vingt-dix (katr-vang-DEES); nonante (noh-NAHNGT) in Belgium and Switzerland
100 
cent (sahng)
200 
deux cent (deu sahng)
300 
trois cent (twa sahng)
1000 
mille (meel)
2000 
deux mille (deu meel)
1,000,000 
un million (ung mee-LYOHNG) (treated as a noun when alone: one million euros would be un million d'euros.
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
numéro _____ (nuu-may-ROH)
half 
demi (duh-MEE), moitié (mwah-tee-AY)
less 
moins (mwang)
more 
plus (pluu)

Time

now 
maintenant (ment-NAHN)
later 
plus tard (plew TAHR)
before 
avant (ah-VAHN)
after 
après (ah-PREH)
morning 
le matin (luh mah-TAN)
in the morning 
au matin ("oh mah-TAN"); dans la matinée (dahn lah mah-tee-NAY)
afternoon 
l'après-midi (lah-preh-mee-DEE)
in the afternoon 
à l'après-midi (ah lah-preh-mee-DEE)
evening 
le soir (luh SWAHR)
in the evening
dans la soirée (dahn lah swah-RAY); au soir (oh SWAHR)
night 
la nuit (lah NWEE)
in the night 
à la nuit (ah lah NWEE)

Clock time

(Note on time: the French use the 24 hour clock, with midnight being 0h00 (note that, except on digital clocks, the in France an 'h' is used as a seperator between hours and minutes as opposed to a colon in many other countries). However, the 12-hour clock is making some inroads and saying 1-11 in the afternoon or evening will be understood.

hour 
heure (er)
minute 
minute (mee-NUUT)
From 1-30 past the hour / ___ plus ___ 
[hour] + plus (pluu') + [number]
Example: 10h20 dix heure plus vignt (deez er pluu VAGN)
For 1-29 until the hour / __ 'til ___ 
[next hour] + moins (mwan)
quarter 
quart/le quart (KAHR/luh KAHR)
7h15 = sept heures et quart (set er eh luh KAHR)
16h45 = dix sept heures moins le quart (deez SET er mwan luh KAHR)
half-past : demie (duh-MEE); demi (after midnight or noon, duh-MEE)
10h30 = dix heure et demie (deez er eh duh-MEE)
one o'clock AM, 1h00 
une heure du matin (uun er duu ma-TAN)
two o'clock AM, 2h00 
deux heures du matin (dooz er duu ma-TAN)
noon, 12h00 
midi (mee-DEE)
one o'clock PM, 13h00 
treize heure (traiyz er)
une heure de l'après-midi (uun er duh la-preh-mee-DEE)
two o'clock PM, 14h00 
quatorze heure (KAH-torz er)
deux heures de l'après-midi (duz er duh la-preh-mee-DEE)
six o'clock PM, 18h00 
dix-huit heure (deez-weet ER)
six heures du soir (sees er dew SWAR)
half past seven, 19h30 
sept heures et demi (SET er eh duh-MEE)
dix-neuf heures trente (DEE-znuf er TRAHNT)
midnight 0h00
minuit (mee-NWEE)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minute(s) (mee-NUUT)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ heure(s) (er)
_____ day(s) 
_____ jour(s) (zhoor)
_____ week(s) 
_____ semaine(s) (suh-MEN)
_____ month(s) 
_____ mois (mwa)
_____ year(s) 
_____ an(s) (ahng), année(s) (ah-NAY)
daily 
quotidienne (ko-tee-DYEN)
weekly 
hebdomadaire (eb-doh-ma-DAIYR)
monthly 
mensuel (mang-suu-WEL)
yearly 
annuel (ah-nuu-WEL)

Days

today 
aujourd'hui (oh-zhoor-DWEE)
yesterday 
hier (yare)
tomorrow 
demain (duh-MAN)
this week 
cette semaine (set suh-MEN)
last week 
la semaine dernière (lah suh-MEN dehr-NYAIR)
next week 
la semaine prochaine (lah suh-MEN pro-SHEN)

Note: French calendars normally start on Monday.

Monday 
lundi (luhn-DEE)
Tuesday 
mardi (mahr-DEE)
Wednesday 
mercredi (mehr-kruh-DEE)
Thursday 
jeudi (juh-DEE)
Friday 
vendredi (vahn-druh-DEE)
Saturday 
samedi (sahm-DEE)
Sunday 
dimanche (dee-MAHNSH)

Colors

Note: Like other romance languages, nouns in french are either "masculine" or "feminine" and adjectives vary accordingly.

black 
noir/noire (nwahr)
white 
blanc/blanche (blahng/blahnsh)
gray 
gris/grise (gree/greez)
red 
rouge (roozh)
blue 
bleu/bleue (bluh)
yellow 
jaune (zhawn)
green 
vert/verte (verre/vehrt)
orange 
orange (oh-RAHNZH)
purple 
violet/violette (vee-oh-LEH/vee-oh-LET)
brown 
brun/brune (bruh/bruhn); marron (MAH-rohn)

Transportation

Bus and Train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Combien coûte le billet pour _____? (kom-BYAN koot luh bee-YEH poor)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Un billet pour _____, s'il vous plaît. (ung bee-YEH poor ____ see voo pleh)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Où va ce train/bus? (oo va suh trahn/boos?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Où est le train/bus pour _____ ? (oo eh luh trahn/boos poor ____)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Ce train/bus s'arrête-t-il à _____? (suh trahn/boos sah-ret-TEEL ah _____)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Quand part le train/bus pour _____? (kahn par luh trahn/boos poor _____)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Quand ce train/bus arrivera à _____? (kahn suh trahn/boos AH-reev-ehr-AH ah _____)
the/this shuttle 
la/cette navette (lah/set nah-VET) (also means a tatting shuttle)
a one-way ticket
un aller simple (uhn AH-leur SAM-pluh)
a round trip ticket
un aller-retour (uhn AH-leur REH-tour)

Directions

Where is _____? 
Où se trouve _____? (oo suh tr-OO-v _____)
...the train station? 
...la gare? (lah gahr?)
...the bus station? 
...la gare routière? (lah gahr roo-TYEHR?)
...the airport? 
...l'aéroport? (lehr-oh-POR?)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British embassy? 
...l'ambassade americaine/canadienne/australienne/anglaise? (lahm-bah-SAHD a-may-ree-KEN/ka-na-DYEN/os-trah-lee-EN/ahn-GLEZ)

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi ! (tahk-SEE!)
Take me to _____, please. 
Déposez-moi à _____, je vous prie. (DAY-poh-zay-MWAH ah _____, zhuh voo PREE)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Combien cela coûte-t-il d'aller à _____ ? (kahm-BYENG suh-LA koo-TEEL dah-LAY ah _____?)
Take me there, please. 
Amenez-moi là, je vous prie. (ah-MEHN-ay-mwah LAH, zhuh voo PREE)


Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Acceptez-vous les dollars américains/australiens/canadiens ? (ahk-sep-tay VOO leh doh-LAHR ah-may-ree-KANG/aws-trah-LYAHNG/kah-nah-DYAHNG?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Acceptez-vous les livres Sterling ? (ahk-sep-tay VOO leh leevr stehr-LING?)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Acceptez-vous les cartes de credit ? (ahk-sep-tay VOO leh kahrt duh kray-DEE?)
Can you change money for me? 
Pouvez-vous me faire le change ? (poo-vay-VOO muh fehr luh SHAHNZH?)
Where can I get money changed? 
Où puis-je faire le change ? (oo PWEEZH fehr luh SHAHNZH?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Pouvez-vous me faire le change sur un traveler's chèque ? (poo-vay-VOO muh fehr luh SHAHNZH suur ung trahv-leurz SHECK?)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Où puis-je changer un traveler's chèque ? (oo PWEEZH shahng-ZHAY ung trahv-leurz SHECK?)
What is the exchange rate? 
Quel est le taux de change ? (KELL eh luh TAW duh SHAHNZH?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Où puis-je trouver un distributeur de billets ? (oo PWEEZH troo-VAY ung dees-tree-buu-TEUR duh bee-YAY?)

Eating

fixed-price meal 
menu (muh-NUU)
à la carte 
à la carte (ah lah KAHRT)
breakfast 
France: petit-déjeuner (ptee-day-zheu-NAY); Switzerland/Belgium/Canada/Nord-Pas-de-Calais (north of France): déjeuner (day-zheu-NAY)
lunch 
France: déjeuner (day-zheu-NAY); Switzerland/Belgium/Canada/Nord-Pas-de-Calais (north of France): dîner (dee-NAY)
tea (meal
thé (tay)
dinner/supper 
France: dîner (dee-NAY); Elsewhere: souper (soo-PAY)
I would like _____. 
Je voudrais _____. (zhuh voo-DREH _____)
I would like a dish containing _____. 
Je voudrais un plat avec _____. (zhuh voo-DREH ung plah ah-VEK _____)
chicken 
(du) poulet (duu poo-LEH)
beef 
(du) boeuf (duu BUFF)
deer 
du cerf (dü SEHR)
fish 
du poisson (duu pwa-SONG)
salmon 
du saumon (duu saw-MONG)
tuna 
du thon (duu TONG)
whiting 
du merlan (duu mehr-LANG)
cod 
de la morue (duh lah moh-RUU)
seafood 
des fruits de mer (deh frwee duh MEHR); literally: "fruits of the sea"
dulse 
de la dulse (duh lah DUULS)
lobster 
du homard (duu oh-MAR)
clams 
des palourdes (deh pah-LOORD)
oysters 
des huîtres (dez WEETR)
mussels 
des moules (deh MOOL)
snails 
des escargots (dez es-car-GOH)
frogs 
des grenouilles (deh gruh-NOOEY)
ham 
du jambon (duu zhahng-BONG)
pork 
du porc/cochon (dü POHR/dü coh-SHONG). cochon is much less formal.
boar 
du sanglier (dü sahng-GLYAY)
sausage 
des saucisses (deh saw-SEESS)
cheese 
du fromage (duu froh-MAHZH)
eggs 
des oeufs (dehz UH)
one egg 
un oeuf (un UF)
salad 
une salade (uun sah-LAHD)
(fresh) vegetables 
des légumes (frais) (deh lay-guum FREH)
(fresh) fruit 
des fruits (frais) (frwee (freh))
bread 
du pain (pang)
toast 
rôtis (roh-TEE)
coffee 
café (kah-FAY)
tea (drink
thé (tay)
juice 
jus (zhuu)
(bubbly) water 
eau gazeuse (oh gah-ZUHZ)
water 
eau (oh)
Note: If you ask for "water", you will get mineral water. To specify "tap water", say "eau du robinet" (OH doo roh-bee-NEH) or ask for a carafe of water "une carafe d'eau" (OON cahr-AHF doh).
beer 
bière (byehr)
red/white wine 
vin rouge/blanc (vang roozh/blahng)
May I have some _____? 
Puis-je avoir du _____ ? (pwee zhuh ah-VWAHR duu)
salt 
sel (sel)
black pepper 
poivre (pwavr)
butter 
beurre (bur)
Excuse me, waiter/waitress? 
S'il vous plaît, monsieur/madame ? (seell voo PLEH muh-syuh/ma-dahm)
Note: "garçon" (boy) is offensive and should be avoided.
I'm finished. 
J'ai fini. (zhay fee-NEE)
It was delicious. 
C'était délicieux. (say-tay deli-SYUH)
Can you please clear the plates? 
Pouvez-vous débarrasser la table, s'il vous plaît? (poovay voo DEH-bahr-a-seh lah tah-bluh seel voo play)
The check, please. 
L'addition s'il vous plait. (lah-dee-SYOHN seel voo play)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
Servez-vous des boissons alcoolisées ? (sur-VAY voo day bwa-sson al-co-ol-ee-SAY)
Is there table service? 
Est-ce que vous servez à la table ? (Ess-ser ker voo ser-VAY ah lah TAHBL?)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Une bière/deux bières, s'il vous plait. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Un verre de vin rouge/blanc, s'il vous plait. (...)
A quarter liter of beer, please 
Un demi, s'il-vous-plaît. (...)
A pint, please. 
Une pinte, s'il vous plait. (oon peent, seel-voo-PLEH)
A bottle, please. 
Une bouteille, s'il vous plait. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ et _____, s'il vous plait. (...)
whiskey 
whisky (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rhum (...)
water 
de l'eau (duh loh)
club soda 
soda (...)
tonic water 
Schweppes (...)
orange juice 
jus d'orange (joo d'or-AHNJ)
Coke (soda
Coca (...)
One more, please. 
Encore un/une autre, s'il vous plait. (ahn-KOHR ahn/oon oh-truh, seel-voo-PLEH)
Another round, please. 
Un autre pour la table, s'il vous plait. (...)
When is closing time? 
À quelle heure fermez-vous ? (ah kell er fer-MAY voo)

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
Avez-vous ceci dans ma taille ? (AH-veh-VOO say-SEE dan sma THAI)
How much (is this)? 
Combien (ça) coûte ? (COMM-bee-yen (SAH) coot)
That's too expensive. 
C'est trop cher. (say-TRO-shair)
Would you take _____? 
Pourriez-vous accepter _____ ? (poor-yay-VOOZ ahk-sep-TAY)
expensive 
cher (shehr)
cheap 
bon marché (bong mar-SHAY) (not declined. Elles sont bon marché.)
I can't afford it. 
Je n'ai pas les moyens. (zhe nay pah leh mwah-YAHNG)
I don't want it. 
Je n'en veux pas. (zhe nahng veu pah)
You're cheating me. 
Vous essayez de me faire avoir. (vooz ess-ey-YE duh muh fehr ah-VWAHR)
I'm not interested. 
Je ne suis pas intéressé. (zhen swee pahz-ann-tay-ress-SAY)
OK, I'll take it. 
D'accord, je le/la prends. (dah-kor zhe luh/lah prahn)
Can I have a bag? 
Pourrais-je avoir un sac ? (poo-REHZH ah-VWAR ung sahk)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Livrez-vous (outre-mer/à l'étranger) ? (leev-ray-VOO ootr-MEHR/ah lay-trahn-ZHAY)
I need... 
J'ai besoin... (zhay buh-ZWAHN)
...toothpaste. 
...du dentifrice. (duu dahn-tee-FREESS)
...a toothbrush. 
...d'une brosse à dents. (duun bross ah DAHN)
...tampons. 
...des tampons. (day tahm-POHN)
...soap. 
...du savon. (duu sah-VOHN)
...shampoo. 
...du shampooing. (duu shahm-PWAHN)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...d'un analgésique (aspirine, ibuprofène);. (dun ah-nal-zhay-ZEEK (ahs-pee-REEN/ee-buu-proh-FEN))
...cold medicine. 
...d'un médicament pour le rhume. (dung may-dee-kah-MAHNG poor luh RUUM)
...stomach medicine. 
...d'un remède pour l'estomac. (dung ray-MED poor less-toh-MAHK)
...a razor. 
...d'un rasoir. (dung rah-ZWAR)
...batteries. 
...des piles. (day PEEL)
...an umbrella. (rain) 
...d'un parapluie. (doon pah-ra-ploo-ee)
...an umbrella. (sun) 
...d'une ombrelle. (doon ohm-brehl-ee)
...sunblock lotion. 
...de la crème solaire. (deh lah crehm so-LEHR)
...a postcard. 
...d'une carte postale. (doon kahrt post-AL)
...postage stamps. 
...des timbres. (dayz TAHM-burs)
...writing paper. 
...du papier à lettres. (doo pap-YEH ah LEH-TR)
...a pen. 
...d'un stylo. (doon STEE-loh)
...English-language books. 
...des livres en anglais. (dayz LEE-vruhs ehn ahngh-LEH)
...English-language magazines. 
...des revues en anglais. (dayz REH-voos ehn ahngh-LEH)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...d'un journal en anglais. (doon zhoar-NAL ahn ahng-LEH)
...a French-English dictionary. 
...d'un dictionnaire français-anglais. (uhn deect-shee-ohn-AIR frahn-SEH ahng-LEH)

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Je n'ai fait rien de mal. (zhuh nay fay ree-AHN duh MAL)
It was a misunderstanding. 
C'est une erreur. (say uhn air-ehur)
Where are you taking me? 
Où m'emmenez-vous? (ooh mehm-en-EH voo)
Am I under arrest? 
Suis-je en état d'arrestation? (SWEE zhuh ahn EH-tah dahr-es-tash-ON)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (m) 
Je suis un citoyen américain/australien/anglais/canadien. (zhuh swee uhn see-twa-YAHN a-may-ree-CAN/os-trah-lee-AHN/ahn-GLEH/ka-na-DYAN)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (f) 
Je suis une citoyenne américaine/australienne/anglaise/canadienne. (zhe s'wee oon see-twa-YEN a-may-ree-KEN/os-trah-lee-EN/ahn-GLEZ/ka-na-DYEN)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy or consulate. 
Je veux parler à l'ambassade ou le consulat américain/australien/anglais/canadien. (ZHUH vuh pahr-LEUR ah lahm-ba-SAHD oo KAHN-sul-aht a-may-ree-CAN/os-trah-lee-AHN/ahn-GLEH/ka-na-DYAN)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Je voudrais parler à un avocat. (ZHUH vood-RAY par-lehr ah uhn AH-vo-caht) ("avocat" also means "avocado" but people don't normally talk to avocados!)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Pourrais-je simplement payer une amende? (poo-RAYZH sampl-MANG pay-AY yn ah-MAHND)
[offering bribe] Will you accept this in place of my fine? 
Acceptez-vous ceci au lieu de mon amende? (accept-eh voo suh-see oh lee-YUH duh mon deh-MAND)
Note: Only consider attempting this in third world countries. DO NOT try to do this in France or Canada as it will get you in worse trouble!

Utilities

Learning more

This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites