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Speak French Instantly

Updated on May 13, 2016

France

Learning A Language

Learning a language can take years of study and can become a part of your life. As the world becomes globalized, there has never been a better time to learn a new language.

This article is not going to teach you an entire language, but it is going to teach you some really useful phrases that you will, almost certainly, need when you are on your vacation.

Le Francais

French is the official language of 29 countries across the world. It is a Romance language and spoken in France and in many surrounding European countries, such as Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. It's also spoken in a large part of Africa, Canada and the Caribbean.

We will learn the phrases using English words to get the pronunciation right as well as hearing a native speaker. Speak French Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:

Salut

Now try using these two English words together; Pal and Loo. Say these words together as one. Palloo.

Now using the same pronunciation say Salloo.

That's it! We've said our first French word. We can now say hello to someone in French and they will understand us.

French phrase : Salut.

What it means : Hello.

English words : Palloo.

Pronounced : Salloo.

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.

Où sont les toilettes?

Use these English words:

Who-con-lay-twa-let. The A in twa is pronounced like A in apple. I've had to use twa, because there isn't a word I know, in English, that is pronounced like it.

So now try; oo-sonn-lay-twa-let.

French phrase : où sont les toilettes?

What it means : Where are the toilets (restrooms).

English words : who-con-lay-twa-let.

Pronounced : oo-sonn-lay-twa-let.

Exercise 3 : Thank You

This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations. Just like we do in English. In fact the French word for thank you is probably already familiar to you.

Merci

Use these English words; fair-see.

Now try pronouncing it; mair-see. It really is that simple for such a powerful word.

French phrase : Merci.

What it means : Thank you.

English words : fair-see.

Pronounced : mair-see

Exercise 4 : Excuse Me

Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market. It's much more polite than shouting "Beep Beep".

Excusez-moi

Say these English words together: eggs-choose-hay-twa.

French phrase : Excusez-moi.

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : eggs-choose-hay-twa.

Pronounced : eggs-cues-ay-mwa.

Exercise 5 : How Much Is It?

This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering.

C'est combien?

Use these English words: say-bomb-she-hen. The "she" and "hen" are like one word and sound more like shyen.

French phrase : C'est combien?

What it means : How much is it?

English words : say-bomb-she-hen.

Pronounced : say-comm-byen.

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The word to use is:

Je Voudrais

French phrase : Je voudrais

What it means : I would like.

English words : the-two-tray.

Pronounced : Je-voo-dray

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.

Une Tasse...Une Verre...Café...Thé...Vin...Lait...Biere...L'eau

French phrase : Une tasse de cafe...Une tasse de the.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : moon-mass-day-cafe...moon-mass-day-bay.

Pronounced : oon-tass-day-cafe...oon-tass-day-tay

French phrase : Une verre du lait...Une verre du vin...Une verre de biere...Une verre de l'eau.

What it means : A glass of milk...a glass of beer... a glass of wine...a glass of water.

English words : moon-fair-two-bay...moon-fair-two-can...moon-fair-lay-beehair...moon-fair-the-low.

Pronounced : oon-vair-do-lay..oon-vair-do-van...oon-vair-day-beehair...oon-vair-der-low.

With practise you will soon be able to say:

"Excuse me, I would like a cup of coffee."

"Excusez-moi, Je voudrais une tasse de cafe."

Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.

Un...Deux...Trois...Quatre...Cinq

French phrase : un deux trois quatre cinq.

What it means : one two three four five.

English words : earn-the-twa-cat-sank

Pronounced : ern-der-twa-cat-sank

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.

Le Projet De Loi

French phrase : Le projet de loi, s'il vous plait

What it means : The bill, please (the check, please)

English words : the-grow-bay-say-twa-feel-two-clay.

Pronounced : le-pro-jay-day-lwa-seal-voo-play

St Tropez

Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye? Most people have probably heard of the French for goodbye, but for those who have been living in a cave with their hands over their ears, on Mars. Here it is:

Au Revoir

French phrase : Au revoir.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : law-nerve-wah

Pronounced : Aw-rurve-wah

Parlez Vous Anglais

So there you are. Ten phrases that you will, at some point, need to use while visiting a French speaking country. Who knows it may inspire you to learn the language proper. Even if you don't want to speak French you can always learn just one phrase.

Parlez vous Anglais?

Par-lay-vooz-on-glaze.

Do you speak English?

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