10 French words you need to know

I have been to France around 35 times, my parents first took me there when I was 6 months and my mom first started to teach me French when I was 3 and she has had me practicing every time we went back. You may have heard that French people don’t want to speak English, and in some ways this is true, some French people, especially the older generations, don’t speak English, and others are very insecure about whether there English is good enough.                                                                                But in my experience, I think that if you attempt to speak even just a single word in French then they will be much more comfortable to step out of their comfort zone and try to speak English with you. And so I’ve gathered 10 French words here, that is essential if you want to do well when traveling in France 🙂 

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  1. Bonjour – Hello 
    • The “Bon” part here is pronounced as “Bong” 
    • The “jour” part here is almost pronounced as “sure” but with a slight “j” sound after the “s”
  2. Au revoir – Goodbye
    • The “Au” part here is pronounced like an “o” 
    • The “Revoir” part is pronounced like “Revar”
  3. Merci – Thank you
    • In the “Mer” part the “e” is pronounced like the first “e” in Elephant
    • The “Ci” part is pronounced like the spanish word for yes “sì” 
  4. S’il vous plait – Please
    • The “S’il” is pronounced like the beginning of “Silver”
    • The “vous” part is pronounced like “vu” – but some of you might know this one from the song “Voulez vous” 🙂
    • The “Plait” is pronounced like “Ple” where the “e” is like the first one in “Elephant”
  5. Oui – Yes
    • This is pronounced more like “Vui” 
  6. Non – No
    • This is a very nasal sound, it’s pronounced like “Nong”
  7. Aidez-moi – Help me
    • The “Aidez” part is pronounced like the name “Ed”
    • The “Moi” part is pronounced like “Mua”
  8. Anglais – English
    • The “An” part is pronounced like “Ang” 
    • The “Glais” part is pronounced like “Gle” where the “e” is pronounced like the first one in “Elephant” 
  9. Je m’appelle – My name is  →  I know this isn’t a word but I think it’s still important
    • “Je” is pronounced like “Jeu” 
    • The M’a” part is simply pronounced “Ma” 
    • The “Ppelle” is pronounced like “Pel” again with the “e” as the first one in “Elephant”
  10. Aéroport – Airport
    • The “Aé” part is again pronounced like the first “e” in “Elephant”
    • The rest is just pronounced like it is spelled 

I hope you find these helpful and if you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to let me know 😀 

Lots of love, Anne 

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