The French language - Survival French!

Or... How to survive with school French in France


The French are much much better at English than we are at French – bear that in mind when you get frustrated... They are also generally very happy to help with some poor monolingual Anglophone if they make the effort to learn 'hello' and 'goodby' in French and you smile a lot and look pathetic;-) In 25 years none of our holidaymakers have had a real problem with it, but many swear to brush up their French for the next time. For a beginners' guide go here...

What follows is unashamedly lifted from the truly excellent site with the kind permission of it's author. Please go to the site if you need to know anything about surviving in France. With just the few words below you will never starve, will make friends and know how to refuse that extra glass of wine. Please give it a go, a holiday in France is so much better if you can ask where the toilet is - and of course feel free to print it off.

Snappy Basics

hello/good morning bonjour bonzhooer
hello/good evening bonsoir bonswah
hi! salut! salyoo!
goodbye au revoir oh revwah
yes oui wee
no non non
I'm sorry je suis désolé zhe swee dayzohlay
I don't speak French je ne parle pas le francais zhe ne parl pa le fronsay
I don't speak French well Je ne parle pas bien le francais zhe ne parl pa beean le fronsay
(Could you speak) slowly please? lentement s' il vous plaît lontemon seel voo play
do you speak English? parlez-vous anglais? parlay voo onglay?
please s'il vous plaît seel voo play
thank you merci mehrsee
no thank you non merci non mehrsee
my name is... je m' appelle... zhe mappel
what is your name? Comment vous appelez-vous? Kommon vooz applay voo?
how are you? ça va? sa va?
I'm fine thanks ça va bien merci sa va bian mehrsee


one un ern
two deux derr
three trois trwa
four quatre katr
five cinq sank
six six seess
seven sept set
eight huit weet
nine neuf nerf
ten dix deess


I je


you (for friends) tu tyou
he il eel
she elle el
we nous noo
you (formal) vous voo
they ils (men) elles (women) eel/el


big grand gron
small petit petee
how comment kommon
what que ke
who qui  
why pourquoi porkwa
where oo
when quand kon
excuse me excusez-moi exkyoozay-mwa


I am hungry j'ai faim zhay fam
I am thirsty j'ai soif zhay swaf
I would like... je voudrais... zhe voodray...
I do not want... je ne voudrais pas... zhe ne voodray pa...
where is...? où est...? oo ay...?
how much is this? c'est combien? say kombeean?
I need... j'ai besoin de... zhay bezwan de...
do you have...? Avez-vous...? avay-voo...?



TIP - If you really can't remember anything else, try to keep the most

important phrases to hand, i.e.

"I'm sorry, I don't speak French. Do you speak English?"


© Snappy Languages UK™ 2007

A Small Favour

We hope you've enjoyed reading this short article and will go on to read many more. This website exists both as an information hub for cyclists – (and we offer free advice by email) - but also as a commercial site to sell our cycling holidays. For 27 years we've been the only company in the world offering fully equipped cycle camping holidays and now also offer hotel based holiday and even run our local campsite which is uniquely well geared up for passing cycletourists.

If you like what we do and want us to continue please help by sharing our Facebook page, telling your friends or linking to on any site you run. Without your support we'd not be here...