Eiffel Tower in Paris
Language|Travel tips

Travel French: Useful phrases

Did you know that nearly one in five people speak French? As a romance language, it’s easy to see why so many want to learn the language. If you’re heading off to France soon and don’t have time to learn French, here are a few useful travel phrases in French to get your travels off on a good start.

French phrases for travel

Lavender fields

English  |  French |   Phonetic

French greetings

Hello    Bonjour (bohn-zhour)

Good evening    Bonsoir (bohn-swahr)

Good night    Bonne nuit (bohn-nwee)

Goodbye    Au revoir (ohr-vwahr!)

How are you?    Comment allez-vous? (kom-mohn tah-lay voo)

Fine, thanks    Bien, merci (bee-en, mehr-see)

Nice to meet you    Enchante (ahN-shahN-tey)

Polite phrases and expressions in French

Yes    Oui (wee)

No    Non (nohn)

Please    S’il vous plait (see-voo play)

Thank you    Merci  (mehr-see)

You’re welcome .   De rien (dah ree-ehn)

I’m sorry    Je suis désolé (jhuh swee day-zo-lay)

Excuse me    Pardon/Excusez-moi  (pahr-dohN./eks-kew-zey-mwah)

I don’t understand .   Je ne comprends pas (jhuhn kom-prohn pah)

I don’t speak French .   Je ne parle pas français (jhuhn pahr-ley pah frahn-say)

Do you speak English?    Parlez-vous anglais? (Pahr-ley ahN-gleh)

Square in France

Questions and directions in French

Who?    Qui? (kee)

What?    Comment? (kom-mohn)

When?    Quand? (kohn)

Why?    Pourquoi? (poor-kwah)

Where is…?    Ou est… (ooh eh…)

I’m looking for…    Je cherche… (jhuh cher-shuh)

The bathroom    La toilette (lar twah-leht)

The train station    La gare (lar gaar)

A hotel    Un hotel (uhn ohtell)

The airport    l’aeroport (ah eh ro por)

Left    Gauche (gawsh)

Right    Droit (drwah)

Straight    Tout droit (too drwah)

Entrance    Entree (ohn-treh)

Exit    Sortie  (sor-tee)

Cream puffs

Dining and shopping

I would like    Je voudrais (zhuh vooh-dreh)

I want    Je veux  (zhuh-voo)

A ticket    Un billet (uhn bee-yeht)

A glass of…    Une verre de… (uhn vehr dey)

Wine    Vin (vahn)

Beer    Une biere (byair)

Water    De l’eau (duh l’oh)

How much is…   Combien coute… (kohN-byaN kooht…)

The bill, please     L’addition s’il vous plait  (lah-dee-syohN, seel vooh pleh)

Time & numbers in French

What time is it?    Quelle heure est-il? (kehl uhr eh-teel?)

One    Un (uhn)

Two    Deux (duh)

Three    Trois (trwah)

Four    Quatre (kah-truh)

Five    Cinq (saNk)

Six    Six (sees)

Seven    Sept  (seht)

Eight    Huit (weet)

Nine    Neuf (nuhf)

Ten    Dix (dees)

Want a bit of help in your back pocket? Besides Google Translate, you can always bring a copy of a French phrase book, like Rick Steves’ French Phrase Book and Dictionary, or even get one of his city guides that include useful phrases at the back.

French flag

Affiliate disclaimer: We may earn a small commission on purchases through links contained in this post. We only recommend products we use. Thanks for your support!

Like the post? Share it now!


Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *