Simple French for Travelers Part 1

French is a delightful language that is easy to speak.

This brief guide will teach you what you need to know to travel around a French-speaking country, like France or parts of Canada.

Pronunciation Guide:

Basically, French words blend, or “elide” into each other. While it takes years of study to elide words together like a native French speaker, one can approximate the proper sound quite easily.

  1. Close your mouth tightly, purse your cheeks and move your tongue rapidly around your mouth to generate a good amount of saliva;
  2. Now, speak in French and don’t swallow the saliva or spit it all over whomever with whom you’re conversing. The French call that a “Faux Pas.”
  3. For a more refined “upper crust” French accent, use saliva. To sound more “common” use phlegm instead. The French call this “a lougie.”

Useful Phrases (written in French and in simple phonetics)

Hello Bonjour! (bon jzhoor)
Goodbye Bonne journée (bon jzhoor-knee)
Yes Oui (wee)
No Non (nahn)
Are you well? Ça va? (sah vah (go up on the “vah”)
I am well Ça va. (sah vah (go down on the “vah”)

Typical Conversation

Two friends meet each other while walking down the street. This is what they say. See if you can translate it!

Aujus: Uh… Bonjour…
Béchamel: Bonjour!
Aujus: Ça va?
Béchamel: Oui. Ça va. Ça va?
Aujus: Oui. Ça va.
Béchamel: C’est mon morse??
Aujus: Non. Non. C’est mon morse.
Béchamel: Il ressemble à mon morse.
Aujus: Non. Non. Mon. Mon. C’est mon morse.
Béchamel: Hmmmm…
Aujus: Bonne journée!
Béchamel: Hmmm….
Aujus: Bonne journée. Maintenant.
Béchamel: …bonne journée…

Afterglow

How did you do? You’ll get better the more you practice!

Note that Aujus and Béchamel are typical French names and are unisex. We’ll meet Aujus and Béchamel again in later lessons. They’ll help us learn to love speaking French with their wacky adventures!

 

Salut!

You’ve met me somewhere in Montreal. Perhaps I took your picture! Please send me a message to say hi, or get a copy.

Vous m’avez rencontré quelque part à Montréal. Peut-être que j’ai pris ta photo ! Veuillez m’envoyer un message pour me dire bonjour ou en obtenir une copie.