If you are planning a trip, be it for a family holiday or personal sabbatical from work, it is extremely important that you learn at least a couple of useful phrases. As well as being common courtesy that you make an effort, which the natives are always very impressed with, it is also much easier when you know what you’re saying and hearing.
Let’s be honest here, in general the French people have a much better grasp of the English language than we do of theirs. This is why, with a bit of effort, even if you do not fully learn the language the majority of French people you interact with will be delighted that you have made and effort and much more likely to help you and talk back to you.
Here are some basic and useful phrases for eating out in a restaurant and asking for directions:
|Please||S’il vous plaît|
|The menu||La carte|
|A beer||Une bière|
|A coffee||Un café|
|Do you have a table for six?||Avez-vous une table pour six?|
|I would like to order now||Je voudrais commander maintenant.|
|To start…||Comme hors d’œuvre…|
|For the main course…||Comme plat principal…|
|For dessert…||Comme dessert…|
|I’m looking for…||Je cherche…|
|Where is…||Où est…|
|Where are…||Où sont…|
|How do I get to…||Comment vais-je à…|
|Can you show me on the map?||Pouvez-vous me montrer sur la carte?|
|Turn to the left||Tournez à gauche|
|Turn to the right||Tournez à droite|
Before you make your trip, you should invest in a good quality phrase book. The trick with these books is not to just open them when you’re already there and have never seen the word before. Instead you should have a good old read through and practice saying the words and phrases that you think you’re going to be likely to say.
If you are unsure of the pronunciation then have a search on the internet or buy a CD or iPhone app. This is the case with whichever country you’re visiting and most cities would offer a decent Italian, Japanese courses. If you make no effort to pronounce the words, then you will not be understood or respected by the natives.
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