Can You Translate All of These Simple French Phrases?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

When it comes to the languages most used around the world, you'll find French very high on the list, at number six to be exact, with approximately 220 million speakers worldwide. 

With this large number of people, the French language touches almost every continent around the world. You'll find French used in African countries such as Senegal and Cameroon, North American countries such as Canada and Haiti, and the European countries of Switzerland, Belgium, and, obviously, France.

Although French might not be an official language in these countries, it continues to be a dominant one. Even in the United States, you'll find common French words that have been adopted into everyday language. You couldn't order food at a restaurant without a "menu." It would be hard to go on an interview without a "resume." 

While you might easily recognize these French words, how many basic French phrases can you recognize and translate? There's only one way to find out! Take a shot at this quiz and let's find out if we'll be telling you "Bon travail" or "Au revoir!"

Bonjour

Bonjour is the classic French way to say hello. "Salut" and "Allô" are other greetings.

Merci

This is how you say "Thank you".

Oui

Knowing how to say "Yes" and "No" in any language is key. In French, "Yes" is "Oui" and "No" is "Non."

De rien

This literally translates to "Of nothing." It's the polite response to "You're welcome."

Je ne comprends pas

When traveling abroad or learning a new language, it's inevitable that a few things will slip by you. Keep this phrase handy.

Je suis désolé

There are a few ways to say sorry in French and each is appropriate in different situations. This one is for more formal situations.

Excusez-moi

You can use this phrase to get a server's attention in a restaurant. It is also useful for minor informal situations, such as when you bump into someone.

Où est...?

When traveling, getting lost is almost guaranteed at one point or another. This can be used for anything from restaurants to museums and other attractions.

Un billet, s’il vous plaît

Regardless of where you are in the world, you usually can't get on a bus, subway, or train without fare or a ticket. Knowing this phrase will help your journey go smoothly.

Bonsoir

"Bonjour" covers "Hello," "Good day," and "Good morning" all in one. "Bonsoir is how one says "Good evening."

Bonne nuit

The French use this phrase before going to bed. It is a goodbye spoken in this situation.

S'il vous plaît

In French, speaking formally to strangers, superiors, authority figures and people who are older than you in some situations is important. This is the polite and formal way to say "Please."

Ça va?

This informal French phrase is a small talk staple. The answer to it is also "Ça va."

Comment vous appelez-vous?

In French using informal and formal language in the appropriate situations is key to being polite. Speak this phrase when you want to find out someone's name and want to make sure you are observing good manners.

Où sont les toilettes?

For anyone traveling to a French-speaking country, this is a key question to memorize. Knowing where restrooms are is important.

Tu t'appelles comment?

This is an ideal way to ask acquaintances and people your own age their name in non-formal settings. Try to remember both the formal and informal in order to not offend anyone.

Je m'appelle...

Keep this phrase on hand in order to introduce yourself. For example, you might say "Je m'appelle Karl."

Je suis de...

This is one way you can let people know where you are from in French. Pop your country of origin on the end and you are good to go.

Je suis Américain

In French, many words are gendered to reflect the subject of a sentence. If you are an American woman, you would say "Je suis américaine."

Je vais bien

This is a common answer to "Comment allez-vous?" This is the formal way of asking "How are you?"

Je suis fatigué

This is French for "I'm tired." Grammatically, when speaking about a woman, the phrase is written out "Je suis fatiguée," but pronounced the same in conversation.

J'ai faim

This is French for "I'm hungry." I'm thirsty is "J'ai soif."

Bonne chance!

This classic French phrase is used to wish others luck. Keep it on hand as you travel.

Je t'aime

Knowing how to say a few romantic phrases in this romantic language can't hurt, whether you're a traveler or just a hopeless romantic. This is how to tell someone you love them in French.

Allons-y

This translates to "Let's go" and was a catchphrase used on the UK series "Dr. Who"

Je ne sais pas

When learning a new language or traveling to a new place, everyone comes across new things they don't know or understand yet. This is a helpful phrase to have on hand.

C’est combien?

For avid shoppers abroad this is a key phrase to know. It comes in handy when shopping or haggling.

Je ne comprends pas

If you're a beginner remember this phrase. It comes in handy when trying to get a handle on the language.

Je suis perdu

This can come in handy while traveling. For a woman, it is written "Je suis perdue," but pronounced in the same way.

Pourquoi pas?

"Why" in French is "Porquois." These are very basic French phrases.

Je veux...

In restaurants and in life in general, you can let people know exactly what you want with this French phrase. For example: "I want an apple," would be "Je veux une pomme."

Ce n'est pas grave

This French phrase can be used like the English phrases "Don't worry about it," and "No problem." It's a common way to respond to apologies and let people know that you are alright after minor accidents.

Au Revoir

This is one way to say goodbye in French. "Adieu" and "Salut" are also used.

Je comprends un peu

It's a way of letting someone know you comprehend a little bit of what is being said to you.

Que veut dire....?

When learning French, keep this phrase on hand so you can find out what any unfamiliar words mean.

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