We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

French phrase book

Michigan
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Topic
French phrase book

Hello,

I will be in Paris for a few days in May. Anyone have any suggestions for a good French phrase book to help with basic communication?

I'd like to be able to try out some basic conversation as well as have a reference for French menus.

Thanks for any help, forgive me if this is a redundant post...I tried the search function but only found older posts...was hoping for some current information!!

Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access...
344 reviews
from US$60.80*
Likely To Sell Out
Moulin Rouge Show Paris
3,257 reviews
from US$105.79*
Likely To Sell Out
Eiffel Tower Priority Access Ticket...
535 reviews
from US$43.78*
Likely To Sell Out
Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles...
497 reviews
from US$304.00*
Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,965 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: French phrase book

Unless you are going to understand the response I wouldn't worry about having any conversations. For a few days it's more important to know a few words, and learn about the cultural differences.

Michigan
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: French phrase book

In perusing the forums it seems I'd have a better experience at least attempting to speak some french, otherwise the Parisians are stand-offish?

That is a good point about not understanding the reply though. Is it possible to get by with just S'il vous plait, bonjour, merci, etc....?

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
22,165 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: French phrase book

I do not discourage anyone form learning, however F1racegirl makes a good point. There is no need to speak French in Paris. Contrary to what many non French speakers write on this forum, the French have no opinion one way or another about your attempting to use their language. You attempt or lack of attempt to speak French does not indicate any type of courtesy or sensitivity on your part, one way or another. More than likely, you´ll find someone more than eager to practice his English.

However, restaurant vocabulary can be very useful and that is the area upon which I might concentrate my language efforts. If you are carrying your smartphone, you might look for a translator app.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,965 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: French phrase book

I'm not discouraging you from learning a few words or phrases, just providing a "heads up" based on my prior experience. I think it's more important to know about greeting people and knowing that they won't bring your check in a restaurant until you ask.

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: French phrase book

Anyway, a phrase book is useless, as the French are more concerned about the way you pronounce the language than how well you use it. You'd be better off going online to BBC or Travlang or some such site and learning to speak with an understandable accent than trying to figure it out from a phrase book, which won't help a bit with that. Maybe you've studied French in the past...I don't know...but tortured pronunciation won't get you very far, whereas everyday politesse, whether pronounced properly or not, will get you major brownie points.

If you're serious about learning some French, there is a free stream you can download called News In Slow French that not only will teach you some French but clue you in to what's going on in France (its available for loads of other languages, too). My husband listens to it all the time when he's doing errands and such, but he's already fairly conversant in the language. I'm not convinced it's going to solve the problem for him of the torrent of fast French that comes back at you once you initiate a conversation, but I do know it's improved his comprehension and accent (which was pretty good to begin with).

6. Re: French phrase book

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 31 March 2015, 06:16