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Language and Useful Phrases

Help File
English/French(France) Pronunciation The French pronunciation can be pretty hard, especially the “nasales”. Another problem for people trying to learn French is that a same sound can be written by several ways. Here you’ll find some bases to be understood when reading French names to locals. A = like the “a” in “Father” AI or AY = like the È (see Bellow) AIL or AILLE = AIM or AIN = like the IN AM or AN = AU = like the “o” in “no” B = like in English C = like a K, except if in front of a E or a I where it’s pronounced like the “s” in “sea” Ç = like a “s” in “sea” CH = like the “sh” in “Shoes” (but not like the “ch” in “church” !) D = like in English E = É = È or Ê = like the “e” in “let” EAU = like the “o” in “no” EIL or EILLE = EIN = like the IN EM or EN = like the AN EU = like the “i” in “first” F = like in English G = like in English, except in followed by a E or a I where it’s pronounced like a J GN = GU = H = always silent I = like the “i” in “”trip” IN = J = a bit like the “j” in “journey”, but without the sound “d” in front K = like in English L = like in English M = like in English, except if placed after a A, a AI…(see above and below). If doubled or followed by a silent E, then the vowel is pronounced normally and the letter is a like a simple M. N = like in English, except if placed after a A, a AI…(see above and below). If doubled or followed by a silent E, then the vowel is pronounced normally and the letter is a like a simple N. O = depending of the word (no rule), like the “o” in “more” or the “o” in “no”, except if followed by a I, a N…. (see bellow) OI or OY = something pronounced like O-A or the “wha” in “what” OM or ON = OU = like the « oo » in « food » P = like in English Q or QU = like a K R = far stronger than the English one, but not as hard as the Spanish one. S = like the “s” in “sea”, except surrounded by vowels, where it’s pronounced like a Z. If doubled, it’s always T = like in English, except if in front of “ion” where it will be pronounced like a “s” in “sea” U = UN = like the IN V = like in English W = X = like in English, except in some cases in front of a I where it’s pronounced like a S. Y = like a I, except if placed after a A or a O (see above) Z = like in English Numbers 1 = un 2 = deux 3 = trois 4 = quatre 5 = cinq 6 = six 7 = sept 8 = huit 9 = neuf 10 = dix 11 = onze 12 = douze 13 = treize 14 = quatorze 15 = quinze 16 = seize 17 = dix-sept 18 = dix-huit 19 =dix-neuf 20 = vingt 21 = vingt et un 30 = trente 40 = quarante 50 = cinquante 60 = soixante 70 = soixante dix 71 = soixante et onze 80 = quatre vingt 90 = quatre vingt dix 91 = quatre vingt onze 100 = cent 200 = deux cent 1 000 = mille 2 000 = deux mille 1 000 000 = un million note = in Belgium and Switzerland, 70, 80 and 90 are pronounced septante, Octante and Nonante. Greetings and civilities Usually, when you want to be polite and formal, you speak using the 2nd person of plural instead of the singular. Example = for “How are you ?”, say “Comment allez vous ? “ instead of “Comment vas tu ?”. But don’t worry, if you make a mistake and the person as understood that your French is pretty basic, that won’t be a problem. Hello = Bonjour Hi ! (Familiar) = Salut ! Good evening = Bonsoir Goodbye = Au revoir See you ! = À plus ! Have a Nice trip ! = Bon voyage ! Excuse me = Excusez moi Sorry = Pardon I’m so sorry ! = Je suis vraiment désolé ! Thank you = Merci Thank you very much = Merci beaucoup You’re welcome = De rien Welcome = Bienvenue Cheers ! = Santé Directions Where is/are … ? = Où est/sont … ? Where could I find/buy/rent… ? = Ou puis-je trouver/acheter/louer… ? Can you show me on the map ? = Pouvez-vous me montrer sur la carte ? The Museum = le musé The Park = le parc The Centertown = le centre-ville The car park = Le parking The next petrol station = la prochaine station service The next town = le prochain village The next city = la prochaine ville The bus station = la gare routière The railway station = la gare The metro station = La station de métro The bus stop = l’arrêt de bus Hitchhiking Hitchhiking = Auto-stop A lift = un trajet Where are you going ? = Où allez vous ? Could you drive me to… ? = Pourriez vous m’emmener à… ?


Edited bynabotus on 21.12.2005

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