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Overcoming the Language Barrier in Paris

A Few Phrases in French Make All the Difference

Don't be that rude tourist who starts speaking to Parisians in English right away! Learn a couple of polite French phrases to start off your interactions on the right foot. Your efforts will be rewarded, maybe even with a smile!

Ready to conquer the language barrier in Paris? While I do recommend brushing up on a few key phrases like S’il vous plait and Merci beaucoup, once it’s clear that you’re not a French speaker, you’ll most likely be addressed in English.

Keep in mind that most Parisians view linguistic attempts as paying respect to their culture, so feel free to practice your French, as basic as it may be. Even a friendly Bonjour when entering a shop, restaurant, or café can make all the difference. You’ll even notice how friendly Parisians can be! If you’d like to try to integrate more deeply, take a few language classes prior to your visit, or even better, immerse yourself in the French language while in Paris! One recommendation is I Learn French for private classes, or you can use the city as your school. Every boulangerie visit and bus ride will prove a lesson in instant immersion. As for the accent, well, that’s a broader lesson in phonetics. Regardless of how much French you decide to learn, you’ll certainly feel more confident once you master a few irregular verbs and colloquial phrases. Bonne chance !

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