10 Ways to Say Goodbye in French

Sometimes it’s the simple things that trip you up when speaking French. Saying goodbye, for example, might seem like an easy enough thing to do. But there are numerous phrases for it and, believe it or not, it is possible to use the wrong one!

Here are 10 ways to say goodbye (or otherwise end a conversation) in French:

  1. Au revoir. (Oh reh-vwah) This is the most common ways of saying goodbye in French, and it’s acceptable for the vast majority of situations, formal and informal. It literally means “until we each see each other again.

 

  1. Bonne journée / Bonne soirée. (Bun zhoor nay / Bun swah ray) These phrases mean: “Have a good day/ Have a good evening,” respectively, and they are typical ways of ending a conversation.  You are acceptable in formal and informal settings. For example, it’s common to use it when ending a conversation with a client, or leaving a store or restaurant.
  1. À tout à l’heure. (Ah too tah leuhr). This means “see you later.” This phrase is used if you will see the person later in the day. It’s acceptable in both formal and informal situations.

 

  1. À plus tard (Ah plue tahr). This phrase also means “see you later” but is only used in more informal circumstances. You may also hear it said as “à plus” (ah plue-ss), which is just an abbreviation. In informal emails, you may see it written as A+.

 

  1. À bientôt (Ah bee yen toe). This is general ways of saying “see you soon.” You’d use it formally or casually, when you know you’ll be seeing the person soon. If you’re seeing the person within a matter of hours, you could say: À très bientôt. (See you very soon).

 

  1. À tout de suite (Ah too deh sweet). Here’s yet another way of saying “see you very soon.” The key distinction is that you’d only say it when you’re seeing the person immediately following your conversation. For example, if you were having a conversation with a friend about where to meet, and you were planning to meet right afterwards, you could end the conversation with “à tout de suite.”

 

  1. À la prochaine (Ah la prosh-enne). This phrase means “until next time” or “see you next time.”   Unsurprisingly, it’s used when you’re unsure of when you’re going to see the other person again.

 

  1. À demain (A deh-mahn). This phrase means “until tomorrow” or “see you tomorrow.” Naturally, it’s for use when you’re certain of seeing the person you’re speaking to tomorrow.

 

  1. Salut (Sah-lou). This is a very casual way of saying goodbye (or rather, ‘bye!) in French. Note that it also means “hi!”

 

  1. Adieu (Ah d’yew) Use this rather somber goodbye word only when you know you will never see the person again. Literally, it means “until God,” which gives you a strong clue as to the sense of finality it imparts.

 

Have any questions about how to say goodbye in French? Ask us below!


French Food Vocabulary Guide

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve settled at your table in a fine French restaurant, airily waved away the English menu, started perusing the French menu… and realized you’re completely lost.

 Sure, you know that porc is pork. But what is travers de porc? And what about joues de boeuf? Does that really mean beef cheeks? Do cows even have cheeks?

There’s no question that at many French restaurants, extra vocabulary guidance is in order. Certain restaurants will feature parts of the animal that you’d likely have trouble naming in your native language, much less French. And even if you’re able to figure out the kind of food offered, then the mode of preparation – often included in the description – may throw you off. And then there’s the simple fact that hundreds of dishes have names that simply do not translate.

 Be baffled no more. Here’s a short guide to common French foods, dishes and preparation styles that you might encounter in a French restaurant.

Bon Appétit!

 French Meats & Poultry Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les viandes et les volailles)

 Agneau = lamb

 Andouillette= tripe sausage (chitterling sausage)

Biche = female deer

Canard = duck

Caneton = a young male duck

Cannette = a young female duck

Cervelle = brains

Coq = Rooster

Entrecôte = beef rib steak

Escargots = snails

Faux-filet = Sirlon steak

Gigot d’agneau = leg of lamb

Jambonneau = Pork knuckles

Langue de boeuf = tongue of beef

Lapin– rabbit

Marcassin – young wild boar

Magret de canard = fattened duck breast

Sanglier – wild boar

Moelle – beef bone marrow

Os – bone

Oie Goose

Paleron = shoulder of beef

Pied de mouton = sheep’s foot – OR – a kind of wild mushroom, so watch out!

Pied de porc = pig’s foot

Pigeon – pigeon

Pigeonneau – young pigeon

Pintade – guinea fowl

Queue – tail (e.g., queue de boeuf – oxtail)

Ris d’agneau/ veau = sweetbreads of lamb/veal

Rognons = kidneys

Travers de porc = spare ribs

Volaille – poultry

 

French Seafood Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les fruits de mer)

Cabillaud = cod

Calamar = squid

Crevettes = Shrimp

Gambas = large shrimp

Étrille = a small crab

Flétan = halibut

Goujons = small catfish, usually fried

Huîtres – Oysters

Limande = sole-like ocean fish

Lieu = Pollock (a white fish)

Lotte = monkfish

Morue = cod (young)

Moules = mussels

Noix de St. Jacques = sea scallops

Palourdes = Clams

Pétoncles = small scallops

Seiche = large squid

Truite = trout

 

French Vegetables Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les légumes)

Asperge = asparagus

Aubergine = eggplant

Betterave = Beet

Carotte = carrot

Cèpe = porcini mushroom

Cresson = Swiss chard

Courge = squash

Courgettes = zucchini

Épinard = spinach

Fenouil = fennel

Mange-tout = snow peas

Navet = turnip

Poireaux = leeks

Panais = parsnips

 

French Foods/Dishes

(Cuisines française)

Acras de Morue = codfish cakes

Boudin noir = Blood sausage.

Charcuterie = various cold cuts, pork sausages and other salted, prepared meats

Cassoulet = a casserole of white beans, confit of duck or goose

Coq au vin = chicken slow-cooked in red wine, garlic and other seasonings and vegetables

Cuisses de Grenouilles = Frogs legs

Friture = a plate of small fried fish or other seafood

Galette – a crêpe made of buckwheat flour

Grattons – crispy fried pieces of pork; cracklings

Joues de Boeuf/Cochon = Beef cheeks/pig cheeks

Oeuf en meurette = poached egg in red wine sauce

Oeuf à la coque = soft-cooked egg

Pâté = a mixture of cook meat and fat, formed into a spreadable paste.

Quenelles = fish (usually pike) dumplings

Ragoût = stew

Rillettes = paté-like; salted pork (or other meat) cooked slowly in fat then formed into a paste.

Tête de veau = calf’s head.

French Preparation Terms

(preparation à la française)

à l’ancienne = in the old style

à la vapeur = steamed

à l’étouffée = stewed

à point = medium (cooked, as in a steak)

au four = baked

confit = meat (usually duck or goose) cooked in its own fat

coulis = fruit purée

croustillant = crispy

en croute = baked in a crust

farci = stuffed

feuilleté = cooked in a puff pastry /phyllo dough)

 fumé = smoked

mijoté(e) = simmered

papillote = cooked in parchment paper

Parmentier = with potatoes

 poêlée = cooked in a pan

 

 What’s the most memorable French dish you’ve eaten? Share with us below!


French Health Food Vocabulary

The gastronomic delights of Paris can make even the most health conscious people want to fling caution to the wind and indulge in the many temptations available. The breakfast offerings alone – pain au chocolat, chausson aux pommes, croissant aux amandes, for example – can make you drool with desire.

But don’t think you’re “being French” by heedlessly scarfing down these goodies every day. Despite the so-called French paradox, most French people seek to eat balanced, healthy meals without excessive indulgence in the richest dishes.

If you want to eat healthy in Paris, there’s little excuse for not doing so. Paris’s legendary markets offer wondrously fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables, grains and meats. And every year, it gets easier and easier to find quality bio (organic) foods, whether at restaurants, market stalls or in supermarkets.

If you plan on preparing much of your own healthy meals, you’ll have no problem finding a chain organic shop, such as Naturalia, Biocoop or Bio C’Bon or even neighborhood boutique shops such as Le Carillon d’Olivier. In ordinary supermarkets, there’s almost always an organic products section – just look for packages marked with the green and white “AB” label.  (AB stands for “Agriculture Biologique,” which means that at least 95% of the products’ ingredients are organic.)

In terms of organic open-air markets, the best ones are Marché Raspail, Marché Batignolles, and Marché Brancusi. If you can’t make it those, be assured that you can almost always find at least one stall selling organic produce in any market.

While you won’t have trouble finding organic products in Paris, you may have difficulty finding exactly what you’re looking for, as Paris doesn’t necessarily have the same health foods as North America or the UK.  

To make things a little easier for you, we’ve provided below: (i) a translation of common health foods available in France, and (ii) common terms on packaging labels. Bon appétit!

 

French Health Food Vocabulary

Almond Butter – beurre d’amande

Almond Milk – lait d’amande

Buckwheat flour – farine de sarrasin / noir

Chickpeas – les pois chiches

Flaxseed /Linseed oil – graines de lin / huile de lin

Coconut Oil – L’huile de coco / l’huile de noix de coco

Coconut Milk – lait de coco

Gluten-Free – sans gluten

Grass-Fed beef – boeuf nourri au fourrage

Hazelnut Milk – lait de noisette

Oatmeal – Flocon d’avoine

Quinoa – Quinoa

Soymilk – lait de soja

Tofu – Tofu

Wheatgerm – germe de blé

Wheatgrass / Wheatgrass juice –   Agropyre / Le jus d’herbe de blé

 Whole wheat – blé complet

 Wild salmon – saumon sauvage

 Raw milk / Unpasteurised milk – lait cru

 

Terminology on French food packaging labels:

Valeur énergétique – Calories (energetic value)

Matières grasses – Fat

Lipides dont acides “gras saturés” – Lipids composed of “saturated fats”

Glucides – carbohydrates

Glucides dont sucres – carbohydrates included sugar

 Protéines – protein

Fibres – Fibers

Sel – Salt

Poids Net – Total Weight

Par Portion – By portion/ serving size

A consommer de préférence avant le [date]: Preferably consumed before the [date]…

 

Have any questions about French health food vocabulary? Ask us in the comments below!


How to Learn French Noun Gender: Part II

Last week, we wrote about the importance of learning French noun gender and presented multiple categories of words that tend to be either masculine or feminine.

This week, we want to give you 3 more important clues to use to assess whether a French noun is masculine or feminine. We use the word “clue” as opposed to “rule” because – alas – in every category, there’s almost always an exception. But once you memorize and internalize these clues you’ll get the gender right, let’s say… 8 out of 10 times.

Not bad, eh? Here we go:

Clue #1: Most words that refer to men are masculine; those that refer to women are feminine.

Le père (the father)

Le fils (the son)

La tante (the aunt)

La soeur (the sister)

 

Clue #2: Certain nouns are always masculine or feminine regardless of the gender of the person/animal referred to.

Always masculine nouns:

Un ordinateur (a computer)

Un témoin (a witness)

Un manteau (an overcoat)

Un cheval (a horse)

Un guide (a guide)

Always feminine nouns:

Une voiture (a car)

Une souris (a mouse)

Une maison (a house)

Une école (a school)

Une personne (a person)

Une victime (a victim)

 

Clue #3: Certain French nouns endings indicate that the word is either masculine or feminine. Exceptions abound, however. We’ve included the more common ones below, but be always be on the look out for more.

Typically masculine endings:

  • -age (le reportage, sondage, fromage, village)/ Exceptions: la plage, la cage
  • -acle (le miracle, spectacle) / Exceptions: la bâcle, la bernacle, la debâcle
  • -eur (un aspirateur, un ascenseur)/ Exceptions: la chaleur, la couleur, la fleur
  • (le café, marché) / Exception: la clé and words ending with té (see feminine)
  • -eau (bateau, réseau, drapeau) Exceptions: l’eau, la peau
  • -ème (le deuxième, le cinquantième) / Exceptions: la/le troisième, la/le quatrième,
  • -in (le vin, le train) Exception: la fin, la main
  • -ing (le shampooing, le jogging)
  • -isme (le tourisme, organisme, imperialisme)
  • -ment (le gouvernement, appartement)
  • -oir (le soir, le miroir, le devoir)
  • -oi (le tournoi, l’emploi)
  • -ou (le genou, le trou)

 

Typically feminine endings

  • -ade (la limonade, la façade)  Exceptions: masc & fem: le/la nomade, le/la malade
  • -ance (la croissance, la nuance, une ambiance)
  • -aille (la bataille, la taille, la paille)
  • -ée (une idée, la chausée) Exception: le lycée, le musée, le pygmée
  • -ette (la baguette, la courgette)
  • -euse (la chanteuse, la berceuse)
  • -ience (la patience, une experience)
  • -ine (la tartine, la terrine) / Exception: le moine
  • -rice (actrice, directrice) / Exceptions:  le dentifrice
  • -ssion (la passion, une emission) / Exceptions: le bouton-pression
  • -tion (l’information, la question, une ambition)
  • -té (la beauté, la fierté) / Exception: Le blé
  • -tié (la moitié, la pitié)
  • -tude (une habitude, la certitude, la gratitude)
  • -ure (une allure, la candidature)

 

HOMEWORK: Pick 3 masculine word endings and 3 feminine word endings and find 3 new nouns with those endings. Write your answers in the comments below! And, of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us below or contact us.


Learning the Gender of French Nouns: Part I

 

Assigning genders to French nouns is often one of the most daunting aspects of learning French. This is particularly true for Anglophones. Since nouns have no gender in English, it can be difficult for an English speaker to take seriously the idea of referring to a dining room table (la table) as a “she” or thinking of lipstick (le rouge à levres) as in any way masculine.

But learning the right gender for nouns is critical for speaking French fluidly. Because the gender of a noun doesn’t just affect the article preceding the noun (le, la), but can also affect the pronunciation and spelling of adjectives used to describe the noun. 

Not to worry – learning French noun gender isn’t as hard as you might think. You don’t have to memorize the gender of every French noun, one by one. The best way to go about it is by memorizing categories and ending patterns….and the exceptions to the rule.

In this post, we’re going to focus on several categories of nouns that are typically virtually all masculine or all feminine. Just by memorizing these categories, you will learn the correct genders of hundred of words!  (Don’t forget to tune into part II of this series to learn even more!)

 I.  Common Categories of Masculine French Nouns

  • Colors

le bleu (blue)

le rouge (red)

le rose (pink)

le jaune (yellow)

l’orange (orange)

Exception: “Orange” is only masculine as a color – as a fruit it’s feminine. Same thing for “rose.”   As a color, it’s masculine, but as a flower, it’s feminine.

  • Trees

le sapin (pine tree)

le chêne (oak tree)

le saule (willow tree)

le platane (plane tree)

Exception: Most shrubs are also masculine, but vines are feminine (la vigne).

  • Days of week / Months / Seasons

le lundi (Monday)

le dimanche (Sunday)

le mois de février (February)

le mois de juin (June)

le printemps (Spring)

l’automne (Autumn)

  •  Metals

le fer (iron)

le titane (titanium)

l’or (gold)

l’acier (steel)

  •  Wines / Cheeses

le Bordeaux

le Bourgorgne

le Chablis

le Brie

le Cantal

le Camembert

Exception: la tomme de Savoie is a cheese exception.

  •  Metric Units / Measures

le kilo (kilo)

le mètre (meter)

le joule (joule)

l’hectare (hectare)

le litre (liter)

le quart (quart)

Exception: la moitié (half)

  •  Numbers

le cinq (five)

le dix-neuf (nineteen)

le douzième (the twelfth)

Exception: La trentaine, la cinquantaine and other words describing a decade of age (in one’s 30’s, 40’s, etc.) are usually feminine.

  •  Language names

le chinois (Chinese)

le français (French)

l’espanol (Spanish)

 II.  Common Categories of Feminine French Noun

  • Sciences / Disciplines

la science (science)

la géographie (geography)

la chimie (chemistry)

l’astronomie (astronomy)

l’histoire (history)

Exception: le droit (law)

  •  Car brand names

une Peugeot

une Citroën

une Mercedes

une BMW

  • Watch brands

une Rolex

une Jaeger-LeCoultre

une Swatch

Ready to learn more about  French noun genders? Check this post out.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please post them below!


7 Verbs that Have No Direct Translation in French

When you imagine a word that has no direct translation into another language, it’s easy to imagine the existence of some exotic, complex word.

For example, take the French verb “entarter.” This means, “to hit someone in the face with a pie”. Somehow that seems like exactly the kind of word that would have no direct translation into English (or possibly any other language).  

But how about the verb “to kick?” “To hug”?

Seemingly basic English verbs such as these have no direct counterpart in French. The concept exists in French, of course, but there is no single French verb that covers the meaning in the same way as in English.

Because there’s no single word equivalent of these verbs, their French meanings sometimes don’t appear on standard vocabulary lists. In fact, you might not realize you can’t express these concepts until you’re halted mid-tracks in your conversation, racking your brains for a word that you feel must exist, but doesn’t.

To save you the trouble, here are 7 commonly used English verbs that have no direct equivalent in French – and the French phrases you need to express them properly.

 

  1. To kick = “donner un coup de pied.” (to make a blow with the foot).

Example: Je n’aime pas Marc. Il donne des coups de pied à son chien.

 I don’t like Marc. He kicks his dog.

 

  1. To drop (something) = “laisser tomber.” (to let something fall)

Example: Ne laissez pas tomber cette vase! Elle est très chère!

Don’t drop that vase! It’s very expensive.

 Note: A drop in value translates to “baisser” (lower) “diminuer” (diminish) or “chuter” (plunge).

 

  1. To hug = “prendre quelqu’un dans ses bras” or “serrer dans ses bras

 Example: Après son retour de l’étranger, il a serré sa petite amie dans ses bras étroitement.

After returning from abroad, he hugged his girlfriend tightly.

 Note: Many people think that “calîner” (calîn, noun) is the equivalent of to hug, but it’s actually “to cuddle.” Embrasser is also often mistakenly believed to be the translation of “to hug” but it means “to kiss.”

 While there’s no single word for the verb “to hug,” as a noun, “a hug” is translated as “accolade.” (e.g. Après son retour de l’etranger, il a donné une accolade à sa petite amie = after his return from abroad, he gave his girlfriend a hug.)

 As hugging is not the cultural norm in France, “hug” as a verb or noun isn’t frequently employed.

 

  1. To hurt = “faire mal” (to make bad)

 Faire mal is used to indicate when someone has hurt you emotionally or physically.

 Example 1: Il me fait mal quand je déplace mon bras comme ça.

 It hurts when I move my arm like this.

 Example 2: Ça m’a fait mal quand elle a cessé de me parler.

It hurt me when she stopped speaking to me.

 Note: If you want to say that someone caused you a physical wound or injury then use the verbs “blesser” or “injurer.”

 

  1. To trust = faire confiance / avoir confiance (to make/ have confidence)

 Faire confiance and avoir confiance are used to express your confidence in a person.

Faire confiance usually requires use of the preposition “à”, while avoir confiance requires use of the preposition “en”.

Example 1:     Je fais confiance à mon copain

                         I trust my friend.

Example 2:    Je te fais confiance

                         I trust you.

Example 3:    Ils ont confiance en toi

                        They trust you. / They have confidence in you.

 Note: When you want to express trust of something that’s not a person, you’d use the verb phrase: “pouvoir compter sur” (“to be able to count on”)

 Paul peut compter sur sa voiture même si elle est très vieille.

Paul can trust his car even though it’s very old.

 

  1. To retire = prendre sa retraite (to take one’s retirement)

 

Example:        Elle n’a que 50 ans mais elle a déjà pris sa retraite.

                         She’s only 50 but she’s already retired.

 

  1. To care = various French verbs, depending on your intended meaning.

 There’s no single word in French that covers all the various meaning that “to care” does in English. You have to learn the right verb or verb phrase in the right context to express yourself properly.

To care about someone = avoir de l’affection (pour quelqu’un)

 Example:        Elle n’est pas amoureuse de lui mais elle a de l’affection pour lui.

                           She isn’t in love with him but she cares for him.

To take care of someone = prendre soin de qulequ’un

Example:        Quand Marie était dans l’hôpital Paul a pris soin de ses enfants.

                         When Marie was in the hospital Paul took care of her children.

 To care about a cause = se sentir concerné

Example: Si vous vous sentez concerné par les baleines, vous ferez un don à la cause.

                   If you care about whales, you will donate to the cause.

 

Can you think of any other verbs that have no direct translation? Share them below!

 

 

 


Retourner, Revenir, Rentrer: What’s the Difference?

Some French verbs are more complicated than others for Anglophones, most especially those that don’t have an exact counterpart in English. Such is the case with the verbs retourner, revenir and rentrer.

Many English speakers assume these three verbs translate as “to return” “to come back” and “to re-enter” respectively, and can be used interchangeably. But, alas, in French that’s not the case.

While each of these French verbs do generally indicate someone going back to a place, they must each be used in a specific – and different – set of circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look:

RETOURNER         

Meaning #1: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not)

Meaning #2: To go back (to a place where the speaker is not) for a short time.

Meaning #3: To return something (to give back)

As the definitions above indicate, “retourner” is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is not.

Example #1: Ma mere adorait Rome. Elle voudrait y retourner l’année prochaine.

My mother adored Rome.  She would like to return there next year.

Example #2: Paul était sur le point de nous retrouver, mais il avait oublié son porte-monnaie à la boulangerie.  Il y est donc retourné le chercher pour nous rejoindre après.

 Paul was about to meet us but he forgot his wallet at the bakery. So he’s going to go back there to look for it and meet us afterwards.

 Example #3: Tout article non retourné sera facturé

Any missing items will be charged

REVENIR

Meaning: To come back (to the place where the speaker is).

Revenir is used to refer to a return to a place where the subject of the sentence was previously and where the speaker is currently.

 Example #1: Où est Marie? Elle est partie. Mais elle a dit qu’elle reviendrait plus tard

Where is Marie? She left. But she says she’ll come back (here) later.

Example #2: “Zut ! Je dois retourner au bureau car j’y ai laissé mes clés! Je reviens tout de suite!”

Darn it! I have to return to my office because I left my keys there. I’ll come right back (here)!

RENTRER

 Meaning: “to return home” — no matter whether “home” is your country or your abode.

 Example #1: Cette fête est géniale mais je suis fatiguée. Je rentre à la maison.

 This party is great but I’m tired. I’m going (returning) home.

Example #2François habite en Espagne depuis 7 ans mais il rentrera en France en septembre.

 François lived in Spain for seven years but in September he’s going to return to France.

 

Do you need additional help distinguishing between retourner, revenir and retourner? Leave your questions below and we’ll get back to you!


Surviving the French Job Interview: Cultural & Language Tips

Looking for a job in France? If so, it’s never too early to start preparing for the job interview.

In France, as in most countries, the job interview (entretien d’embauche) is a critical opportunity to showcase your strengths and it is often the deciding factor as to whether you will win the position.

Creating a Good Impression in a French Job Interview

When it comes to making a good impression, certain things are universal. In France, just as elsewhere, it is of utmost importance that you arrive on time, that you are well-groomed and appropriately dressed, and that you’re are adequately prepared to discuss your qualifications.

That said, certain cultural issues and sensitivities  can arise in the French interview context that non-French job seekers may not be aware of. Anyone applying for a job in France should get familiar with these cultural quirks before the interview or risk sending a career-killing message to potential employer.

 

  1. Address your interviewer as Madame or Monsieur. In Anglophone countries, it’s not uncommon to use someone’s first name in a professional context, even if you’ve just met. In France, you must simply say Madame or Monsieur unless invited otherwise.

 

  1. Always use the formal “vous” never “tu In the same vein, you should always speak formally, even with people younger than you, unless the interviewer invites you to “tutoyer.” (Look here for more on “tu” and “vous” rules).

 

  1. No kisses in greeting. There’s lots of kissing in France, but not at an interview. In France, greet a potential employer with a firm handshake, not “la bise.”

 

  1. Be prepared to answer personal questions. It may come as a surprise to some non-French job applicants, particularly Americans, that it is acceptable for an employer to ask about your état civil (marital status) or whether you have children. If you’ve mentioned certain pastimes and interests (loisirs et centres d’intérêt) that you enjoy on your CV, you may expect a potential employer to ask about these.

 

  1. Cut the chit-chat. Other cultures may consider a bit of small talk acceptable at a job interview. In France, however, discussing anything other than topics relevant to the job is considered unprofessional and may even suggests that you’re not serious.

 

French Job Interview Language

No matter your industry, there are several phrases that you can reasonably anticipate hearing in a French job interview. Get familiar with these 12 phrases and prepare your responses accordingly.

• Parlez-moi de vous.

(Tell me about yourself).

 

• Quelle est votre motivation pour ce post?

(Why are you interested in this position?)

 

• Pourquoi voulez-vous travailler dans notre entreprise?

(Why do you want to work for our company?)

 

• Que savez-vous de notre société?

(What do you know of our company?)

 

•  Quelle est votre parcours professionelle?

(What is your work history?)

 

• Quelle expérience avez-vous dans ce domaine?

(What is your experience in this field?)

 

• Pourquoi pensez-vous que nous devrions vous embaucher?

(Why do you think we should we hire you?)

 

• Quelles langues parlez-vous?

(What languages do you speak?)

 

• Quel est votre niveau d’aisance en anglais ou allemand?

(What is your fluency level in English or German?)

 

•  Quels sont vos objectifs de carrière?

(What are your career objectives?)

 

•  A combien s’élevait votre ancien salaire?

(What was your former salary?)

 

• Quelles sont vos prétentions salariales?

(What do you expect your new salary to be?)

 

• Quand êtes-vous disponsible pour commencer?

(When are you available to start?)

 

Would you like to have a private French lesson in Paris to help you prepare for a French job interview? Contact us! We will design a special course tailored to your needs and industry.

 

 


Café Talk: 12 French Phrases for Hanging Out in a Parisian Café

Ah, il fait si beau! This spring, Paris is flirting with all of us by offering days and days of golden sun, bright blue skies and breezes soft as a caress.

When the weather is this lovely, it makes you want to do nothing more than settle on a café terrace with a glass of rosé and a pair of lunettes de soleil (sunglasses), and people-watch and daydream for as long as you please.

And in Paris, so many people do just that.

Here, les serveurs (the waiters) will never rush you out of a café. You may sit for hours with your laptop, a magazine or just un café (a cup of coffee). You can meet with a variety of friends over the hours or even have a French lessonAnd no one’s going to be angry or annoyed. In fact, once the staff has become familiar with you, you’ll likely be greeted with a smile and warm handshake and waved over to your favorite spot.

If you’re going to indulge in this classically Parisian pastime – and you should! –  you might as well “talk the talk.” Here are 12 key phrases of great use when hanging out in a Paris café:

 “Bonjour!” (Good morning/hello!) Whenever you enter a café, always start with this essential.

Pour manger?” (Are you here to eat?) – Approach a café around lunch or dinnertime, you’re likely to hear this question. If you’re eating, you can probably sit anywhere appropriate to the number in your party. If you just want a coffee or drink, you’ll be directed to a table that’s not been set for dining.

Juste un verre/juste un café” (Just a drink/just a cup of coffee) – If you’re not eating and would just like a drink or a cup of coffee, this is the response you’d give to the question “pour manger?”

Puis-je avoir la carte?” (May have the menu?) – Whether you’re eating or drinking, if you would like to see the café’s menu, this is the appropriate phrase. Note that “la carte” is the French word a listing of individual food and drink offerings, NOT “le menu.Le menu refers to fixed-price 2 or 3-course meals that cafés and bistros and restaurants offer daily.

“Je voudrais un café/verre de vin blanc  s’il vous plaît” (I would like a coffe/glass of white wine, etc. please.) Other common café drinks include:

  • un café (an espresso)
  • un café crème (coffee with milk/a white coffee)
  • une noisette (an espresso with a dash of milk. Although noisette means hazelnut in French, une noisette does not mean hazelnut-flavored coffee)
  • café américan (a cup of filtered coffee)
  • un déca (a decaffeinated espresso. You can also ask for a “déca crème” – a decaffeinated cafe crème)
  • jus d’orange pressé (freshly-squeezed orange juice)
  • un verre du vin rouge/blanc (a glass of red/white wine)
  • un chocolat chaud (a hot chocolate)
  • un thé glacée (an ice tea)
  • une citronnade (a lemonade – note that if you ask for a “limonade” in French,   you’ll get a Sprite or other lemon-flavored sparkling drink).
  • une bière (a beer)
  • une bière à la pression (a draft beer)
  • un demi (a quarter-liter/half-pint of beer)

“Est-ce que vous avez un accès Wifi?” (Do you have wifi?”) These days, many cafés in Paris offer free Wifi (pronounce wee-fee), but you’ll often need the password. In that case you’d ask:

Quel est le code d’accès wifi ?” (What is the password for the wifi?)

Puis-je avoir une carafe d’eau?”   This is what you’d say if you would like a bottle of tap water to accompany whatever else you’ve ordered. Note that if you ask for “une bouteillle d’eau” the waiter will think you want commercially bottled water and may ask: plat ou pétillant? (Flat or sparkling?)

Est-ce que vous avez des glaçons?” (Do you have ice cubes?) Americans are accustomed to being served water with ice, but in France this is not at all the custom. Some places may have ice cubes, but don’t be surprised if most don’t.

Excuse-moi monsieur…mademoiselle…madame…” (Excuse me sir, miss, ma’m). This is how you get your server’s attention. Or you may simply say: “S’il vous plait?” I think ­– I hope – that no one continues to have the idea that you call a waiter “garcon.” This means “boy” and it is not at all appropriate!

Pouvez-vous régler maintenant?” (Can you settle the bill now). Sometimes when there’s a shift change, a server may ask you to settle your bill before he or she leaves, particularly if you’ve only ordered a drink. This does NOT mean that the server is trying to hurry you out, as it likely would in the U.S., so don’t interpret it as such!

•“Excusez-moi, puis-je régler?” or “L’addition, s’il vous plaît” (Excuse me, can I settle the bill” or “the check, please.”) If you haven’t already received your check, this is how you ask for it. But sometimes you’ll get it the moment you receive your order. If you’re sitting at a café terrace, look for the slip of paper peeking out from beneath an ashtray.

Have any questions about cultural customs in French cafés ? Ask us below!


Verb Spotlight: "Faire" – Usages and Expressions

The verb “faire” is one of the handiest verbs in the French language, but it can be one of the most confusing for beginners. Not only is faire an irregular verb, but it has multiple uses and appears in numerous French expressions and idioms. Even trickier, faire sometimes isn’t used where you think it should be.

Let’s take the mystery out of this useful verb!

Basic Uses of the Verb Faire

Faire is defined as “to do” or “to make.” Most of the time, you’re on safe ground translating the verb directly from English. For example:

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Franck fait ses devoirs =

Frank does his homework / Frank is doing his homework

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Je déteste faire la vaisselle =

I hate doing the dishes.

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Aurélie a fait une promesse =

Aurélie made a promise.

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Qu’est-ce que je fais? Je fais un sandwich! =

What am I doing? I’m making a sandwich!

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Mais fait attention! (But pay attention!) There are a few instances where “faireisn’t the appropriate translation for “to make,” especially with regard to making a reservation or appointment. In these instances, prendre is the correct verb. So:[quote align=”center” color=”#424141″] 

Je voudrais prendre un reservation pour six personnes, s’il vous plaît =

I would like to make a reservation for six [people], please.

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Si tu es malade, prends un rendez-vous avec un medecin! =

If you are sick, make an appointment with a doctor!

  [/quote]

Broader Uses of Faire

Faire is also used in many ways that don’t allow for direct translation. It’s often employed in a range of phrases where Anglophones would use a different verb, such “to be” “to have” or “to play” and much more. Look for “faire” in these contexts:

Weather:

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Il fait beau aujourd’hui = it’s beautiful (out) today

Il faisait si froid jeudi soir! = It was so cold (out) on Thursday evening!

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Sports or activities:

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Franck fait du ski = Franck is skiing / Frank skis.

Ils font du golf = They are golfing / They play golf.

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(Note: for games, use “jouer”/to play. Ex: jouer au football, aux cartes…)

Measurement/Weight:

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La pièce fait 5 mètres par 5 = The room measures 5 by 5 meters.

Elle fait 60 kilos = She weighs 60 kilos.

[/quote]

 

To Play / To Act

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Georges, ne fait pas l’idiot! = George, don’t play the fool (with me)!

Marie a reçu le rôle principal; elle fait Lady Macbeth =

Marie got the leading role; she’s playing Lady Macbeth.

[/quote]

To Feel Something

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Aie! Cela fait mal! = Ow! That hurts! (That makes me hurt)

 

L’enfant est tombé et il se fait mal son bras =

The child fell and hurt his arm.

 

Non, je n’ai pas aimé ce film. Il m’a fait peur. =

No, I didn’t like the film. It scared me. (Made me feel scared)

 

Ça me fait plaisir de vous voir =

I’m happy to see you. (It makes me happy to see you.)

[/quote]

Popular Expressions with Faire

When it comes to idiomatic expressions, the verb faire is ubiquitous. Here are 10 common French expressions that use faire.

1. Faire attention – To pay attention or watch out.

 

2. Faire la queue – To stand in the queue/ to stand in line.

 

3. Faire des économies – To save money

 

4. Faire la sourde oreille – To turn a deaf ear

 

5. Faire la grasse matinée – To sleep in

 

6. Faire la fête – To party

 

7. Faire un tabac – To be a hit (as at a party)

 

8. Faire la tête – To sulk/ To be in a bad mood

 

9. Faire des cauchemars – To have nightmares

 

10.  Faire la manche – To beg

 

HOMEWORK: Write a sentence using one of these “faire” expressions in the comments section below. We’ll correct you!