France is a fantastic holiday destination that’s perfect for all kinds of travellers. If you travel alone, there’s plenty to see or do. As a couple, you can enjoy the streets of Paris in the City of Love. Even families get the holiday of a lifetime in Disneyland! There’s truly something for everyone, but this post isn’t about all the wonders France has to offer. Instead, we’ll look at how you can prepare for your trip, ensuring you have the time of your life.
Specifically, we’re focusing on some simple language tips to help you learn a bit of French. Don’t expect to be fluent, but you can pick up some basic knowledge to get around a lot easier. The locals will appreciate it if you try to speak French, and it can take some anxiety out of your trip if you have a general understanding of what people are saying. With all that in mind, here are some simple tips to follow:
Learn the most common verbs
Verbs are the backbone of every single language. A basic definition is that verbs are doing words – they’re things that we’re doing right now, about to do, want to do, or were doing. Your task is to memorise as many of the most common French verbs as you can. This way, you should understand the gist of most conversations you hear in France. If you learn the verb conjugations, you’ll soon realise how often these verbs crop up in sentences. Plus, learning verbs is the first step as you understand how to form sentences or ask questions.
Get to grips with common questions
More often than not, your experience of the French language will be through questions. What I mean is that French people will interact with you by asking a question. If you’re going out for dinner, the staff at the restaurant might ask if you have a reservation, what you’d like to order, if you have any allergies, etc. So, it makes sense to get to grips with some of the most common questions out there. This way, you understand what someone is asking you and can think of a relevant response.
Memorise some useful phrases
After learning key verbs and understanding common questions, you can work on forming a response and talking to people in France. Here, the best approach is to learn some useful phrases that will allow you to pass through France with ease. Think about common situations like asking for directions, ordering food, paying a bill, asking where something is in a shop, and so on. It could be smart to have a little phrasebook with you, so you can look up any phrases you forget.
That’s all there really is to it! Remember, this isn’t a crash course in becoming fluent in French. It’s more about learning some basic language tips to get by on a short holiday. You won’t converse fluently with everyone you see, but you will have a better understanding of what people are saying and can respond with some key phrases of your own.