When you want to say “nice to meet you” in French, most of the time you’d say “enchanté” (if speaking to a man) or “enchantée” (if speaking to a woman). The translation is literally the word “enchanted,” which sounds extremely formal to many English speakers, but which is actually quite casual in French. A more polished way to say “nice to meet you” would be “ravi de vous rencontrer“, but it’s just one of a half-dozen common ways to politely address someone for the first time.
There are actually hundreds of French expressions that make up the core of the language. Once you get comfortable with these, you’ll have a great foundation. And it’s not just the usual merci, bonjour, bonsoir, vau revoir_, or _s’il vous plaît_ that you’ll need. Those are vital, but it’s also important to get comfortable with the words and phrases that the French use in more conversational settings, like ça marche (that works/ok), je voudrais (I would like…), à quelle heure ? (at what time?), de rien (it’s nothing / you’re welcome), and even more complicated full sentences like, “_Combien est-ce que je vous dois?_” (How much do I owe you?)
To build towards conversing in French, you should start your French lessons with the basics of common words and pronunciations. Then you can scale naturally towards a much more complex understanding of the French language. That’s why Rosetta Stone’s French language program has an immersive approach that introduces words alongside both visual and audio cues that help you learn vocabulary in the context of true-to-life conversations. The bite-sized lessons are grouped into units that highlight common French conversational phrases you will need for everyday interactions. This is coupled with practical review to help you solidify your French language skills.
Your personal approach to learning French will vary depending on your experience with the language and your goals for learning it. Many beginners have heard common French words and phrases sprinkled into conversation , and want to reproduce the famous French accent. These new French language learners may know just a handful of words, such as baguette, mademoiselle, au revoir, and amour. Others may have more experience with the language, perhaps from exposure through their travels or academic careers. These intermediate learners may want to polish their French speaking skills or acquire more French vocabulary. Whatever your previous experience, and whatever your goal for learning the French language may be, it’s important that you consider choosing a language-learning program designed with your experience, goals, and schedule in mind.
One of the most notable characteristics of the French language is its je ne sais quoi, a somewhat indefinable quality that makes the French accent sound quite appealing. But what you may initially think of as an elusive aspect of French is actually just a nuance of French pronunciation. Some of the distinct sounds of spoken French can be a bit challenging to learn, because those sounds are much more nasal than words spoken in English. That’s why it’s so important that you learn correct French pronunciation early on.
You can build your French language skills by first learning some basic French words and phrases:
- Bonjour = Hello, Good morning
- Au revoir = Goodbye
- Oui = Yes
- Non = No
- Merci = Thank you
- Merci beaucoup = Thank you very much
- Fille = Girl
- Garçon = Boy
- Femme = Woman
- Homme = Man
- Amour = Love
- Français = French
- S’il vous plaît = Please
- Bonsoir = Good evening
- Bonne Nuit = Good night
- Excusez-moi = Excuse me
- De Rien = You’re welcome (casual, informal way)
- Je vous en prie = You’re welcome (formal)
- Temps = Time
- Jour = Day
And here are more common French phrases to get you started:
- Je suis désolé(e) = I’m sorry
- Comment vous appelez-vous ? = What is your name?
- Parlez-vous anglais ? = Do you speak English?
- Je m’appelle = My name is
- Comment allez-vous? = How are you doing?
- Quelle heure est-il ? = What time is it?
- Pouvez-vous m’aider ? = Can you help me?
- Combien ça coûte ? = How much is this?
- Je t’aime = I love you
Rosetta Stone has extensive experience in designing language-learning programs that help students develop the skills to understand and speak French with confidence. Whether you’re a true beginning learner or an experienced, intermediate French speaker, Rosetta Stone language lessons can help you advance your skills. Our immersive approach to language learning focuses on teaching commonly-used vocabulary with an emphasis on correct pronunciation to build confidence for everyday conversation. And it’s all available on an award-winning mobile app that delivers brief lessons that will help you learn to understand and speak French virtually anytime and anywhere.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with French whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.