The most widely spoken languages in the world, when you only count native speakers, are (in order): Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese and Punjabi. The fact that French does not make the top ten is enormously annoying to a number of French folks. There are actually a mere (in global terms) 76 million people who speak French as a first language, which is only about 1.3% of the total population of our planet. So all those kids complaining about French class, assuming the never plan to move to France itself, might just have a point ...
Or do they? Nope. When you factor in two important points, suddenly the value of French soars. First, you include those who speak French as a second language, at which point it leaps to sixth place, with close to 300 million speakers. Second, you have to factor in places you're actually likely to go. If you're reading this, you're probably not going to spend a great deal of your life in places that you can't get by with English and Spanish, as there will be someone around who speaks at least one of them as a second language - and if you go anywhere else, it's very likely that French is going to be your best backup. Plus, it's just such a pretty language, so even if you never use it, you probably ought to know it anyway!
Mind your P's and Q's! Or in this case, mind your SIP's. This is how you say please.
If you ask for this, you'll get a coffee and a latte. We're assuming you are in fact in a cafe when you make the request!
If you're lost, you might say this. That assumes there are two of you, otherwise it's "Je suis perdu".
It sounds very long, but it's technically right. This is how you ask for a cashpoint or ATM.
This is how you ask someone to call you a cab. French culture is not notorious for service in this area, so do confirm the price ahead of time.
Pressed for time? This is how you convey it in French.
It's actually asking literally how the weather is going today. This is how the French like to ask
Ça va? Ça va bien! How are you? I'm good! Ça roule is a way of saying this very colloquially.
This is the French version of "long time no see!" It doesn't necessarily mean you've been avoiding them, of course.
This is how you say "good afternoon." It's quite formal but very polite.
Bonne chance means good luck. The others are good wishes for different circumstances: travel, birthday and a kind of candy.
"I don't understand" in French conveniently looks just like the English "I don't comprehend". So next time you don't get it, you can say so in French.
It literally means "Could you speak more slowly"? You could also just say "lentement" if you can't remember the whole sentence.
To parley means to have a chat, so you can easily remember this French word. Of course, if they speak English, you can just ask them in English, and if they don't understand you, the answer is no.
Of course, if they DO speak a language besdies French, you can just ask them in that language. If they speak it, they'll reply!
Just as "bon mot" means a witty remark in English now, a mot is a word. So if you want to know the word for something, this is how you ask.
Excusez-moi is so easy that it's barely even in a foreign language. In fact, if you say it to someone who speaks zero French, nine times out of 10 they'll understand you.
If you're "désolée," then you are sorry. Say this often in France; manners are valued there and it will ingratiate you with people. Say it twice as much in England, though (in English).
Yep, our phrasing was a little cheeky here. If they said, "Merci", you replied, "De rien" meaning basically, "No biggie."
If the man is going to pay, then use this phrase. If he hasn't offered yet, then don't; we live in an age of equality and one cannot simply assume these things!
It's an elegant turn of phrase, for sure. Your sick friend will doubtless appreciate it!
This means literally "leave me in peace." In practice, it's how you say, "Leave me alone".
This phrase is basically English by now. It means a sunny, joyous disposition, to a point that isn't entirely justified by one's circumstances.
This is the traditional French greeting specifically for Christmas and the New Year. If you want to wish someone happy other holidays that happen around then, you need different words - though most French folks will naturally be very happy to get any such wishes!
This means "How much in total?" A pro tip; if you make an effort to speak French, however badly, this number may not be as high as if you don't even try.
"Salut" is an informal greeting. It's like saying "hi" or "hey" to your friend.
"Allez" is the straight up imperative here, meaning just "Go!" But "Allons-y" is inclusive, inviting them to come along ... let's go!
This is how you say you need help. Of course, you may need to be more specific to get the exact help you need - but this is a great place to start.
"Where is the bathroom" is one of those essential questions that you must never be without. Memorize this one if you don't know it!
This means, "I'm looking for the bus." The truth is, tou cherche le bus for hours and then you trouve trois buses at once!
This means "What's your name?" Literally it translates to "What do you call yourself?" It's polite to know this one!
This is a nice way to say "congratulations"! It's succinct and easy to remember, as it sounds like the English word "felicitous."
This famous phrase hails from Monkey Island, an adventure game that was playable in French and German. Many kids of the '90s learned languages by playing it in English, then replaying it. That's why so many older Millennials can barely ask for a glass of water in French, but know how to warn about three-headed monkeys.
This is from a famous Monty Python sketch about learning French. It's a very important phrase that French people use almost daily- OK, you'll probably never need it, but if you do need it, accept no substitutes.
One language is never enough! It's true! Now you've aced this quiz, you can agree with this statement without feeling anything but validated. Well done!