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How to Survive France

How to get around Paris without Speaking French (Singlish Way) Actually, you've been speaking some French without you knowing


Are you travelling to France or Paris this holiday? And you have no knowledge of French at all? How do you get around Paris without speaking or knowing French?

Fear not. Actually you have been speaking French in Singapore all the while without you knowing.

We have been 4 months in France without zero knowledge of French when we first came. We are still quite bad at it now except for some very very basic conversation to get things going.​

And to the myth that French people are rude if you don't know French language. Not really actually, we had our fair share of positive experience in Paris without knowledge for speaking French. We can survive months here, you definitely can do it.

Don't worry, France without knowing French is not as scary as it looks. But the rule of the thumb is, Be Polite, Act Blur.

Always start your conversation, with a Greeting. Either Bonjour (Good day) or Bonsoir​ (Good Evening). End with, Merci (Thank you). You will survive through your Paris or France holiday with these survival tips.

The Very Basic French

  • Yes – Oui – Wee
  • No – Non – No
  • Good Day (to You) - Bonjour (neh) – Bo Jio (Neh)
  • Good Evening - Bonsoir – Bo Sua
  • Good Night (When gg to about to sleep only) - Bonne Nuit – Bo Need
  • Bye Bye - Au Revoir – All Voir (As in Reser-Voir)
  • Please – S'il vous plait – Si Vou Play
  • Thank you (very much) Merci (Beaucoup) – Messy (Bu Ku)
  • Welcome – De Rien – De Yan
  • Excuse Me - Excusez-moi - Excuse Say Muar

Basic Conversation

  • See You later (today) - A tout à l'heure – Aku Tarik (Actually is Ah Tu Talek)
  • See you later (Duno when) – A Plus Tard – Ah Plu Ta
  • See you Tomorrow – A Demain – Ah Dey Ma
  • I am Sorry – Je suis désolé – Zhe Swee Dey So Leh
  • Sorry (Accidentally bump into someone) – Pardon – Pa Don
  • How are you? (formal) - Comment Allez Vous? – Com’on Ah Ley Vou
  • How are you? (informal) - Ça va ? – Sa Va?
  • I am Fine (in response to Ça va ?) - Ça va Bien – Sa Va Bien
  • Nice to Meet you – Enchanté – On Sean Teh
  • Where are you from? (formal) - Vous êtes d'où ? – Vou Said du? 
  • I am from Singapore – Je Suis De Singapour – Zhe Swee De Singapore
READ:  What to Wear for Winter Travel (Part 2) – And where to get cheap Heat Packs

When Asking for Detailed Information

  • I don’t speak French – Je Ne Parle Pas Français – Zhe Nen Pal Pa Font Say
  • My French is not Good – Mon français Par Bien – Mon Font Say Pa Bien
  • Do you speak English? – Parlez Vous Anglais? – Pa Leh Vou On Gleh
  • Or shortcut – Parley Anglais – Pa Leh On Gleh

Usually what we do is, to say "Mon français Par Bien, Parlez Anglais?" Hearsay is not the "correct" practice. But hey, Singlish is like that what? So in Singlish it is like, "My French not good, speak English?"

Asking for Directions

  • How to go Eiffel Tower - Comment aller Tour Eiffel – Com’on Ah Leh To Eiffel
  • Where is the toilet - Où Sont Les Toilettes? Wu Son Leh Toi Lat?
  • Turn Left – Tourner à gauche – To Neh Ah Goo Sh
  • Turn Right - Tournez à droite – To Neh Ah De-wat
  • Go Straight – Allez tout droit – Ah Leh To Dua

When Ordering food or in a restaurant

  • Menu Please - Le menu, s'il vous plait – Le Menu, Si Vou Play
  • Do you have English Menu? Avez-vous menu en anglais – Ah Vey Vou Menu on On Gleh?
  • Pork – Porc – Por
  • Chicken – Poulet – Pu Leh
  • Beef – boeuf – Birth
  • Fish – Poisson – Poison
  • Salt – Sel – Sell
  • Ice – Glace – Glass
  • Bill Please - L'addition S'il-Vous-Plaît – La Di Xiong Si Vou Play

Remember the Padi Xiong from Legend of Speed 2
Here's how you pronounced Bill Please.


So actually, you have been speaking some form of French daily which you didn't know. Don't worry on it. Just go and have fun in France! 

Before you depart your home country, download the Google Translate App in your handphone and make sure you download the French language so that when you are offline, you may still be able to use it.​

TEH Tarik 
Tea Lover

And lastly, when you bump into some situation which requires assistance. Many of the times, you will experience the French Shrug, and you just have to LLST (Lan Lan Suck Thumb)

The French Shrug

C'est La Vie! (That's life)

And our slogan, Voila! (There you go)

About the Author Donovan

Don is a Kiasu Singaporean that blogs his journey while exploring Europe. A Singapore Travel Blog that provides travel guides and tips on how to travel free and easy in Europe.

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