France – A Few things to know about France
GoLearnTo.com offers an array of great learning holidays in France. Enjoy our cooking courses in the peaceful and amazingly beautiful corners of La France, learn the secrets of perfume making in Grasse or discover your creative side on a painting, photography or jewellery making course. Wait, there’s more…study the French language, discover the winds of the French seaside on our Surfing courses in Biarritz, or simply relax and recharge your batteries whilst practicing yoga or Pilates in the Dordogne.
Before you visit this beautiful country, there are few things that you should know about France and its traditions.
1) Instead of shaking hands French people kiss each other on the cheek to greet each other. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, you’ve got to follow this tradition (which is sometimes unusual for some nationalities!). The number of kisses varies according to the region, from 1 (for example, in the tip of Brittany) to 4 (in Paris and most of the North of France), and occasionally up to 5 in Corsica.
2) Don’t forget about the eye contact. In some countries it may be awkward or intimidating to make eye contact with the person you’re talking to, but in France it may be considered rude to avoid looking in the eye when greeting, talking and toasting with a glass of champagne!
3) Of course, no trip to France can go without drinking wine with a group of friends. So bear in mind that that when toasting you have to clink your glass with everyone around the table and say “Santé” (health) or “Tchin Tchin” (cheers). Don’t offend your French friends, cling glasses with them!
4) Remember most shops are closed in France on Sundays and sometimes Mondays, including supermarkets. So don’t let your food supplies run low before Sunday, plan ahead! By the way, if you are planning to rent a car, bear in mind that many petrols stations are closed on Sundays as well…
5) These everyday phrases will stand you in good stead if you learn a couple before heading for France.
Hello – Salut
Good morning/good day - Bonjour
Good evening - Bon soir
What is your name? – Comment vous appellez-vous?
My name is – Je m’appelle
How are you? – Comment allez-vous?
Fine thanks and you? – Merci et vous?
So-so – Comme ci, comme ça
Good-bye – Au revoir
Do you speak English? - Parlez-vous anglais?
Excuse me/sorry – Excusez-moi
I’m sorry – Desolé/Pardon
Nice to meet you! – Enchanté!
I don’t understand – Je ne comprends pas
Please – S’il vous plaît
Please speak slowly – Parlez lentement s’il vous plaît
Thank you – Merci
That’s ok – De rien
Very well – Très bien
What? – Comment?
When – Quand
Where – Où
You’ re welcome – De rien
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