Language learning

French Language Immersion Travel Guide

One of the most crucial elements of experiencing another culture is learning the language. Language immersion is a fantastic way to maximize the cultural value of a tour, by putting yourself in a completely new situation and combining travel with study. By engaging in language immersion, you acquire a much greater understanding of the culture with which you are engaging than you would by just sitting in a classroom; you pick up on colloquialisms, and can speak with and understand locals as you pick up on more nuanced social cues and interactions in these new cultural environments.Louvre

French Language Facts and Statistics:

  • French, one of the most popular second languages in America, is known worldwide for its romance, elegance, and relevance to culture and art.
  • French is the official language of 29 countries, and a working language of several international organizations – including the United Nations, NATO, and The Red Cross.
  • Over 200 million people speak French as a first or second language.
  • There are a number of French dialects, including traditional French, Canadian variations of French like Quebecois, and Cajun French, which can still be heard in former French colony, Louisiana.

French Language History:

  • French originated as a romance language derived from Latin, much like Spanish and Italian.
  • It is estimated that nearly one-third of the English language has origins in French, and one-third in Latin, making these two languages the most prominent foundations of English. You may recognize words such as “au pair”, “chauffeur”, “bouquet”, “motif”, “ballet”, “prairie”, “sabotage”, “critique”, and “touché”, all of which come from French!

Useful French Language Immersion Phrases:


Phonetic Spelling


Bonjour Bohn-joor Hello
Merci Mehr-see Thank you
Parlez-vous anglais? Par-lay voo ahng-lay Do you speak English?
Excusez-moi. Ek-skew-zay mwah Excuse me
Parlez lentement. Par-lay lawn-te-muhn Please speak slowly.
Je suis de… Juh swee duh I am from…
Je voudrais… Juh voo-dray I would like…
Où est-ce que se trouve…? Oo es-cuh suh troove Where is…?
Combien coûte-t-il? Com-byehn coot eel How much does it cost?
S’il vous plaît. See voo play Please
Non. Nohn No
Je ne comprends pas. Juh nuh kom-pruhn pah I don’t understand.
Où sont les toilettes? Oo sohn lay twah-let Where are the bathrooms?

And Here’s Some French Slang:


Phonetic Spelling


Ouf Oopf Awesome
Ça dechire Sah duh-shee It rocks
Accouche! Ah-koosh Out with it!
Mon chou Mohn shoe Term of endearment (honey)
Chai pas Shay pa I don’t know


Rachel Waldmann

Rachel is a Marketing intern with EF Educational Tours and EF Explore America.

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