Are you going to France soon? I am! In fact, I’m leaving today, for the tour my mother and I lead in Lyon, I am beyond excited! We’ll be exploring Lyon and its surrounding areas with our little group of almost 10 women (we do have 1 man, lucky Richard!) so make sure to check out this link and follow us on French Truly’s Facebook page!

Since we are going to France for the next 2 weeks, what best theme, for the next two weeks, than “How to Pass for French”? Let’s be honest, nobody likes to feel like a tourist. So I decided to share with you all sorts of tips, from expressions, to does & don’ts, gestures, and sounds to help you impress the French on your next visit!

Vous êtes prêt?

Number 1 – Little conversation fillers

Ah bon? When you say Ah bon? you are genuinely feeling very surprised. The English equivalent is Really? But again, it is genuine. Nothing like a Really?

Another very French way to express the same feeling of surprise is C’est pas vrai! Here people would say No way! Literally means it’s not true. c’est pas vrai, and you have to say it like that!

Number 2 – Funny sounds

What sound do we make to express “I really don’t know”? Watch the video above!

And same goes for “I am so not impressive and annoyed right now I’d really like to swear but instead I’m going to…” make the sound in the video also!

Number 3 – At the restaurant

Don’t ask for a menu change like you do in the US. That, in France, is rude. Here’s what you can do though: your friend is vegan? no problem! When entering the restaurant mention it to your waiter and ask if the chef can come up with something. And he will be happy to! Just don’t tell him how to do his job!

Don’t ask for a doggy bag. I’m sorry I know it makes so much sense not to want to waste the lovely food you have in front of you, but it’s just not done. People would find it tacky.

Do ask for the check as waiters will not automatically bring it to your table. They don’t work on tips and will normally let you have your table for as long as you want. No pressure to turn the tables. So you’ll have to say Excusez-moi, je pourrais avoir l’addition s’il vous plaît?

Want to practice passing for French with me in Lyon next spring?


Click on the HERE and stay tune because next week, I am bringing you How to pass for French part 2!

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