French Words & Phrases
For Travelers

Rognons Blanc are Not
White Kidneys!

French Words and Phrases. By now we hope you've learned how to say "please" and "thank you", "hello" and "goodbye". (If not, it's a good idea to learn these French greetings.)

Here you'll find more French words and phrases to help you on your trip, including basic vocabulary for the hotel and pharmacy.

We also tell you how to order some interesting French dishes that you'll want to try. (And a few you might want to avoid!)

Finally, if you're struck with a maladie (illness), we give you some basic vocabulary to communicate with your local pharmacie.

French Words and Phrases – Le Restaurant

French Words and Phrases

In our experience, the French seem to be very fond of wild game.

If you're lucky enough to be in Paris during the fall and winter be on the lookout for these menu items.

Wild game is often cooked slowly in wine and the meat is tender and delicious.

  • biche — deer
  • cerf — venison
  • sanglier — wild boar

Parisians prefer their meat cooked a saignant — rare, so if you prefer your steak cooked a little more, here's how to order —

  • a saignant — cooked rare
  • a point — cooked medium rare (our choice)
  • bien cuit — well done
  • Je voudrais un steak, a point, s'il vous plait? — I'd like the steak cooked medium, please.

To some of us rabbit seems…challenging. However, rabbit is a lovely, tender meat, much like chicken. (Don't they always say that?) Guinea fowl, too, is often served in French restaurants and it is also a delicous small game hen. We recommend you order it whenever possible.

  • lapereau — bunny
  • lapin — rabbit
  • pintade — guinea fowl
  • caille — quail
  • faisan — pheasant

The "Other" Foods

French Words and Phrases

Parisians are adventurous when it comes to food.

Although it's not as common as previously, offal (organ meats) and challenging dishes like andouilette (grizzly sausage) can still be found on some menus.

Here are some advanced menu items that you might want to memorize before you go to Paris.

  • rognons — kidneys
  • rognons blanc — testicles
  • andouille — big tripe (as in cow stomach) sausage
  • andouillette — small tripe sausage

  • fromage de tete — head cheese
  • cervelles — brains
  • cervalas — seasoned brain sausage
  • boudin noir — blood sausage

  • grenouille — frog
  • tripe — slowly stewed cow stomach
  • gesier — gizzard
  • bifteck de cheval — horse steak

Our Top 4 Picks – Phrasebooks & Dictionaries


Rough Guide French Phrasebook Rough Guide French Phrasebook Berlitz Phrasebook Berlitz Phrasebook & Dictionary Oxford French Oxford French
Mini Dictionary
Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary

French Words and Phrases – le Pharmacie

  • J'ai l'indigestion — I have indigestion.
  • le rhume — a cold
  • la constipation — constipation
  • un mal de gorge — a sore throat
  • mal au ventre — stomach ache
  • J'ai mal de tête — I have a headache.

l'Hotel

Useful Phrases in French

le prix — price
la salle de bain — bathroom
la reservation — reservation
reserver — to reserve
le clé, s'il vous plait — the key, please

le passeport — passport
l'employé — clerk
la porte — door
la femme de chambre — chambermaid
la fenêtre — window

Excusez-moi, monsieur. J'ai reservé deux chambres pour ce soir — Excuse me, I reserved two rooms for tonight.
…il ya six semaines — …six weeks ago.

French Words and Phrases – Date & Time

  • aujourd'hui — today
  • hier — yesterday
  • demain — tomorrow
  • A quelle heure est-t-il? — What time is it?
  • la semaine prochaine — next week
  • la semaine derniere — last week
  • le mois prochaine — next month
  • le mois dernier — last month

Paris Planning Quick Links


Fine French Wine & Champagne Best Wine & Champagne Tours Seine River Cruises Romantic Seine River Cruises Link to Moulin Rouge Paris All About the
Moulin Rouge
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French For Travelers