French Words & Phrases For Travelers – Le Clé, S'il Vous Plait

In the previous articles you learned how to say "please" and "thank you", "hello" and "goodbye". (If you need to review, go back and revisit French greetings.) Now we'll teach you a few 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.


The Best Latin Quarter Activities

Taste the Food & Wine of the Marais
Visit the top food & wine shops in the historic Marais, tasting the best of French foods like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and wine. There's plenty of sampling!
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Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of the Latin Quarter
On a food walking tour through the Latin Quarter discover this historic district's finest pastry and chocolate shops. Lots of sampling will ensue!
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French Words and Phrases – Le Restaurant

Le Restaurant

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 preference), a-PWANT
  • 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

Other Foods

Parisian, and the French in general, are adventurous when it comes to food. Although it's not as common as it once was, offal (organ meats) and challenging dishes like andouilette (grizzly sausage) can still be found on 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


The Best Evenings at the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge Dinner & Show with VIP Seating
The magic and wonder of Paris: a classic French dinner at a private table in the VIP section at Moulin Rouge. Afterwards marvel at the iconic cabaret show.
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Moulin Rouge Cabaret with Champagne
Concentrate on the cabaret… and on the champagne! You can also opt to come early and dine at the Moulin Rouge before the show starts.
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More French Phrases for Le Pharmacie

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.


The Hotel

  • 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.


Find Hotel Deals for Your Dates in Paris

Check with to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!

Booking.Com Paris Hotel Deals
Find hotels in the Latin Quarter, Saint Germain, the Right Bank, the Marais, near the Eiffel Tower.
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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

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