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Business French Language and Phrase Guide

Turn your school French into formal French

If you’ve read my “Business in France” pages, you now know that making an effort towards speaking some of the language of your French contact will go a long way to making or breaking the deal. I’ve compiled a list of expression that will sound slightly more formal than your school French, however, don’t let it be overwhelming. Whilst remembering any of these may get you some brownie points, the simple fact that you’re trying will undoubtedly be appreciated.

> Add “Monsieur” (Sir) or “Madame” (Madam) to your greetings for an instant touch of formality:
“Bonjour Madame”
“Bonjour Monsieur”

> If this is your first meeting, or if you’ve just been introduced to someone new, simply say:
“Enchanté” (Nice to meet you).

> If you’ve met before, you may add something along the lines of “How are you?”:
“Vous allez bien?”
or, if you know each other well, the more casual
“Ça va?”

> Formalise your “Thank you”:
Rather than “Merci”, try “Je vous remercie”.

> To take your leave and wish them a good day:
“Je vous souhaite une bonne journée”.
And you may also add :
“À bientôt”. (See you soon)



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