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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Language Lessons

If You’re not Fussy…

The French language is one of the easiest to learn. If you’re not bothered about total correctness and/or any knowledge of grammar or spelling.

How? What? Why?…and Where’s the Toilet?

If communication is “job no. one”, I’m gonna help ya get the job done. That’s right, the every helpful Beege, self-appointed fountain o’ Froggie knowledge, still misplacing modifiers and reading French at a kindergarden level, is here to give ya a “heads up”on the ESSENTIAL words you need to smoothly navigate the minefield of the French language.

A Piece of (French Chocolate) Cake

And yes, t’s the ole “If I can do it….anyone can” rant. Prior to my first French adventure, I had one very irregular week of French words ‘n phrases from a Dutch friend. They were –“right”,“left”,“please”thank you”and “where is the toilet.

Hey,….even the Bicycle Gourmet had to start somewhere!

A Vagabond’s Progress

As that first trip continued, I, as do all travelers with their ears and hearts open, began to hear certain words repeated often. Paying attention to how those words were used, eventually “translated” them for me, and viola, more vocabulary. More confidence. Easier travelling.

So, here the “ESSENTIALS“……followed by a power packed list of extremely helpful (as in “butt saving”) EXTRAS :

  1. right – au droit
  2. left – au gauche
  3. straight ahead – tout droit
  4. I would like – je veux
  5. I need – je besoin
  6. where – ou
  7. when – quand
  8. the toilet – les toilette
  9. how much? – combien
  10. how far? – combien le distance
  11. ok – ( “ok” is universal.)
  12. please – s’il vous plait (literally – “if you please”)
  13. thank youmerci, merci bien (not – “merci beaucoup”)
  14. it’s/that’s good – tres bien
  15. excuse me – excuse –a – moi

Some of these words,”where”comes immediately to mind, are virtually impossible to”get” from the printed page. So, ponying up for some pronunciation tapes is really”de rigeur.” And don’t tear yer hair out if you’re not pronouncing the word exactly like the tape, and the French don’t get it. There will always be those vexing syllables that are beyond the ability of us folks from”over there.”Just as the French are limited to pronouncing “the” as “zee.”(As in–”He was zee bruzzer of my muzzer.”)


1.absolutement (absolutely)

2 claire (clear)

These two are the hands down winners in the “perfect for any situation” category.(ie – good,or bad.) So,if you don’t perfectly understand the conversation, but you get the gist, interjecting one of the above, should save yer freakin’ bacon.

3. impeccable. (same meaning as English, not to mention the same spelling! – but pronounced : “am-pec-ab”) At this point, time to hip you to Michel Thomas. A Frenchman who created a learning French Course, based on the 30,000 English words, like “impeccable” that have the same meaning/spelling as their French counterparts,  but are just pronounced differently.

4 pour quoi pas? (why not?)

5 a bientôt (see you soon)

6 a plus (until the next time)

7 a tout à ‘lheure. (see you later)

8 Bisous (kisses)

9 je t’embrasse ( literally -I embrace you – in other words, folks -“hugs”)

10 ca marche (literally “that works”…but the practical useage is : “That works for me.”)


That’s right!..even though this is not an internet marketing”upsell”- Beege ,hisself is gonna give ya a free bonus!(and are’nt those the best kind?)

Alllrighty then!…..your “bonus” is the knowledge that when your French creeps up to something just past kindergarden level……….you will discover that your fab French, being a Latin based language means that adding other Latin languages to your repertoire is a cake walk.

For example

French                    Italian                 Spanish

absolutement    absolutementa   absolutementa


While there are there many  “easy-peasy” courses for coming to grips with the French Language one of the best I’ve seen(which is why they’re one of my sponsors!) is ROCKET FRENCH.

As the name implies – their method gets you where you want to be  – FAST

Check them out by clicking HERE.

Ready to parlez- vous, chers amis?


What are ya thinkin’?



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5 Responses to “French Language Lessons”

  1. marnie fearson says:

    all great stuff – as usual — but particularly liked “The Extras.” even i can do those! Thanks for opening the (french) door!

  2. jimmy fetterston says:

    Never thought I would be able to learn this stuff! But thanks to you…..I’m on my way.

  3. leslie pannette says:

    Double thanks! – first for the post, then for hooking me up with the rocket languages. It’s almost as fast as you!

  4. amy callen says:

    You’ve overcome my “Fear of Frencing” in just one post! can’t wait for part two!

  5. matt zartenlet says:

    While you did get me more interested in getting into french, pointing out the relation between the other latin languages, really gave me the bigger picture. Ya done good!

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