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Best Way To Learn French For Travel

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Are you about to explore a French-speaking country? Or you’re planning an escape trip to Paris soon… picking up a few French words is a great idea before you travel. Speaking French will make your trip much more comfortable and enjoyable. I know that it takes work to start learning a new language. But I have an excellent method for you. This article will introduce you to the best way to learn French for travel.



What Is The Best Way To Learn French For Travel?

The best way to learn French for travel is by learning topic specific vocabulary. It means you must choose topics/situations where you want to speak French once you travel. Then, you’ll learn all the necessary words and phrases to speak in each situation.


In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of learning topic specific vocabulary. I’ll also give you resources to support your French learning journey. These resources will help you to give you confidence in speaking French. So let’s get started.



How To Learn Topic Specific Vocabulary?

Let me explain to you what it means to learn topic specific vocabulary. It’s an easy process that anybody can follow. You only need two things:

  • motivation
  • language notebook


Think Of Travel Situations In Which You’ll Speak French

Firstly, think of all the situations in which you’ll need to speak French once you travel. You can only pick a few situations so as not to overwhelm yourself. The situations can be, for instance:

  • Checking in your luggage at the airport
  • Airport signs
  • Getting a taxi to your accommodation
  • Checking in to your accommodation
  • Words that are written on a registration card at the reception
  • Ordering food & drinks at a restaurant
  • Booking extra activities in a city
  • Asking for directions
  • Getting a SIM Card


These are a few situations in which you’ll need to speak French once you travel. Now, take your language notebook, and write down all the situations in which you want to speak French. You can use mine or think about your journey and write them down. These situations are the topics I talk about when I say topic specific vocabulary.


Think Of All Words & Phrases Within Each Travel Situation

Once you have all your travel situations (topics) written down, pick just one. Now, we’ll work with just one of these travel situations.

For example, I’ll pick the topic ‘ordering food & drinks at a restaurant.’

Now, think of all the words and phrases you’ll need to use within this situation (in this case, when ordering food & drinks at a restaurant).

You can do the brainstorming in your native language. Firstly, write down all the words and phrases for one situation in your native language. After, you’ll translate them into French.

In this case, I would imagine having a dialogue with a waiter in France, ordering food. My words and phrases would be the following words:

  • Hello!
  • What would you like to have?
  • Are you ready to order?
  • What is this?
  • Can you please bring me a menu?
  • I want to get…
  • What does this salad have?
  • I want to drink…
  • Basic words of French plates, drinks, and foods.
  • Can you bring me the bill, please?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Numbers to understand the cost of goods.
  • Thank you, it was delicious.


Also, think of words and phrases the server might use.

Write down everything that comes to your mind. Then, if your creativity doesn’t glow, go to a restaurant near your home, and see what phrases you use when ordering food. Note them down. Also, pay attention to what the waiter says and write it down.

Be creative and use your brain. These are all day-to-day situations in which you speak your native language.

create sentences topic specific vocabulary best language learning method for adults
Best way to learn French for travel: Me learning topic specific vocabulary


Translate Words & Sentences Into French

Once you have all your words and sentences on one topic, it’s time to translate them into French.

To do so, I recommend using Deepl.com. It’s a reliable and very accurate translator.

Just type in a word or one sentence and translate it into French.


Write All French Words Into Your Language Notebook

Work with your language notebook. I’ve designed this notebook exactly for all these steps. First, write down all translated words and phrases in the French language.

You can get my language notebook free of charge by clicking on the image or button below. It’ll guide you throughout the entire process of learning French for travel. So get it now to keep track of your French vocabulary.


Get Language Notebook Here

My Language Travel Notebook



How To Learn French Vocabulary For Travel

Once you have all your words and phrases in one topic translated to French (noted in your language notebook), it’s time to learn them.

I’ve written several articles about the method of learning new words. One of them gives you many ideas for how to learn vocabulary fast. So check it out.

Another great idea to memorize these words and dialogues is to speak to yourself. Start talking to yourself whenever you’re in a quiet place or have nothing to do. For example, you can revise a restaurant dialogue in French. This can be done once you travel to work every day or wait for an appointment. I do it all the time, and it works perfectly.



Use iTalki to Practice Speaking & Gain Confidence

Amazing! Now you have learned the French words and phrases. It’ll be essential to use them in speech. You can’t just memorize everything and leave it behind.

You need to keep the flow going and learn to speak. Again, this is best practiced with native speakers.
iTalki is a great language app where you can have conversations in French with native speakers. Then, you can book a lesson with your chosen tutor and start practicing.

Opening an account with iTalki is free of charge. Once you have an account, go to the ‘find your teacher’ section. It’ll list all teachers that are available to teach you, French. You can watch their introduction videos and see which one you like the most.

After, you can book a trial lesson with the tutor. Some of them are free, and some tutors charge a few dollars.

If you like the tutor, you can keep learning French with him. Then transfer some dollars to your iTalki account, and book a regular lesson.

In case you want to learn more about iTalki and how it works, check out my article about how to practice language with native speakers


Try iTalki For Free Now




Practice Speaking In Each Situation With Your Tutor

I recommend you tell the tutor about your French learning strategy during your trial lesson. Tell him that you’re preparing to learn French for your trip. Tell him that you’re learning topic specific vocabulary and want to practice speaking French in each situation.

So once you learn all the phrases and vocabulary for the situation ‘ordering food & drinks at a restaurant’, book a lesson with your tutor. Tell him you’ve learned important words for this situation and want to practice dialogue in a restaurant with him.

During this process, you’ll learn new words. So write them down in your language notebook, too.
Practicing speaking in each situation will help you not only pronounce words correctly. It’ll also make you use the words properly and bring you more confidence when speaking.



More Tips For Language Learning

This is the best way to learn French for travel. You’ll have to put in some effort first. But it’s the most effective strategy. I learn languages for travel this way, and I already speak four of them whenever I travel.

Be aware that you might not speak like a pro once you travel to a French-speaking country. But it’ll prepare you for each situation. Even if you can’t speak fluently, you’ll catch words somebody will tell you.

As a result, you’ll be more confident and talk. Once you come back home, you’ll already know all the essential travel phrases. Then keep improving your French and your speaking. On your second trip, you’ll be prepared even better.

If you want to learn more about my method, check out my article about how to learn a language for travel.

If you like learning language with apps, check out the best French language apps for travel.

Get some of the best French audiobooks for beginners to boost your French learning. Or listen to some of the best language learning podcasts.

If you feel unmotivated or tired but still want to learn French, go to Lingopie. You can watch movies and TV shows in French.

If you’re unsure which language you want to learn, check out my article about ‘Is French or Spanish more useful in Europe?’ It’ll convince you that French is the language to learn.

Check out my language blog for more learning inspiration.

Happy learning!




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