Common Canadian French Phrases You Need To Know

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to Canada and want to be able to communicate with the locals? Look no further! In this article, we will equip you with the essential Canadian French phrases you need to know.

From greetings and basic expressions to ordering food and drinks, asking for directions, shopping, and making purchases, we’ve got you covered.

Plus, we’ll provide you with useful phrases for transportation and getting around, as well as numbers, counting, and time and dates.

And if you want to impress the locals with some common slang and informal expressions, we’ve got those too!

Whether you’re a beginner or already have some knowledge of French, these phrases will help you navigate through your Canadian adventure with ease.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the rich linguistic culture of Canada and make your trip even more enjoyable.

Greetings and Basic Expressions

If you’re planning a trip to Canada, you’ll want to brush up on your French because greetings and basic expressions are a must when interacting with locals!

When meeting someone for the first time, a simple ‘Bonjour’ (hello) is the most common greeting.

To ask how someone is doing, you can say ‘Comment ça va?’ (How are you?). It’s polite to respond with ‘Ça va bien, merci’ (I’m doing well, thank you).

When saying goodbye, you can use ‘Au revoir’ (goodbye) or ‘À bientôt’ (see you soon).

To show gratitude, use ‘Merci’ (thank you) or ‘S’il vous plaît’ (please).

It’s also important to know ‘Excusez-moi’ (excuse me) and ‘Pardon’ (sorry) to apologize or get someone’s attention.

Learning these basic expressions will help you navigate conversations and make a positive impression when visiting Canada.

Asking for Directions

Navigating your way through a new city can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, asking locals for directions is a breeze in Canada. When you find yourself in need of guidance, approach someone politely and ask, ‘Excusez-moi, pouvez-vous me dire comment aller à…?’ (Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to…?)

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Canadians are generally friendly and helpful, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. If the person understands your question, they will gladly provide you with detailed directions. It’s also common to hear phrases like ‘Tournez à gauche’ (Turn left) or ‘Continuez tout droit’ (Go straight ahead) when receiving directions.

Remember to thank the person by saying ‘Merci beaucoup’ (Thank you very much) before continuing on your way.

Making Reservations

Planning a trip to Canada? Secure your accommodations by making reservations in advance!

When making reservations in Canadian French, there are a few key phrases you need to know. Start by saying, “Bonjour, je voudrais réserver une chambre s’il vous plaît” which means “Hello, I would like to reserve a room please.”

To specify the type of room, you can say, “Je voudrais une chambre simple/double” for a single/double room. If you have any special requests, such as a non-smoking room or a room with a view, you can mention them by saying, “Est-il possible d’avoir une chambre non fumeur/avec vue?”

Once your reservation is confirmed, don’t forget to ask for the check-in and check-out times: “Quelle est l’heure d’arrivée/départ?”

Making reservations in advance will ensure a smooth and hassle-free stay in Canada. Bon voyage!

Meeting and Socializing

Are you ready to make new friends and have a great time while speaking Canadian French? Meeting and socializing in Canada can be an enjoyable experience if you know a few common phrases.

When introducing yourself, say ‘Bonjour, je m’appelle [Your Name]’ which means ‘Hello, my name is [Your Name].’

To ask someone’s name, you can say ‘Comment tu t’appelles?’ meaning ‘What is your name?’

If you want to invite someone to hang out, use the phrase ‘Est-ce que tu veux sortir?’ which translates to ‘Do you want to hang out?’

When accepting an invitation, you can simply say ‘Oui, avec plaisir!’ meaning ‘Yes, with pleasure!’

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Remember to be polite by using phrases like ‘S’il te plaît’ for ‘Please’ and ‘Merci beaucoup’ for ‘Thank you very much.’

So, go ahead and confidently engage in conversations and make new friends with these helpful phrases!

Numbers and Counting

Counting in Canada is a breeze, with numbers that flow like a river. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or asking for directions, knowing how to count in Canadian French will make your life easier.

The numbers in Canadian French are similar to those in standard French, but with a few differences. To count from one to ten, you would say: un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.

It’s important to note that when counting, the numbers from one to six have a liaison, which means they are linked to the following word. For example, instead of saying ‘un livre,’ you would say ‘un livre.’

So, practice these numbers and counting will become a piece of cake in Canada!

Time and Dates

Time and dates can sometimes be confusing, but don’t worry, understanding them in Canadian French will make it a breeze!

When it comes to telling time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used in Canada. To express the time, you would say ‘Il est’ followed by the hour and minute. For example, ‘Il est neuf heures vingt’ means ‘It is nine twenty.’

When talking about dates, the day comes first, followed by the month and year. It is important to note that the day and month are separated by ‘le.’ For instance, ‘le 12 juillet 2022’ means ‘July 12, 2022.’ Additionally, it is common to abbreviate the months to three letters, such as ‘jan’ for January and ‘déc’ for December.

Understanding these phrases will help you navigate conversations about time and dates in Canadian French effortlessly.

Common Slang and Informal Expressions

Alright, now that you’ve got a handle on telling time and dates in Canadian French, it’s time to dive into some common slang and informal expressions.

This is where you’ll really start to sound like a local! Canadian French is known for its unique vocabulary and expressions that differ from standard French. Learning some of these informal phrases will help you connect with native speakers on a more casual level.

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From ‘Salut’ (Hello) to ‘Ça roule’ (All good), these phrases are used in everyday conversations and will make you sound more natural. Just remember to use them in appropriate settings and with people you’re familiar with.

So, get ready to add some flair to your Canadian French!

Helpful Travel Phrases

Ready for your trip to Canada? Let’s make sure you’re prepared with some essential travel phrases! When traveling to a French-speaking area in Canada, it’s helpful to know a few basic phrases to navigate your way around. Here are some phrases that will come in handy:

  1. Bonjour, comment ça va? (Hello, how are you?) – This is a common greeting in Canada and a great way to start a conversation.
  2. Où est la station de métro? (Where is the subway station?) – If you’re in a city, this phrase will help you find your way around using public transportation.
  3. Excusez-moi, parlez-vous anglais? (Excuse me, do you speak English?) – In case you need assistance and want to check if the person speaks English, this phrase will be useful.
  4. Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît. (I would like a coffee, please.) – Ordering food and drinks is made easier with this phrase.

Remember to practice these phrases before your trip, and you’ll be ready to explore Canada with confidence!


In conclusion, learning common Canadian French phrases can greatly enhance your experience while traveling in Canada.

From greetings and ordering food to asking for directions and making purchases, these phrases will help you navigate through various situations.

Additionally, knowing numbers, time, dates, and informal expressions will further immerse you in the local culture.

So, whether you’re visiting Quebec or any other French-speaking province, take the time to learn these phrases and make your trip even more enjoyable.

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