Directions in French

Ready to master directions in French? Today’s free audio lesson will give you the essential travel French you need to navigate your way around a French-speaking country.
 
I wish it were as simple as learning the word for 'where' in French and a few French road signs, but there’s a little more to it than that!
 
As you may have already guessed, asking for directions in French is relatively easy… but understanding the directions you are given may be a little more challenging.  But have no fear – just listen to the French pronunciation in the audio and practice saying the French words and phrases aloud, as you imagine yourself strolling around Paris or driving through Provence!

How to say Directions in French

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Où est-ce que je peux trouver la gare, s’il vous plaît ?
Where can I find the train station, please?
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Comment est-ce que je fais pour aller à la gare ?
How do I get to the train station?
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Est-ce que vous savez comment aller à la gare ?
Do you know where the train station is? (formal)
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Est-ce que tu sais comment aller à la gare ?
Do you know where the train station is? (casual)

Another more complete way of asking for directions is by saying…

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Excusez-moi, est-ce que vous pouvez me dire où est la gare de train ? S’il vous plaît.
Excuse me please! Could you please tell me where the train station is? (formal)
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Excuse-moi, est-ce que tu peux me dire où est la gare de train ? S’il te plaît.
Excuse me please! Could you please tell me where the train station is? (casual)

Here’s a list of some places you might like to go to and places you may pass on the way to getting there.

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L’agence de voyage
The travel agency
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La rue
The street
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La rue commerciale
The shopping centre
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Le centre historique
The historic centre
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Le poste de police
The police station
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L’hôpital
The hospital
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Le parc
The park
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La mairie
The town hall
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Les toilettes publiques
The public restrooms
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Le centre ville
The town centre
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La banlieue
The suburb
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Le monument
The monument
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Le bar
The bar

Here are some words and phrases you might hear when asking for directions…

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Gauche
Left
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Droite
Right
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A gauche
To the left
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A droite
To the right
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Tout droit
Straight
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Au bout de
At the end of
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Au début de
At the beginning of
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En direction Ouest
To the west
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En direction Nord
To the north
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En direction Sud
To the south
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En direction Est
To the east
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Au coin de la rue
Around the corner
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La prochaine rue à gauche
The next street to the left.
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La prochaine rue à droite
The next street to the right.
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La rue suivante
The street after the next.
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Le coin
The corner
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Le pont
The bridge
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En face de
In front of
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A coté de
Next to

When someone gives you directions, they’ll tell you that you need to take such-and-such street; turn left, and then follow another street…

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Prendre…
Take…
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Traverser...
Cross...
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Suivre…
Follow
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Aller...
Go

You'll want to be able to recognize these French words...

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La zone piétone
Pedestrian zone
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Arrêtez !
Stop!
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Par autobus
By bus
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Par voiture
By car
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Par train
By train
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À pied
On foot
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Garer la voiture
To park the car
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Où peut-on se garer par ici ?
Where can I park around here?

ESPECIALLY this one...

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Attention !
Warning!

And my favorite, which is seen in many French towns, always manages to confuse foreigners (even more)… is Toutes directions (All directions)


It really means “anywhere other than town”!

You might want to ask whether it is far or not…

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Est-ce que c’est loin ?
Is it very far?
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C’est loin.
It’s far.
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Ce n’est pas loin.
It’s not far.
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Est-ce que c’est près ?
Is it close by?
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C’est près d‘ici.
It’s close by.
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Ce n’est pas près d’ici.
It’s not close by.

Well done, you have just finished today’s lesson. I hope you enjoyed it.

À bientôt!
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team

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