The Halloween 4-Day Sale
Apply coupon: HALLOWEEN

English in France

About how much English is spoken in France


Hi there, that really depends who you talk to. Most younger people will have some understanding of English. If you are in bigger cities most people will be bale to help you out with basic or some even more advanced English. It really depends. :P


Having just gotten back from Nice/Cannes and surrounding area, I can say that this course was a life savior. Don't get me wrong about 10% could speak English fairly well, and around 50 - 75% could speak "Just a little" OR as I stated to them "Juste un petit peu français" But without this course I wouldn't have had as much fun or been able to at least try. Several shops I Stopped into the people working could not speak any English at all, thankfully my 1 month of practice came in real handy and asking the too slow down was wonderful as I could just make out what they were saying. I would highly recommend that you at least learn some or you will be like several of the people on my trip and not even be able to order food or a Coffee. Also as a side note, some people did get upset with others on my trip because they were not even willing to try, they got upset to the point of being rude. To be honest I can't blame them, English speaking people tend to be very arrogant about others learning English... well we are not in an English speaking Country at the time... so adapt. Thanks Rocket Languages for an inexpensive way for me to really enjoy my vacation.


I agree completely with Joey4420. So many English people are too lazy to even try to learn the basics. They will say, to better French speakers than myself, 'I wish I could speak French like you'. When asked how much time they spend learning the response is usually a blank look. In other words no time. I don't know whether Americans are similar, I don't meet many in my part of France. The worst case I came across was when two couples in a bar asked loudly for 4 coke. The barman, unsurprisingly hadn't the slightest idea what they wanted, so they continued with their demand more loudly. I said, 'they want 4 coca colas', in my best French which sorted out the situation. Needles to say I wasn't thanked.


I moved to Paris 3 months ago now. When I arrived I did not know any French besides bonjour and au revoir. I tried to use 2 other programs on top of the market which I got bored of very quickly. I started to think I will never be able to speak French at all. Then I stumbled across Rocket Languages 'by accident' and I am glad! Although I can not hold a conversation in French to any deep level I am able to get by asking for the things that I need and desire, greeting myself and speaking about a few basic things. I have come to find there are alot of people who speak English (in Paris at least), but they try not to use it. They kind of like to hear you make the effort first, which for a learner is great. I also hear of some people who live here and never speak and French and they get by speaking only English, but I think this is a great shame and a little rude if you are to live in this country.


I found France to be quite differant from Montreal. In France I found that almost no one would offer to speak English unless I asked them to. I thought they were very patient though and willing to let me struggle through until I was understood. If I asked, many, in Paris at least, could help in English. In Montreal, most people speak French and English very well, but they jump back and forth all the time to the point that it is distracting. If you don't speak French well enough, they just jump to English and let it go.


Bonjour, As I will be traveling to Paris in a few months' time and this is my first time traveling there (pour affairs, pas en vacances I might say), as I had only learn French through Rocket French and still rusty and a beginner for conversational French, I am just wondering do Parisians or French citizens who resides in Paris actually parler la langue anglais at all? Any help or reply on this matter will be greatly appreciated! Merci et bon journée, Anthony


Salut Anthony! If you are going to France for business purposes I'm sure you won't have problems. Most of young people and people working in hospitality will definitely speak English. A simple "Bonjour" or "Merci" will be much appreciated! I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip to France! Â bientôt !


Bonjour Having just returned from France in June, after spending a Month there, I can say you should have at least an understanding of the simple phrases in french. When we arrived at the airport we went to a shop where we first tried our french. We asked if they spoke any English to which they replied no. Then caught a taxi into Paris, the taxi driver could not speak one word of English. This forced us to use the little french we knew and it was fantastic. Overall 90% of the people we came into contact with over the following month could not or did not want to speak English. This however was one of the best parts of being in France, a very steep learning curve to our french language skills. Hope this helps. Regards Dean


your teaching is very nice. i like your vay of teaching. now i want english, hindi, all indian langvage. uk english iwant must to speak. help me how to speak to uk english and hindi i want spoken bokks also. how to purching books.


When we were in Aix en Provence (sp?) a few years ago the people were amazing. We tried our best French (which was very rudimentary) and people loved that we at least tried. Most everyone came to our rescue and would speak English after we had tried our hardest to communicate. We found the people to be lovely. I cannot wait to go back after studying Rocket French. I know it will be "mare-vey-yure"!


This thread has gotten old, but here's my thought. I live in a very multicultural part of Canada and know how it feels when people don't even try to speak the national language (English). I plan to travel to Paris and northern France in June 2013. I will be in hotels, the Louvre, etc. where I can expect to be able to use English when I get stuck; however, I also want to go places where English at best wont't be great. I want to give French a try wherever possible. Besides that, I think that tourists should at least try to learn the polite words that we learned as children such as merci, s'il vous plait, and bonjour.


I went to Paris for nearly three weeks in December. This gave me time to wander streets and markets and be immersed in French. Thanks to Rocket French I had no trouble making myself understood. But I still found it hard to understand a full conversation coming at me at high speed. The French people i met were warm and polite and the time flew past too quickly.


whatever you do in France, speak or try to speak in french. It does not matter how many mistakes you make. Your experience will be that much richer for it, and you won't be ignored by the locals!! Yes they do help you with your language and it is fun , you will make a lot of french friends. most people in the big cities speak a bit of english, but never start a conversation in english!!! remember " parlez plus lentement s'il vous plait !!"


How do I Pronunce My Name? Je vais aller a France en juin 2013 pour douze jours. Now what I wonder: When I need to say my name when speaking French, how do I say it? My first name traces back to Latin and is easily pronounced in many western European languages. However, my last name is English with letter combinations and sounds not found in the French language. How are these non-french names spoken? Does a person attempt to francisize it or does one just say it as one would back home, in English?


those who study in universities may understand a little bite more

gary robert

I have always adored the French language since it was the only foreign taught at my north carolina high school. However, I moved to Italy and I tried desperatley to learn Italian. Then after I returned to North carolina, I found that Spanish is becoming so prevalent as a second language, that i hired a private Spanish teacher. I just about fell apart when I was trying to remember different words, phrases and congugations from the three languages I had studied. I still adore French above all the languages, since I am a singer, actually to me the Italian is the most lovely language to sing in, and then French. I must not give up my lifelong dream of speaking French fluently. I need encouragement as we all do! thanks

gary robert


I was in France a few weeks ago staying in Giverny (the village of Monet) for a few days. I have been to France a number of times before and always been able to practice my basic french in restaurants and shops, but in Giverny, they have so much tourism that they can tell immediately ffrom your accent that you are english and switch to speaking english immediatey! so i had no chance to practice french at all! Even when i continued talking in french - they continued in english! very confusing and frustrating for me! I think i will join alliance francais so i can practice in england.. it might help me keep motivated too.. i am struggling to stick with it at the moment..


Bonjour à tous! I see a couple of you are having trouble keeping up your motivation for learning the language. I can absolutely sympathize! When I was learning English I found that I reached a sort of plateau after while and that I could no longer see myself making progress. My teacher at the time was very good at motivating me, getting me to listen to English radio, read newspaper and just get a feel for the language in its native context. Seeing the language in use gave me the motivation to continue and now I think my English is reasonably good - minus a few mistakes. Keep up the hard work and I promise you one day you will wake up and realize that French is no longer a struggle but a bliss and a joy! - Marie-Claire


I've been studying French for about 18 months. My original motivation was a trip to France in June 2013. Mostly I was on a guided tour where I was pretty sheltered. However, I also had a week on my own in Paris and was thankful for the French I knew. I met many who spoke some to very good English but I also met some who knew none. One day I needed a product available in many pharmacies, and the staff in the two I entered knew no English. Those in the first pharmacy didn't appear to be interested in helping me, but those in the second did. With sign language and my very limited French, I made my wishes known. Since my trip I've continued to study French and am amazed that I'm beginning to understand what I hear, that is I actually know what's being said in the same way I understand English. I'm even beginning to pick out words that I haven't learned in my French lessons. Being a Canadian, everything I buy is bilingual, so I've been exposed to printed (but no oral)French all my life and have had a curiosity about the other side of the package. Now I'm beginning to understand those words when I hear them, and that's especially exciting. I want to visit France again, possibly in 2016, and will have even more exposure to French-only speakers than I hand on the first trip. I also look forward to knowing more French than I knew last June. Here's an added side benefit from studying the French language. You will actually learn more about English. I've studied the English language inside out and backwards, but am amazed at what I've learned about English from my French studies. Merci, Marie Claire for your encouragement. It's so easy to forget that learning something new often has periods standing still and digesting what was already learned.


In Paris a few years ago we discovered most natives spoke at least some English, but once we were in the smaller towns, we encountered people with as much English as we had French! Three years ago in southern France (Sud de France), we found even fewer English speakers. Very much looking forward to testing my Rocket French skills soon back in Montpellier, then in Cameroon in December!

gary robert

I just returned from Paris and venice. I did my best to speak French, however I got discouraged when people would correct my grammar. I did get on fairly well on my Air France flights, the lady beside me was from Paris, and preferred that we speak English.


I was in a Paris laundry when things went wrong with the machine and a lovely Parisian lady who was learning English helped me and rang the manager. Overall I found Parisians to be very polite and patient!


I'm a good example of someone who is using english in France. I have French clients and company account in a French bank. Visiting france ones or twice a month for a few days with no time to learn French (till now :P ). I don't have problems in communicating with younger, highly educated people in/near Paris (like architects for example) but, with the older ones it's a lottery. In a bank there there is always someone who speaks english. I met 5 bank's managers and 2 of them where fluently, and with only one was hard to communicate. Staff from business support mostly speak very well. In the other hand on my first trip to Paris, a 50+ years old saleswomen in bakery yelled at me, and didn't want to sell me anything before I said correctly "Une, deux, trois" pointing at "Pain au chocolat" I wanted to buy. P.S. But maybe they look at me better at the bank, because they know that english is not my native language :P


I hope as little as possible. This way I will be force to use my French.


I don't think English speakers are lazy and that's why they don't try speaking other languages. It's just that if you live in Canada or the USA, for the most part, you never have the need to speak another language. I just got back from Europe and was astounded by the number of polyglots. Part of that is that they grow up speaking their native language, learn English in school and then are exposed to other close countries languages. I am in absolute awe with anyone who can speak more than one language, never mind two or more. It's inspiring. I also agree that if you try speaking the native language, even if you are terrible, the people will respect you for trying and then often speak English to keep the convo going.


so true roxypalooza most polyglots i know are from Europe or Africa


Bonjour Marie-Claire, I am indeed one of those who is "having trouble keeping up your motivation for learning the language". My biggest problem is that not motivation; it is the short term memory, hence I am trying to stimulate those grey matter. I stopped, hopefully just for the time being and am trying another program which provide repeated exercises with variation of the same theme until I get it. To make it short I feel like I am in kindergarten but skipped many grade levels with Rocket French. Hence there are many gaps I can't fill and so get very frustrated with myself. Any suggestions other than try try again until I get it!? I skipped the "flirting" lesson and there might be grammar and expressions that I needed for the other lessons. After that everything was downhill. FYI - I am doing at my level with the other easier program and all that I know came from Rocket French and for that I say merci beaucoup, Marie-Claire!


I too found trouble at first retaining the information as it is so long since I tried to learn anything. I just keep doing the testing until I can say it is all easy, I think I am opening up those brain pathways that I haven't used for so long!

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket French trial here .