> SlowTrav > France > Instructions for Visitors

French Language Lessons

David Ronis and Steve Cohen

It is best to know some French before traveling in France. Use these pages to learn some basics and then see our resources list to find more books and classes.


Most of the French Lessons have sound files so you can hear them being spoken.

Notes on Pronunciation

French words tend to be accented lightly on the last syllable or the last syllable of a group of words. In rare instances for emphasis or where this is not the case, an accented syllable will be indicated by ALL CAPS. Liaisons are indicated by red, italicized initial consonants (e.g. "Puis-je vous aider?" pronounced as "pwee-zhuh voo zeh-day"). See Guide to Transliteration for more information.

French Language Lessons

Guide to Transliterations: An explanation of our system of pronunciation.

Alphabet: How to pronounce the letters of the alphabet.

Counting to 20: Learning the numbers from 1 to 20.

Counting to 100: Learning the numbers from 21 to 100.

Time Talk: Seconds, hours, days, weeks, months!

Conversation Bookends: The things that come at the start and the end of a conversation.

Café Talk: The vocabulary you need to go into a café, order your drinks and food, and pay - essential knowledge for slow travelers.

Making Dinner Reservations in French: Vocabulary and sample dialog for making a dinner reservation.

Out for Dinner: The vocabulary you need to go out for dinner including some notes about the food.

How to Pronounce France Place Names: How to pronounce regions, departments and towns.

Resources: How to type accents on French words, some of our favorite online resources for learning and practicing French.

Part 1 - Wine Basics: Basic vocabulary, names and pronunciation of wine regions, types of grapes, reading wine labels, AOC and appellations. (This page is part language lesson, part wine lesson.)

Part 2 - A Tour of France's Principal Wine Regions: About the wine and how to read labels for: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône (Rhône Valley), Alsace, Loire Valley, Champagne. (This page is part language lesson, part wine lesson.)

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David Ronis is a classical singer, actor and translator living in New York City. www.davidronis.com

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