French Podcast Transcripts

How to speak French when shopping in France?

How to speak French when shopping in France? What if you could go shopping and interacting with people? How to speak French when shopping in France? Such as asking questions about your clothes size, shoe, size, or be able to ask questions about items? I will teach in 10 minutes!

Alors, avant de commencer, before we start, it’s considered rude to walk into a store and not immediately greet a salesperson. The custom is to greet people, even if you feel that they are paid to do their jobs. Also, wait for them to reply, before you start asking a question.
You will also notice that salesperson might not be smiling or overly friendly. Being formal and distant is seen as being polite and professional in France where being too friendly is seen as too casual. Also don’t expect salespersons to introduce themselves by their first name, or even dropping a name. Very uncommon.

The salesperson will come and greet you with:

  • Bonjour Madame, Bonjour Monsieur, vous désirez ? Bonjour Madame, Bonjour Monsieur, est-ce que je peux vous aider ? … Est-ce que je peux vous aider means ‘May I help you?’….

Alors, commençons, let’s pretend you want to try on some clothes…

And if you are looking, just start your sentence by Je cherche (I am looking for)…. Keep it simple and short… Je cherche…

#1 How to speak French when shopping in France? Vocabulary

  • Une chemise = a shirt (for man)
  • Un chemisier = a shirt, a blouse (for woman)
  • Un pantalon = a pair of pants
  • Une jupe = a skirt
  • Une robe = a dress (Robe doesn’t mean robe in French, same with Blouse!)
  • Un costume = a business suit (yes, same than a costume!)
  • Une veste = a jacket
  • Un manteau = a coat
  • Une paire de sandales = sandals
  • Une paire de bottes = boots
  • Une paire de chaussures = a pair of shoes (I assume in a shoe store you might be more specific!)
  • Une paire de chaussure habillée = Dressed shoes
  • Talons hauts, une paire de talons hauts = high heels, also means a pair of pumps.
  • Un Bracelet = a bracelet
  • Un collier = A necklace
  • Une bague = A ring

How to ask to try on clothes in French?

Now what if you want to try on?

  • Je voudrais essayer ….

Je voudrais essayer…. I would like to try on….

Quelle taille faites-vous ? Quelle taille vous faites ? = What’s your size?

Now in France, we use the verb ‘FAIRE’ and we say ‘ je fais de l’extrasmall, Je fais du small, je fais du medium, je fais du large, je fais de l’extra large’ … Everybody understands these in France.

#2 How to speak French when shopping in France? Practice and sentences

Now, well, where are the fitting rooms? The word is ‘CABINE’, yes, and usually you see signs such as ‘CABINES D’ESSAYAGE’…. In some department store, they are not that obvious… so to ask… just use ‘Je cherche les cabines’ (you can drop d’essayage)…. Je cherche les cabines….

Alors ça va? …. If you hear ça va from a salesperson, they will not how you are? Actually, they will ask if the item fits you! You might hear ‘Est-ce que ça vous va’ or other variations….

-Oui ça va if the item you tried fits you.

Memorize in French

  • Non, ça ne va pas
  • C’est trop grand (it’s too large)
  • C’est trop petit (it’s too small) if you need another size
  • Je cherche une taille plus grande (I am looking for a larger size)

Quelle pointure faites-vous ? = What shoe size are you? For shoes, you will have to use a chart and convert. For that, you might want to listen to my podcast about numbers….. Je fais du 42, je fais du 37……

How to ask for another size?

  • Je cherche une taille moins grande (I am looking for a smaller size)
  • Je cherche une pointure plus grande (only for shoe size, larger size)
  • je cherche une pointure plus petite (only for shoe size, smaller size)
  • If it looks good on you and fit, then say ‘ Oui c’est parfait

Repeat in French

  • And if you don’t want anything, don’t forget your manners by saying ‘Merci au revoir’ when you leave the store or the corner.
    Of course, you will need to practice, but by using these simple sentences, you will feel proud of being able to interact with people around you!
    Let’s practice a little!
  • Bonjour Madame, je voudrais essayer une robe s’il vous plait ?
  • Oui Madame
    A few minutes later:
    -Alors, est-ce que ça vous va?
  • Non. C’est trop petit. Je cherche une taille plus grande.
  • voilà madame
  • Bonjour Madame, je voudrais essayer une paire de talons hauts s’il vous plait ? Je cherche les cabines.
  • Oui madame.
    (A few minutes later)
  • C’est trop grand. Je cherche une pointure plus petite s’il vous plait.
  • Voilà madame

Bonjour Monsieur, je voudrais essayer ce costume s’il vous plait
Bonjour Monsieur.
Alors, ça vous va?
Oui, c’est parfait.

Voilà, Now you know how to speak French when shopping in France!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by French? Are you worried of blanking when you speak? Since you made it to the end, don’t miss out on the free one hour class I’ve just created. You will find out you can speak French with confidence not in ten hours, not in five hours, but only in one hour.  You only need to head to to try for yourself.

And while you are here you can follow Speak French Avec Moi on  Instagram

Merci et à bientôt !