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How to Make Phone Calls in French: Phrases and Etiquette

How to Make Phone Calls in French: Phrases and Etiquette

Salut c’est Géraldine, bienvenue sur Comme
une Française TV, Sound French, even to the French. It’s 2016 and believe it or not, some people
still use their phone to take actual phone calls. When you’re still learning a language, it’s
the hardest medium for a conversation. You don’t have any clue from body language,
and you can’t use your hands to explain what you mean. And unlike in a written conversation, you
can’t take your time to read what was just said, and you can’t quickly go to Google
Translate. It can be a little daunting, but don’t worry
! Comme Une Français is here – and I want to help ! At least with the basics. Let’s dive in. Étiquette au téléphone Étiquette
au téléphone – phone etiquette. A phone call is un appel téléphonique, and more
commonly un appel / un coup de téléphone / un coup de fil. Calling someone on the phone is appeler quelqu’un
: Tu as appelé ta mère cette semaine ? – Did you call your mother this week ? You can also
use passer un coup de téléphone : Elle a passé un coup de téléphone ce matin – She
called this morning. To pick up the phone is décrocher (le téléphone)
: Je n’ai pas pu décrocher, j’étais déjà en retard : I couldn’t pick up the
phone, I was already late. To hang up the phone, of course, is raccrocher
(le téléphone) : Oui, je lui en ai parlé au téléphone, mais j’ai dû raccrocher
en arrivant au bureau – Yes, I talked to her about it on the phone, but I had to hang
up when I got to the office. Calling back or calling again are the same
word in French : rappeler : Je la rappelle ce soir ! – I’ll call her back tonight
! If someone tries to talk to you when you’re
on the phone, you can explain : Excuse-moi, je suis au téléphone – Excuse
me, I’m on the phone If someone calls you and you have to answer
: Désolé, j’ai un appel important. Je dois répondre. – Sorry, I’m receiving an important phone
call. I have to pick up. Of course, you never answer your phone during
a meal with other people. It’s rude. If you really have to take it, get up, leave
the table and find a quieter place. Les premiers mots
Les premiers mots – the first words There are several standard ways to start a phone
call : Honor to whom honor is due, À tout seigneur tout honneur : The most common is
Allô ? , with un accent circonflexe on the o. In pop culture, you’ll find Allô in the
famous song Allô maman bobo, where French singer Alain Souchon sings of his blue feelings
in the modern age. You’ll find a link on the blog below the
video. By the way, we only use Allo when actually
on the phone. It’s not a common greeting, it’s not something
you’ll say in any other usual conversation. You could expand a bit : Allô oui j’écoute
? Is quite common, and rolls nicely off the tongue. Even a short Oui ? can do the trick, but it’s
less formal. If you don’t know the number and you think
it might be a business phone call, you might want to be WAY more formal, and even say your
name : Marie Duval à l’appareil ? Démarrer une conversation
Démarrer une conversation – how to start a conversation If you’re the one who’s
calling, you might want to introduce who you are to the other person on the line : Allô
c’est Marie / c’est moi Then you can follow the standard greetings : Coucou ! Salut ! Bonjour
! – “Hello,” in order from informal to most neutral. And then the usual polite small talk ; on
the phone, you also want to be sure you’re not interrupting anything. Ça roule ? / Ça va ? / Vous allez bien ? – “How
are you ?,” from really friendly to formal. J’te dérange pas ? Je ne te dérange pas
? Vous êtes occupé ? – “Are you busy right now ?,” from friendly to formal. And fifty percent of phone calls will also
use the words : T’es où ? – colloquial for “Où es-tu ?,” where are you ? Expliquer ton appel et tes raisons
Expliquer ton appel et tes raisons – to explain your call and your reasons After the
usual greetings, you want to state why you’re calling. For example, you can use “Je t’appelle
pour parler de…” : Je t’appelle pour te parler de l’apéro
de ce soir – I’m calling you to talk about tonight’s apéro… Or par rapport, à propos : Je t’appelais
par rapport à ce qu’on disait hier… – I was calling about what we were talking
about yesterday Alors, c’est à propos des billets de train… – So, it’s about those train tickets… Maybe she already told you something before
? J’ai écouté ton message (sur mon répondeur)… – I heard your voicemail J’ai vu que tu
avais parlé sur ma boîte vocale – I saw you left a message on my voicemail J’ai
lu ton sms / J’ai lu ton texto – I read your text Or maybe you just called to say I love you
, or no particular reason : Je t’appelle comme ça, pour rien – I’m calling just
because. Je pensais à toi, tu me manques – I was
thinking about you, I miss you Je voulais avoir de tes nouvelles, quoi de neuf ? – I wanted to get some news from you, what’s up ? Quoi de neuf is really common. A bit more uncommon but still used turn of
phrase is venir aux nouvelles : Je viens aux nouvelles – I’ve come to get some news Then you try to talk slowly and keep the conversation
in French – you can use my tips from an earlier video How to prevent a conversation
from switching back to English , by the way You can hear a full-fledged phone conversation
in a song by French icon Claude François ! In Le téléphone pleure , he has a heartfelt
conversation with a little girl, and we quickly understand she’s his daughter – but she’s
too young to realize it. As usual, you’ll find a link : in the video
description ! Et toi ? How do you feel about phone calls
in French? Still scary? What personal trick helped you overcome this
normal fear? Do you know someone who might like to receive
a call from you right now? Maybe you should ring them, 🙂 Share your experience (in French if you dare!)
in the comments below. We can all learn from your story. The comment section is the best place to start
discussions and ask questions! Don’t hesitate to comment if you liked this
video, or if you have something you want me to talk about – I’ll read all your comments. — If you liked this video, share it with
your friends on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! Help me spread the word about Comme une Française. Merci ! Love France? Dream of sounding French, even to the French? Learn how with me, Geraldine, on Comme une
Franç and subscribe to my email updates for exclusive tips on Real Life in France
every Tuesday PLUS an exclusive video lesson: “Introduce yourself in French.” It’s FREE! Merci for watching Comme une Française TV,
sound French, even to the French. Allez, salut !

19 thoughts on “How to Make Phone Calls in French: Phrases and Etiquette”

  1. Hello can you please take it a little slower ? It’s kinda overwhelming because for me as a beginner I can’t keep up 😐

  2. Hello Geraldine. I hope you don't mind if I make a friendly critic. Your lessons are excellent except English translations. Sometimes you are translating so quickly that we don't understand. You should include English text on the video as Alexa does. I don't think that your courses are only for native English speakers. Please consider.

  3. Thanks for the video! It´s very useful! One question, what´s the most usual expression to ask for someone: "can i speak to Michael please"? for example

  4. I have to make my first phone call in French this afternoon and this video really helps! Je vous remercie !

  5. Normally don't comment on these, but I just moved to France and had no idea how to answer my cell phone (mostly "Hello" followed by a series of apologies). This is useful, as are the other videos.

  6. Chere Gerladine-merci beaucoup pour ce video. Je l'ai trouve tres utile. J'adore le francais langue parce que elle tres elegantic, et le deuxieme raison est: Ma chere maman, qui a decede il y a 6 ans, est nee au Maroc a Casablanca. Alors, elle avait parle le francais depuis elle etait une jeune fille. Au fait je m'appelle Talia. Je suis Israelienne Australiene, et j'habit a Melbourne avec mon mari Michel.(Michael). Il est anglais . Je apprends francais depuis avril 2019 avec Quizik et Alexa. J'ai acheve niveau C1. Je pense que votre method de ensigner le francais est tres pratique et amusant, surtot le conversional. J'ai une tante qui habit en france, et vos videos m'ont fait de lui ecrir messages, plus facilement. Bravo-contiune comme ca. J'ai aussi dit a ma soeur et mes amis par votre lecons. Au fait, je ne peux pas tapper avec "acents" parce que Je n'ai pad de saisir (keyboard)francais. Je vous remercier. A bientot.

  7. Une chanson genial:" J'aime"- chantee par Riff Cohen. Elle Israeliene chanteuse. Ses parents viennent d'Algier et Tunisia. Elle chante beaucoup en francais. J'espere que vous aimerais sa chanson.

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