In today’s post, you’ll learn all about how to answer the phone in French so that you can learn how to do it too. Let’s find out!
Answer the phone in French
The French love to talk, and the socializing culture extends to the telephone. Some of your friends might be unable to make a call, but their voicemail is another story.
To avoid awkward silences or to feel left out, it’s important to get in on the conversation, too and French are no exception. If you want to impress your French interlocutors, here are a few ways to answer the phone like a pro in no time.
Make the call! (Make the call!)
French people are generally very friendly and outgoing, so if you want to call, you should get on the phone while they’re still at home.
For French people, it is important to make calls when people are at home because, at the beginning of the twentieth century, there were few private phones.
One way to get their attention is to ring the doorbell loudly (it’s not impolite to do so).
If the person isn’t home, you can use the intercom (typically a button beside the doorbell) to let them know you’re there.
“Bonjour”, “Bonsoir” or “Bonne nuit” when answering the phone is a nice way to greet your caller and say goodbye when the call is over.
If you’re using a landline, you can say hello or goodbye when you pick up the phone.
À demain! (Tomorrow!)
“À demain” means “tomorrow” in French, which is a common way to end a phone call. It is useful as it’s a way to let your interlocutor know when you will be available to speak again.
If you’re making the call, try to avoid putting the phone down while you’re speaking unless the caller says they’re not interested in continuing the conversation.
It’s better to keep the conversation going than to let your caller hang up.
When you want to say “thank you”, you can say “merci” (like in English). This is a common way of showing appreciation for someone’s effort or good intentions.
It is best to be clear about what you want to say when someone favors you. If you’re using a landline, say “merci” or “merci beaucoup” when you pick up the phone.
If you’re on a mobile phone, you can use a keyword to say merci, such as “merci monsieur/madame” or “merci beaucoup monsieur/madame”.
Comment allez-vous? (How are you?)
“Comment Allez-Vous?” is a friendly and polite way to ask someone how they are doing. This is one of the most common questions French people ask on both formal and informal occasions.
It’s a good idea to keep this in mind when talking to French people because it’s a surefire way to get their attention.
The French usually say goodbye a little differently than in many other cultures. If you’re making the call, try to avoid putting the phone down while you’re speaking unless the caller says they’re not interested in continuing the conversation.
It’s better to keep the conversation going than to let your caller hang up. You can also say “au revoir” when you want to formally say goodbye.
There is no need to say au revoir when dialing someone up. If you’re on a mobile phone, you can use a keyword to say goodbye, such as “au revoir” or “au revoir monsieur/madame”.
When you are done with a phone call in French, you can either hang up or say “au revoir” or “merci”. You can also say “à demain”.