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This is a practical short book on how to speak French very quickly and very easily, by just learning to speak the core 35 words that you will need when you go there on holiday, or even on business, for that matter.

Of course, if you are in Paris, staying at a central hotel, you may think that you won't need French, because everyone will speak English. But, as you will find out when you do visit, you will not always be in the hotel; you will find that in bars, in taxis, on buses and trains, people may not be able to speak English. That's where you will be stuck if you don't know our carefully-selected 35 words.

You are out walking on the Champs-Élysées with your street map, and you know that the Place de la Concorde is at one end of it or the other, but which way? Now your life can go three ways: you didn't buy our book, and so you didn't learn our 35 words and how to pronounce them fluently, so you say nothing to anyone and just walk along in the hope that you find the right place. Or else you get out your phrase book and hope that it contains the exact phrase that you want (which it won't) and you try to struggle to pronounce the words unsuccessfully to some busy passers-by.

Or else, 🙂 you have bought this book, and you have learned the 35 words and you can pronounce them really well because the book has shown you exactly how to say them. You want the Place de La Concorde, and we didn't teach you how to say that, but we did teach you how to say 'this' and 'that', and in our book we told you to use those words instead of a thousand other words. So with your street map in your hand you politely stop a local person and point to the Place de la Concorde on the map, and say, "Excusez moi, où est celui-ci, s'il vous plaît?" Which we have taught you. "Excuse me, where is this, please?"

They look at your finger on the map, and they point in the direction you need. Problem solved! And you feel great that you have spoken in French to a French person, and they understood you. Success! And all for the small sum of less than £7.

And that's only one example of how you spoke French that day in Paris. If you bought our book, you will have ordered yourself a coffee in the morning and asked for the bill and paid it - in French! You will have ordered your lunch and a glass of wine, and later, you will have found a taxi and told the driver which hotel to go to. A perfect day. And, honestly, you will have no idea of the thrill that it will give you to speak a foreign language abroad and to have people understand you.

From that point on, it's an easy step to add to the 35 words we taught you, and you will find yourself loving France, and visiting it again and again. And, of course, you'll be able to speak just the same whether you are visiting Paris, Cannes on the south coast, a vineyard in Bordeaux, or simply loafing in a small village in Brittany.

ISBN 978-1-910537-17-6   Printed Version, paperback.

ISBN 978-1-910537-16-9   Electronic Version.



The front cover image showing the language book entitled

But it's not just holidays. Just look at what one of our business friends emailed to us the other day about her visit to Costa Rica. I have changed the Spanish words to make it relevant to France since that is what you are interested in.

Dear Peter and Helena,

Just to let you know that I’ve been to France at last and tested the book.

I memorised the 35 words at the airport (I must admit to some previous French lessons when I was 16) and then felt all set. I was even using it on the plane – mainly ‘excusez-moi’ as I tried to navigate the aisle in the aircraft. It was an excellent confidence builder and really helped me to communicate. I showed my colleagues who then thought it would be great fun to give me a test and I passed!  I gave the spare copy to my operations director who, like me, had a vague schoolgirl recollection of some French words and no time to refresh it with evening classes. She really liked the idea of being able to do the preparation at the airport.

I also like the A5 format. It is just the right size. A smaller book would probably have got tucked into a corner somewhere and been lost.

I think this is a clever system and look forward to testing the Italian and Spanish versions when I get the chance.

Thanks for sending the books to me. I will pass the word around. Good luck with future sales. Do you have any in other languages yet? I can see an immediate use for Polish.

Best wishes

Isn't that amazing? She learned it at the airport, and she was using it on the plane before her feet had even hit the ground at her destination!

And here is another one (unaltered) from a couple who bought our book to take on their honeymoon to Rome:

Hi Peter and Helena,

We both found your book easy to read and understand, and the phonetic way of how to pronounce the words was invaluable. What I personally found so good was that it was such an effective way of successfully being able to speak Italian! After only spending an evening glancing through the book, I could construct a sentence that made sense and sounded OK (I think)! Before getting your book, we'd ordered a 'Learn how to speak Italian course off the internet, which still remains unused to this day. It looks too complicated and involved to be bothered with - especially after a day at work. What was great about your book is that it was an effective, successful 'quick fix', which was absolutely perfect for today's busy working lifestyle!

So, if you are teetering on the edge, please buy this book, for your own sake. It will make a huge difference to your visit, and ultimately, it may make a huge difference to your life. Who knows?

And, like them, please email us and tell us if you also liked our book:  editor@russetpublishing.com  Thanks 🙂

Don’t forget to learn the 35 words thoroughly before your holiday if you possibly can. On the other hand, perhaps it will wile away the time at the airport on your way out, or under a sun umbrella on a hot beach where you can then order your glass of water or lemonade fluently.

Wherever you read it, we are sure that when you have studied it, it will make all the difference to your visit. And remember that a language book will mean more to you and will help you to remember vocabulary if you write notes in it and add your own words and phrases!

Best wishes from Peter and Helena Roberts.

And you'll want to know what's in the book overall, so here is the Contents Directory:



Chapter 1

LEARN THE 35 WORDS                    

Chapter 2

I WANT SOMETHING                    

Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5



20     one (1)     un

                        pronounced:     earn

21     please     s'il vous plaît

                        pronounced:     seal-voo-play

22     small     petit.

                        pronounced:     pu-tea  (‘pu’ as in pup)

23      station     gare (feminine)

                        pronounced:     gar  (pronounce the ‘r’)

24      thank you     merci

                        pronounced:     mare-see

25      that one     celui-

                        pronounced:     sull-wee-la

26      the (singular)     le (m)               la (f)

                        pronounced:     lu (as in lump) la (as in lap)

27      this one     celui-ci

                        pronounced:     sull-wee-see

28      ticket     billet  (masculine)

                        pronounced:     bee-yay

29      the toilets (public)     les toilettes publiques

                        pronounced:     lay twal-et poo-bleek


There is also coffee (café), pronounced ka-fay,

black (noir pronounced nwar) or white (blanc pronounced blonk).

So let’s add the word ‘du’ and make it sound more civilised.

Je voudrais du café.  

I want some coffee.

And to top it off and make it sound even more polite,

we add the words for ‘please’ - s'il vous plaît. The pronunciation for which is given

in our list of 35 words.

Je voudrais du café s'il vous plaît.

I want some coffee please.

Je voudrais un verre d’eau s'il vous plaît

I want a glass of water please.

(You pronounce the joined up words d’eau exactly like the English word dough.)

Je voudrais un café noir s'il vous plaît.

I want a black coffee please.

C'est bon. (pronounced say bon)      

This is good.

(By the way, below, Où est un is pronounce, oo et earn, and Où est une is pronounce, oo et yune)

Où est un taxi?  Taxi is pronounced the same as in English.

Where is a taxi ?  

(Pronounced oo et earn taxi ?)

Où est une banque ?  …un café ?  …un café Internet ?

Where is a bank?       …a cafe ?    …an internet cafe ?

(Internet is pronounced ann-tur-net.)

Où est l'Hôtel Hilton ?

Where is the Hilton hotel?

Où est un docteur ou un hôpital ?  

Where is there a doctor or a hospital ?

(pronounced oo et earn dok-tur oo earn op-i-tal.)

Anyone who speaks fluent French will tell you that the above sentences are basic. But they will work! That’s the main thing.

You have the option of standing in the town square like a goldfish with your mouth opening and closing and nothing coming out, or you can say something that is not grammatically perfect, but gets you what you want. It’s an obvious choice!

Learn 35 words to speak French

Learn French

Learn 35 words to speak French


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Peter and Helena Roberts

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