Culture

Shopping… in French


Upon entering a shop in France, it is customary to acknowledge the shopkeeper by saying :

Bonjour!/bone joor/*, Hello!

*(don’t actually pronounce the “n” here: say “bone” , letting air pass through the nose, but without letting the tip of you tongue actually touch your palate).

bonjour!

In Canada, this is not the norm. Sometimes, in smaller shops in Quebec, you will be greeted with Bonjour! by the shop owner as you step in.

When you have wondered around for a while, a sales assistant may come to you and say:

Est-ce que je peux vous aider? /ess kuh shpur voo zay day/ (May I help you?)

To which you can respond:

Merci, je regarde, c’est tout. /mair see, jruh guard, say too/ (Thanks, just looking.)

or,

Je cherche un… une… /juh shairsh ehn…ünn…/ (I’m looking for a…)

(Click here for more useful shopping expressions and how to pronounce them).

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What about in your country? What do people do (or don’t do) upon entering a shop or while shopping? Please share!

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