I Don’t Speak English In French

I Don’t Speak English In French


When visiting a French-speaking country and you find yourself in a situation where you don’t speak English, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. However, by learning a few key phrases and employing effective communication strategies, you can overcome the language barrier. In this article, we will explore useful phrases and approaches to convey that you don’t speak English in French, allowing you to navigate through interactions with ease and respect.

Polite Phrases

Excuse Me, I Don’t Speak English

To politely express that you don’t speak English, you can say:
“Excusez-moi, je ne parle pas anglais.”

Do You Speak French?

To inquire if someone speaks French, you can ask:
“Parlez-vous français?”

Could You Please Speak Slowly?

If someone starts speaking English too quickly for you to understand, you can kindly request:
“Pouvez-vous parler lentement, s’il vous plaît?”

Non-Verbal Communication

Body Language and Gestures

Non-verbal communication can play a significant role in overcoming language barriers. Use gestures, facial expressions, and body language to convey meaning. Pointing, nodding, and using hand signals can help in getting your message across even without speaking the language.

Visual Aids and Translation Apps

Visual aids, such as maps, pictures, or symbols, can assist in conveying information effectively. Additionally, utilizing translation apps on your smartphone or carrying a pocket-sized translation dictionary can help you communicate specific phrases or sentences in French.

Seeking Assistance

Locals and Bilingual Individuals

Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from locals or bilingual individuals. They can often provide guidance and help bridge the language gap. Approach them politely and ask if they can assist you in translating or conveying your message.

Tourist Information Centers

Tourist information centers are valuable resources for travelers. The staff members at these centers are usually proficient in multiple languages, including French. They can provide you with guidance, maps, and information to help you navigate your surroundings.


When faced with a language barrier in a French-speaking country and you don’t speak English, it’s important to remain calm and resourceful. Polite phrases, non-verbal communication, and seeking assistance from locals or tourist information centers can help you overcome the language barrier and communicate effectively. Remember to approach interactions with respect and gratitude, as people are often willing to help when they see your genuine effort to communicate. By employing these strategies, you can navigate through various situations and have a more enjoyable experience while traveling in French-speaking countries.

I Don T Speak English In French