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Nine essential French phrases for the modern traveller

We’ve all been there. You think you've prepared for your trip to an exciting new country until you arrive and realise you really should have brushed up on the language.

Nine essential French phrases for the modern traveller
Photo: Glazunophoto/Depositphotos

So you reach for the trusty phrase book you picked up second-hand on Amazon. ‘Now I can communicate with all the panache of a native speaker,’ you think as you congratulate yourself on having the foresight to pack it.

That is, until you flick through the pages and realise there isn’t a single useful phrase for modern travellers.

Knowing how to ask if you can send a fax or where to exchange traveller’s cheques may have cut it back in the nineties, but this is 2017, pal! You need to know how to ask the relevant questions, and you don’t want to sound like a robot reciting them off the page.

Practice French with native speakers on Tandem

But what to learn beyond basic greetings and pleasantries? And unless you have the free time and cash to pay for lessons before you go, how are you meant to learn a language to begin with?

For tips, we talked to our friends at Tandem — a nifty language exchange app that instantly connects you with a community of native speakers around the globe.

There are plenty of language apps out there (after all, this is 2017!), but none of them are quite as useful when it comes to nailing useful phrases and perfecting the accent.

These nine phrases have been cherry-picked by the seasoned travellers of the Tandem community:

1. Can you tell me the WIFI code, please?


Pouvez-vous me dire le code WIFI, s'il vous plaît?

 

2. Are you on TripAdvisor?


Êtes-vous sur TripAdvisor?

Photo: Franklin Heijnen/Flickr

 

3. I have an online booking for a room tonight


J'ai fait une réservation en ligne pour une chambre ce soir

Photo: Pixabay

 

4. Do you accept contactless?


Acceptez-vous les paiements sans contact?

Photo: ING Nederland/Flickr

 

5. Do you have a website?


Avez-vous un site internet?

 

6. Can I buy tickets online?


Puis-je acheter des billets en ligne?

Photo: Pexels

 

7. Where can I charge my phone?


Où puis-je charger mon portable?

 

8. Where can I top up my phone?


Où puis-je recharger mon portable?

Photo: Wikipedia

 

9. Are selfie sticks allowed here?


Est-ce que les perches à selfie sont autorisées ici?

Photo: Syda_Productions/Depositphotos

Download Tandem on the Play Store for free

Now you know these everyday phrases you could join Tandem and practice the pronunciation with a native speaker. With a bit of help they’ll roll off the tongue like you’re a native speaker in no time at all.

What’s more – learning the basics of the language will make you feel more confident travelling in a new country, saving the day in tricky situations, and helping you to get the most out of your trip. And the locals always appreciate it when you’ve taken the time to learn a few words and phrases!

But how do you connect in the first place? It’s really easy – all you have to do is download the Tandem app, log in, find someone online who speaks your target language, and invite them to chat. You can even find people who specialise in different dialects. The whole process takes minutes. And it’s totally free.

In exchange you’ll help your tutor with your own language, so you can teach them useful phrases like “How much is your cheapest drink?” and “Where’s the nearest late-night takeaway?”.

You can download Tandem here – get a head start learning the words and phrases you actually need and, even better, learn them wherever and whenever you want.

Download the Tandem app on iTunes

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Tandem.

TAXI

Uber wins French case despite EU court ruling

Ride-hailing giant Uber has won a case filed by a French driver claiming he should be considered an employee, with judges saying the company is simply an intermediary -- a ruling that clashes with a top EU court decision just weeks ago.

Uber wins French case despite EU court ruling
Photo: AFP
The decision by a Paris labour court, seen by AFP on Thursday, suggests that authorities and legal minds are divided over how to regulate companies and workers in the so-called “gig economy”.
   
The driver in the French case, who stopped working for Uber in 2016 after providing some 4,000 trips in under two years, later sued to have his “commercial accord” reclassified as an employment contract.
   
He was seeking reimbursement for holidays and expenses as well as indemnities for “undeclared work” and contract termination.
   
But in its ruling dated January 29, the court said drivers were free to refuse a trip and not subject to any oversight by Uber in terms of time worked.
 
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Taxify - A 'cheaper, more ethical' Uber rival launches in ParisPhoto: AFP   

Uber offered “intermediation and not transportation services”, which meant it was linked to drivers only via “commercial contracts” that could not be considered terms of employment.
   
In December, however, the European Court of Justice deemed the US group a transportation service, subject to the same regulations governing taxis and other ride providers.
   
In Britain, Uber is appealing against a labour court ruling that would give its drivers the right to paid holidays and the national minimum wage.
   
The lawyer for the French driver said he was likely to appeal, saying the judges had failed to appreciate “the entire system” that goes with being an Uber driver.
   
“To generate sufficient revenues and meet their expenses, given the rates that are imposed, a driver effectively has to be connected to the service quite often,” the lawyer, Aurelie Arnaud, said.
   
Uber welcomed the decision, saying “tens of thousands of drivers in France use the Uber app because it lets them decide, in real time, if, when and where they want to drive.”