Useful French phrases for parents


Although I haven’t really done anything about brushing up my language skills just yet, I thought it might be a good idea to look up some French phrases for parents that may come in handy when we go on holiday to France in the summer. I’m cheerfully thinking that some of the ones I’ve looked up are entirely for amusement value and there’s no way I’ll have to use them, but let’s not tempt fate… Most of the phrases are transferable though there may be a few details specific to my family. For example, you may not have a son who is allergic to strawberries, or a daughter who has recently become a fan of One Direction (lucky you!), however, I’m sure that with a few simple substitutions they will be useful for other mums and dads visiting France with young children.

I’m sorry that we are late. – Je suis désolé pour le retard.

I’m sorry about the mess. – Je suis désolé pour le désordre.

I don’t know who his parents are. – Je ne sais pas qui sont ses parents.

Please excuse my children. – Excusez mes enfants.

Is there a pharmacy/chemist near here? – Est-ce qu’il y a une pharmacie près d’ici?

Do you have sun cream? – Avez-vous de la crème solaire?

He/she has a stomache ache/headache. – Il/elle a mal au ventre/a la tête.

Do you have any plasters with pictures of Disney Princeses/dinosaurs? – Avez-vous des pansements avec des dessins de Princesses Disney/dinosaures?

He is allergic to strawberries. – Il est allergique aux fraises.

Where are the toilets? – Où sont less toilettes?

Is it far to the beach/park? – Est-ce loin de la plage/du parc?

Is it safe for children to swim here? – Est-ce que les enfants peuvent se baigner ici?

Where can I buy some felt tip pens/toys? – Où puis-je acheter de feutres/des jeux?

Please don’t give him any chocolate. – Ne lui donnez pas de chocolate, s’il vous plaît.

Do you have anything to clean up vomit/crayon/blood/ketchup/wine? – Avez-vous quelque chose pour nettoyer le vomi/le crayon/le sang/le ketchup/le vin?

Excuse me have you seen a very scruffy little blanket/teddy? – Excusez-moi avez-vous vu une petite couverture/un petit ours très abimé?

I’m sorry you had to listen to One Direction. – Je suis désolé que vous ayez dû ecouter du One Direction.

Is it okay if they stroke the dog? – Est-ce qu’ils peuvent caresser le chien?


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We are thinking of moving to France – we being me and my husband, our two children, and my mother-in-law (and two dogs). The current plan is that we’ll spend the next year plotting and planning and if everything goes well we will make the move in the summer of 2015. I plan to document the whole process so that I can look back in three years’ time and marvel at how well it all panned out! If, however, it proves a fated endeavour then my comprehensive blog will no doubt be snapped up by some Hollywood director for untold millions – it’s pretty much a win-win situation, right? Well, I’ll keep you posted…


  1. Brilliant set of very useful phrases!
    Have you been out for a first look yet and what are you looking for?
    Chris n Hellen

  2. Hi Chris & Helen, thanks for your comment. We’re planning a trip in the summer holidays to the Charentes-Maritime area, but we don’t know for sure if this where we want to be. We do know that we would like to be on the edge of a small town, in a property big enough to comfortably accommodate the five of us. We may also be looking for somewhere with a business or the opportunity to create one. Plenty of research to do!

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