Survival French: The #1 Magic Word to Avoid Cultural Faux Pas with the French

What is the most useful word you should know in French?

BONJOUR, meaning HELLO, is the most useful word you should know before going to France. SomeFrendDude’s tip: Never dare to speak to any French person before even introducing yourself with that magic word: “Bonjour”.

If you do not want to create any cultural faux pas, trust my instruction.

I want to keep things as simple and effective for you, so I won’t do down the road of writing a long post about the differences between:

  • bonjour (good morning),
  • bon après-midi (good afternoon),
  • bonsoir (good evening),
  • salut (hi), etc.

Trust me, you can’t go wrong with BONJOUR. It will work everywhere, everytime, whatever the degree of foramity required by the context . Only a minority of people will correct you when saying it at night. Don’t be surprised then: “Bonsoir”, not “bonjour”. It is night time. You should say “bonsoir””.

For now : au revoir !