Languages › French French Vocabulary: On the Phone Learn How to Begin a Phone Call in French Share Flipboard Email Print Gary Burchell/Taxi/Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers By Staff Author Updated April 15, 2019 The world of the telephone has its own special vocabulary. When making or receiving phone calls in French, you will want to know some useful phrases. This quick French lesson will help you understand and speak to anyone. By the end of the lesson, you will be able to begin a phone conversation and understand common nouns and verbs associated with making a phone call. It is a useful lesson for travelers as well as those who do business with people in French-speaking countries. A Polite Request Makes the Conversation Easier It is important to remember that people tend to speak fast in their native language. If you are on the phone with a native French speaker and you cannot catch everything that they are saying, politely ask them to slow down: Pouvez-vous s'il vous plaît parler plus lentement ? (Can you please speak slower?) You should do the same should the conversation turn to English. Common Phone Phrases Every phone call has to begin somewhere, no matter what the subject is. Whether you reach the person directly or need to go through a receptionist, these phrases will be very helpful when you make the call. In the very least, you can begin the conversation in French and switch to English if the person on the other end knows it. Hello? Allô ? May I speak to ____? Pourrais-je parler à ___ ? I'd like to speak to ____. Je voudrais parler à ___. Who is calling? C'est de la part de qui ? or Qui est à l'appareil ? ____ is calling. C'est de la part de ___. or C'est ___ à l'appareil. Please hold. Ne quittez pas. I'm transferring your call. Je vous le passe. The line is busy. La ligne est occupée. French Nouns Associated With Phones As you learn more French, you will find that these simple nouns are very useful. They are all associated with phone calls and, as you can see, many are very similar to the English word. This should be an easy set of vocabulary to memorize and you can practice every time you use a phone. Telephone - un téléphone Cell phone - un mobile Phone call - un coup de fil (informal) Phone number - un numéro de téléphone Phone book - un annuaire Dial tone - la tonalité Phone booth - une cabine téléphonique Collect call - un appel en P.C.V. Answering machine - un répondeur téléphonique French Verbs Associated With Phone Calls You will also want to know a few common verbs that describe the actions taking place during a phone call. to call - appeler or téléphoner à to dial a number - composer un numéro to pick up (the phone) - décrocher to be cut off - être coupé to leave a message - laisser un message to hang up - raccrocher to call back - rappeler to ring - sonner Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Author, Staff. "French Vocabulary: On the Phone." ThoughtCo, May. 12, 2021, thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926. Author, Staff. (2021, May 12). French Vocabulary: On the Phone. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926 Author, Staff. "French Vocabulary: On the Phone." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926 (accessed July 29, 2021). copy citation Watch Now: "Can You Take a Picture of Us?" in French How to Conjugate "Appeler" (to Call) French Vocabulary: At the Dentist Coup de fil French Vocabulary: At the Hotel French Vocabulary for Media and Communication How to Conjugate "Téléphoner" (to Call) in French French Vocabulary: Hobbies, Sports, and Games French Politeness Vocabulary and Expressions - Tu Versus Vous French Vocabulary: Illnesses and Ailments The 9 Best Podcasts for Learning French in 2021 An Introduction to Translation and Interpretation Useful Phrases to Use in French Class French Vocabulary: Driving and Cars How to Use the Major French Verb Vouloir Popular English Sayings Translated into French What Does "À mon avis" Mean in French?