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 ThoughtCo 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 téléphoneCell phone - un mobilePhone call - un coup de fil (informal)Phone number - un numéro de téléphonePhone book - un annuaireDial tone - la tonalitéPhone booth - une cabine téléphoniqueCollect 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 àto dial a number - composer un numéroto pick up (the phone) - décrocherto be cut off - être coupéto leave a message - laisser un messageto hang up - raccrocherto call back - rappelerto ring - sonner Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation ThoughtCo. "French Vocabulary: On the Phone." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926. ThoughtCo. (2020, August 27). French Vocabulary: On the Phone. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926 ThoughtCo. "French Vocabulary: On the Phone." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/french-vocabulary-on-the-phone-4078926 (accessed March 8, 2021). copy citation Watch Now: "Can You Take a Picture of Us?" in French French Vocabulary: At the Dentist How to Conjugate "Appeler" (to Call) The 9 Best Podcasts for Learning French in 2021 Coup de fil French Vocabulary: At the Hotel French Vocabulary for Media and Communication The 9 Best Apps to Learn French in 2021 French Politeness Vocabulary and Expressions - Tu Versus Vous An Introduction to Translation and Interpretation French Vocabulary: Driving and Cars Useful Phrases to Use in French Class The 9 Best Books for Learning French in 2021 How to Use the Major French Verb Vouloir Popular English Sayings Translated into French French Subject Pronouns (Pronoms sujets) What Does "À mon avis" Mean in French?