Languages › French Learn How to Talk About Your Profession in French Learn how to talk about your profession in French Share Flipboard Email Print d3sign / Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers by ThoughtCo Updated February 03, 2019 If you're going to live and work in France, get to know the terms for the professions in Fench. It's impossible to list all possible professions, but there are some common ones you should know. Note that many French professions have only a masculine form. Even if you are a female professor, for example, you would have to say that you are un professeur, which takes the masculine form, including the masculine article, un. The terms below are listed in alphabetical order according to the English word for the profession for easy reference. The first column contains the word for the profession in English, while the second contains the correct French article—un for masculine terms and une for feminine words—followed by the word in Fench. Click on each French term to hear the proper way to pronounce it. Note that while in English, it is to simply say the word for the profession, such as "actor," in French the word is almost always preceded by the article. Study the table, and listen to the pronunciations in French, and you'll soon be saying un boucher, un boulanger, un fabricant de bougeoirs—the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—like a French-speaking native. French Professions Profession in English French Translation actor un acteur actress une actrice artist un(e) artiste baker un boulanger, une boulangère butcher un boucher carpenter un charpentier cashier un caissier, une caissière civil servant un(e) fonctionnaire cook un chef dentist un(e) dentiste doctor un médecin electrician un électricien employee un(e) employé(e) engineer un ingénieur fireman un pompier lawyer (barrister) un avocat, une avocate maid une femme de chambre manager un gérant mechanic un mécanicien nurse un infirmier, une infirmière painter un peintre pharmacist un pharmacien, une pharmacienne plumber un plombier police office un policier receptionist un(e) réceptionniste secretary un(e) secrétaire student un étudiant, une étudiante teacher un professeur* waiter un serveur waitress une serveuse writer un écrivain Notes About "Un," "Une," and "Etre" In Canada and parts of Switzerland, the feminine form une professeure exists. In France, however, this is usually considered incorrect. On the other hand, you can say une prof., a slang way of saying "a professor" or "a teacher." Note that the feminine article, une, is fine in this case if you are referring to a female educator. Do not use an article between the verb être and someone's profession, as in these examples: Je suis peintre. - I'm a painter. Il va être médecin. - He's going to be a doctor. Social Norms In France, asking about what someone does for a living is considered a personal question. If you have to ask, be sure to preface your question with Si ce n'est pas indiscret ... , which translates as, "If you don't mind my asking ..." After you learn the terms for professions in French, take a little extra time to learn what a typical French conversation between two people would look like. This will give you a chance to see how French articles, as well as noms (nouns), conjonctions (conjunctions), adjectifs (adjectives), and adverbes (adverbs) fit into a dialogue in French. Continue Reading French Articles Can Be Confusing — Here's How to Make Sense of Them How the French Describe Clothing Shape, Texture and More From Golf to Basketball, Here's How to Talk Sports in French From Alabama to Wyoming, What Are the French Names of All 50 States? Masculine and Feminine French Nouns - Learn How to Tell Them Apart The Different Past Tenses in French All about Être, a French Super Verb Tips to Improve Your French Vocabulary Need to Know the Gender of a French Noun? Its Ending Is a Tip-Off Learn Words And Phrases of Love in French French Adjectives in Front of a Vowel or Mute H La Famille and French Family Vocabulary French Vocabulary Related to Soccer and the World Cup What You Need to Know About the French Suffix -et / -ette French Dual-Gender Nouns How to Master Conjugation of the French Verb 'Aller'