Top Teen Read: Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
1. “Je voudrais commander votre plus long éclair au chocolat”
TRANSLATION: “I would like the largest chocolate eclair you have available”
A French holiday is a bit like Christmas; it’s basically a socially acceptable excuse to eat as much disgustingly rich food as you physically can. Take advantage of this fact as soon as you step off the plane/coach/boat/train, by entering the first Boulangerie you see and shouting the above phrase as loudly as possible. For variation during your holiday, replace ‘eclair au chocolat’ with any of these: ‘macaron’, ‘gateau’, ‘pain au chocolat’.
2. “Je ne vais sûrement pas passer en premier”.
TRANSLATION: “I am definitely not going first”
This is a useful phrase for anyone trying skiing or snowboarding for the first time on their French holiday. There will be a point during your first lesson when your instructor stops teaching you how to strap up your boots and asks you to stand up and try to move downhill. You definitely don’t want to be the first person in your group to do this, as you will almost certainly fall flat on your face, much to the amusement of everyone else. So, simply utter the phrase above and then point enthusiastically at the person you like least in the group.
3. “Excusez-moi, je ne vous ai pas vu.”
TRANSLATION: “My apologies, I didn’t see you there”
Another good one for skiing/snowboarding novices. During your first few lessons, you will almost certainly go hurtling into someone at full speed. It’s therefore important to have this phrase up your sleeve, as just shrugging and saying, ‘Sorry about that, mate’ in English might not go down too well with the French person you have just publically knocked to the ground.
4. “Oh mon dieu, les Anglais son tellement vulgaires”
TRANSLATION: “Oh dear, aren’t English people so uncouth?”
This is a nice phrase to have ready just in case one of your friends/the people in your group does something particularly embarrassing during the trip: i.e. burps, farts, breaks something valuable, etc. By simply uttering this phrase, you can pretend you are just one of the locals, and equally disgusted by the boorish behaviour of English tourists as everyone around you. The only potential problem might be if one of the locals is so convinced by your comment that they start trying to engage you in further French conversation. If that happens, simply run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
5. “Je suis un parent proche de Harry”
TRANSLATION: “I am a direct relative of Harry”
This is an extremely useful, all-purpose phrase to impress any French person you might meet during your holiday. There are three very famous English Harrys (Prince, Styles, Potter) who, between them, will appeal to pretty much every French citizen of any age. So, simply utter the phrase above, and then play along with whichever Harry the person assumes you are referring to. You will become an instant mini-celebrity, and probably get bought lots of free food/drinks/gifts. Oh, and don’t worry about Harry Potter being fictional – you can always try to convince the French people you are talking to that JK Rowling’s series was actually a non-fiction documentary, and English boarding schools genuinely are full of trolls and broomsticks and moving staircases.
Never Evers is available now!