Can You Translate These Basic French Phrases If We Write Them in Cursive?

By: Tasha Moore
Estimated Completion Time
6 min
Can You Translate These Basic French Phrases If We Write Them in Cursive?
Image: BamBamImages/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

This French quiz tests your visual knowledge of one of the most sophisticated tongues on the planet. Peer over elegant cursive forms of basic French phrases to see if you can master corresponding translations. Do you know the difference between l'accent aigu and the circumflex? These language markers shape the vowel sounds that help distinguish the French language. 

Admittedly, the mechanics of French can be tricky, as there are quite a few exceptions to grasp. But we leave the more difficult discourse for another time. Now, it's time to learn through visualization. And that means brushing up on your fourth-grade cursive. Remember when you first started to learn how to write in the cursive script? Connecting letters on paper ... what is the point of further confounding a set of already confusing words? Alas, writing and understanding the French language in cursive form tickles the high culture itch in us all. And with high culture comes cosmopolitan "activités." Take our quiz and you'll know what to ask a Parisien when in search of the Mona Lisa portrait, or you'll know what to do with your strawberry jam when "un serveur" thrusts "une assiette de délicieux croissants" in front of you.

Allez! Allez! Scroll on and get cultured all over again!

1 Excuse me
Can you translate this phrase of consideration?
You dropped something.
Clean your plate.
Wake me.
Excuse me.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Canada is the first country in the world to issue formal apologies to patients that have suffered "adverse events." Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital upholds "a humanistic, care-giving attitude with those who had been harmed, rather than responding in a defensive and adversarial manner."

2 I don't understand
If you lack discernment, what should you say?
Pass the popcorn.
I don't understand.
Show me the way.
I give up.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The yellow vests (gilets jaunes) protests is a grass-roots movement that promotes economic justice in France. Said French journalist Christophe Barbier about the protests, "...there is a nation who understood the new rules of capitalism ... but the body of France did not understand."

3 Do You Speak French
What's a good way to question if someone speaks this language?
Are you from France?
Do you speak French?
Do you speak Spanish?
Are you a French teacher?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Disco-duo sensation Baccara may hail from Spain, but their 1978 single "Parlez-vous français?" was a commercial success in Europe. Baccara's members are Mayte Mateos and Maria Mendiola.


4 How Are You
To inquire about someone's well-being is to ask ________?
Which way is the metro?
How are you?
Are you an Aries?
How old are you?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Some time ago, French T.V. producers tried to produce an American-style western that was filmed in France's Massif Central region, which failed to look like authentic wild-west U.S. terrain. The "Indians" cast for the show were scripted to mumble "Comment allez-vous?" as an alternative to "How?"

5 How Much Does That Cost
Before you buy something, first ask this?
Can I taste it?
What sizes do you carry?
How much does that cost?
Can I get a discount?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

French, Dutch and German are the official languages of Belgium. In the years following World War I, Belgium suffered economic setbacks that required international intervention to aid the country's cost-of-living expenses. Assistance ceased in 1919, but Belgium's food shortages persisted until 1924.

6 You're Welcome
This is a courteous way to acknowledge gratitude. Can you translate the phrase?
You're welcome.
Don't say anything to me.
Offer more.
This helps.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

At the start of the 21st century, Canada, where French and English are official languages, welcomed new immigrants. The country revised its point system and placed more emphasis on an immigrant's "flexible" work skills. At the time, many Canadian citizens had emigrated to the U.S. for work.


7 Please
Always reinforce your requests with this phrase. Do you recognize it?
Braid my hair.
Paint my picture.
Do it now.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When American soul singer James Brown released his 1950s hit "Please, Please, Please," French translators likely stood firm in translating the correct French version of the "please"-filled chorus. "Please, please, please, please" translates to "Veuillez s'il vous plaît, s'il vous plaît, s'il vous plaît."

8 Thank You Very Much
Can you identify this exceptional way to verbalize your appreciation for gracious acts?
Peace to you.
Take it back.
Here's a cup for you too.
Thank you very much.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The French-speaking U.S. city of New Orleans hosted a "Merci Beaucoup" campaign in November 2007 to show gratitude to its citizens who contributed to rebuilding the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The campaign featured luncheons, public speaking events, and vocal performances.

9 Goodbye
Italians say, "Ciao." What do the French say?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Au Revoir les Enfants" is a critically acclaimed 1987 film drama written, directed and produced by Louis Malle. The loosely autobiographical film takes place at a Roman Catholic boarding school in occupied France during World War II.


10 I Speak a Little French
Prevent an onslaught of French words with this safe phrase. See if you can make the right choice?
I speak plenty of French.
Don't speak to me.
I speak a little French.
Pass the sugar.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

French language is an important aspect of south Louisiana's cultural heritage. Citizens of south Louisiana, United States furnished a Cajun version of the U.S. National Anthem and a French version of the nation's Pledge of Allegiance.

11 I Don't Know
When all else fails, speak this sentence to anyone who asks you a response-less query. Can you choose the answer?
I don't know.
I know the answer.
Give the answer to me.
I have candy.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A direct translation of the term "savoir faire" is "know how to do." The phrase is generally understood to describe a person's or a group's ability to respond appropriately, by speech and/or action," in every possible situation.

12 Can you help me?
If assistance is in order, speak up and ask ________?
Do you have any children?
Can you help me?
What color is your shirt?
Where are the police?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Some historians insist that Switzerland's laissez-faire style of governance may have inadvertently assisted in prolonging Nazi war efforts during World War II. War-time financial documents confirm how Nazis used the country's financial resources to hide stolen funds.


13 Straight ahead
When you are comfortable giving directions, say this phrase liberally and you'll be right some of the time. Will you choose wisely?
Make a left.
All is right.
Straight ahead
Make a right.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Poschiavo Valley, also referred to as "the lost valley," is a cozy destination spot located near Switzerland's southeast border near Italy. "The lost valley" is a peaceful 21 miles of lakes, farmland and vineyards nestled on the south side of the Swiss Alps.

14 It's Far
This answer is closer than you think. Do you know the right choice?
It's near.
It's down.
It's up.
It's far.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Bray-Dunes is the most northern commune in France. During World War II, the British Royal Navy destroyer ship "Venomous" arrived at the shores of the French enclave to evacuate soldiers that had been hiding amid sand dunes.

15 Very Good
All that's "great" about French gets one of these. Can you guess the phrase?
Two tickets
Very good
A second helping
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

French is one of several official languages in Switzerland. The country has maintained a unique position of neutrality during times of war and consistently nurtures "very good" economic and diplomatic ties with an assortment of international countries and political entities.


16 I Would Like to Speak French
Utter this phrase and the natives are likely to assist verbally. See if you can choose the correct option?
I can't hear you.
Violet is my favorite color.
I would like to speak French.
Let's eat French toast.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are over 25 countries that have decreed French an official language. France, Switzerland, Belgium and Monaco are a handful of French-speaking European countries, and in Africa Burundi, Ivory Coast and Tunisia nationals regularly use the language.

17 What does that mean?
Don't just say it, understand it. Do you comprehend this phrase?
Where is the library?
Where can I study?
Do you have a breath mint?
What does that mean?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The word "ça" usually means "that," but it can mean several things in French. It's commonly used as a contraction of the word "cela," which means "it." "Ça" also replaces "ceci" to mean "this."

18 More Slowly
Take your time and say it ________?
More slowly
With added emphasis
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The French territory of Martinique relies heavily on mainland France for economic sustenance. The Caribbean island's sluggish economy depends mainly on its services industry. In 2012, the youth unemployment rate there was 47 percent.


19 How Do You Say "Cat" In French
This phrase is best for new learners of the language. Are you sure that you know it?
Where can I get a French cat?
What color is your cat?
I'm allergic to cats, are you?
How do you say "cat" in French?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Madagascar is one of many French-speaking African territories. This island nation of East Africa harbors many exotic animals, such as tenrecs of the shrew family and mongooses that exhibit a cat-like hunting style.

20 How Do You Spell That
Brush on your French writing skills by asking this. How well do you understand the phrase?
Can you tell me your secret?
How do you spell that?
May I have a biscuit?
May I sing with you?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The State University of New York at Geneseo sponsors a National French Week celebration which featured a rigorous French Spelling Bee competition in 2016. The 18-year old annual festivity of French culture typically includes a French food-tasting event.

21 Where is the Louvre
When in Paris, do what most Parisians leave for the tourists to do. Choose this common visitor's question?
Where is the bathroom?
Where is the Louvre?
Do you love me?
What time is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Installed in a Parisian palace, the Louvre is the national museum of France and home of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa portrait. On any given day, you will find long lines of people waiting in the rain or sun to enter the facility, especially near the museum's pyramid entrance.


22 I Would Like to Buy Coffee
You're bound to get thirsty after speaking so much French. Go ahead and assert which statement?
I detest water.
I would like to buy coffee.
Three shots, please.
I can use your straw.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Wild civets of Vietnam's Dak Lak province, known as the Asian palm civets, produce the "coffee beans" used to brew civet coffee, or kopi luwak, the world's most expensive café. The small animals ingest and then defecate coffea shrubbery fruits. France colonized Vietnam in the 19th century.

23 How Much is it
This simple phrase rings in just about every French boutique. How well do you know it?
Is this my color?
Can I buy another one?
How much is it?
Can I use your restroom?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The world's most expensive apartment is located in Monaco's tallest building called the La Tour Odeon, which offers residents views over the French-speaking principality. As of 2016, the ocean-facing, five-floor, 31,500 square-foot luxury residence cost $335 million.

24 Where are the Toilets
When "nature" calls, call out ________?
Where are my dogs at?
Where are the toilets?
May I date you?
What cologne are you wearing?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You won't have to trek far to find public toilets in old town Monaco's Palace Square. The country has planned to install self-cleaning toilets in the "Place du Palais," which is in the heart of the principality's tourist hub.


25 I Can't Drink Milk
Certain beverages may not agree with your tummy, so, say what?
I'm sick.
Chicken tastes great.
I can only drink water.
I can't drink milk.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Compared to other groups, Asians and Africans tend to produce less of the lactase biological enzyme that's necessary to adequately process the sugars in milk. In many parts of the African continent, milk is eliminated from the diet after a baby is weaned.

26 I Love You
It's the phrase that expresses supreme affection. Are you sure that you know it?
I love you.
I detest flowers.
The movie is at 3 o'clock.
Thumbs up to you.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Nothing says "Je t'aime" better than a mouth full of chocolates. Switzerland's 1974 "Chocolate Law," or Schoggigesetz, prevents chocolate makers from buying cheap foreign milk to make the confection. Swiss food traders are compensated for the country's high price of agricultural goods.

27 I'm from the United States
Let your new French acquaintances know where you hail from, if it's the case. Do you spot the right translation?
I live in the United States.
I reside in Saudi Arabia.
I'm from the United States.
I flew in from the United States.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

French is widely spoken in the U.S. states of Vermont, Louisiana and Maine, among other regions of the country. In Vermont, organizations like the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society foster awareness of the French-Canadian roots that many Vermonters share.


28 Where are you from
Your cool non-French accent will tip them off every time. French-speaking natives will surely ask you ________?
Do you speak English?
Where are you from?
Do you know French?
Do you like deer meat?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Madagascar is a popular tourist island destination off of Africa's southeast shore. The land mass detached from India 80 million years ago. Seventy percent of the exotic creatures of Madagascar cannot be found in a natural habitat environment anywhere else in the world.

29 I live in Cincinnati
Choose the simplest way to state your city?
I moved here from Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is my favorite city.
I live in Cincinnati.
You should visit Cincinnati.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2018, the Cincinnati Reds American Major League Baseball team added French Rosé to its "Cincinnati Reds Club Series Wine Collection." The wine is pink in color and is a blend of Pinor Noir, Cabernet Franc and Gamay.

30 What is your profession
It's polite to ask how someone probably spends most of their time. Can you guess the verbal gesture?
Do you play video games?
What television shows do you like?
What is your profession?
When can we hang out?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Qu'est-ce que vous faites" also means "What do you do?" The Archdiocese of New Orleans facilitates rigorous professional and spiritual cultivation for its priests. The mission of its Vocation Office is to "coordinate programs and events that foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life."


31 How's the weather
Should you bring a sweater or an umbrella? Ask which question to find out?
What should I wear today?
Do you have my size?
How's the weather?
Is it raining?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Luxembourg is a small French-speaking land-locked European country surrounded by France, Belgium and Germany. The country's climate is mild throughout the year. Summertime is the most visited time of year there, and its grape-harvesting season occurs during early Fall.

32 Do you have pets
See if your French associates have cuddly companions and ask ________?
Does your home have mice?
How many cats do you have?
Do you have pets?
Do you like dogs?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the late 1950s and for most of the 60s, a woman named Stella Shanteau raised pumas, leopards, llama, and lions among other exotic beasts in her humble Toledo, Ohio home. Officials from the Toledo Zoo eventually sent the animals to Prince Rainer of Monaco, who issued Shanteau a letter of thanks.

33 What is your favorite movie
Everyone probably has one. What should you ask to find out which one it is?
Does your boss like peanuts?
May I borrow your pen?
What's your favorite movie?
What's your favorite toy?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2018, the country of Madagascar opened its first cinema (an 800-seater) in 20 years. The country's political instability and pervasive corruption have impeded the African nation's arts and culture development, in general.


34 Could you please repeat that?
Ask this again, if you have to. What might you ask at least once?
Could you please repeat that?
Is that your last potato chip?
Are you the parent?
Why are you crying?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2015, the former French colony of Haiti conducted a repeat election after violence plagued the island nation's August 9, 2015 parliamentary elections. The second-round of voting for Haitian voters in 25 districts was held on October 25, 2015.

35 I Like cheese
Some types are "stinky" and some are holey. If you are a fan then, say what?
Your pedicure is nice.
I like cheese.
I hate balloons.
These carrots are stale.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Regulators in Luxembourg have recently eased infamous bank secrecy laws that the 999-square-foot nation had been known for. The nation's secrecy laws were so strict that critics and supporters had been compared the country to Gruyere cheese: The clients got the holes and the bankers got the cheese.

36 Can I do that?
Adventurous types will like this phrase. How do you translate it?
Where is the mountain?
Can I drive this ship?
Can I do that?
Do you serve peas?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Luxembourg has a reputation for demonstrating unique compassion for asylum seekers. In 1998, the small European country opened its borders to African Congo refugees after war broke out in that region. Luxembourg even granted permissions that allowed family reunification after violence had quelled.


37 What's new?
Catch up on the latest local communiqué by asking ________?
How much is the newspaper?
What's new?
Can I watch the news?
Would you like to hear gossip?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Quoi de neuf?" also means "What's up?" The School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol conducted a 2013 study of the correlation between mortality rates and high-rise residential buildings in Switzerland. Results showed that mortality rates dropped with increasing floors.

38 Why not?
French parents respond, "Because I said so!" too, but in French. Can you recognize the universal kiddie question?
Can we go now?
Why not?
Can I have that?
Please buy me the teddy bear?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

International executives flock to Monaco to hold elaborate business conventions for several basic reasons. Monaco's Department of Tourism and Conferences caters to the needs of business travelers, with large and luxurious hotel spaces, fancy multi-media venues, and an array of jetset activities.

39 I'm Sorry
From time to time you might express regret this way. Do you know the phrase?
Let's talk.
I have a confession.
Hear me out.
I am sorry.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Starting in the 1990s, France sparked a wave of public apologies among countries that have acknowledged historical injustices. France's police departments, medical bureaus and Catholic Church issued public statements denouncing any endorsement of pre- and post-World War II antisemitism.


40 What's This
If you don't recognize something, stop everything and ask ________?
What's this?
Where's the exit?
How fast do you think I can eat this?
What are the ingredients?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the late 1990s, a number of elderly Madagascar natives reported hearing and seeing strange creatures they'd never before observed. Presumed extinct as of centuries earlier, the giant lemur kidoky and the dwarf hippopotamus kilopilopitsofy had allegedly resurfaced in the island nation.

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