• seg. mar 4th, 2024

Bonjour! Discover the Art of Saying Hello in French

If you’re planning to travel to France, or you’re just learning the language, knowing how to say “Hello” in French is essential. “Bonjour” is one of the first words you’ll need to learn in order to get by in any French-speaking country, but it’s more than just a simple greeting.

The word “Bonjour” is derived from the words “bon” (meaning good) and “jour” (meaning day), literally translating to “good day”. It’s the equivalent of “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” in English, but the French use it as a general greeting throughout the day.

Part of the French culture is showing politeness and respect in all interactions, even with strangers. Starting any conversation with “Bonjour” is a sign of politeness and acknowledgement of the other person’s presence. Failure to do so can be seen as rude, and it’s not uncommon for people to give you a cold response or ignore you altogether.

Aside from “Bonjour”, there are several other greetings you can use in specific contexts. For example, “Bonsoir” (meaning “Good evening”) can be used instead of “Bonjour” after around 6 pm. “Salut” is a more informal greeting, similar to “Hi” or “Hey”.

It’s important to note that when saying “Bonjour”, it’s customary to make eye contact and possibly even give a small nod or smile. This shows that you are genuinely greeting the other person and not just going through the motions. Additionally, if you’re addressing someone who is older or holds a higher position than you, it’s important to use the appropriate honorifics (such as “Monsieur” or “Madame”), along with “Bonjour”.

Bonjour is more than just a simple greeting – it’s a cultural code, an essential part of French etiquette and a sign of respect. So, whether you’re strolling around Paris, or conversing with a French-speaking person, make sure you always start the interaction with a friendly “Bonjour” to show politeness and make a good impression.

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