Travel in words: the art of French greetings
Discover S.L.Immersion, your guide to total immersion in France. If you’re planning a stay in our beautiful country, get ready to immerse yourself in the richness of French culture from the moment you say “bonjour”. French greetings are much more than a formality; they’re a reflection of French life and culture. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the different ways of saying “Bonjour” in French, while revealing some of the best-kept secrets of the French greeting.
1. Bonjour: the backdrop to French courtesy
Let’s begin our exploration with “Bonjour”. This greeting, the most common in France, is the starting point of any conversation. It’s the hallmark of French courtesy. Pronounced with a smile and perhaps even accompanied by a kiss on the cheek or a firm handshake, “Bonjour” is an invitation to exchange.
2. Salut: the art of relaxation
“Salut” is the casual cousin of “Bonjour”. It’s a friendly sign, ideal for get-togethers with friends or moments of relaxation. But be careful, it’s reserved for informal situations and the people around you.
3. Coucou: the charm of affection
For a touch of sincere affection, “coucou” is the key. Like “Hi”, this warm, friendly greeting is often used with friends and family. It expresses a feeling of closeness and mutual well-being.
4. Bonsoir: twilight elegance
In the evening, the most common greeting is “Bonsoir”. It’s a polite way of saying bonjour in French as the day draws to a close. Say it graciously and perhaps add the name of the person you’re addressing for a touch of elegance. A little cultural note: from 6.00 pm onwards, you can (must) say “Bonsoir”. If you don’t, you can expect the person to correct you. 😅
5. Rebonjour: the rediscovery
If you bump into someone you’ve already said hello to, don’t hesitate to say “rebonjour”. It’s a polite way of saying hello again and getting on with the conversation.
6. Toc, Toc: French humor
In France, it’s customary to say “Toc, Toc” when knocking on a door. This little phrase announces your arrival and opens the door to a new exchange.
7. Bonjour à tout le monde: the festive welcome
When you enter a party or social event, you can say “bonjour à tout le monde” to create a festive, friendly atmosphere. It’s a way of showing that you’re ready to have fun with everyone. To help you familiarize yourself with the pronunciation, here’s a video we’ve prepared especially for you.
8. Bonjour à la française: the language of gestures
In France, gestures are an integral part of communication. A simple wave of the hand, a movement of the head, or a smile can sometimes replace words, creating a sense of well-being and comfort. Learn to master this subtle art during your immersion in France…
France offers a variety of ways of saying hello, each adapted to different situations and levels of familiarity. By choosing the right greeting, you can show your respect and understanding of French culture. Whether you opt for the classic “Bonjour” or a casual “Salut”, remember to be polite and show your enthusiasm.
Saying bonjour in French is much more than just a formality. It’s an invitation to discover, exchange, and appreciate French culture. At S.L.Immersion we believe in the importance of understanding these subtleties for a successful immersion. Whether you choose “Bonjour”, “Salut” or even “Toc, Toc”, remember that every greeting in French tells a story and opens a door to an unforgettable experience in France. So let’s set off together to discover this rich linguistic and cultural heritage. Bonjour à tous, and see you soon for an unforgettable immersion!