If you’re planning to visit France or one the 28 French speaking countries you need to know how to introduce yourself and what to say when you are introduced. Here you’ll find some useful expressions and cultural tips that will help you to be comfortable when you’ll meet new people !
But first thing first, before to really introduce yourself you should say “hello” right ? We have two common ways to say hello in French, depending on the situation.
Most of you know bonjour, it is the most common way to greet someone in French, it literally means good day. We use it to greet people in the morning and in the afternoon, until 4 or 5pm (later than that, it is better to say bonsoir wich means good evening). Bonjour is always polite and works in any situation !
When talking to a friend, to a colleague (but not to your boss !) or to someone you know well salut is used as a greeting :
Salut, ça va ? Hi, how are you doing ?
Its English equivalent would be “hi” or “hey”. Salut is used frequently, although it is extremely informal. Don’t use salut with people you don’t know, except if the circumstances allow you to do so, like if you’re in a bar, at a party, meeting a friend’s friend for the first time etc.
So unless you are sure it’s appropriate to use it, stick with bonjour…
Note that salut can also be used to say goodbye in an informal way among close friends.
Je me présente… (let me introduce myself)
So now that’s you know how to say hello let’s learn how to introduce yourself in French ! The most common sentence to do so is to use je m’appelle it means my name is but the literal translation would be I call myself.
Bonjour, je m’appelle Nicolas ! Hello, my name is Nicolas !
You can also use je suis wich means I am but use je suis with people who already know your name, like people you already talked to on the phone or by email but never met in person.
Salut, je suis Rachelle ! Hi, I’m Rachelle !
Also, mon prénom est, which is the literal tanslation for my name is, is used as well but much less often !
Mon prénom est Louis. My (first) name is Louis.
Je vous présente… (let me introduce you)
If you want to introduce someone, your wife for example, you can say :
Je vous présente ma femme, Julie. (formal and or plural) Let me introduce you my wife, Julie.
Je te présente ma femme, Julie. (informal)
Voici ma femme Julie ! This is my wife, Julie !
Elle s’appelle Julie. Her name is Julie.
Once you have introduced yourself or been introduced to someone you can say enchanté(e) to say that you are pleased :
Bonjour, je m’appelle Marc, enchanté ! Hello, my name is Marc, pleased to meet you !
Salut, je m’appelle Sarah, enchantée ! Hi, my name is Sarah, nice to meet you !
Demander son prénom à quelqu’un (asking for someone’s name)
Finally, it’s your turn to ask for someone’s name ! So how do you ask what’s your name in French ? Here are the most common ways to do so :
Comment vous appelez-vous ? (formal)
Comment t’appelles-tu ? (informal)
Comment tu t’appelles ? (relaxed)
Now you just have to practive by meeting new French speakers friends !