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French phrases to sound like a pro on the slopes

It’s been years since GCSE French – and while you may remember “Bonjour!” your linguistic skills don’t extend much further than that. Of course, in the luxury ski chalet of Ferme du Ciel, you’ll be looked after by English-speaking staff, but if you really want to soak up some of the local atmosphere, it helps if you can master a few phrases. Practise these before you pack your bags, and you’re sure to impress the locals.

1. Getting around

If you’ve got your ski map handy, then show it while asking, “Où sommes-nous?” (Where are we?) for help navigating the area. Best of all, your local friend can just point a finger to the map, so you won’t need much in the way of comprehension. If you feel you can master something a bit more complicated, try “Où est la remontée mécanique la plus proche?” (Where is the nearest ski lift?). And if all else fails, don’t forget “Je suis perdu!” (I’m lost!). Of course, if you stick with the ski lessons recommended by Ferme du Ciel, you shouldn’t need to use that one.

2. Ski chat

“Ne poussez pas!” (Don’t push!) is useful if you’re waiting your turn. If things get a bit messy, you may need to ask, “Où sont mes skis?” (Where are my skis?). Want to show off? Then memorise this phrase: “J’ai passé toute la journée sur des pistes noires” (I’ve spent all afternoon on the black slopes). It may not be true, but it might impress your new skiing friends!

3. At the end of the day

The most important phrase for ordering food or drink is “s’il vous plaît” (please). With that and a smile, you shouldn’t have problems communicating. To be on the safe side, remember “une grande bière” (a large beer) or “un chocolat chaud” (a hot chocolate).

If you’re worried about communication, remember – take it slow, smile, and be polite. Staff at Ferme du Ciel and many local businesses speak English, but even non-English speakers will generally appreciate a few words in French and a friendly attitude. And never forget “Merci!” when you want to thank someone.

Photo: Tahko downhill December 2017 by VisitLakeland licensed under Creative commons 6

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