After initial exchange of French pleasantries, you may want to introduce yourself to the person you're talking to, especially if you have not been acquainted yet. Aside from actual greetings and salutations, knowing how to introduce oneself and ask for another's name are among the basic language skills and terms that one needs to learn when traveling or when learning a new language.
Here's how you introduce yourself in French.
1. It's best to get greetings down pat first. If it's still daytime, the appropriate greeting is bonjour. This can be followed by a prompt Comment allez-vous? which means "How are you?"
- If it's already nighttime, one is expected to greet with bonsoir.
2. Then, it's time to introduce oneself. To share your name, you may say Je m'apelle ... or "My name is ..." The polite response to such an introduction is either enchante (if the person introducing himself is a man) or enchantee (the response for a woman). To ask for someone's name, you may ask Comment vous appelez vous? (And who are you?) or Quell est votre nom? (What's your name?).
3. The introduction doesn't really end with the exchange of names, so naturally, the first conversation has to move towards the realm of small talk. These types of conversations are important because they help one connect and introduce oneself a lot better. Introductions are not merely limited to one's identity. One is also expected to share a bit of his or her personality during the first meeting. These types of information spark what most people would consider as a first impression.
Here are some lines that you could use to strike up a conversation:
- Comment allez-vous? - How are you doing?
- Je vais bien - I'm doing very well
- Merci - Thank you
- Et vous? - And what about you? (This is usually used to ask the same question to the other person who initially asked something.)
- Tres bien aussi, merci - Very well too, thanks
4. Sometimes, you may have to introduce someone else other than yourself. This is how you go about it.
- Say you're introducing your wife named Jean, you may say Je vous presente Jean, ma femme. This literally translates to "Let me introduce you to my wife, Jean".
- This can also be said as Voici Jean, mon espouse. This translates to "My wife, Jean."
5. You may also want to talk about other details about your life such as:
- To say where you live, you may use the following spiel - J'habite a [insert place here]. This means "I live in [insert place here]."
- To say how old you are, you may phrase it as J'ai 20 ans or "I am 20 years old."
A complete introduction of oneself would read something like this.
- Bonjour, j m'apelle Jacques. J'ai 27 ans et j'habite a Cannes.
- This translates as "Good day, my name is Jacques. I'm 27 years old and I live in Cannes."
It can be a bit confusing at first, but learning a new language is all about learning new rules. As with any skill, practice makes perfect!