Posted on by Anastasia R.

When you work in a country far away from friends and family, it can be difficult and lonely. It’s important to know local customs, find your way around, and understand the money exchange. And if you don’t speak the language, it can be frustrating not being able to communicate well. Whether you’re just visiting for a short time or staying for a while, below are some phrases and words which will help Senegalese migrant workers feel more at home.

Greetings and Pleasantries

In order to make pleasant conversation, you’ll need to know a few of these short phrases. Learn to be courteous and say hello, goodbye, and more.

French                                                                               English

Bonjour                                                                                Hello.

Salut!                                                                                    Hi!/Bye! (informal)

Comment allez-vous                                                         How are you?  (formal or plural)

Ca va?                                                                                   How are you? (informal)

Excusez-moi                                                                       Excuse me.

Merci                                                                                    Thank you.

De rien                                                                                 You’re welcome.

S’il vous plait                                                                      Please.

Au revoir                                                                             Good bye.

Oui                                                                                        Yes.

Non                                                                                       No.

Je m’appelle…                                                                    My name is…

Je suis de…                                                                         I am from…

Je ne sais pas.                                                                    I don’t know.

Requests and Other Common Questions

As you go through your day, you may have to ask a simple question. Whether you need help or just asking for directions, here are a few phrases to assist you.

French                                                                               English

Parlez-vous anglais?                                                        Do you speak English?  (formal)

Tu parles anglais?                                                             Do you speak English?  (informal)

Comment vous appelezvous?                                         What is your name?

Qu’est-ce que vous avez dit?                                           What did you say?

Qu sont les toilettes?                                                        Where are the bathrooms?

Combien coute-t-il?                                                         How much does it cost?

Ou est-ce que se trouve….?                                            Where is…..?

…banque                                                                                       …the bank

…epicerie                                                                                      …the grocery store

…le restaurant                                                                             …the restaurant

…le poste d’essence                                                                    …the gas station

…l’hopital                                                                                      …the hospital

…la police                                                                                       …the police

…la pharmacie                                                                              …drug store

Simple Statements and Phrases

Sometimes you want to talk as little as possible. Here a few ways to make your point without having to say a lot of words.

French                                                                                English

Parlez lentement                                                               Please speak slowly.

Je ne comprends pas                                                        I don’t understand.

Allons-y!                                                                              Let’s go!

D’accord                                                                               OK.

Ne t’en fais pas                                                                   Don’t worry. (informal)

Ne vous en faites pas.                                                       Don’t worry. (formal)

Ce n’est pas grave.                                                             No problem.

En haut                                                                                Up

Vers la bas                                                                           Down

A gauche                                                                              Left

A droite                                                                                Right

Je t’aime                                                                              I love you.

Going Out

Whether you’re headed to a restaurant or going to a local bar after a long day of work, be sure to ask for what you want with these phrases.

French                                                                                English

Je voudrais…                                                                      I would like…

…un verre de vin                                                              …a glass of wine

…une biere                                                                         …a beer

…un menu                                                                          …a menu

…une serviette                                                                 …a napkin

…un verre d’eau                                                               …a glass of water

One of the best ways to learn a different language is to invest in a French to English dictionary. Look at it every day and memorize a few words or phrases. In the meantime, the list above will help you know what to say. Using an iPad or computer can also assist you in learning more about your new home and language. You can look things up easily and share with your recently acquired friends and co-workers.

Even though you will be making lots of friends in your new English-speaking territory, don’t forget about those back in your homeland. If you need to send them money you can do so quickly, easily, and securely through Arrange for a cash pickup and in no time at all, your friends and family back home will have the money!

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