Learn French For The Dinner Table

French cuisine (la cuisine française) are words known to people all over the world, even though they may not even speak French. The general reason for this is that the French have made a powerful statement with their approach to cooking and their love of food.This leaves those of us who are not French, with the task to learn French related words and expressions for when we do go to a French restaurant or are privileged enough to be invited to a French home.So, let’s make that move to a French course, or French lessons to learn French.

This is actually a worthwhile suggestion. And today we will have a mini French lesson in a few of the essentials, when dining à la French. Here we go! The umbrella word is politeness (la politesse) which is the overall essential in behaviour. This would start off with arriving on time for a restaurant reservation (une reservation) or for an invitation to someone’s home ……. and, without hesitation, call if you will be arriving a little late and by the way, don’t stretch it!  


To show your respect for the French and their beautiful language, in which they take great pride, here are a few words which will help you to learn French essentials for the table: the fork (la fourchette) is held in the right hand in France, and the knife (le couteau) in the left. Your hands (les mains) are visible and on the table, while the elbows (les coudes) are decidedly off the table. To indicate that you have not only made an effort to learn French and that you are well brought up (bien élevé) remember this:wait for the host/hostess before taking your first sip or first mouthful.

Here are some essential ways to understand and learn french for a perfect evening of FRENCH dining:

la carte / menu –  l’entrée / first course  – le plat principal / main course – une boisson (a beverage/drink)  – le fromage / cheese  – le dessert / dessert

Pouvez-vous me passer le sel / le poivre / le beurre s’il vous plaît (please pass me the salt / the pepper / the butter

Non merci, j’ai bien mangé   (No thank you, I have eaten well / I have had sufficient)

J’aime bien l’assaisonnement (I like the seasoning very much)

le poisson / the fish – le poulet / the chicken – la viande / the meat

bien cuit / well done       saignant / rare

salé / salted – je n’aime pas manger trop salé /  I don’t like a lot of salt on my food

C’est délicieux / it’s delicious

Mes compliments au chef / my compliments to the chef

Which leaves only the words which everyone knows so well – Bon Appétit !