How To Flirt in French

French is the language of love, and like Spanish or Italian, it is one of the romantics. For this reason it is imperative that you do not butcher it every time you need to use a word or phrase in real life!

Flirting in your native tongue is hard enough; attempting to flirt in French is a whole new skill, one that takes time and effort to get right.

While in Paris, you’re going to encounter numerous opportunities when flirting seems absolutely necessary. It’s the nature of the city.

Flirting – by Eliott Reyna – Unsplash

While walking the many street bars of Le Marais, or enjoying your morning croissant at a cafe in Montmartre, or dancing the night away at a music concert at Olympia Hall — someone to flirt with is likely two steps to your right.

The French are romantic as it is; there is no doubt about that. While they come across incredibly serious to some people they are utterly charming and suave below the surface. Your flirting skills need to be somewhat refined if you want to make a lasting impression.

Here’s what I know so far; how to flirt in French!

Know Your Pronouns in French 

Pronouns are interesting once you familiarize yourself with them. They have the ability to completely change the tone of a conversation and the way it is being received by the person you are addressing.

There are two words for “you” in French: tu or vous. The first is the singular way of addressing someone and the second is both the plural and formal; meaning you can use vous for a singular person if you’d like some unfamiliarity between you.

by Edward Cisneros – Unsplash

When flirting in French it is often best to avoid using the formal at all costs. The effect of the word creates an immediate distance between you and the listener. It’s as if you are reiterating the fact that you don’t know this person and that there is an awkward formality at play.

When addressing someone of interest alway opt for the very cool, very casual use of the word tu. It holds a sense of comfort and you’ll appear very at ease from the first sentence that comes out of your mouth.

If you are ever in doubt about whether using the informal will be taken with offense or not, just ask. The French are a people who don’t mind being confronted with the big tu/vous question.

Master Some Phrases in French

It’s all good and well being able to throw around a comfortable pronoun, but having no sentences to follow is going to be embarrassing. To flirt successfully in Paris, you’ll need to master some.

Learning phrases in a new language takes a bit of effort. For some, sitting with a book or computer phrase generator works well and they are able to memorize them on the spot.

by Jens Johnsson – Unsplash

For others, being out and about & hearing the phrases from real people is how they learn. Taking a museum tour or free guided walking tour is one way of surrounding yourself by people speaking the lingo — you’ll also be able to ask questions, don’t be shy!

I’ll give you a few to get you started in the flirting game:

Tu veux boire un verre?

“Do you want to get a drink?” Singular, informal and hopefully a yes. Asking someone this question should always be preceded by at least asking their name and other basic information. It can be taken as a bit abrupt otherwise.

Flirting aside, this is also a good phrase to use when making new friends or acquaintances.

by Ben White – Unsplash

Salut, j’avais juste envie de te parler.

While walking the streets of Paris you’ll find ample opportunities to approach new people. The banks of the Seine are one place where locals and tourists congregate throughout the day. Knowing what to say to approach one out of the blue is tricky. For this we use the above phrase which directly translates to: “Hi, I just wanted to speak to you.”

Simple, honest and to the point — perfect!

Je te trouve ravissante.

French is about as seductive as it gets without using typical flirtatious phrases. There will be times when you need to take it up a notch and cut straight to the chase. “I think you are beautiful” is wonderful in every language.

Learn it, practice it, use it!

Download Some Apps in French

Learning a few cute phrases to throw around town is all good and well — if you can remember them! Learning any new language takes consistent practice and repetition to be able to access sentence construction on a whim.

Language apps such as Babble and Duolingo actually incorporate ‘flirting’ sections into their programs. You can download these either for free or a small fee and have access to hours of valuable language tips and phrases in French — some directly targeted at being able to flirt.

by NordWood Themes – Unsplash

Apps like this are great to play with while riding the metro or enjoying a lazy afternoon of the grass at the Boulogne park. Instant access right at your fingertips!

Watch Some Films in French

Now that you’re almost a flirting master, you need to refine your skills slightly further.

Watching French films is a great way to become even more eloquent, suave and accustomed to French mannerisms. Being the romantic language that it is, most French films will sweep you up in a flurry of love and flirtation.

Observe and remember anything that tickles your fancy. Just don’t memorize lines word for word and use them out in the city — someone will realize and know exactly what film you’ve just plagiarized in order to get their number.

Still from Blue Is The Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle)

And for the record, country to the Moulin Rouge, voulez-vous coucher avec moi? probably won’t go down well with a stranger.

Flirting in French is not the daunting, unattainable task you may believe that it is. Making the effort to learn even a single phrase (with the correct pronoun) reads as wildly romantic to the receiver.

Vous venez souvent ici?

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