Just after some advice please. I have been learning french for two years now and i am at intermediate level. My question is when i go to france and speak with people i don't know to ask questions do i have to use "inversion" to be polite or is rising internation and est ce que ok? I don't now how formal the french like things as it will be my first visit.
Thanks for any advice in advance
Here are a few tips from my previous trip to France:
Using inversion or not, it didn't really make a difference. Just remember to always use the respectful version (vous) of a question when talking to strangers.
When entering stores, cafés, and other areas, always greet the person! You will notice you will always get a "Bonjour monsieur!" when you open the door, and just be sure to say "bonjour" back to them.
Even if you speak "broken" French, just keep using it. It will be appreciated. If you keep fumbling with your words, the other person may just speak to you in English (which may be broken as well).
Anyways, I hope you have a fun and safe trip in the beautiful country of France! If you have any other questions, let me know.
Bon voyage! :-)
I wouldn't worry too much about it. People will hear your accent and know that you're making an effort to speak the language, they're not going to feel insulted if you make a mistake here and there.
I would only recommend that you use "vous" instead of "tu" by default, if people feel you're being overly formal they'll tell you. Better too polite than not enough I suppose.
Regarding the inversion it's not even a matter of politeness, only correctness. Nobody is going to feel insulted because you ask them "vous avez l'heure?" instead of "avez-vous l'heure?". So really, don't worry about it, use whatever you feel most comfortable with and it'll be fine.
Bonjour, je suis française,
Est-ce que is the most natural form you can use, so unless you are speaking to an important person such as manager, chief, leader etc... you might want to use est-ce que. Remember always say "Est-ce que vous pouvez" and never just add est-ce que before a question such as "est-ce que pouvez-vous"
If you are smiling and friendly, everything will be fine! I live in France with very poor French, mostly people are kind and polite. They will not laugh at you and point for your mistakes.
But if you want to speak more naturally, listen native speakers, and repeat after them!