Caution: these beautiful French words may cause shortness of breath or weakness at the knees.
Everyone has heard that Paris is the city of love and French is the language of romance.
So it’s no surprise that their language is flowing over with gorgeous words and phrases.
Whether you want to impress your significant other, pick yourself up a Frenchy or just add some beauty to your life, you’ll love this list of 11 beautiful French words.
Bisous! 11 Beautiful French Words and Phrases That’ll Make Your Heart Melt
The next time you visit the South of France, take a walk along one of the beautiful beaches and you may come across a coquillage (seashell).
Keep the memories of your holiday by collecting the seashells, and then bring them home as un petit souvenir (a little souvenir).
Ils ont trouvé des coquillages sure la plage. (They found seashells on the beach.)
Not visiting France anytime soon? For beautiful settings that set the scene for French language lessons, try the videos on FluentU. FluentU takes real-world French videos—like movie trailers, music videos and more—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
Here’s one example where you’ll hear the word coquillage used in a French news report. Every FluentU video comes with clickable subtitles, flashcards and fun quizzes so you learn new words like this one while you watch.
To watch that video and the full video library with all the learning features, check out a free FluentU trial.
Who will you be sending your next bisou (kiss) or bisous (kisses) to?
Whether you know or have absolutely no idea, this might certainly help your case! When you start speaking in mysterious French, you’ll soon be fighting off the incoming propositions. Mais qui aura le prochain bisou? (But who will get the next kiss?)
A little tip for your next visit to France, the French greet each other with one bisou on each cheek in many regions. So put your hand away and extend your cheeks!
Je t’envoie de gros bisous. (I’m sending you big kisses.)
What a majestic creature a hippocampe (seahorse) is. Not only does it travel the lengths of the sea, but the males carry the babies rather than the females!
Of course a creature like this needs a beautiful name to reflect their wonderful exterior and strength.
L’hippocampe a nagé dans la mer. (The seahorse swam in the sea.)
Who wouldn’t love an intimate chuchoter (whisper) in French? Although it might be a little bit harder to understand, which could be seen as an added bonus (ask for a repeat!), the excitement of it might send you all a quiver.
Peut-être (maybe) the context won’t even matter as long as it’s in French!
Il chuchote des mots doux. (He whispers sweet nothings.)
This is another beautiful French word that might just cheer you up on a rainy day! If you hear rain on the weather, just make sure you have your parapluie (umbrella) in your bag.
Not only is it lovely to hear/say, but it protects you from the rain as well. What an added bonus!
The origin of this beautiful French word can be explained if you split parapluie in half to make para + pluie. Para- is a prefix used to indicate protection (think “parasol,” protection from the sun or “parachute,” protection from falling) and pluie is the French word for “rain.” Protection from the rain! Voila, ça marche! (There you go, it works!)
Il va pleuvoir cet aprés-midi, donc apporte ton parapluie. (It is going to rain this afternoon, so bring your umbrella.)
I hope you paid attention to the caution at the top of the post, because if this doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will!
If you’re in France having a nice time with one of the locals, and you hear the word envie (desire), then you know they’re interested.
Not only is Paris the “Romantic City of the World,” but the Parisians are pretty romantic too. A lot of Parisians are vocal about their wants and desires, leaving you to make your decision of how your night will pan out. Sometimes it’s nice to have the ball in your court!
When expressing that you want to do something, the grammar construction is avoir (to have) + envie (desire) + de (to) + verb in the infinitive form. This means that you only conjugate avoir, leaving the second verb in its infinitive form.
J’ai envie de te voir (I have desire to see you. / I want to see you.)
Another French word that rolls off the tongue in a playful way is pamplemousse (grapefruit). It’s perhaps not the most used word in the French language, but it’s definitely a beautiful one.
The French have wonderful markets all around the country, so the next time you’re near the fruits, why not find a succulent pamplemousse? It’ll give you a chance to practice your beautiful words in French, not to mention a delicious a mid-morning snack.
Monsieur, deux pamplemousses s’il vous plaît! (Sir, two grapefruits please!)
Une salade de fruits avec du pamplemousse. (Fruit salad with grapefruit.)
8. Plein de vie
Many things can make you plein de vie (full of life), including the excitement and wonder of a new relationship. Maybe take your newfound energy for a trip to France.
There, you and your partner can frolic down the belles rues (beautiful streets) of France and celebrate the little things that make life wonderful.
Elle est pleine de vie quand elle est avec son enfant. (She is full of life when she is with her child.)
It seems fitting to include joli(e) (pretty) in this list of pretty French words, as all of the words included in it are… très jolis (very pretty)!
The French pride themselves on being chic and natural beauties…. so maybe the next time you’re lucky enough to meet someone nice, you should tell them so!
Cette fille est vraiment jolie! Peut-être je devrais parler avec elle. (This girl is really pretty! Maybe I should talk to her.)
Talking about beautiful French words, étoile (star) is most certainly one of them! On a clear night in the French countryside what would be an ideal date?
How about a romantic evening picnic (maybe check the weather first!) followed by observation des étoiles avec votre chéri(e), (star gazing with your darling). Wow, the height of romance and the cherry on the top—you’re speaking in French!
Il avait des étoiles dans les yeux. (He had stars in his eyes.)
11. Je t’aime
Now last but certainly not least, with all the beautiful French phrases out there, this is probably the one that carries the most weight.
It can’t be said enough, and believe me the French love to say it: Je t’aime (I love you). Still quite scary to hear, but at the same time beautiful. Almost like how love feels!
Pay attention when using the phrase je t’aime, as words are ordered differently in French than in English. So instead of having
“you” at the end of “I love you,” the t’ (you) is in the middle of the sentence: Je t’aime (Literally: I you love).
These are just a few examples of beautiful words in French. Believe me, I could carry on all day, but even with just a tidbit of knowledge I think my point is made.
Try and practice these pretty French words before your next trip abroad, and who knows—you may be able to trick the French population into thinking you are French too!
With beautiful French words like this, I can safely say to the French language: Je t’aime!
And One More Thing…
Learning to speak beautiful French isn’t just about learning what to say, it’s about getting exposure to as much authentic French speech as possible.
To see and hear French being used in an everyday, real-life context as often as you’d like, just check out FluentU.
FluentU lets you learn French from real-world content like music videos, commercials, news broadcasts, cartoons and inspiring talks. Since this video content is stuff that native French speakers actually watch on the regular, you’ll get the opportunity to learn real French—the way it’s spoken in modern life.
One quick look will give you an idea of the diverse content found on FluentU:
Love the thought of learning French with native materials but afraid you won’t understand what’s being said? FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. Interactive captions will guide you along the way, so you’ll never miss a word.
Tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. For example, if you tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears on your screen:
Don’t stop there, though. Use FluentU’s learn mode to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video with vocabulary lists, flashcards, quizzes and fun activities like “fill in the blank.”
As you continue advancing in your French studies, FluentU keeps track of all the grammar and vocabulary that you’ve been learning. It uses your viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give you a 100% personalized experience. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.