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Dealing With Authorities in French Language

While you are exploring in France or simply any nation where people talk French and you’re in an emergency situation, dealing with authorities such as the police in French might be daunting. You will have to know at least the essential French terminology for emergencies that may help you contact your country’s consulate. Learn More

List of French Phrases For Emergencies

French Language Words

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I haven't done anything wrong.Je n'ai fait rien de mal. (zhuh nay fay ree-AHN duh MAL)
It was a misunderstanding.C'est une erreur. (say uhn air-ehur)
Where are you taking me?Où m'emmenez-vous? (ooh mehm-en-EH voo)
Am I under arrest?Suis-je en état d'arrestation? (SWEE zhuh ahn EH-tah dahr-es-tash-ON)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (m)Je suis un citoyen américain/australien/anglais/canadien. (zhuh swee uhn see-twa-YAHN a-may-ree-CAN/os-trah-lee-AHN/ahn-GLEH/ka-na-DYAN)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (f)Je suis une citoyenne américaine/australienne/anglaise/canadienne. (zhe s'wee oon see-twa-YEN a-may-ree-KEN/os-trah-lee-EN/ahn-GLEZ/ka-na-DYEN)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy or consulate.Je veux parler à l'ambassade ou le consulat américain/australien/anglais/canadien. (ZHUH vuh pahr-LEUR ah lahm-ba-SAHD oo KAHN-sul-aht a-may-ree-CAN/os-trah-lee-AHN/ahn-GLEH/ka-na-DYAN)
I want to talk to a lawyer.Je voudrais parler à un avocat. (ZHUH vood-RAY par-lehr ah uhn AH-vo-caht) ("avocat" also means "avocado" but people don't normally talk to avocados!)
Can I just pay a fine now?Pourrais-je simplement payer une amende? (poo-RAYZH sampl-MANG pay-AY yn ah-MAHND)
[offering bribe] Will you accept this in place of my fine?Acceptez-vous ceci au lieu de mon amende? (accept-eh voo suh-see oh lee-YUH duh mon deh-MAND)
Note: Only consider attempting this in third world countries. DO NOT try to do this in France or Canada as it will get you in worse trouble!

Click on the links below to find a list of practical French travel phrases that are organized by group. For each holiday phrase in French, you will notice the English translation.

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