Learn French - How To Shop
In France, « la tentation » (temptation) will be huge “de faire du “lèche vitrine” (to go on a shopping spree) or just to bring back some souvenirs with you.
If you go in “un magasin de luxe” (luxury store) in Paris, which basically sell accessories like “des ceintures” (belts) or “des sacs” (handbags) or “du parfum” (perfume) etc., all the “vendeurs” and “vendeuses” (sellers) are used to foreign clients and do speak English. But there are a lot of places to shop, sometimes in very small “boutiques” (shop).
In a “magasin de vêtements” (clothes shop), you’ll first have to find the good “rayon” (department). Homme is for Man, Femme is for Woman, and Enfants is for Children. Then, you’ll have to find the department selling the clothes you are looking for.
If you want a shirt, ask for “une chemise”. “Un pantalon” is a trouser and a jacket is « une veste ». A suit is “un costume”, and a tie is “une cravate”. “Un jupe” is a skirt, and “une robe” is a dress. “Un haut” means a top and “un tailleur” means a suit. Shoes are “chaussures”.
The size system is different in France. Even if they usually have the S, M, L, XL system, they are not the same. For example, a French L is the same as a US M, even if sometimes it’s not that accurate and can vary. To be sure, always “essayez avant d’acheter (try on before buying). For that, ask for “la cabine d’essayage” (fitting room). La vendeuse assisting you will show you the way.
For accessories: Sunglasses are “des lunettes de soleil”, and jewels are « des bijoux ». A necklace is “un collier”, a earring is “une boucle d’oreille”, and a watch is “une montre”.
There are a lot of places where to buy souvenirs. Generally, they are located near the touristic sites and sell variety of things like small Tour Eiffel, “des porte-clés” (key ring) or even lingerie like “des strings” (thong). If you want to go for a more “tasty” (goûteux) souvenir, you can try some small markets where you’ll be able to buy “des produits du terroir” (countryside products) like foods and wines. This will be a non English spealing zone, so you’ll have to let your flair, and your stomach, guide you. You may be able to “marchander” (negociate) the prices. Usually, the payments are made in cash in these small markets. Elsewhere, the credit cards are the rules and French people use them a lot, but sometimes there is a limit under which the credit card are not accepted. It’s depends of the sellers and is usually around 15€. You can pay anywhere with cash.
After paying, you’ll receive “un ticket de caisse” (a bill). Keep it, because if you need to “faire un échange” (ask for an exchange) you’ll need this receipt.