Starting a new job in a French-speaking country or working with French-speaking clientele?
Learning the French basics is your first step obviously, but business French is a niche topic of its own you’ll need to cover.
Your goal will not only include understanding spoken business French but also written business French.
This might include documents, emails and so on.
If you’re wondering how you can learn business French easily, one answer is to use a wide range of business French resources that will assist you.
Finding such resources isn’t always easy, but that’s what this resource list is for.
Continue on to find the best business French resources for professionals to learn key vocabulary and phrases for the French working environment.
Note: I also recommend checking out this comprehensive list of the best French online courses as well.
What’s the advantage of learning business, French?
The main advantage of learning business French is to advance further in your career.
The more you understand within a business French environment, the higher up you can advance. There are also specific roles in which a deep knowledge of business French will be beneficial.
If you work with French-speaking clients and need to negotiate with them, a knowledge of business French will assist you.
If you want to work in customer service roles in a French-speaking country, you’ll need specific business French knowledge to offer your expertise to clients.
You might be in challenging business environments where you have to give presentations for marketing purposes.
This is another reason why business French is important. It can help you represent your company well.
What’s the difference between conversational French and business French?
Whereas conversational French is used in social situations and is also described as ‘everyday’ language, business French is used to communicate in professional business environments.
In conversational situations with friends and family, specialist business French words and phrases are far less likely to crop up.
You are also more likely to use the tu form when addressing them.
With business French, you’ll rely on your knowledge of niche vocabulary to hold conversations with colleagues, your bosses or with clients.
The specific range of vocabulary required will differ from ‘every day’ French, and you’re also more likely to use the vous form when addressing your colleagues.
Best business French resources for speaking, listening, reading and writing
Here are some top resources you can check out to practice your business French knowledge.
Some are ideal for absolute beginners, while others will be better suited for revision. You’ll find apps, textbooks, lists of vocabulary, and translation apps in this list.
Take a look.
Memrise (vocabulary app)
It is a vocabulary-building app that has a particular section for business French vocabulary.
It features topics such as searching for jobs, communication (in a business environment), finance and banking, and E-commerce, and there are various other sections for different business fields.
French for travel & business (app)
If you’re a recent graduate and have decided to enter the business world in a French-speaking country, this gamified French for travel & business app will help you learn.
It has plenty of weekly quizzes and lessons.
It also lets you practice your basic business French with friends.
It’s ideal for French beginners who are starting with limited knowledge of business French.
You’ll also be able to practice your pronunciation with the speech recognition tool.
WordReference (dictionary style translator)
The WordReference dictionary app is your accompaniment to learning business French words and phrases.
Need to know the meaning of a French verb that you’re noticing in various business contexts? WordReference will give you a translation.
This is an important resource because it will also provide you with contextual examples and sentences.
It’s not only a dictionary either.
It has a conjugation section that will help you learn how to conjugate verbs.
DeepL translator (dictionary style translator)
A translation companion that is ideal for discovering the meaning of business French verbs, DeepL translator gives accurate translations.
It is the accompanying translation tool to Linguee, which gives you example sentences both in English and French.
Use both of these to translate the verbs that you’re unfamiliar with and need to know the meaning of to develop your business French knowledge.
France.24 (video podcast)
Listening skills are important when learning business French.
For advanced learners, France24.com has a video journal section dedicated to various business industries. Learn key vocabulary related to the stock markets, or sectors such as the wine industry.
As you listen, try to keep notes of new vocabulary and create your list.
It’s a great way to use this resource to enhance your business French knowledge.
Business French 3 - Parallel Text (textbook)
The Business French 3 textbook contains a large range of bilingual texts that focus on business French scenarios.
This selection of texts is ideal for intermediate learners who need to develop their understanding of vocabulary that they have already acquired.
You’ll discover business anecdotes that are typical within the marketing and management fields in this French book; and as these texts already feature language analysis and feedback, you’ll not require a dictionary.
French Business Situations (coursebook)
Need to practice your French business speaking skills?
This French Business Situations coursebook is just what you’ll need.
It contains more than 40 scenarios in which spoken business French is required, including presenting to colleagues selling products and making business enquiries
This book is ideal for absolute beginners as it offers English translations for each text.
There is also a set of recorded audios that go with this book, enabling you to listen and practice your listening skills.
Hands Free Business French: 100 Essential French Business Phrases for English Speakers (Kindle version)
This Hands Free Business French Kindle edition book will walk you through 100 critical phrases that you should know.
It is aimed at beginners and opens with a few rules related to verb conjugation, essential French verbs, and sentence starters that are essential in business French scenarios.
It contains dialogues that you would find in introductory business French situations but also takes a deeper look at particular industries such as software and technology, private banking and careers and positions.
French/English Business Glossary (Routledge Business Language Glossaries) (business French glossary)
For those moments where you’re stuck on a word or phrase and it’s on the tip of your tongue (but you can’t remember it), the French/English Business Glossary has you covered.
It contains more than 5,000 phrases that were put together by native speakers.
You can use it as a dictionary as all vocabulary, which is exclusive to the world of business, is listed alphabetically.
Harrap’s business English/French (business French glossary)
Harrap’s business English/French contains more than 42,000 business French phrases that will help you look up meanings or double-check what you already know.
As well as phrases specific to the marketing industry, there are also finance, management and business press sections to explore.
It comes with definitions and quotations, as well as examples of the phrases being used in different business French contexts.
Yuqo Business French (vocabulary list)
Vocabulary lists are a great entry point into the world of business French.
This Yuqo blog post contains specific subsections for business expressions in French.
This post opens with a section on the difference between the tu and vous forms.
This is essential to understand when speaking to colleagues in business settings in French-speaking countries.
You’ll also find a broad selection of topics ranging from money, business terms in general, phrases for business telephone conversations, and phrases for different departments.
Business terms in French - Language City - (YouTube video)
Starting from the very beginning with business French?
You’ll need to start small with individual phrases.
This Business terms in French YouTube video will take you through essential business French phrases that are wide-ranging.
From finance to business to money, there is a range of industries covered here.
As mentioned, all of the phrases are basic business French terms, and they are explained with useful hints to help you remember them.
There are plenty of other great YouTube channels for learning French too.
What’s the best way to learn business, French?
As a beginner, one of the best ways to learn business French is to start with small lists of vocabulary.
Focus on learning between five and 10 words each day. Don’t forget that when you’re learning nouns, always learn them with the masculine or feminine article - un or une, le or la.
If you’re an advanced learner, back up what you already know by reading business newspapers in French that are specific to your industry.
You might also try exploring podcasts and recordings to broaden your vocabulary.
Keep practising to master business French like a professional
The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
Explore some of the resources listed here and dedicate some time each day to begin speaking, writing, reading and listening in professional French settings.
Are there any other French business resources not listed here that should be?
Share your contribution below in the comments section.