Vocabulary and expressions to improve your business French

How can you improve your business French?

What is Business French and how can I master it?

Commercial French (also known as professional or business French) is widely used in the world of work. At meetings, for example, we tend to use business French; in other words, highly simplified French, but with its own vocabulary and expressions. One of the easiest ways to learn business French is to start memorizing a few simple vocabulary formulas.

Key words in business French

Are you about to take your first business French language course? If so, you can start your learning by memorizing the main keywords of business French, which will be an excellent way for you to begin your French language training. In the list below, you'll find words that are very often used in the world of employment, across all sectors.

English word French translation
efficient efficace
reliable fiable
an employee un employé
an accountant un comptable
an office clerk un employé de bureau
a secretary un secrétaire
a computer scientist un informaticie
a sales representative un attaché commercial
a CEO un PDG
a company manager un chef d’entreprise
office hours heures de bureau
full time à temps plein
part time à temps partiel
half time à mi-temps
overtime heures supplémentaires
a public holiday un jour férié
to take a day off work prendre un jour de repos
career carrière
a contract of employment un contrat de travail
career development évolution de carrière
career prospects perspectives de carrière
a permanent appointment une titularisation
teamwork travail d’équipe
a salary un salaire
a pay slip un bulletin de salaire
gross salary salaire brut
net salary salaire net
a bonus une prime
a severance pay prime de départ
paid holiday congés payés
the business les affaires
a corporation une société
a customer un client
a consumer un consommateur
workplace lieu de travail
a bottom line le résultat final
a brainstorming une réflexion profonde
a can of worms un sac de noeuds
a win-win situation une situation gagnant-gagnant
a no-win situation une impasse
networking créer des relations
a return on investment un retour sur investissement
multitasking multitâche
downtime temps libre

Business French expressions

Business French is also rich in expressions, whether to express needs, objectives or describe specific situations. When you learn business French, it's important to improve your skills in the following expressions, which will help you throughout your career to make yourself understood.

Expression in English French translation
I’m sorry, i don’t know the answer Je suis désolé, je ne connais pas la réponse
I will find out Je vais trouver une solution
Would you mind looking at this report? Pourriez-vous jeter un oeil à ce rapport ?
I understand your point Je comprends votre point de vue
That’s a valid opinion, but… Votre opinion se défend, mais…
To think outside the box Réfléchir à une solution différente
To get ducks in a row Bien s’organiser
To get up to speed Se mettre à jour
To pick the low hanging fruit Choisir l’option la plus simple
To push the envelop Repousser ses limites
To be on the ball Être alerte
To touch base Prendre contact
To give and take Faire des compromis
To get the ball rolling Démarrer un projet
In the ballpark of 5 days Dans environ 5 jours, à vue d’oeil
To wrap one’s head around something Se concentrer sur une tâche
To boil the ocean Faire déplacer des montagnes
To bite off more than you can chew Avoir les yeux plus gros que le ventre
We have decided to drill down… Nous avons décidé d’approfondir…
To run something up the flagpole Faire un test pilote
To pull strings Tirer les ficelles
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