Words to use at a train station in France

One of the means to travel in France is by train. In this lesson we take you through words that one can use at a train station while in France. Learn them so you can use them while talking in French.

1. La gare

Meaning: a building and the surrounding area where trains stop for people to get on or off

English: station

Example: Ils sont partis pour la gare à 12 heures. (They left for the station at 12 pm.)

2. Le guichet 

Meaning: an office or kiosk where tickets are sold.

English: ticket counter

Example: Où est le guichet? (Where is the ticket counter?)

3. Le quai

Meaning: a long, flat raised structure at a railway station, where people get on and off trains

English: platform

Example: Le train arrivera sur le quai numéro 2. (The train will arrive on platform number 2.)

4. La salle d’attente 

Meaning: a room where people can sit while waiting, as at a train station

English:waiting room

Example: Nous sommes tôt, voyons s’il y a des sièges vides dans la salle d’attente. (We’re early, see if there are any seats empty in the waiting room.)

5. SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français)

Meaning :The Société nationale des chemins de fer français is France’s national state-owned railway company.

English: France’s national railway company

Example: La SNCF a déclaré qu’elle remboursera le prix des billets. (SNCF said it would reimburse the price of tickets.)

6.  Le train à grand vitesse (TGV)

Meaning: France’s intercity high-speed rail service

English: High speed train

Example: Vous devez au moins voyager une fois en TGV en France. (You should at least travel once by the TGV when in France.)

7. Le billet

Meaning: a small piece of paper or card given to someone, usually to show that they have paid for an event, journey, or activity

English: ticket

Example: Elle a voyagé sans billet car elle était en retard. (She travelled without the ticket as she was getting late.)

8. Le carnet

Meaning a book of tickets that can be torn out and used

English: booklet of tickets

Example: Comme il voyage souvent en train, il a acheté un carnet de billets. (As he travels by train often, he bought a booklet of tickets.

9. Trajet 

Meaning :a trip from one place to another

English: journey 

Example:Elle appelle souvent ses parents au cours de son trajet. (She often calls her parents on her journey.)

10. Un aller simple

Meaning: one-way ticket

Example: Elle a pris un aller simple pour Nice. (She took a single ticket to Nice.)

11.Un aller retour 

Meaning : a two way ticket

English: return 

Example: Voulez-vous un aller-retour? (Do you want a return ticket?)

12. La première classe

Meaning: the most expensive seats when traveling by plane, train, etc.

English: first class

Example: John a réservé des billets de première classe pour sa lune de miel. (John booked first class tickets for his honeymoon. )

13. Un remboursement

Meaning: to pay back

English: refund

Example: Aurons-nous un remboursement pour le train annulé? (Will we get a refund for the canceled train?)

14. Une grève

Meaning: to stop working to force management to provide better pay, working conditions, etc

English: strike

Example: Les coolies ont fait la grève. (The coolies went on a strike.)

15. Composter votre billet

Meaning: Produit alimentaire cristallisé, blanc ou roux, de saveur douce, qu’on extrait de la canne à sucre et de la betterave sucrière.

English: validate your ticket

Example: N’oubliez pas de composter votre billet avant de monter dans le train. (Remember to punch your ticket before you get on the train.)

Now that you have learnt the meanings of these words in French, be sure to use them while you visit France and get a chance to travel by train. For more such vocabulary in French, keep following our blog.

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