How to say good luck in French & 53 more encouraging phrases

While the French people are not the most enthusiastic, they still like to show their support. Well, at least to their friends and relatives!

If your francophone friends have an important exam, a work presentation, a sports competition or a date, this article on how to say good luck in French is exactly what you need. Oh, and if it’s the latter, you can also check out a bit of French love and dating advice here.

There are thousands of different superstitions and beliefs around the world. However, we all have one thing in common: we wish others good luck, whether we believe in the universe, a God, the power of nature or anything else.

So, find a four-leaf clover, rub your rabbit’s foot, and keep reading!

Lucky four leaf clover.

How to say Good luck in French

In French, luck is “chance”. You might also find the word “fortune” in old books. While it means luck as well, nowadays, it’s mostly used for financial wealth.

Mais retournons à nos (chanceux) moutons. Good luck in French is “Bonne chance.”

Trop facile ? We agree. And since we like to challenge your French skills, you’ll find 23 ways to wish good luck in the table below. You can also throw a “Hello” or “Goodbye” in there.

Don’t sigh, vous en êtes capable !

English French IPA Note/context
Good luck! Bonne chance ! bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə !
Good luck my friend. Bonne chance, mon ami(e). bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə, mõn‿ ami(ɛ).
I wish you success. Je vous/te souhaite de réussir. ʒə vus/tə suɛtə də ɾeysiɾ.
Good luck and best wishes. Bonne chance et meilleurs voeux. bɔnə ʃɑ̃se mɛjœɾ vø.
Good luck on your test. Bonne chance pour ton/votre examen. bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə puɾ tɔn/vɔtɾ ɛgzamɛ̃.
Good luck in your search. Bonne chance dans ta/votre recherche. bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə dɑ̃ ta/vɔtɾə ɾəʃɛɾʃə.
Good luck tomorrow! Bonne chance demain ! bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə dəmɛ̃ !
Break a leg! Merde ! mɛɾdə ! Very informal/slang - see dedicated section below
Fingers crossed! Je croise les doigts ! ʒə kɾwazəle dwa !
Knocking on wood! Je touche du bois ! ʒə tuʃə dybwɑ ! Informal
I wish you good luck! Je vous/te souhaite bonne chance ! ʒə vus/tə suɛtə bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə !
May the force be with you. Que la force soit avec toi/vous. kə la fɔɾsə swat‿ avɛk twa/vu.
May luck be with you. Que la chance vous/t’accompagne. kə la ʃɑ̃sə vus/takõpaɲə.
I hope you get lucky. J'espère que vous aurez/tu auras de la chance. ʒɛspɛɾə kə vuz‿ ɔɾɛz/ty ɔɾa də la ʃɑ̃sə.
I hope you’ll be fortunate. J’espère que tu auras de la veine. ʒɛspɛɾə kə ty ɔɾa də la vɛnə. Informal
I wish you good fortune. Je vous souhaite bonne fortune. ʒə vu suɛtə bɔnə fɔɾtynə. Formal/old school
Good luck for the future. Bonne chance pour la suite. bɔnə ʃɑ̃sə puɾ la sɥitə.
Good courage! Bon courage ! bõ kuɾaʒə ! Used for “good luck” and not really for “courage”
Courage! Courage ! kuɾaʒə ! Used for “good luck” and not really for “courage”
Good luck in your future endeavors. Bonne continuation. bɔnə kõtinɥasjõ. French people love this one. It’s very versatile, you can also use it in emails.
All the best. Je vous/te souhaite beaucoup de réussite. ʒə vus/tə suɛtə boku də ɾeysitə.
May luck smile on you Que la chance vous/te sourie. kə la ʃɑ̃sə vus/tə suɾjə.
I hope all goes well. J’espère que tout se passera bien. ʒɛspɛɾə kə tu sə pasəɾa bjɛ̃.
I hope luck will be on your side. J’espère que la chance sera de votre/ton côté. ʒɛspɛɾə kə la ʃɑ̃sə səɾa də vɔtɾɛ/tõ kote.

Words of encouragement in French

Wake up the cheerleader in you with the following words of encouragement in French!

Wishing your friend good luck in French.

Here are a few concrete examples in different situations.

When your friend is studying for a test

  • Bonne chance pour ton examen !
    Good luck on your exam!
  • Je t’enverrai des ondes positives!
    I’ll send you good vibes!

When your friend is starting a brand new job

  • Bonne chance pour ton nouvel emploi !
    Good luck on your new job!
  • Bonne chance pour ton premier jour !
    Good luck on your first day!

When your friend is negotiating a promotion

  • Bonne chance pour ta promotion !
    Good luck on your promotion!
  • Bonne chance pour ta réunion !
    Good luck on your meeting!

When your friend is going on a date

  • Bonne chance pour ton rencard !
    Good luck on your date!
  • J’espère que ça va marcher !
    Hope it works out!

You can also tell your friends to check out these compliments in French and ways to say I love you in French. Otherwise, check out the comprehensive phrases below.

English French IPA Note/context
You are awesome! Tu es génial(e) ! tyɛ ʒenjal(ɛ) ! Informal
You are going to do great! Tu vas/Vous allez y arriver ! ty vas/vuz‿ alez‿ i arive !
You’ll always be a winner to me. Tu seras toujours un(e) gagnant(e) pour moi. ty səɾa tuʒuɾz‿ yn(ɛ) gaɲɑ̃t(ɛ) puɾ mwa. Informal
I’ll think about you. Je penserai à toi/vous. ʒə pɑ̃səɾe a twa/vu.
I’ll send you good vibes. Je t'enverrai/vous enverrai des ondes positives. ʒə tɑ̃vɛrɛ/vuz‿ ɑ̃vɛredez‿ õdə pozitivə.
You’re up to the challenge. Tu es capable de relever le défi. tyɛ kapablə də ɾələve lə defi. Informal
You’re capable of anything. Tu es capable de tout. tyɛ kapablə də tu. Informal
You’re the best. Tu es le/la meilleur(e). tyɛ lɛ/la mɛjœɾ(ɛ). Informal
I’m rooting for you. Je suis de tout cœur avec toi/vous. ʒə sɥi də tu kœɾ avɛk twa/vu.
I know you can do it. Je sais que tu en es capable. ʒə se kə tyɑ̃n‿ɛ kapablə. Informal
Do your best. Fais de ton mieux. fe də tõ mjø. Informal
I believe in you. Je crois en toi. ʒə kɾwaz‿ɑ̃ twa. Informal
I’m proud of you. Je suis fier/fière de toi. ʒə sɥi fjɛɾ/fjɛɾə də twa. Informal
Be strong. Sois fort(e). swa fɔɾt(ɛ). Informal
The most important thing is not winning but taking part. L’ important n'est pas de gagner mais de participer. l ɛ̃pɔɾtɑ̃ nɛ pa də gaɲe me də paɾtisipe. Quote from Pierre de Coubertin
I wish you all the happiness in the world. Je te/vous souhaite tout le bonheur du monde. ʒə tɛ/vu suɛtə tu lə bɔnœɾ dy mõdə.
It will all work out. Tout ira bien. tut‿ iɾa bjɛ̃.
Everything will go well. Tout va bien se passer. tu va bjɛ̃ sə pase.
You’ll do just fine. Tu vas très bien t’en sortir. ty va tɾe bjɛ̃ tɑ̃ sɔɾtiɾ. Informal
You’re the king of the world. Woohoo! Tu es le roi du monde. Youhou ! tyɛ lə ɾwa dy mõdə. juu ! Thanks Jack Dawson.
You made it this far, keep going! Tu es arrivé(e) jusqu'ici, continue ! tyɛz‿ arive(ɛ) ʒyskisi, kõtinɥə ! Informal
You deserve it. Tu le mérites/Vous le méritez. ty lə meɾitɛs/vu lə meɾite.
Give everything you have! Donne-toi à fond ! dɔnə-twa a fõ ! Informal
Go for it! Fonce ! fõsə ! Informal
You’re a champion! T’es un(e) champion(ne) ! tɛz‿ yn(ɛ) ʃɑ̃pjɔn(nɛ) ! Informal

Why do French people say “merde” for good luck?

Why people say merde for good luck in French.

You might know the word “merde.” And if not, it’s not exactly a pretty word. Literally, it means “crap”. But French people use it in all kinds of situations, basically like our dear “F word” in English. You’ll understand how versatile it is with these colorful examples.

And believe it or not, it’s also used to wish someone good luck! That’s right, if you want to sound French, wish “merde”, or even “beaucoup de merde”, to your friend!

But why on earth would you wish crap to someone, you might ask? Well, you might know that in theater, it’s bad luck to wish good luck. Go figure. Anyway, this is why English speakers use “break a leg”.

And “merde”? It goes back to the days when people would come to theater performances in a carriage. The more carriages that came, the more popular the play was. And of course, more carriages mean more… horse excrement.

So, in other words, the amount of “merde” indicated the success of the play.

And if you want to thank your friend for wishing you a lot of crap — friends are wonderful — you can learn different ways to say thank you in French.

With all the luck packed in this article, you’ll be able to face any black cat, Friday the 13th or ladder that comes your way.

And just because we love our readers, here is some magical extra luck for you.

We only have one more thing to say: Bonne chance avec votre français !

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