Where are you from in French: How to ask appropriately & reply

One of the things I enjoy the most about traveling is meeting new people. On the plane, at a restaurant and even in a store, there are always opportunities to meet cool people from all over the globe and practice languages at the same time.

So, if you’d like to practice your French skills when you travel, here is a useful article to learn “Where are you from?” in French, and how to answer.

Combine it with “Hello in French” and “Introduce oneself in French” for the perfect conversation starter!

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Where are you from in French.

How do I say “Where are you from?” in French

Speaking of starters, let’s start this article the right way. In French, the most common way to say “Where are you from” is “D’où venez-vous” (formal) or “D’où viens-tu” (informal). While it’s not as commonly used as in English, it’s a wonderful way to show interest and make some new friends.

To ask someone where are you from in French, is a wonderful way to show interest and make new friends.

In the table below, you’ll find a few alternatives to enquire about somebody’s home country.

English French IPAContext
Where are you from?D'où venez-vous ? OR D’où êtes-vous ?du vəne-vu ? ɔɾ du ɛtə-vu ?
Where were you born?Où êtes-vous né(e) ?u ɛtə-vu ne(ɛ) ?
Which part of the world did you grow up in?Dans quelle partie du monde avez-vous grandi ?dɑ̃ kɛlə paɾtjə dy mõd ave-vu gɾɑ̃di ?
Where did you grow up?Où avez-vous grandi ?u ave-vu gɾɑ̃di ?
Where do you live?Où habitez-vous ?u abite-vu ?
Where is home for you?Où vous sentez-vous chez vous ?u vu sɑ̃te-vu ʃe vu ?Not a very common question in French, but could be helpful if you don’t want to directly ask for someone’s nationality
Your accent is beautiful, where is it from?Quel bel accent, d'où vient-il ?kɛl bɛl akə, du vjət‿-il ?
Your French is amazing, where are you from?Votre français est excellent, d'où êtes-vous ?vɔtɾə fɾansɛz‿ɛt‿ ɛkssɛlə, du ɛtə-vu ?
What is your country of residence?Quel est votre pays de résidence ?kɛlɛ vɔtɾəpei də ɾezidɑ̃sə ?
Were you born and raised in France?Vous êtes né(e) et avez grandi en France ?vuz‿ ɛtə ne(ɛ)et‿ ave gɾɑ̃diɑ̃ fɾɑ̃sə ?
What culture do you identify with?A quelle culture vous identifiez-vous ?a kɛlə kyltyɾə vuz‿ idɑ̃tifje-vu ?Not a very common question in French, but could be helpful if you don’t want to directly ask for someone’s nationality
What is your nationality?Quelle est votre nationalité ?kɛlɛ vɔtɾə natjɔnalite ?
Where have you lived?Où avez-vous vécu ?u ave-vu veky ?
What part of France are you from?De quelle région de France êtes-vous ?də kɛlə ɾeʒjõ də fɾɑ̃s ɛtə-vu ?Very common between French who can identify different French accents
What brings you here?Qu'est-ce qui vous amène ?kɛ-sə ki vuz‿ amɛnə ?
Are you visiting?Vous êtes de passage ?vuz‿ ɛtə də pasaʒə ?
Are you on vacation?Vous êtes en vacances ?vuz‿ ɛtəz‿ɑ̃ vakɑ̃sə ?
What is your country of origin?Quel est votre pays d’origine ? OR D’où êtes-vous originaire ?kɛlɛ vɔtɾəpei dɔɾiʒinə ? ɔɾ du ɛtə-vuz‿ ɔɾiʒinɛɾə ?
Are you French?Êtes- vous français(e) ?aɾ ju fɾɑ̃ʃ?

How to respond to where are you from

Of course, if you ask somebody “Where were you born” in French or “Where are you from” in French, they’ll most likely return the question. Prepare yourself with the answers below!

Note from the author: Some of these answers are based on personal experience. Can you guess which ones? :-)

EnglishFrench (Singular)IPA
I was born and raised in France, although now I live in Italy.Je suis né(e) et j'ai grandi en France, mais je vis maintenant en Italie.ʒə sɥi ne(ɛ)e ʒe gɾɑ̃diɑ̃ fɾɑ̃sə, me ʒə vi mɛ̃tənɑ̃t‿ɑ̃n‿ italjə.
I’m from Montreal, and you?Je suis de Montréal, et vous ?ʒə sɥi də mõtɾeal,e vu ?
I was born in Spain, and moved to South Africa when I was three.Je suis né(e) en Espagne, et j'ai déménagé en Afrique du Sud quand j'avais trois ans.ʒə sɥi ne(ɛ)ɑ̃n‿ ɛspaɲə,e ʒe demenaʒeɑ̃n‿ afɾikə dy sy kɑ̃ ʒavetɾwɑz‿ ɑ̃.
I’m American, what about you?Je suis américain(e), et vous ?ʒə sɥiz‿ ameɾikɛn(ɛ),e vu ?
Oh, I’m French, can you tell by my accent?Oh, je suis français(e), ça s’entend à mon accent ?o, ʒə sɥi fɾansɛs(ɛ), sa sɑ̃tɑ̃d‿ a mõn‿ akə ?
I grew up in the UK.J'ai grandi au Royaume-Uni.ʒe gɾɑ̃di o ɾwajom-yni.
I live in Finland.Je vis en Finlande.ʒə viz‿ɑ̃ fɛ̃lɑ̃də.
I was born and raised in Texas, and I live there at the moment.Je suis né(e) et j'ai grandi au Texas, et j’y habite actuellement.ʒə sɥi ne(ɛ)e ʒe gɾɑ̃di o təgza,e ʒi abit aktœləmə.
I was born in the US but have been living in Europe for 10 years, so I feel more European.Je suis né(e) aux États-Unis mais je vis en Europe depuis 10 ans, donc je me sens plus européen(ne).ʒə sɥi ne(ɛ) ox‿ etaz‿-yni me ʒə viz‿ɑ̃n‿ œɾɔpə dəpɥi 10 ɑ̃, dõk ʒə mə sɛ̃ plyz‿ œɾɔpeɛn(nɛ).
I lived in 5 different countries: Sweden, Spain, the US, France and the Dominican Republic.J'ai vécu dans 5 pays : la Suède, l'Espagne, les États-Unis, la France et la République dominicaine.ʒe veky dɑ̃ 5pei : la sɥɛdə, lɛspaɲə,lez‿ etaz‿-yni, la fɾɑ̃se la ɾepyblikə dɔminikɛnə.
I’m American, and I’m visiting my relatives in France.Je suis américain(e) et je rends visite à ma famille en France.ʒə sɥiz‿ ameɾikɛn(ɛ)e ʒə ɾɑ̃ vizit a ma famijɑ̃ fɾɑ̃sə.
I’m from New York, and I’m on vacation in Provence.Je suis de New York et je suis en vacances en Provence.ʒə sɥi də nɛww‿ jɔɾkk‿e ʒə sɥiz‿ɑ̃ vakɑ̃səz‿ɑ̃ pɾɔvɑ̃sə.
I’m from the US, but I love cheese and bread so much I wish I were French.Je suis américain(e) mais j'aime tellement le fromage et le pain que j'aimerais être français(e).ʒə sɥiz‿ ameɾikɛn(ɛ) me ʒɛmə tɛləmə lə fɾɔmaʒe lə pɛ̃ kə ʒɛməɾɛz‿ ɛtɾə fɾansɛs(ɛ).
I’m French, with Italian origins.Je suis français(e) d’origine italienne.ʒə sɥi fɾansɛs(ɛ) dɔɾiʒin italjɛnə.
I’m from Moclus, but I work onboard the Orville.Je viens de Moclus mais je travaille à bord de l’Orville.ʒə vjɛ̃ də mɔkly me ʒə tɾavaj a bɔɾ də lɔɾvijə.

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Nationality, a touchy topic?

My American friends explained to me that asking where someone is from in the US can be offensive to some people, since most immigrants consider themselves Americans. In France, it’s not such a touchy topic, but people rarely enquire about other people’s nationality.

If you’re unsure about asking where someone is from, I’d say it depends on the context. Bringing attention to someone’s foreign accent could potentially be offensive if they’re trying their best to speak like a local — this French slang list will help you with that. However, if you’re in an international/travel context, for example, on a plane or at a tourist site, this should not be a problem. And a big smile always helps!

If someone enquires about your nationality and you don’t feel like answering, you can always use my favorite answer: Je suis citoyenne du monde. Sometimes, I also answer: Je suis européenne. Check out this hilarious video for more creative answers (in English)!

Tip: You can also use the flattering “Are you from France/the US…?” or “Are you French/American…?”, to pretend that you think they are locals even if they clearly aren’t.

Travellers start a conversation in French.

Notre vraie nationalité est l’humanité

No matter where you’re from, traveling and learning languages will shape you into a citizen of the world.

We hope this French vocab will help you to meet fascinating new people from all over the francophone world and beyond!

As Herbert George Wells wisely said: “Notre vraie nationalité est l’humanité”. (Our true nationality is humanity).

By the way, we’d love to hear where you’re reading this from. Let us know on Facebook!

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