English: With service to Quebec City (City names in French)
French: À destination de Québec
For the most part, city names in French are written and pronounced similarly as they are in English, albeit with a French accent. Examples include cities like Calgary, Halifax, New York, Edmonton, Winnipeg, San Francisco, etc.
Sometimes, the spelling stays more or less the same, but the French pronunciation differs a bit more compared to the English pronunciation. Examples include Toronto, Vancouver, Miami, Séoul, Chicago etc.
There are many cities that have their own French pronunciations. The spelling might even be different. Some names may originally be French names and therefore must be pronounced as such in French.
“Montréal” is one of the largest French-speaking cities outside of France and must be pronounced using its French pronunciation when you use it in French, not its English pronunciation.
The original French name for “Quebec City” is “Québec”, which is also pronounced slightly differently than how we pronounce “Quebec” in English. You must say “à destination de Québec’’ and not ‘’à destination de Quebec City’’, which is very incorrect, and unfortunately, used by some of our colleagues who are still trying to learn French.
Similarly, “Mexico City” in French is simply “Mexico”. The country Mexico is “Mexique” (m) in French. À destination de Mexico=With service to Mexico City
The original French pronunciation of “Paris” also differs slightly from the English pronunciation.
“New Orleans” (Louisiana) is the English translation of its original French name “La Nouvelle Orléans”, named after the city of Orléans in France. À destination de La Nouvelle Orléans=With service to New Orleans
‘’Brussels’’ (Belgium) is a French-speaking city and its name in French is “Bruxelles”.
‘’Geneva’’ (Switzerland) is the largest city in the French part of Switzerland and its French name is “Genève.”
“London” (United Kingdom) is “Londres” in French. However, “London, Ontario” is just “London, Ontario” in French.
“Los Angeles” (California) is written the same in French and pronounced more or less as you’d expect in European French, but you’ll find that most French Canadians pronounce it differently.
“Warsaw” and “Krakow” (Poland) are “Varsovie” and “Cracovie” respectively in French.
“Barbados” is “Barbade” in French.
“Havana” (Cuba) is “La Havane” in French, as French kept the article “la” (the) from its original Spanish name. À destination de La Havane.
“Bermuda” is “Les Bermudes” in French. À destination des Bermudes.
“Cairo” (Egypt) is “Le Caire” in French, as French kept the article “le” (the) from its original Arabic name. À destination du Caire.
‘’Beijing’’ (China) used to be ‘’Pékin’’ in French, which was closer to how the name of the city was pronounced when it was first introduced to western languages. Nowadays French is opting more and more for just “Beijing”, which is more representative of the name’s current pronunciation.
“Barcelona” (Spain) is “Barcelone” in French.
“Athens” (Greece) is “Athènes” in French.
“Grenada” is “Grenade” in French.
“Philadelphia” is “Philadelphie” in French.
Throughout our Canadian French for Flight Attendants audio course, you’ll have the chance to listen to and practice the French pronunciations of the majority of these aforementioned cities, plus others that we haven’t covered here.
Want to learn to speak the French you need to work as a flight attendant? Learn even more with Canadian French for Flight Attendants.