Bon appétit !

“Enjoy your meal”

The French expression bon appétit is everywhere in France. Regardless of whether you’ll be eating together and even when there’s no food in sight, in big cities and small villages and at the park and on the plane, any time you talk to a French person around mealtime, it’s polite to say bon appétit.

Please note that it’s pronounced “boh nah pay tee” — the final t is silent.

English speakers, especially Francophiles, often say bon appétit in French, as the literal translation — “good appetite” — doesn’t make much sense, and “enjoy your meal” is missing a certain je ne sais quoi.

Speakers of other European languages stick to literal equivalents that sound much more idiomatic:

Catalan — Bon profit
Corsican — Bon appetitu
German — Guten Appetit
Italian — Buon appetito
Latvian — Labu apetīti
Occitan — Bon apetís
Portuguese — Bom apetite
Romanian — Poftă bună
Spanish — Buen apetito or Buen provecho.

If you found this lesson helpful, please ♥ below. Merci !

Originally published at on September 23, 2016.

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