How To Introduce Yourself In Spoken French

If you want to speak French fluently and accurately, you have to pay attention to many little subtleties. Here is a look at how to introduce yourself in French.

When listening to newscasts on the radio, you might hear a sentence like this:

Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs. Ici Pierre Landry. Voici les informations nationales et internationales.

(Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Pierre Landry. This is the national and international news.)

This “ici + name” construction is often used in telephone conversations, as in:

Bonjour, ici le bureau du notaire Pierre Simon, je voudrais parler à Madame Billard.
(Good morning, this is the office of  Notary Pierre Simon, I would like to speak with Ms Billard?)

This interesting thing about ici + name is that it used only when speaker is far away from the audience. You would never introduce yourself this way in front of a live audience.

In this case, you would use the verb s’appeler, as in:

Bonsoir, je m’appelle Jessica Guéant. Je vous souhaite la bienvenue à ce concert spécial.
(Good evening. I’m Jessica Guéant. I would like to welcome you to this special concert.)

You will also hear in France the verb se prénommer when introducint the first name, as in:

Bonjour, je me prénomme Pierre.

I should point out here that English-speakers tend to use the following constructions:

Mon nom est Jessica Guéant
Je suis Jessica Guéant.

While these are grammatically correct and are becoming widespread, some people think that they are somewhat improper translations from English. I would recommend the “je m’appelle…” construction.

That said, there are certainly situations where a construction like “son nom est + name” or “c’est + name” are perfectly acceptable, as in:

–C’est qui ? (Who is it?)
–C’est Pierre. (It’s Pierre.)

–Quel est son nom? (What is his name?)
–Pierre Landry.
–Ça (ne) me dit rien.(It doesn’t ring a bell.)

Introducing your profession

While we are looking at how to introduce oneself, it is worth pointing out that French uses an interesting construction when presenting a person’s profession. Typically, the article is omitted where English requires one. Consider these examples:

Je suis étudiant. (I’m a student.)
Micheline est musicienne. (Micheline is a musician.)
Elle est traductrice et avocate. (She is a translator and an attorney.)
François est ingénieur. (François is an engineer.)

Again, it would be stylistically incorrect but  not grammatically wrong to say:

Je suis un étudiant.
François est un ingénieur.

But this rule changes when other elements are added to the sentence. For example, one would say:

François est un ingénieur de renommée internationale. (François is a world-renowned engineer.)

Stanley Aléong is a polyglot, author, musician and language coach in French, English and Spanish. He likes to share his passion for languages and believes that anybody can learn to speak a foreign language well with the right methods and tools. He has also invented a cool visual learning tool called the Language Wall Chart Calendar that is based on his own learning experience. Reach him at

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