Skip to Content

la Californie: How to say and pronounce California in French

la Californie: How to say and pronounce California in French

Throughout my 10+ years of teaching French, students have often expressed confusion on how to say and pronounce “California”. In French, California is la Californie. Today I’ll explain the correct pronunciation of Californie as well as which prepositions to use for the state (in California, to California, etc.).

la Californie


Listen to this lesson’s podcast!


The pronunciation of California in French is: Kah-lee-for-nee [kalifɔʀni].

Example sentences

This first example senence is an example of the French superlative (the most). This lesson covers the pronunciaiton of les États-Unis (the United States).

la Californie est l’état le plus peuplé des États-Unis.

California is the most populated state in the United States.

To express “going to” California use the preposition en as California is a feminine state in French. Use en for the verbs être (to be), voyager (to travel) and habiter (to live). Hence, je suis en Californie (I’m in California), je voyage en Californie (I’m traveling to/in California) and j’habite en Californie (I live in California).

Je vais en Californie pour faire du surf.

I’m going to California to go surfing.

When using the verb visiter (to visit), Californie is preceded by the definite feminine article la, meaning “the”.

Je visite la Californie avec toute la famille.

I’m visiting California with the entire family.

To express “coming from” California, the rule is for the la to get omitted in de la. Hence, je viens de Californie (I’m from California).

Paul est originaire de Californie.

Paul is originally from California.


Et voilà ! You now know how to say California in French! These two posts are related to today’s lesson and should be helpful: How to say the names of the 50 states in French and French prepositions for places.

Je vais en Californie. I’m going to California.

Sharing is caring!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by