How do you say “My name is” in French?
If you want to introduce yourself in French, the most common way to say “My name is” is “Je m’appelle” (Pronunciation: ʒə ma pɛl). The literal meaning of je m’appelle is “I call myself”. In French, there are several other ways of introducing youself which we will cover on this page. Keep reading.
How to pronounce “Je m’appelle”.
The phonetic pronunciation of je m’appelle (my name is in French) is “je mah pell”. Je means “I” in French and the -j has a soft sound slightly similar like the -j in January. This page on Forvo provides several excellent audio samples of je m’appelle from native speakers.
In the following video, online French teacher Vincent teaches how to pronounce je m’appelle using the short sentence, “Bonjour, je m’appelle Jean” (Hello, my name is Jean).
Other ways to introduce yourself in French
In French, there are some other ways to introduce yourself which are slightly less common.
1. Moi, c’est…
A common alternative to say your name is French is structure, moi, c’est + name. The translates literally to “me, it’s…”. Saying your name in this manner is slightly less formal than using the more commonly used je m’appelle. For example:
- Moi, c’est Marc. I’m Marc.
- Moi, c’est Martin. I’m Martin.
2. Je suis…
Another common and easy way to introduce yourself is to simply say, je suis + name. This is slightly less common than je m’appelle but perfectly acceptable. For example:
- Je suis Mélanie. I’m Melanie.
- Je suis Pierre. I’m Pierre.
3. Mon prénom est
In French, prénom means first name. On way to say “my name is” is to say mon prénom est, which translates to “my first name is”. For example:
- Mon prenom est Julie. My first name is Julie.
- Mon prénom est Stéphanie. My first name is Stephanie.
The word nom de famille literally means “name of family” and means last name (or surname). For example:
- Mon sur nom de famille est Dupont. My last name is Dupont.
4. Mes copains m’appellent
Mes copains m’appellent translates literally to “my friends call me”. This is a way of telling somebody that you have a nickname. For example:
- Mes copains m’appellent Lolo. My friends call me Lolo (a nickname for the common French name Laurent).
Interestingly, surnom in French does not mean surname or last name. It means nickname. Hence:
- Mon surnom est Lolo. My nickname is Lolo.
5. Je me présente
A more formal way to introduce yourself is to say, je me présente, which literally means “I introduce myself”. For example:
- Bonjour, je me présente. Je m’appelle Vincent. Hello. I introduce myself. My name is Vincent.
Introducing another person
If you want tell somebody another person’s name, simply say je te/vous présente. For example:
- Je te présente Jacques. This is Jacques (said in informal situation).
- Je vous présente Marie. This is Marie (said in formal situation).
French introductions: Cultural differences
Use the right greeting
The French can be somewhat more formal than English speakers and using the wrong greeting could be perceived as being too forward. This page on our site covers French greetings in detail.
Handshaking vs. la bise
In France, people often introduce themselves with either a handshake or multiple kisses on the cheeks. This is called la bise (the kiss). This page on our site covers la bise in detail.
Saying “nice to meet you”
Just like in English, it’s important to say “nice to meet you”. The most common way of saying “nice to meet you” is enchanté!
This page on our site covers several ways to say nice to meet you in French in both formal and informal situations.
What is your name?
Finally, “What is your name?” in French is Comment vous appelez-vous? This page on our site covers how to ask “What is your name?” in French in detail.
Further your learning
We have known Camille at Frenchtoday.com for many years and love her courses. In her audio course, French Greetings & Politeness, she explains French greetings in detail as well as how to avoid embarrassing situations.