How to Say Congratulations in French

Valorie Delp
People congratulating each other.

If you are traveling to France, either as a student or on business, you will probably find it necessary to learn how to say congratulations in French. Keep in mind that French culture is much more formal than many English speakers are used to, and it is always appropriate to offer congratulations to a business associate or friend when the event demands it.

How to Say Congratulations in French

The French word for congratulations is félicitations. It is used interchangeably as it would be in English. So for example, if you want to congratulate someone on a promotion, a new baby or just about anything else, félicitations is the word of choice. Of course, there are several other ways to wish others the best when life bestows gifts upon them.

The Verb Féliciter

Just like in English, there is a verb in French that means "to congratulate". Not surprinsingly, the verb is féliciter. To use it in a sentence you might say:

  • Je vous félicite de votre. . .travail, mariage, etc.
  • Je vous félicite pour (quelque chose)

Other Ways to Wish Someone Well in French

If learning how to say congratulations isn't quite enough, there are quite a few ways to wish someone well in French:

  • Bonne chance or Bon courage - Good luck!
  • Tous mes voeux vous accompagnent - Something similar to "I wish you the best."
  • Bonne réussite - Literally translated this means "good success" but it is used similarly to "good luck."
  • Chapeau - This is another informal way of saying congratulations. It would be considered idiomatic and could be similar to the archaic expression "Hats off to you" in English. However, unlike in English, this is not at all obsolete in France.

Wishing someone well or congratulating someone in French is a fairly straightforward affair. When in doubt, don't be afraid to express your heartfelt offerings of warmth - they will be appreciated even if you get the words a little wrong!

How to Say Congratulations in French