Are you ever in a situation on the phone, in which you have a French-speaking caller on the line and you can’t understand each other at all? Or you are calling a place of business in Canada or Morocco, and you did not expect that the person on the other line would not speak a word of English?
This is a situation that my clients deal with all the time, and that is when they call an interpreter at Language Line to help overcome the language barrier… But here is a very important expression to use in that situation:
// Ne quittez pas ! // Please hold!
I have even learned to say this in Spanish, because so often when I introduce myself as the French interpreter, I hear: « No francés… I need e-spanish!! ». I learned to say: « No cuelgue por favor! » (Please hold)… « Buscamos un intérprete de español. ¡Un momento, Señora! » (We are looking for a Spanish interpreter. One moment madam!)…
You can also use:
Restez en ligne s’il vous plaît Monsieur/ Madame! // Please stay on the line/ hold the line, Sir/ Ma’am!
Un instant, je dois mettre l’appel en attente! // One moment, I need to put the call on hold!
Ne quittez pas s’il vous plaît, je cherche quelqu’un qui parle (le) français! // Please hold the line, I am looking for someone who speaks French!
Attendez! // Wait!
Un moment! // One moment!
I hope that helps and in a crunch, try and speak slowly and clearly to find out what the person needs before you can put them in touch with the right person/ language…