Ways of saying “you're welcome” in French
After someone says “merci beaucoup”, I would like to respond by saying something equivalent to the English phrase “no problem”. I tried google translate, and it gave me “Pas de problème”, but I'm not so sure this is correct. Is it correct? Are there other informal ways of expressing “you're welcome”?
There are a few main ways to say "you're welcome" in French:
- Je vous en prie / Je t'en prie
I feel this is a little more formal than the others, but is the canonical French response to "thank you". In some sense, it can be equivalent to "don't worry about it".
- Pas de problème
Google translate was right. It is widely used, it's informal and it likely comes from English in the first place.
- De rien
This phrase likely comes from the Spanish de nada. Rien means "nothing", so it could be somewhat analogous to "don't give it a second thought". But shorter and more informal.
Used in Canada, this is the literal translation of "welcome". In other French-speaking countries, it would likely not be understood. This use of bienvenue is an anglicism; its correct use is mostly one of greeting or of appreciation, like when you say, for example, that relief is welcomed.
If we come to regional languages, let's add one we hear in Lorraine, mainly from older people : *Service !*
_Service !_ is very common in the french part of Switzerland also, and not only from older people...
@rds 'Pas de problème' n'est pas un anglicisme. 'Bienvenue' par contre en est clairement un.
@RomainVALERI: Service means at your service, it means that people that said that has to be at service; for instance a barman to a customer, isn't it?
@clement No, in this case, it can be used regardless of any relationship between the locutors (if informal speech is admitted, I mean). It's a real substitute for *de rien* even if its apparent etymology would make you think otherwise.