In the book "Teach Yourself French Vocabulary" by Noël Saint-Thomas, she (I always thought Noel was a man's name, but apparently not) says Good luck: The literal translation of this phrase is 'bonne chance'. However, it is considered to bring bad luck if one actually says it! To wish someone good luck in French, one says 'Merde!' ...! I would just like to confirm that this is really done by the French before I start wishing people a friendly « Merde ! ». Alan Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one. See also Bon Courage and dire merde (bonne chance).