View Comments

Police have identified two people involved in an ugly racist rant on a Melbourne bus, in which a French tourist was told to 'speak English or die'.

A man and woman have been identified from a video showing passengers verbally abusing Fanny Desaintjores, 22, and her friends on board a bus in the city's southern suburbs.

Police are calling on Victorians to help identify others in the footage, which sparked outrage both in Australia and overseas after it went viral on video sharing website YouTube.

"Police have spoken with a woman believed to be one of the victims however we are still appealing for anyone who was on the bus to come forward," police said in a statement on Friday.

No charges have yet been laid, and police have not released details about the pair's identity.

Ms Desaintjores told Fairfax she feared she would be physically assaulted by fellow passengers, who called her a dog, bi**ch, and a c*** and threatened to cut off her breasts, after she and her mates sang a song in their native tongue.

"I thought he was joking at first and then I realised he wasn't kidding at all, so my friends and I stopped laughing. We were quite afraid that he [would come] and hit us," she said.

Caught on camera: Man allegedly hurls abuse at French girls singing on a Melbourne bus. Photo: YouTube screenshot

She said she had not experienced any similar demonstrations of hatred during a three-month trip to Australia.

"It was an incident that could happen anywhere, even in France, so I don't judge you in any country," she wrote on YouTube in response to the video.

"We find idiots everywhere, even in France."

Ms Desaintjores said she couldn't quite understand what the abusers were saying, but she wanted to keep quiet so as not to escalate the situation.

She believed the incident had more to do with drugs and alcohol than being an example of Australian attitudes towards foreigners.

"I don't want to fuel hatred or anything," she wrote.

Three people caught on camera allegedly abusing a group of French tourists. Photo: YouTube screenshot

The incident began when Ms Desaintjores and her friends were singing a French song on the bus, said Mike Nayna, another passenger who recorded the video footage on his phone.

A female passenger began chanting "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie", before another person shouted at her to "speak English or die", he said.

Mr Nayna, who describes himself as brown, also said that a man starting ranting at him about hating black people when he asked the passengers to calm down.

"He said darkies should be kept at the back of the bus where they belong, before repeatedly yelling ' I hate blacks'," Mr Nayna said.

One of the men shouting abuse at the French women got off the bus pushing a pram and child.

"I'll f***ing boxcutter you right now, dog," he had shouted at her.

Another man then joined in and said everyone on the bus wanted to kill her and she "would have to get off eventually".

The footage has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube.