The Keys To Speaking Conversational French

My travel papers for my French escapade are all set! I’ve read French history and culture in the public library and over the Internet. I’ve also acquainted myself with a few French cuisines I plan to try when I get there. The only thing I’m worried about now is how to act around French people. That is why I decided to learn conversational French before I fly to France.

I  didn’t want to buy another language book, like I did when I went to Korea, unless I’m pretty sure I’d be back there. Instead, I checked the ever reliable Internet for crash courses on French language only to realize that I don’t need to get one to survive my first trip to France. For now, I only need to learn conversational French to gear me up which I can get online for free! I now know a few basic phrases such as “Qui” for “Yes” and “Non” for “No” as well as “Merci” for “Thank you.” I now know how and when to say “Bonjour,” “Bonsoir,” and “Bonne nuit” – for “Good morning,” “Good evening,” and “Good night,” respectively.

See it’s not really difficult to learn conversational French. The most challenging part is learning the pronunciation which is way different from how we articulate and phonate English words. I mean, the phrase “Excusez-moi” for “Excuse me” is not syllabicated like the way we will pronounce this if it’s an English phrase. That’s why learning conversational French needs to be done orally. Good thing some websites also provide audio samples for us to know how a phrase sounds like.

The key in basic spoken French is imitation. That’s what I’ve been doing every day to practice the very few conversational phrases I learned while browsing the Internet. I really don’t need to learn much. I just needed to know what to tell people the moment I step out of the airport or if ever I get lost in urban France only to find myself drinking beer in some unknown tavern in Paris which is actually how I want it to be. I just really need to know a few phrases I can easily blurt out even if I’m intoxicated so I can ask Francois or Pierre how to get back to my hotel room alive.

Another thing about the French language is the fact that learning how to speak French doesn’t equate to understanding spoken French. I tried to watch a few French films with subtitle and realized that French people can really talk so fast I couldn’t catch up! Good thing I was able to hear my “Comment allez-vous?” and “Je vais bien, merci” before the movie ends.

Then again the best way to practice my French is to use it in actual conversation. What I did is logged on to French chat rooms and befriended a few French bilinguals with whom I got the chance to converse using my messenger’s PC-to-PC call features. I told them where I was lodging so they can pick me up for that most awaited French night out! Having said that, I think I’m all geared up. La France, ici je viens!
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