Baby Talk

French baby talk
French has quite a bit of "baby talk" or "kiddie speak" - words and expressions which are typically used by children or when talking to children. Even if you don't talk to kids in French, this informal language is important to recognize, as baby talk can also be found in jokes and in conversations with friends.

   

Conversational French

Conversational FrenchThe French you learn in school is not at all the same language as what you encounter when speaking to people in real life - there are all kinds of shortcuts, informalities, and other differences that you need to be familiar with in order to carry on a conversation. Check out some resources that focus on how French is actually spoken.

   

Essential French

Essential French phrases
Knowing just a few key words and phrases can be very helpful in your French classes, while traveling in France, and everywhere in between.

   

   

French-Speaking Countries

French speaking countriesThough it's named for the roughly hexagonally shaped country in Western Europe, the French language extends far beyond the borders of France, in myriad and frankly confusing ways.

   

Homestay Immersion

Learn French in FranceWant to learn French in France? Immersion is the key, and the Homestay Immersion experience is a great option, with both professional tutoring and informal interactions with your French host family around the dinner table. In addition, you'll be in France and can therefore speak French around town, watch French TV and movies, and explore every aspect of French culture. It's true immersion, for any level.

Informal Negation

Informal French negationThe rule is that to make a French verb negative, you need ne in front of the verb and pas after it. The reality of how the French speak says otherwise.

   

Informal Pronunciation

Informal French pronunciationAs if normal French pronunciation weren't hard enough, informal French pronunciation introduces a whole new set of issues, with many sounds being dropped or changed. Here are the potential problem areas.

   

   

   

On the Phone

French phone formulas
Talking on the phone can be trickier than face-to-face conversations, for a couple of reasons. The lack of gestures and facial expressions means there are no visual hints to help you understand, plus there's something about the phone that makes certain sounds more difficult to distinguish. Knowing some standard phone formulas will help your brain fill in any comprehension gaps.

   

   

Quand même

Quand même - French expression
You're not really going to pass up the opportunity to learn how to use this French expression, quand même.

   

Reported Speech

French reported speechA large part of communicating has to do with reporting what other people have said. This grammatical grapevine comes in two varieties: direct speech and indirect speech.