Conversational French

Le français de la conversation courante

Conversational French
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It’s an unfortunate reality that the French you learn in school is not at all the same language as what you encounter when speaking to people in real life. The foundations are the same of course, but 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.

Idiomatic Expressions

Idioms, or idiomatic expressions, often consist of words that make no sense when you consider their literal meaning. It’s important to study and memorize idiomatic expressions because you’ll hear them constantly. This site has detailed lessons on hundreds of French idioms (with a new one added every Friday): Lawless French expressions.

Also, take a listen to these audio articles featuring lots of idioms:

Informal French

Speaking like a native means loosening up your grammar – just a little bit. Here are some key areas to help you speak and understand informal French:

Pronunciation

By now you should be familiar with required liaisons, as in vous êtes. To improve your French conversations, you need to spend some time on optional liaisons, using them or not as the register of your conversation dictates.

Same deal for the e instable: knowing the rules for its optional pronunciation will help you speak more like the natives do.

French Conversations

To help you in your effort to speak and understand French as it’s actually spoken, here are some audio files and videos that feature conversational French, whether in the form of a news report, interview, phone call, commercial transaction, or friendly chat. Just click any link to access the audio or video with transcript and translation. (Explanation of levels)

Level A1
Cher journal   Entretien avec un vampire
     
Level A2
Dans les coulisses du Moulin Rouge   Équipe de France Paralympique 2018
Hajj   Il y a un monstre sous mon lit !
Un mauvais numéro   Mon répondeur
Petit Ours Brun fait des crêpes   Le Salon du chocolat
     
Level B1
6 juin 1944 : voyage à travers le temps   À quoi ça sert de recycler ses déchets ?
Au Restaurant de la Plage   Les bouchons, plaie de la route des vacances
Les cours d’anglais – Gad Elmaleh   Devant un match de foot
Divali à Vancouver   Dix pour cent : la bonne recette
Marie Curie  (children speaking)   Menton’s Lemon Festival
Nutella : bousculades, pagaille   On va camper ce weekend
Quand je serai grand  (children)   Rosh Hashana
Soirée d’Halloween    
     
Level B2
Allô les urgences vétérinaires ?   Les animaux en vacances
Au secours ! Je n’ai plus internet !   Autumn at the Landerneau market
Beaujolais nouveau   Le DELF-DALF en témoignages
Fête de la musique : Jack Lang   Fête des Lumières à Lyon
Les Français vus par les étrangers   Halloween in France
Héritage de Johnny Hallyday   Hommage à Louis de Funès
Taxi !    
     
Level C1
Festival des cerfs-volants   Omar Sy – Interview Cinéma
La Saint-Valentin   Le ski – Têtes à Claques
Vendée Globe   Very Low Cost Airlines
Visite de Marseille    

 Also try out Ilini, which adds a dictionary, transcript, and translation to "real-life French" videos.

Dictées

If you’re subscribed to Premium Progress with Lawless French, you can get a more intense conversational French workout with dictation exercises.

Level A1

Level A2

Level B1

Level B2

Level C1

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Conversational French

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