Le français de la conversation courante
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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.
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):
Also, take a listen to these audio articles featuring lots of idioms:
- Histoire d’animaux (idioms with animals)
- Histoires d’argent (idioms about money)
- La main dans le sac (general idioms)
- Romance au marché (food idioms)
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:
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.
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)
Also try out Lawless French Immersion, which adds a dictionary, transcript, and translation to "real-life French" videos.
If you’re subscribed to Premium Progress with Lawless French, you can get a more intense conversational French workout with dictation exercises.
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