The moment your feet touch French territory, you might suddenly realize that all the French words you memorized
earlier have escaped you, and your mind is suddenly blank. When you find your brain suddenly blank and your
tongue suddenly tied in the midst of French territory, here are a few quick phrases that will be sure to save the day.
A Quick Fix
The phrase that will definitely save the day immediately would be:
Does anyone speak English? Which, in French is: Y a-t-il qulequ’un qui parle anlais? You can also opt for the shorter version which is: Do you speak English or Parles’tu anglais? For a more formal version, say: Parlez-vous anglais?
When someone reaches out and talks suddenly to you in a barrage of French words and you don’t understand, say:
Non, je ne comprends pas. If you do understand, say: Je comprends.
Hey Let’s Talk About The Weather
Naturally while in French territory you do want to talk about something and what better topic is there than to talk about the weather?
Luckily, when the topic is the weather, it does not take too many French words to make you sound fluent. If the weather is cold, all you need to say is: il fait froid, which means exactly that. If the opposite is true and it is hot, then say: il fait chaud. When it is foggy you can say: il y a du brouillard. When it is windy, say il y a du vent. When snow is in the horizon then you can express this by saying that it’s snowing, or, il neige. Talking about the weather in just a few words is a great way to get strangers to agree with you and open up a conversation.
This is also perfect for new French-speakers that want to practice their general conversation skills. For braver souls that want to show that they know French lingo better than most, then you can go ahead and say il pleut des cordes, which is the French version of saying it’s raining cats and dogs. In French territory, however, this phrase literally means that it’s raining ropes, which is their version of cats and dogs. Naturally, you do want to match the actual weather to the right phrase.
Regardless of how long you plan to stay within French territory, knowing a few handy question words such as our
version of how, when or where will always come in handy. This is particularly true when you don’t have a human
translator anywhere near you. Since you will most likely be buying stuff, knowing how to ask for the price of anything is a good idea. Say: Combien ça coûte? When asking how much an item is. If you are wondering what time the train leaves, say Quand part le train? No matter what other French lessons teach you first perhaps the most important question would be to know where the toilet is and to find out all you need to say is Ou sont les toilettes? Which literally means Where are the toilets.
Learning French for beginners does not have to be complicated. Like all things, taking baby steps is the key to success. French language lessons are available everywhere and finding what works for you might be as simple as 1-2-3.
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