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Vie Française | Finesse your French

Finesse your French: moving beyond French conversation basics – part 2

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So, youve launched your French learning journey and now youre anxious to move beyond the French conversation basics? Congratulations! For part two in our Finesse your French series, well show you how to do just that. Well help you make a solid, workable plan.

At MyFrenchLife™ we understand that frustration may have held you back from launching your French language journey. Maybe you’re still feeling this persistent emotion as you try to move forward.

So, we promise to stick by your side to help you engage your frustration and overcome it!


How to find your strategy for success: French conversation basics

MyFrenchLife.org - My French Life™ - French conversation basics - Finesse your French - Moving beyond the basics - chatting

The good news is that your journey is now underway. And once you have a plan in place, you’ll start to feel more confident as you see your personal learning strategy developing.

In part 1 of this series, we looked at individual learning styles and preferred methods for language learning. And, of course, looking outside the box is always helpful as you find what works for you.

Now, it’s time to dive into the most critical part of ‘getting by’ – French conversation basics!

How to start a French conversation – easy but unusual

It’s never too early to start speaking French.

Even at this stage, remember to practise your spoken French as often as you can — speak to yourself.

Yes, out loud!

Tell yourself about your day. Or, you can keep it simple and just name the things around you. You might feel crazy, but it works and helps you to move beyond the French conversation basics.

The next challenge is to have a conversation with a real person. For those of us not lucky enough to have a close Francophone friend, Conversation Exchange promises to match you up with native speakers in your area! For those who prefer a more traditional approach, exercises to help with French conversation basics are easy to find online or as printable PDFs.

How to sound French – authentic accent and slang

Does the idea of meeting native French speakers intimidate you?

MyFrenchLife.org - My French Life™ - French conversation basics - Finesse your French - Moving beyond the basics - conversation exchange

Concerned your beginner level French accent might be an embarrassment?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Check out our comprehensive guide to sounding French and boost your confidence with a suave accent — or at least start moving towards one! Meanwhile, you can learn these simple French phrases to engage with native speakers as you practise your French conversation basics.

As you finesse your accent, learning authentic French phrases will take you a long way past just ‘getting by’. As ‘FluentU’ puts it, as a French learner, which would you rather hear?

  • Your French is so good! Or …
  • You sound so French!

For most of us, the latter is more appealing.

Equally, Géraldine Lepère at ‘Comme Une Française’ asks:

Want to sound French even to the French?

Visit her site for many relevant, useful insider tips — including this compilation of impressive French slang terms.

How to boost your listening comprehension skills

In a conversation, listening is just as important as talking!

Check out News in Slow French and test their excellent programs, ranging from beginner level upwards. While you’re at it, some entry-level podcasts will help train your ear.

For a more standard approach, Lawless French has listening practice exercises starting at an even earlier entry level.

MyFrenchLife.org - My French Life™ - French conversation basics - Finesse your French - Moving beyond the basics - keep calm - carry on

Face-off with frustration!

Despite the availability of all these interesting and fun resources, we recognise that frustration can be hard to get rid – even with your French learning journey underway. And, of course, this can make it hard for you to master the French conversation basics.

A serious face-off with that frustration is essential in order for you to move forward.

But how?

It’s really not as intimidating as it sounds! It all starts with you. Recognise that although your frustration presents a problem, almost anyone in your situation would feel this way too – you are normal!

So, what exactly is frustrating you?

List the reasons for your frustration and assess how reasonable they seem – then tear the list up!

And remember, don’t focus on the frustration. That frustration will cease to be relevant as you work through the root problems and realise that your frustration is only holding you back. Focus on how much progress you’ve already made – and this is only the beginning!

Now that you’re feeling more confident, it’s time to press home your advantage! Move forward, place your fluent French future at the forefront of your mind, organise your goals, and most importantly, prioritise your happiness and enjoyment!


How is your French language journey going? Which are your favourite methods for getting past the French conversation basics? Share your story so far in the comments section, and send this article to your friends to help them on their French language journeys!


Enjoyed this article?

Currently at a different level of French learning?

Click through to discover more articles in our ‘Finesse your French’ series:

You CAN learn French this time: a breakthrough method – introduction
How to overcome your French learning frustration – part 1
Moving beyond French conversation basics – part 2
French language and culture – part 3
The intermediate French learning plateau and how to overcome it – part 4
How to make French grammar easy – part 5
How to engage with contemporary France – part 6
How to push towards French fluency – part 7
How to have advanced French fun – part 8
How to maintain and build your advanced French skills – part 9


Image credits
1. Conversation by Ed Yourdon, via Flickr
2. Maybe we should talk by geralt, via Pixabay
3. Keep calm and carry on, via Wikipedia


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