Interview: Michelle Teo — Naked French, learn French naturally
I have the pleasure of introducing you to Michelle Teo the founder, producer, and writer of Naked French—Learn French naturally. You’ll find Naked French on Instagram and Facebook, and the just-launched ‘Naked French Podcast‘—now there’s something to sign-up for…
Maybe you’re not yet aware of Naked French so, let’s put an end to that… this interview will be a great introduction to Michelle, Naked French, and what all the fuss is about. C’est parti ?
Naked French: why should I be interested?
In a relatively short period of time, Naked French has attracted more than 50 000 followers on Instagram—why is this so?
Naked French is a Digital Creator designed to help those learning French, in particular the intermediate learner. More resources are to be added to those that are already attracting learners from all around the world. Both the Instagram Account and the Facebook page are daily micro-doses of modern French. The posts are in French and English AND importantly with audio ?
Who is attracted to Naked French?
Due to launching Naked French on Instagram (a younger platform), our current internationally-based audience is primarily younger, the 18-35 demographic, but as every day goes by we tilt more toward the more mature learner.
Who’s behind Naked French?
Michelle is an Australian who lives in Paris with her fiancé Alexandre. Michelle is the producer and writer.
And…the beautiful French voice you hear on Instagram and Facebook audio is the host of the just-launched podcast, a French native: Shade.
Shade is actually a creative photographer and currently lives in Costa Rica. She is a native speaker of English, French, and Spanish—impressive. Shade is the Naked French Community Manager, the host personality, and the voice.
Who else is involved in creating? Well. Alexandre is well in the background, and being a French native, he double-checks certain things and provides support on technical issues. Then there’s Marie providing translation expertise for complex translation – a natural role for her as she previously translated for international diplomatic services.
Before Naked French what kept you busy?
“Naked French is my creative project,” says Michelle, and “both Alexandre and I freelance as advisors for startups in New York. I consult in a Head of Marketing capacity and he consults through Chief Technical Officer capacity. ”
“Prior to that, I founded a video compression start-up in New York, founded and ran a fashion design agency in Bali, and in my previous life, I was an energy economist for Shell in The Hague and Australia.”
Will ‘Naked French’ always have a single focus on learning French?
Michelle says that she believes that learning French and culture are all intertwined!
Most certainly at the intermediate and advanced stages, it’s a lot easier to learn the language if you understand the culture behind it.
“For example, it took me a while to really understand when someone would use vous or tu, because French speakers tend to be quite varied in how they apply it.
Not all French speakers use vous commonly. When they’re addressing people they don’t know, some still prefer to use tu (I find that it’s mainly the younger generation who take that route or from different parts of France, perhaps it’s different in cities vs villages).”
And for some French speakers, they will only use vous when they’re out, like at the shops, receiving postal deliveries and so on and it would be very rude for them to use tu with someone they don’t know well.
I had to kind of figure out what sort of a speaker I wanted to be (I went with the vous path to be safe haha).”
And, so, back to culture … there are definitely plans for smaller bite-sized videos on Instagram to help showcase different aspects of French culture
Tell us more about the ‘Naked French Podcast’
There will be… “interviews, primarily on the podcast with a focus on creating a more intimate interview so people feel free to really express how they’re feeling.
The Naked French podcast is really about exploring diverse stories of life, love, and everything in-between, spoken in slow French. We’ve currently lined up a whole range of French speakers, from reality tv stars, start-up founders, singers, nurses etc.”
We’re hoping to get people up-close and personal to our interviewees – we know when you’re learning it’s hard to get to know anyone in French and hear their thoughts because they speak so fast! So we’ve added some English narrations for context, in a similar format to Instagram where we have French – and then English. So this way, we’re hoping even upper beginners can follow the conversation and get that vibe of being nice and cosy, without requiring a high fluency level.
Marie sailed the seven seas as an adventurous sailor. She was a woman who thrived in a world of men. Funnily enough, she ended up with an Italian man who’s much more romantic than her. Let’s hear her thoughts on this.
Stephanie always knew she wanted to be a singer, ever since she was a child. So she followed her dreams and turned them into reality. Let’s hear her explore her journey, from childhood to her latest project.
Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife.org MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are.
Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live.
You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon - MyFrenchLife.org
Come with us to experience French life beyond the cliché. Magazine – Events – Experiences
Would you like to work with our team?
Wherever you live, if you’re a francophile or French and you’d like to join our team of Contributors then we’d love to hear from you – check out oursubmissionspage. We’re also constantly seeking savvy interns – please check on availableinternships