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French or German courses in the heart of Paris with Isabelle Esling

Private tuition that is tailored to your needs!

Expressions revolving around the weather

temps 1

The French like talking about the weather: so do not hesitate to engage into a small talk ( culturally, the Germans are opposite on this matter…it is considered as ” superficial talk” in Germany and not relevant. So you will need a different approach as a learner of German).

But while staying in Paris, speaking of the weather is totally approriate: most people will respond to your small talk.

To complete the last article, here are a few French expressions related to meteorological conditions:

  • Il pleut, il mouille, c’est la fête à la grenouille: it is raining, it is getting wet, it is the frog’s feast
  • Il fait un froid de canard: literally ” a duck’s cold”= it is freezing
  • un temps de chien ” a dog’s weather”= bad weather, usually cold and rainy- note that the French also use ” un temps de cochon”, ” a pig’s weather” to express the same! “Quel temps de chien ( de cochon) aujourd’hui!
  • pleuvoir des cordes= it is raining cats and dogs- “Il pleut des cordes”
  • un vent à décorner les boeufs ( wind dehorning oxen)= a violent wind
  • avoir la tête dans les nuages ( to have the head in the clouds)= to be a dreamer
  • faire la pluie et le beau temps = to have all powers “Depuis son arrivée, le patron fait la pluie et le beau temps dans son entreprise.”
  • le temps est au beau fixe= the weather is set fair “Il va faire beau pendant toute la semaine, le temps est au beau fixe.3
  • jeter un froid= to put a damper, to have a chilling effect. ” Sa remarque a jeté un froid pendant le repas familial”

 

décorner

 

Hope this will help you perfect your conversation. Feel free to contact me for any question you may have.

 

“Parler de la pluie et du beau temps”: how to engage a small talk with the French…

grenouille

 

Your French is still basic, but you’d be keen on engaging conversation with French people? There is an easy way to get involved into a superficial conversation. In France we are calling it ” parler de la pluie et du beau temps” ( literally speaking of the rain and good weather), so taking part in some small talk.

après la pluie

The weather forecast is called “la météo”.

Here are a few basic expressions that are very easy to use

Using “Il fait”

It is cold= Il fait froid

It is hot= il fait chaud

Il fait mauvais= the weather is bad

Il pleut= it is raining

Il neige= it is snowing

Il fait beau= the weather is nice

Using ” Il y a”

Il y a du soleil= it is sunny

Il y a du vent= it is windy

Il y a du brouillard= it is foggy

Il y a de l’orage= a thunderstorm is breaking out

Think of using ” avoir” when speaking of sensations about the weather ( being hot, being cold)

J’ai froid= I am cold

Je gèle= I am freezing

J’ai chaud= I am hot

J’ai très chaud= I am very hot

DO NOT USE TO BE IN FRENCH WHILE SPEAKING OF BEING HOT! IT COULD BE MISINTERPRETED AS LEWD SPEECH AND PUT YOU INTO SERIOUS TROUBLE!

Always mind your grammar.

Do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to help you progress and succeed in your learning.

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Succeed with Isabelle

à la carte 7

Learning vocabulary lists is pointless; get acquainted with your structures!

Some language learners sometimes complain that they have spent months, or even years, without reaching any progress.

Whether you are a beginner in French or in German, there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you really want to make some consistent progress in your language.

 

First of all, DO NOT MAKE ANY VOCABULARY LIST!

Why?

 

waste of time

  • It is totally pointless to align one word after the other with their respective meanings. If you are using tons of vocabulary lists, you will surely fail at your task. Let me explain WHY.

The following rule is true for ANY language. You don’t learn a  language by acquiring numerous words of vocabulary. You start learning a language by INTEGRATING YOUR WORDS WITHIN SPECIFIC STRUCTURES.

As a beginner, you must make an effort to learn ¨PLAIN SENTENCES”.

french grammar

 

german grammar

 

  • Ok maybe grammar is not your cup of tea…this is why you will need a tutor to guide you. The method I am using is based on very practical, every day life conversations. We will interact and I will explain grammar and expressions in a way that is easily understandable. By being an actor of short dialogues, you will feel confident straight away. We will practice together and simple sentences will come to you easily.

French and German lessons are ALL à la carte. You decide what really fits your needs!

Also, you will be given the right tips by a professional and native speaker to improve your skills DAILY.

  • very fast, you will also become familiar with a few idiomatic expressions.

By acquiring idioms, you will not only be aware of the literal meaning of the expressions, but you will also understand the metaphor. It will make the memorization of simple words easier.

In addition, you will sound more authentic!

“Nicht alle Tassen in Schrank haben”, literally ” to not have all  the marbles in your cupboard”, to be out of your mind, to be mad.

You could hear from a German person’s mouth: “Ich glaube, du hast wohl nicht alle Tassen im Schrank!”

nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben

quand les poules auront des dents

“Quand les poules auront des dents” literally means “when chicken will have teeth”, so to say NEVER, since chicken don’t possess teeth!

“Quand est-ce que Charles fera ses devoirs sérieusement?”

“Quand les poules auront des dents!”

 

Are you committed to make some considtentprogress in French or German? Contact me and we will arrange some lessons. BOOK NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

Can I, as a non-native speaker, reach the level of a native speaker?

YOUR TURING TEST 2

You’ve been working on your favorite language-French or German- for years. You now master structures and are much at ease. You are receiving great compliments for your fluency.

You have been asking yourself if it would be possible to reach a higher level of mastery of your language that would allow you to be mistaken for a native speaker?

People have probably told you that this is impossible.

Well, a lot of things seem impossible until they are done.

So, are you willing to take your “Turing test” in French or German?

Here are a few advices to succeed in your goal:

  • Fake it until you make it: practice every day ( pronounciation, intonation, be willing to work on your phonetics, as practice really makes perfect!)
  • be knowledgeable in idiomatic expressions ( they will make you sound like a native)
  • dig deep into culture and history, learn about culinary and other traditions
  • choose a native speaker for your lessons, express your specific needs
  • be open about different conversational topics
  • read the press and watch movies
  • immerse yourself into contemporary culture

 

What else? Practice, practice, practice…be a parrot, copy speech and body language…

If you manage to turn impossible into I’m possible, you’ll certainly pass your Turing test!

Until then: fake it…until you make it!

Good luck on your future endeavors!

I am here to help you succeed. Book NOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These idioms that will make a difference in the way you speak…

Why learn idioms?

It is very important that you learn your idiomatic expressions while progressing with your language. Idioms will truly make a difference and will make you sound more confident and more fluent.

You can trust your native tutor, who will introduce you into them very naturally.

Here are a few of them. Have fun!

“tomber dans les pommes”

tomber dans les pommespoil dans la main

 

How to conjugate your French verbs properly

A proper conjugation of your French verbs is a MUST if you want to be able to communicate properly.

Therefore, here are some basics you need to know.

-Learn the conjugation of the auxiliaries «  être » or «  avoir » by heart. Do it once at all. It will always serve your conversational goals !

Avoir                                                                  Etre

J’ai                                                                     Je suis

Tu as                                                                   Tu es

Il, elle, on a                                                          Il, elle, on est

Nous avons                                                           Nous sommes

Vous avez                                                               Vous êtes

Ils, elles ont                                                         Ils, elles, sont

There are three groups of verbs in French that are characterized by their specific infinitive endings

-first group : infinitive endings in -er example : manger, regarder, aimer

-second group : infinitive endings in -ir example : finir

first person plural:-issons

-third group : infinitive endings in -ir, -oir, example : courir, savoir, prendre

-re

bescherelle

I usually don’t push clients to buy books, but I would strongly advise that you acquire le Bescherelle, that is excellent for French and foreign learners.

It contains very helpful explanations and specific conjugation tables.

Another tip I’d like to give you is to speak French as much as possible ! Do not be afraid to make mistakes. This is how you will better yourself constantly.

Always remember that the French are willing to help you. People will be keen on correcting you-if you DARE to at least TRY.

If you have a specific grammar point that poses you problem, I am here to help. Do not hesitate to contact me and we will work it out together.

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