Tag Archives: French lessons in Paris

No French conversation partner? No worries!

practice

 

You just arrived in Paris and you are starting to get settled with your job and home.

You started taking French lessons and you are doing your best to progress fast. However, the people you are connected with in Paris are all English speaking, and so is your company. You are feeling that something is missing to help you go further in your learning of French.

No French conversation partner available right now? No worries.

 

bonjour monsieur

Here are a few tips to work out your conversational French if you are on your own:

  • Step out into the streets of the Capital and use every pretext to engage a conversation: order some coffee, buy some croissants, ask for info about a place, buy some fruit and vegetables. This is FREE practice that you can apply ANY TIME. And do not be shy about making mistakes: most people will correct you if what you are saying is incorrect in French.
  • use some audio documents and repeat sentences…do it several times during the day…the more you repeat, the better you will be.
  • take your phone and make a call to an administration: just ask for some very basic things ( if you are feeling usure, you can always prepare a few sentences on a paper sheet)
  • use passive learning: turn on your TV, radio or audio documents and keep doing what you have to do…just hearing French regularly will also make you progress rapidly. I am using passive learning regularly when I don’t have time with other languages, and I can ensure you that it truly works.
  • Try to think in French, and use the structures that you already know.

 

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need some further learning tips. I am very willing to help you out!

Wishing you best luck in learning French rapidly!

 

 

 

 

 

Expatriates, let me help you succeed in French…

You’ve dreamt of emigrating to France. Paris was on your mind all the time. Now you are here. Your dream has come true, but you are feeling blue.

Your biggest dream seems to have turned into a nightmare and you are on an emotional roller coaster all the time.  You have been dealing with unfriendly people, constantly harrassed and running people in the metro, the French are speaking too fast for you to catch their speech and, on top of that, you are dealing with the legendary French bureaucracy that is driving you nuts!

bureaucracy 3

Do not worry: I am feeling you. Being an expat is very challenging. I have been there. Although I mastered the language, getting settled in London was far from easy, and, believe it or not, I’ve been dealing with tons of bureaucracy as well from the English side.

I can help you transform your expatriation into a success. How?

 

bureaucracy

-first of all, by helping you acquire more confidence in speaking out. The method I am using is based on very concrete situations that you can apply immediately after the lesson.

 

French cheese

-by helping you to deal with the “cultural shock”: the French are quite different from their European neighbors and from English speaking countries. Good food, good cheese, good wines, for instance, play a major role for many French citizens. Being Latins, most people are more laid back and like taking time after their work. The “art of living” or ” art de vivre” is very important to the French. Parisians, by the way, are not representative of France as a whole, so it is important that you travel a little bit out of Paris ( if you can), in order to discover various traditions.

-by helping you with your administrative paperwork: you will be more confident as you get acquainted with specific formulas and administrative slang

-by increasing your cultural knowledge about Paris and France and giving you some infos on shopping in different arrondissements.

-by working on pronounciation and intonation and by stimulating your conversational skills.

 

paris heart

 

French lessons in Paris? Always a good idea!

Book now. Contact me at isabelleesling@gmail.com

 

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.