Today I am going to give you a few tips if you run out of vocabulary and you would like to keep speaking French. Once you realize you don’t know a word, it is so tempting to go back to English and to handle your whole conversation in English.
In Paris, most people speak English nowadays, especially the young generation….Comfortable, yes, but this will not help you improve your French!
I’ve been confronted to such situations while traveling to Israel. I didn’t know the exact word, but I kept speaking Hebrew instead of using English. You can use the same trick, simply by using a few simple sentences:
- Comment dit-on ça en Français? How do you say this in French?
- Comment ça s’appelle en Français? How is it called in French?
- Comment dit-on ( insert your English word) en Français?
- C’est quoi? What is it? ( Make some gesture, point at the unknown thing…)
See, these very simple, short, sentences will keep you going! Simply by asking these questions, you will invite your speaking partner to further conversation. By listening to his answer, you will also learn new structures. Be bold. Keep speaking, even if you know your language is not perfect.
In case the person is tempted to switch to English, please insist: “En Français, s’il vous plait!’
Never give up until you succeed!
C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron ( Practice makes perfect).