French Podcast Transcripts

Make Small French Talks in Five Minutes

Today, you will learn how to make small talks in five minutes! If you’re in a conversation or some situation where you need to really process information quickly and be able to respond rapidly in a timely manner, then you really don’t have time to translate, even if you’re super smart, which I know you are. It still takes time to process all the information you’re getting in French into your native language and then think in your native language and then translate.

Imagine someone talking to you in French. You think: Okay. What am I going to say? How am I going to respond, and then translate that back into English? It’s a lot of work for your brain to do, and no matter how awesomely intelligent you are.

To speed up your learning, imagine and anticipate the different situations you want to address.
Today, let’s pretend you want to make small talks. What are you going to say?

#1 Make Small French Talks: Prepare for greetings and introduction.

The obvious is someone asking how you are: Comment ça va ? Ça va ? Ça va comment ? Comment allez-vous ? Comment tu vas ? …
Be ready to reply: ça va bien, je vais bien. Et vous ?
Obviously, they don’t know you and for instance, you might hear:
‘Vous venez d’où’ (Where are you from?)
‘tu viens d’où’ … if you hear a ‘do’ and venez/viens, someone is asking where you are from.
Be ready to reply ‘je viens de + name of your country in French and you can add ‘J’habite à + name of your city

Usually, people ask you if this is your first time here.
‘C’est la première fois que vous venez en France’
When you hear ‘première fois’, someone is asking if you are here for the first time.
If so, ‘oui c’est la première fois‘.
If not, ‘non, c’est pas la première fois‘,
je suis déjà venu‘ or ‘je viens souvent

#2 Prepare for talking about your day

Then they might ask you what are you doing today if morning or what did you do today if evening.

Be ready to hear something like ‘keskuh vu fet’ (Qu’est ce que vous faites aujourd’hui) in the morning.
You can reply
Je vais me balader (I am going to stroll around)
Je vais faire les magasins (I am going shopping)

Je fais pas grand chose ( I am not doing much)
Ch’ai pas ( je ne sais pas) (I dunno/ I don’t know)

#3 Prepare for talking about the weather

Then, you can add small talks about the weather
Again be ready and know, in other words, the basics:
Il fait beau (It is nice/it is sunny)
Il fait mauvais (it is bad outside)
Il fait froid (it is cold)

If evening, ‘keskuh’ vous avez fait aujourd’hui ? (What did you do today?)

Je me suis baladé
J’ai fait les magasins

Je n’ai rien fait (I did not do anything)
Je n’ai pas fait grand chose (I did not much)

Of course, nobody can predict a conversation but you can practice and rehearse so you are ready to speak French and stop translating!

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Merci ! Séverine