By Alex Aviza
When it comes to navigating Paris, some casual conversational French will go a long way. To give you a quick French lesson to help you get on your way when you arrive in the city of lights is Alex, a study abroad student in Strasbourg, France.
My fellow study abroad peers and I have mentioned to each other how often we find ourselves running out of responses with a native speaker. We find ourselves repeating the same simple words. Though we may understand what the person is saying it is not always easy to find something to say other than different intonations of "oui" (yes)
Yes, I have taken French in school before. However, there is a difference between knowing the basics like hello or thank you ("bonjour" and "merci," respectively), and being able to casually use a laid-back phrase that natives use in a conversation. Here are some useful French phrases that I have noticed native speakers using in their vocabulary.
lexible meaning in various situations. Also kind of like, "you can do it" Used more often than "bonne chance."
-J'ai un examen difficile demain. ( I have a difficult test tomorrow)
-Bon courage! (Good Luck)
Often used to agree with someone.
-Voulez-vous aller à un café maintenant? (Want to go to a café now?
-Oui, ça marche. (Yes, that works.)
(say pay grahv)
It's not a big deal.
This frequently used phrase demonstrates the effortless casual attitudes of many French people.
-Je ne peux pas trouver mon stylo, mais c'est pas grave. ( I cannot find my pen, but it is not a big deal.)
(saw met egahl)
I do not care.
Usually showing indifference between choices, or that you could do either thing.
-Le vin rouge ou le vin blanc ce soir? (The red wine or the white wine tonight?)
-Eh, ça m'est egal. (Eh, I do not care)
More casual than constantly saying oui (yes) in conversation. Switch it up!
- Allez-vous au cinéma? (Are you going to the movies?)
Whether at a café or at the market, these phrases will provide some variety in your next French conversation. Try saying them with the effortless confidence of a French native!