Learning how to speak French is a dream for many travellers, foodies and Francophiles. A common misconception is that you need to learn French perfectly to be understood. But speaking French isn’t about knowing every word in the dictionary, it’s simply having the confidence to be able to express yourself.
Read on for our seven top tips for speaking French with confidence.
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7 tips on speaking French fluently and confidently
1. Pronunciation is key
There’s a pleasure that comes from speaking French with a (fairly) authentic French accent – consider it your reward for studying French pronunciation. Get better every day by speaking in front of a mirror to get you used to the way your mouth moves. And working on the tricky back of the throat ‘r’ sound (as in rien) in the shower will help loosen your tongue.
2. Watch and listen
Get used to the rhythm of the language by watching French series on Netflix with both French audio and subtitles. Don't worry if you don’t understand every word, just try to recognise the way words sound, versus their spelling.
3. Find your purpose
Why do you want to learn French? Learning a language can be hard, but focusing on your end goal will help you stay motivated. It can also help you choose study topics that are interesting to you.
4. Sing along
Singing along to music is a playful way to learn new French words, immerse yourself in French culture and get in touch with your inner romantic.
5. Fill in the gaps
The French use a lot of filler words to punctuate their sentences. While they might be hard to translate, they’re easy to learn and will help you speak French fluently.
- Alors - So
- Tu vois? - You know?
- En fait - Actually
- Ben oui - Uh yeah
6. Make it a game
Playing games is a fun way to learn French passively. If you’re a gamer, try to find Francophone players to play with. Or buddy up with another French learner and challenge each other with simple games such as celebrity heads, taboo or 20 questions.
7. Speak up
Chatting with native speakers is the best way to gain confidence speaking French. Pick up their expressions and gestures to help your conversational French sound more natural and fluent.