Ready to dive into French conversation wholeheartedly?
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already fallen hard for the language.
Maybe you’ve even started learning French from scratch on your own.
Once you’ve gotten past the basics, though, you’re going to want to test your skills in real time.
And there’s no better way to do that than through conversation.
But if you’re still a beginner, the idea of just opening your mouth and starting to speak French can seem incredibly intimidating.
Besides, really learning French conversation isn’t just about speaking. It’s also about listening, understanding and making sure you’re understood.
Luckily, there are a number of resources out there to get you comfortable with French conversation, and it’s best to use a variety of them.
Conversational resources can be anything from video clips, to podcasts, to reading material. All of them, though, should show you actual examples of French conversation.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some top-notch tools you can begin using right now to get your French conversational skills off to a great start!
Why It Pays to Vary Your Conversational Resources
It’s a great way to cover all angles of conversation
Conversation isn’t just about speaking French aloud, and by using tools that focus on conversation from a variety of angles—including written dialogues, audio and role-playing—you’ll get a much more well-rounded understanding of how the French language works.
Approaching conversation through not just speaking but listening, writing and reading, too, can help you break down spoken interactions and see how they differ in various situations.
It helps you become familiar with varied conversational content
Varying your learning resources will also enable you to get your hands on a diverse mix of conversational content. While some resources might focus on everyday, general conversation and practical speaking scenarios, others may look into current events and culture. Learning from different resources will give you a whole range of topics to wow native French speakers with and enable you to progress past the basics at a much faster rate.
You can take your learning on the go
Many conversational resources are easy to use regardless of where you are. Audio apps and podcasts are particularly good if you like to learn on the go or want to brush up on your conversation skills before you speak aloud. There’s always an opportunity to practice your French!
Conversation is one of the core elements of learning a new language. If you’re a beginner, it’s definitely worth investing your time in it. So now, we’ll look at some resources that will all give you the opportunity to understand how French conversation is conducted. Soon, you’ll be ready to take the plunge in real life!
5 Lovable Tools for French Beginners Who Heart Conversation
“Easy Learning French Conversation”
If you’re looking for something portable but comprehensive, one of the best French conversation books out there is “Easy Learning French Conversation,” and it’s perfect for beginners. While the book is suitable for all levels, you can easily incorporate it into your beginner lessons. The book contains a unit dedicated to short phrases and everyday expressions, which is a great place to start if you’re a beginner in conversation.
Learn Conversation Based Around Different Situations
Each lesson is based around a different aspect of French conversation. You can learn how to greet someone, simple ways to present yourself and your hobbies and how to ask very simple questions like “What is your name?” or “What are your hobbies?”
Once you’ve picked up a few basic questions and responses, you can begin to focus a little more on overall grammar and vocabulary. The condensed grammar guide in the book is a great resource for seeing how simple sentence structures might work in conversation, and how to best formulate statements when you talk out loud.
It’s best to get the technical basics under your belt before you move on to more complex talking topics—that way, you’ll be able to keep the conversation flowing without any grammatical errors!
Use the Audio Guide for Listening Anytime
If you want some French to listen to on the go, “Easy Learning French Conversation” has you covered. It comes equipped with a downloadable audio guide, on which you can hear native speakers talking to one another. You don’t often get the chance to listen back to your own conversations and study how sentences and phrases were put together, but here, you can hear a wide range of talking points discussed in a number of different ways. This is perfect for getting under the surface of French conversation!
Learn Everyday Expressions
If you’re lucky enough to have already been able to practice your French with a native speaker, you might have come across a new phrase or two that you haven’t heard anywhere else. While everyday, local expressions are littered throughout native conversation, unless you’re already familiar with French culture, it might be difficult to translate them. However, this conversation book takes a detailed look at many common conversational expressions, guiding you through all of the essential everyday phrases you need.
If you want to learn real French conversation, the best way you can start is with real French speech. FluentU is a great resource for studying with native content from the very beginning of your language learning journey.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
All FluentU videos are sorted by level. This means that you can start listening to real native speakers as a beginner, without having to worry about struggling with content that’s too difficult for you.
Learn from Authentic Videos
FluentU handpicks real video content from across the web and enables you to learn with it in your own time and at your own pace. Having a reliable source of French videos you can access anytime is a great way to keep your language skills topped up and to get to grips with structuring real sentences and phrases. Interactive captions ensure you’ll never be left behind, and the more often you watch and listen, the sharper your French conversation skills will become.
If learning with videos in your spare moments sounds great, FluentU offers a convenient app you can download from the iTunes store or Google Play store.
Choose Your Own Content
Another great thing about learning with FluentU is that if you want to brush up on a specific talking point, you can easily search for and select a video that caters to that topic. Learning vocabulary around your own hobbies and interests is a great way to get started and take the plunge into French conversation—the more interested you are, the easier the language will seem! Sign up for a free trial to start learning with FluentU.
“Introduction to Beginner French Conversation Lessons”
“Introduction to Beginner French Conversation Lessons” is a downloadable Audible audiobook made just for beginners and focusing on conversation. It doesn’t get more specific than that!
Listen to French Speakers in Small Doses
Simply listening to French speakers is one of the best ways to brush up on your conversational skills, so resources in audiobook form like this one can be really handy.
“Introduction to Beginner French Conversation Lessons” lets you get used to hearing French pronunciation and sentence constructions, which can make a huge difference in your understanding of the language. Even just listening a little bit each day can help you improve your comprehension dramatically, keep your conversational skills sharp and enable you to pick up on new language points, so this is a great resource to use in between grammar lessons and written exercises.
Learn Proper Pronunciation
French conversation is all about proper pronunciation—get it right, and speaking with a native can be a breeze. When you’re a beginner, getting used to the French accent might take a little extra practice. For that reason, it’s a great idea to focus on your pronunciation as you learn conversation.
This audiobook contains modules that show how to pronounce French words and common sounds, making your conversational life much simpler and letting you take the time you need to get to grips with the language, all without the pressure of a fast-paced conversation.
Benefit from Hearing the Language at Different Speeds
When you’re getting into French conversation, it’s a good idea to take things slowly and really feel your way around new sentence structures and vocabulary.
This audiobook plays all of its conversations twice—once at native natural speed, and once at a slower speed accompanied by English translations. While listening to the native-level conversation is a good idea, focusing on the slower recording is a great way to get you on your feet. You can hear how individual words are pronounced, make a note of any new vocabulary and practice speaking aloud alongside the recording.
As you become more confident in your ability to understand, you can begin to listen to the faster recording, too, testing what you’ve learned.
When you have a specific topic you want to focus on, learning videos designed for that subject can be a great option. Presenting information in concise and accessible videos, WatchKnowLearn provides ample content on beginner French conversation.
Choose from Learning Videos on Different Conversational Subjects
The videos enable you to focus on one conversational subject at a time, thereby ensuring that you really perfect your vocabulary knowledge, grammar usage and pronunciation before moving on to more complex things. You can choose a topic for the week, watch a video on that topic and begin to expand your conversational knowledge. Easy!
A good place to start might be with this useful French words and phrases video. Here, a native French presenter runs through a list of simple, essential French words and phrases, repeating each one a number of times. You can hear the English translation, read the French word or phrase on the screen and practice saying it back afterwards.
Once you’ve gotten familiar with the basics, you can move on to a video with French expressions for asking questions. Starting with one-word questions, the video moves on to more complex phrases gradually, giving you the time to practice each one.
Use English Translations to Make Sure You Understand
When you’re a beginner, it pays to make sure that you’re understanding all of the French content you’re listening to. Having English translations alongside the French phrases you’re learning can really make a difference in your ability to comprehend and communicate in French. Since WatchKnowLearn has many videos that offer English translations, you can be sure that you’re learning new French content correctly from the very beginning!
Read Along with Spoken Dialogue
While talking and listening are undoubtedly essential to conversation, reading along with audio can be incredibly useful for increasing your level of comprehension. Many of the videos on this site show the written language along with spoken dialogue and phrases, which can improve your understanding, show you differences in spelling and help you to brush up on other aspects of the French language.
When it comes to conversation, however, there’s really nothing better than speaking to someone out loud, and if you’re on the hunt for a language exchange partner, Conversation Exchange is a great website to use.
Interact with Native French Speakers
Featuring native speakers from across the world, the website lets you browse people’s profiles and interact with them through Skype, email or face-to-face exchanges. Once you’re ready to put all your conversational knowledge into practice, finding conversation partners on this website is the perfect way to do so!
Practice Your Speaking and Writing Skills Online
While this website is great for meeting people in real life, it also allows you to talk via the Internet. You can set up online phone calls to practice conversation, or write to people to practice conversational writing.
While written exchanges definitely differ from actual conversation, they’re still a great way of picking up everyday expressions and practicing things like sentence structure and grammar. Instant messaging can give writing in French a more conversational feel and enable you to quickly gain feedback from your language partner.
Discover French Speakers in Your Area
Unless you attend a language school, finding French learners and speakers where you live can seem a little challenging. Conversation Exchange enables you to filter searches in order to find people from your area who want to practice their conversation skills.
Often, French speakers want to practice English, or another language, so you can both help to teach the other your own language. Having a person to regularly meet up with can be a great motivator when you’re learning, and it also enables you to pick up knowledge directly from a native speaker.
When you initially interact with natives, you can try writing them a message in French, or explain in English that you’re at a beginner level and would like to practice simple conversation. Native speakers will be able to adjust the words they use depending on the level of your own French.
If you’re a beginner, pairing up with a native or advanced speaker will serve you well. Your partner will be able to pick up on any mistakes you might be making, and explain to you why the language works the way it does.
When picking a conversation topic, it’s best to stay within simple, common scenarios at first, practicing the present tense. Describing yourself, your hobbies and your hometown are a great way of taking the first steps into French conversation and will enable you to practice using simple French questions and responses.
As you become more confident, you can try talking about vacations you’ve taken in the past, or things you’d like to do in the future. Talking about yourself and your own life is the easiest way to start speaking French, and will teach you many things about the French language.
French conversation is one of the richest and most complex parts of the language, so it pays to be savvy about studying it.
If you’re a beginner, there are a ton of unique ways you can test your conversational skills, no matter what you want to be able to say.
Looking into varying your language lessons with some of the resources above will pay off to no end.
It might not be long before you’re approaching native speakers and striking up a conversation yourself!