French Video Blog, Jan 19th, on how to introduce oneself in French

French Video Blog, Jan 19th, on how to introduce oneself in French

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Added by January 19, 2015


How to introduce oneself in French



The other day I mentioned how important it is to practice your French as often as possible, engaging in one small talk or another. So this week I’m gonna give you some vocabulary to help you engage conversations in French. Each day this week, we’ll focus on a different “small talk” topic. Today, we’ll go over how to introduce oneself, SE PRÉSENTER.

The tricky part about languages is that you learn how to say something, and then you go to the country and people have their own way of speaking, pretty different from what you’ve learned in class or with workbooks. So, you get stuck very quickly. I remember when I moved to Texas to spend the year as an exchange student. I’d just gotten there and what do I hear people say? Howdy! What the… I basically couldn’t understand the word “hello”. I’d like to try and avoid you this kind of embarrassment, so we’re gonna have a look at all the different ways to say hi – among other things. We’ll look at the “proper” ways to speak, and then the more casual ones.

To say hi, you have the traditional: BONJOUR (used during the day), and then BONSOIR (in the evening)

More informal: SALUT! (you can also use SALUT to say goodbye) Or my favorite, COUCOU!

Then how do you say “how are you”?

– In a formal setting: COMMENT ALLEZ-VOUS?

And you can answer: JE VAIS BIEN, MERCI. ET VOUS? (I’m fine, thanks. And you?). In an formal setting you generally won’t say JE VAIS MAL (I’m doing poorly), keep up appearances guys! The French are pretty formal, until they’re not anymore… Give them some wine!

– In an informal setting: COMMENT VAS-TU? Or even more casual: TU VAS COMMENT. Or COMMENT ÇA VA? (how is it going?) or ÇA VA? (you’re well?).

And you can answer JE VAIS BIEN, MERCI. ET TOI? Or what the heck, if you’re not feeling great, let it be known! You can say: PAS TRÈS BIEN, COMME CI COMME CA. (Not too well, so so.). If you wanna practice your French, try not to come across as a Debbie Downer!

In an informal setting, people may also ask you: QUOI DE NEUF? (What’s up?).

To that question, you can answer: PAS PLUS. (nothing new) or RIEN DE SPECIAL (nothing special).

Or again, if you want to practice your French, try to be talkative, blow out all the things you’ve learned. You could say: OH, BEAUCOUP DE CHOSES! J’APPRENDS LE FRANÇAIS, C’EST SUPER. TU ES FRANCAIS? TU FAIS QUOI DANS LA VIE? (oh, a lot of things! I’m learning French, it’s great. Are you French? What do you do in life?)

Hopefully all that will get the conversation going. That’s it for today! Tomorrow we’ll talk about the weather. À PLUS!

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