Learning a language from a textbook will help you get the fundamentals down, such as sentence structures, grammar rules, and vocabulary.
You can also expect to build strong reading and writing skills in the new language. However, what the textbooks don’t teach you is how the locals really speak in everyday situations.
Compared to textbook speak, which is more academic, formal, and stiff, the way native speakers communicate with each other is usually more informal, casual, carefree, and contains the use of slang.
The best way to pick up a foreign language is to immerse yourself in the culture! If you’re an English speaker, you’re in luck. According to the Foreign Service Institute, French is among the top ten easiest languages to learn for English speakers.
TikToker Elisabeth (@elisabethsmiles) is a French teacher, and she’s sharing some of her favorite casual French phrases with those who might be planning a trip to Paris sometime soon.
“Here’s some French words and phrases that will take you from sounding academic and polished to casual and like you know what you’re doing,” started Elisabeth.
First is “on y va,” which is a super common phrase that just means, “Let’s go!” The second is “comment ça.” Elisabeth says this phrase is one you’ll definitely want to recognize.
When the words “comment” and “ça” are put together, it means, “How so?” If someone is questioning what you’re saying, hit them with a “comment ça” to defend your stance.
“Comment” by itself is how you would ask “What?” or “What did you say? Can you repeat yourself?” Another way to ask “What?” is “quoi,” but Elisabeth does not recommend saying this because it’s almost too casual and borderline impolite.
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