Take a shortcut. Must read if you are beginner!
Spoken French is very different from the written French. They are almost two different languages. That’s what I would like any French beginner to know before starting to learn French.
Spoken French is the French everyone needs to learn to communicate. That’s the most important between the two. Unfortunately, most of French learners, start with books. And books are written French. Even if some methods try to explain a few things about the difference, the thing is that the majority of learners don’t know what it implies. You need to go straight to the point by starting with a method like Michel Thomas, Pimsleur…otherwise, it’s a bit like learning Latin first to learn French. Of course written French is useful but you will get so confused when you know so much words and conjugations, and you are not able to understand or answer any question!
Why French is hard to understand?
Here are a few differences and the most visible (click on the title to see the content):
Drop the E (E caduc) In many cases, spoken French drops the E’s.
In words themselves: Complètement > Complèt’ment
In small words: j’ai pas le temps > j’ai pas l’temps, j’veux, j’sais, j’suis
But also with different vowels (élision): t’as, t’es… You can search more on the internet by typing “élision” or “E caduc” .
Shorten the most used words: il y a >y a Maintenant > main’nant Parce que > pasque Celui >c’ui Cet après-midi>c’t’aprèm … You can work on that while reading a texte and be corrected by a teacher. Written French is formal French. In spoken French you :
– don’t use the “ne” part of the negative.
– don’t say “n’est-ce pas?” (isn’t it?) but just “nan?” or “hein?”
– don’t use “c’est pourquoi” or “c’est la raison pour laquelle” but “c’est pour ça que”.
– don’t use “nous” but “on”.
– don’t use the inversion while asking a question.
– … Link all the words together (liaison, enchainement…) Don’t stop the voice between words. It makes a big the difference! If you know that you will be more likely to understand and make yourself understood!
If you have more questions about the difference between written and spoken French, and if you don’t want to speak like a book, book a meeting with me!