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How To Make Conversation:
If you go to France, and even if you are not fluent in French, you’ll have a great opportunity to engage conversation with French people. However, the odds your “interlocuteur” (interlocutor) is not fluent in English are important to. The more French you’ll know, the more you’ll be able to break “la barrier de la langue” (language barrier).
First thing first, “vous devez faire les presentations” (introduce yourself). “Bonjour”, or “Bonsoir” are the polite form to say hello. “Salut” stands for “Hi”. My name is… could be translated by “Je m’appelle…”. Here are some sentences you need to know : « Comment vous appelez vous ? » (what is your name ?), « Comment allez vous ? » (how do you do ?) “Ca va bien” (I’m fine).
You’ll often be asked « D’où venez vous ? » (Where do you come from ?). You can answer “Je viens des Etats-Unis” (I’m from the United States). You could be asked “que faites vous?” (what are you doing/ what is your job ?). That could even be a question about your job or about your holyday. “Je suis en vacance” (I’m in vacation).
“Aimez vous la France ?” (do you like France?), “Votre séjour se passe bien?” (is everything going well during your vacation ?), “Où dormez vous ?” (where do you reside?) are questions you will often be asked. Of course, you can be the one asking question. If you need some help, like asking for your path or “un renseignement” (an information). “Pouvez vous m’aider?” (could you help me ?), “pouvez vous me renseigner?” (could you tell me something ?).
One of the subtility in French is « Le Vous de politesse » (the polite You). Generaly, “vous” refers to a group of people. But the polite Vous refers to one people. It’s a way to show respect for the people you are talking to. If you are familiar with your interlocutor, you’ll say “tu” instead of “vous”. For example, you’ll ask “Comment allez vous ?” to someone you don’t know, and “comment vas-tu ?” to someone you know. The same goes with “S’il vous plait ?” (please) and “S’il te plait ?” (please).
This is the same when you ask something you want. “Je voudrais” is more polite than “Je veux”, both meaning I want. But “je veux” can be seen as something rude if said to someone you don’t know.
Finally, “Merci” (thanks) is enough to “remercier” (thank) someone. You can add “merci beaucoup” (thank you very much). “Au revoir” (goodbye) is usually used to end the conversation, even if sometimes you can use “Bonsoir” or “Bonne soirée” (goodnight or good evening) if it’s late already.
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