Sometimes, no matter how long you’ve been studying a language, your speech can sound mechanical or “too perfect” to be natural.
In order to sound like a native, you need to break some rules. This blog post from Oui in France describes nuances of the French language that your teachers never taught you. Tips like dropping the “ne” will help your French sound more natural – very helpful if you’re attempting to be a tourist in disguise.
To help articulate the principle, the blog gives an examples in English. Writer Diane describes the plight of her French husband, who would often say, “I am going to go to the store” in perfect English. One day, she explained to him that, while technically incorrect, he would go further by replacing “going to” with “gonna”.
If you’re studying French, this post is a must-read. The key contractions and filler words (“en fait”) can make all the difference in your speech. It might even stop your Parisian waiters from answering you in English.