How to Sound Like a Native French Speaker

Like any expat (or semester abroad student) knows, the most difficult part of translation isn’t English to French, but translating what you learned in your textbooks to what you speak on the street.

To the rescue come Damon Dominique and Jo Franco, the millennial vlogger dream team of “Shut Up And Go.” This mini-tutorial on common French idiosyncrasies will have you sounding like un vrai parisien in no time. So close that textbook, watch this video, and remember to “drop that ne.”

Your Public Speaking class may have warned you against slurring your words together or using “um” too much, but the truth is that every language has their own filler words and shortcuts, and everyone from the bum on the corner to the president uses them. The words you drop in between perfectly accented phrases can be just as important to selling yourself as a native speaker (or, at least, well-adapted native) as the phrases themselves. So use these tricks to avoid sounding like an obvious American and get your French street cred up.

For more from Damon and Jo, check out this video about French Filler Words you need to know.