How to speak French like a Parisian

To master the French language feels like an unending task. You learn something new and unique every day as you develop your French skills. The most challenging part is to develop a proper accent and learn the perfect French pronunciation. But luckily, our generation is deluged with content on the internet. You can find anything in just a click away. 

This is the first step to learn French language. Now adding more difficulty to it, how do you sound like a Parisian or rather how do you learn to speak Parisian French? 

Parisian French is a no cakewalk. The sentences are spoken faster with lesser distinction between separate words. When you hear Parisians speak in French, you dearly wish if your brain could automatically provide subtitles to understand every word. Interestingly, the Swiss who speak French and the Canadian French often find it difficult to understand when the Parisians speak. 

Enough of ranting, how do you develop French skills to be strong enough to be used internationally and not just in your little corner of the world.

Firstly, the French from France don’t really speak quickly, I think that’s more dialect. Dialects are hard especially when the Parisians throw in few slangs and let’s not forget VERLAN in the conversation.

Perhaps, one can begin from the podcast InnerFrench. It’s a topical podcast, not grammar or vocabulary. He researches a subject and presents it in an interesting way in about 30 minutes. If you start with the first episode, he speaks slowly, clearly and without background noise. Then, as the podcasts continue, he increases the speed at which he speaks and the complexity of the language he uses. You may also try the podcast app like PocketCast which allows you to slow it down even further at first. If necessary, and then increase the speed at 5% intervals until you understand what you are hearing. 

Oral comprehension is one of the most difficult parts of learning French. Once you master this skill using podcast or YouTube videos, you may then proceed with speaking the sentences with a good pace. It takes a lot of time and practice. 

To sound like a Parisian, try to integrate some of the following phrases when you speak.

  1. C’est naze / c’est nul

It indicates your distaste at something.

  1. (Mais) quel bordel

In French, the word bordel means brothel, but today it is used to declare chaos, a huge mess or something that is generally unpleasant.

  1. Je suis crevé / J’ai la flemme

A fun way to say I’m tired.

  1. Ça roule ma poule.

That works.

  1. Un temps de chien

The most heard term in Paris during the colder months, it describes the grey and wet weather in the winter.

Last but not the least! Let’s not forget adding verlans.

To transform a French word into verlan you reverse or rearrange its syllables. The term verlan itself is the inverse form of l’envers. Verlans is the street language, often used by the youth only. The older generation don’t appreciate it or understand it. However, if you are studying in Paris, it is something catch up to sound exactly like your Parisian friends.

Image par Martin Winkler de Pixabay
  1. Céfran – français 

Do you speak céfran?

  1. Tromé – métro 

Let’s take the tromé to reach Eiffel Tower.

  1. Ouf – fou 

That’s ouf!

  1. Oim – Moi (EN – Me)

Are you talking to oim?

  1. Meuf – femme 

Did you see that meuf in the park?

Check out the detailed version of Verlan to understand better.

Hope these suggestions help, and you start applying them immediately. 

Like I always say, bonne exploration!