French Lines

When I was student living in Paris I wanted to learn ‘real French’. I went to classes at the Sorbonne. I read ‘Le Monde’, and I went to left bank cinemas to watch films by Rohmer, Chabrol and Buñuel.

But the thing that helped me most was a yellow book called ‘Du tac au tac’ that I still have. ‘Du tac au tac’ contains idiomatic French dialogues that could come from a play or a film script.

By way of experiment, I sprinkled my French conversations with lines from ‘Du tac au tac’. To my surprise, people often replied with the exact words from the book. It was as if they recognised their cue, and took their lines from me.

No-one seemed to notice that I was following a script. My French got better and better, until an elderly lady at the Comédie Française refused to believe I came from the UK.

I want this blog to be a resource for people who want to speak real English. I’m going to focus on words and phrases that take my fancy. I can’t promise to repeat the success of ‘Du tac au tac’, but I’ll have a go.


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