When you must speak on the phone in a language that is not your native language, whether it is a personal conversation or a work-related conversation, it can be quite stressful ! To talk on the phone in French without stressing, you must start by thoroughly preparing the conversation, the vocabulary and expressions frequently used over the phone. Make sure to practice and avoid being overtaken by events. If you follow our advice, you should be able to succeed in speaking on the phone in French.
Prepare the conversation and vocabulary
Talking on the phone cannot be improvised. Because there is no image, it can be more difficult to understand the person you are talking to. To succeed, the secret is to prepare yourself extensively. You must really master your subject!
Think about what you want to say and the questions you could be asked. Take note of the important vocabulary and the keywords that could arise in the conversation. It is by covering all the options and possibilities that you will be able to successfully engage in a phone conversation in French.
Know the expressions frequently used over the phone
Here are a few sentences that are often used in phone conversations in French:
- « Bonjour, je voudrais parler à X » / “Hello, I would like to speak to X”
- « C’est de la part de X » / “It is X speaking”
- « Qui est à l’appareil ? » / “Who is on the line?”
- « Quand puis-je vous rappeler ? » / “When may I call you back?”
- « Quant sera-t-il de retour ? » / “When will he be back?”
- « Pouvez-vous lui laisser un message ? » / “Can you leave him/her a message?”
- « Pouvez-me donner son numéro de téléphone portable ? » / “Can you give me his/her cell phone number?”
- « Désolé d’avoir raté votre appel» / “Sorry I missed your call”
Practice speaking on the phone
To feel comfortable on the phone in French, you must get used to speaking on the phone! Live-French.net offers French classes through Skype, using video or just audio. It is a great way to practice speaking on the phone in French. Your Live-French.net teacher can help you and guide you with recommendations to master this communications vehicle. In addition your teacher will help you to improve without making you feel ridiculous!
Avoid being overtaken by the conversation
If you are lost during the phone conversation, do not hesitate to speak up! You otherwise risk being completely overtaken by the conversation and missing everything that is said! Do not hesitate to tell the other person that French is not your native language.
It is also perfectly acceptable to ask the person to speak less fast. You can for example ask « Pouvez-vous parler moins vite s’il-vous-plait ? ». If you didn’t understand what was just said, ask the person to repeat by saying « Vous serait-il possible de répéter s’il-vous-plait ? ».
As a summary, to speak on the phone in French without stress, prepare yourself and practice! And do not hesitate to ask the person you are speaking with to slow down!