How to write a fluent conversation

Speak a foreign language fluently in 4 steps

Do you have difficulties speaking in a foreign language?

Trying to say something, but just don't have the words? You don't know how to formulate a sentence at all?

Or do you not even dare to have a conversation?

In this post you will find out everything you need to know to be able to speak a language quickly. No matter which foreign language you want to learn - English, French, Italian, Spanish or German - You can find valuable tips herehow you can speak fluently in this as soon as possible.

To speak a foreign language fluently, you need one thing above all: practice

But one thing first. The best way to really speak a language is by speaking.

I know, not a shocking finding.

But many people still use reading, listening, and many other things to prepare to speak. Everything except speaking.

Then you first wait for the “perfect moment” when you are suddenly ready to speak. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. Because the perfect moment never comes.

The best strategy in language learning is to use it.

If you want to learn a language quickly, you have to use it (learn in this post how to learn a language really fast).

The same goes for speaking. If you want to speak a language well, you just have to speak to them.

But that is nowhere near as problematic as it seems. There are many ways to simplify this (You can find my method for learning a foreign language in 6 months here). You will find out about these possibilities in this article.

Speaking is not the same as speaking:

When I speak, I don't mean having hours of conversation with a native speaker. You work your way slowly. Step by step.

In the beginning, speaking can mean saying just one sentence or even just one word.That's enough to get started.

After you've said the first sentence, say the next. And so on. This is how you work your way up to a real conversation piece by piece.

Follow the 4 steps below:

Speak a foreign language fluently in 4 steps.

Download this graphic and the checklist for this post here free of charge in PDF format down.

Step 1: Build a basis in the new language by talking to yourself.

By far the best way to build a base and slowly prepare for real conversations are self-talk.They are practically the dry run.

When you learn to swim, you don't go straight into the water. Then you would go under.

First the trainer will practice the movement sequences with you on the edge of the pool. Only when you have mastered it will you be let into the water.

The same goes for learning to speak. If you're just starting out, don't dare to speak to a native speaker right away. First do the Dry exercise with self-talk.

Here you will find more details on how to learn to speak better with self-talk.

Step 2: The first simple conversations.

Now comes the big challenge. If you've never spoken to a native speaker before, this step is the hardest. You have to bring yourself to talk to someone.

The trick is: keep it as short as possible. A minute or even a few sentences is enough. The main thing is you take this first step and conduct your first conversation.

Once you have taken this first step, it will be much easier to continue. It's like just putting your foot in the cold water. Put your second foot in the cold water will be a lot easier.

So you immerse your whole body, one body part at a time, in the water. You work your way up to increasingly complex conversations. Step by step.Never jump straight into the cold water. It's bad for the heart.

The same goes for Learn languages. If you jump into the deep end and start a long first conversation, is that bad for your "language learning heart".

It gets overwhelming and so it becomes difficult to trust you the second time.

Read here: 5 tips on how you finally dare to have conversations with native speakers.

Speak a foreign language fluently by having conversations with a tandem partner.

The best thing to do is to talk to tandem partners.

In a language tandem, you exchange ideas with a native speaker. He wants to learn your mother tongue and you want to learn his mother tongue.

So half of the time you conduct the conversation in your mother tongue and the other half of the time in his mother tongue.

So both benefit from it.

A Spanish language tandem.


What if you don't dare to have your first conversation in the language you don't yet know?

You don't have to have a long tandem conversation with a stranger to be able to speak successfully. If so, take small steps. Baby steps.

Do you have someone you know who speaks the language or is even a native speaker? Exchange with him.In the beginning, a few sentences are sufficient. Be it just "Hello", "How are you?" And "I'm fine".

For each subsequent conversation you add a few sentences. Take z. B. to hang a sentence before the next conversation.

You can practice this in self-talk.

When you feel a little more confident, plan a real conversation. Schedule it for a maximum of 5 minutes.

So it is no longer too much of a challenge. You increase slowly and step by step and you dare more and more.

You don't have a friend who can help you with the language?

With baby steps to a real conversation in the foreign language.

To learn to speak a foreign language fluently, you should proceed step-by-step.

If you don't have a friend and don't dare to speak to a native speaker straight away, you can go through the following steps with an initially unknown tandem partner:

  1. The first5 contactswrite her. This is how you slowly get to know him.
  2. Practice the most important phrases in self-talk.
  3. If you feel comfortable enough with it you take up the empty phrases. E.g. with the smartphone. Record yourself until you are satisfied with the recording. It doesn't need to be longer than 20 seconds.
  4. Your best shot you send to your tandem partner, z. B. by email or WhatsApp. He should send you a similar recording back in German.
  5. You repeat this process several times. You send sound recordings to each other. Until you are ready to have at least a short conversation.
  6. Now make an appointment for a short conversation. At this you only exchange briefly. The conversation only needs to last 1 minute.
  7. your extend your conversations always on.

These are baby steps with whom you only go as far as you dare. In no time you will feel comfortable and ready to have a proper conversation in the foreign language.

The main thing is always to take the next step. Don't stop. Take z. B. before completing each step after a week and moving on to the next.

Corrections are out of place at the beginning.

It is important not to correct in the beginning. At the beginningis the most important thing to talk about. You first have to build a base and feel comfortable with it.

Correction comes into focus later.Otherwise it can happen that you feel less comfortable after a few corrections because you are afraid of saying everything wrong.

In the beginning it is no problem at all to make a lot of mistakes. In fact, it's important. Because that's the only way to start. It is not possible to say everything correctly right at the beginning (find out why mistakes are so important when learning languages).

You will automatically notice many mistakes and correct them yourself.

Only when you speak a little better do you ask your tandem partner to correct you. But first just a little.

The main thing is that the flow of speech is not interrupted. So only the gross errors should be corrected. The better you speak, the finer mistakes can be corrected.

Use ready-made sentences to get started quickly.

A great way to without extensive knowledge Ready-made sentences are ready-made sentences to start conversations in a foreign language quickly and easily.

Here are some examples:

  • I work at company xy as an accountant.
  • What do you like about your home country?
  • When was the last time you were in Germany?
  • Would you like to have the next conversation with me on day X?

Write down several important sentences. You use this in conversation. This gives you sentences that you can fall back on if you don't know how to say something.

You can z. B. write out of a textbook. Whenever you find new sentences write them down on your list. If you repeatedly use the sentences on your list, you will eventually apply them automatically.

Literal translations - a good technique or a no-go?

Did your teachers always warn you when you literally translated sentences from German?

In the beginning, literal translation is an excellent strategy to start speaking.

It is a bridge to correct sentences. It is hardly possible to formulate correct sentences overnight.

So you translate literally at the beginning.

Say a sentence somehow. It doesn't matter how. If the person you are talking to does not understand you, modify the sentence accordingly. By experimenting it will eventually work.

Your sentences will improve automatically, your interlocutors will do the rest.

  • As soon as you formulate understandable sentences, you revise its structure.
  • The more You hear the language the better become your sentences.
  • Sometime you notice automaticallyif a sentence is wrong.
  • Your interlocutors make further corrections.

How do babies speak when they are learning their mother tongue? You just glue all known words together. They hear more and more correct sentences and begin to adapt their own sentences. Later they are corrected and formulate their sentences better and better.

Would a parent correct their child as soon as the first sentences came out? Of course not. It's the same with learning languages. The main thing is to first produce any sentences before you allow yourself to be corrected.

Step 3: The first major conversations.

When you have had your first short conversations in the foreign language, you are ready for your first real conversation. Schedule your first conversation e.g. B. on 10 minutes. Increase yourself with every conversation.

When you have had your first long conversation in the foreign language, your brain will start smoking. It is a tremendous effort to speak in a completely foreign language for such a long time. That is noticeable.

The more conversations you have, the more relaxed you become.It also becomes easier and easier for you to answer spontaneously. You slowly get used to having conversations in the foreign language.

Step 4: Speak regularly so as not to lose your practice.

When you have had your first long conversations in the foreign language, do you do this regularly.Schedule several tandem meetings per week. 1-2 hours are best, so that each tandem partner speaks for at least 30 minutes.

In order to move forward really quickly, I recommend that you have at least three meetings a week. But it should be at least one a week.

Also, talk to yourself regularly. I have z. B. an alarm for each evening at 11:00 PM. Then I talk to myself for 5-10 minutes.

If you only have 3 tandem conversations every week for 3 months, you will already be able to speak pretty well.

Speak a foreign language fluently Summary: Speak fluently in just a few steps.

If you want to learn to speak a foreign language fluently, follow these steps:

  1. Practice talking to yourself about what you want to say.
  2. Lead first simple Conversations.
  3. Lead a few longer Conversations.
  4. Plansregularly Language tandems.

In this process, you repeatedly build in vocabulary learning. This is how you get from one level to the next.

Conclusion: Baby steps to success - learning a new language is a bigger project. So don't overdo yourself with goals that are too big.

To speak well, you have to speak a lot. That much is clear. If you do this regularly, you will improve quickly. If you want to know how it went exactly for me:Case study on how I learned Spanish.

But you don't have to start with long tandem talks right away. It is sufficient to first have only short conversations in the foreign language and slowly work your way up to real conversations.

If you talk regularly, even if only for a few minutes a day, you will improve really quickly.

Bonus download: Download the checklist here to speak a foreign language fluently in 4 steps. In this, the most important points from this article, together with the flowchart, are clearly presented in a PDF. You will also receive step-by-step instructions for your first tandem conversation with a native speaker.

At the end you will find the interview with Lucas Bighetti (a well-known polyglot from Brazil), who explains the monologue technique he developed for learning languages. With this you will learn to speak any foreign language - whether English, German, Spanish, Italian or French - within a very short time. His basic principle is, of course, speak again, speak and speak again. You can find a summary of the interview on the monologue technique here.

How do you prefer to have conversations in the foreign language? Do you have any tips of your own for tandem talks or conversations with native speakers that you would not like to withhold from us? Then leave them to me in the comments! Thank you - your Gabriel Gelman.

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