Home abroad

Somewhere between Montluçon and Limoges, I drove past a sign informing me I was entering the “pays d’oc”. As a linguist and an explorer of France, I got very excited. First of all, entering a new country is always exciting. The French language has the word “dépaysement”, for the feeling of being in a newContinue reading “Home abroad”

The French art of conversation

The French are famous across the world for their love of debate (some say, their love of arguing). So let me explain how to think (and argue) like the French. Let us start with an example of how the French take a compliment. Person A says to person B “Your hair looks lovely today”. PersonContinue reading “The French art of conversation”

Simple comme bonjour

Literally “As simple as “Hello”, this phrase is the French equivalent to “as easy as one, two, three”. Except greetings in French are actually quite hard to navigate, and you often feel awkward at first. Trust me when I say, it isn’t because of your inadequacies in French. It’s true for French people too. Let’sContinue reading “Simple comme bonjour”

“Such a romantic language!”

I have been told numerous times that French was the most romantic language, and, to be frank, it has always puzzled me. Let me explain. When it comes to the language, it is clear that French has given English, and other languages for that matter a plethora of words relating to romance and sex. “Affair”,Continue reading ““Such a romantic language!””

My favourite accent

As a teacher of French, I should not have a favourite accent. It is almost like confessing to having a favourite child, it is not socially acceptable. But I do have a favourite. Let me celebrate accents in general. One of the main barriers when learning French as a foreign language is the seemingly tenuousContinue reading “My favourite accent”

Le covid or la covid?

For everybody around the world who struggles to speak French correctly, by which they tend to mean “accurately”, hope is out there. And no, I am not selling a piece of code that magically helps you jump through the hoops, twists, turns, quirks and exceptions of French. What I have found out, upon my returnContinue reading “Le covid or la covid?”