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Archive for the 'French Culture' Category

How To Post In Perfect French on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak French, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in French.

At Learn French, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your French in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in French

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in French. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

François eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down François’s post.

Soirée restau entre mecs ;)
“Night out at a restaurant with the guys ;)”

1- soirée restau

First is an expression meaning “night out at the restaurant.”
In France, many people go out to eat with their friends on Fridays and Saturdays because there’s no work the following day. Students, however, like to have parties on Thursday evenings.

2- entre mecs

Then comes the phrase - “with the guys.”
In general, French men like to meet up with their male friends at least once a month to catch up and relax.

COMMENTS

In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

1- Et moi alors? :p

His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “What about me? :p”
Use this expression to joke with your partner about being excluded.

2- Ca a l’air délicieux!

His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “It looks delicious!”
Use this expression to show your appreciation of the appearance of the food.

3- Ca a l’air délicieux!

His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Where is it?”
Use this question to find out more about a location - in this case, the restaurant.

4- Bon appétit!

His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy your meal!”
This is an old-fashioned wish for a good and enjoyable meal.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • soirée: “party”
  • restau: “restaurant”
  • mec: “guy”
  • moi: “me”
  • avoir l’air: “look”
  • délicieux: “delicious”
  • appétit: “appetite”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a French restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in French

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these French phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Léa shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of the two of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Journée shopping avec ma petite soeur adorée :D
    “Shopping day with my beloved little sister :D

    1- journée shopping

    First is an expression meaning “shopping day.”
    In France, people like to go shopping over the weekends in malls, either with their friends, their partners or by themselves, when they’re looking for something in particular.

    2- avec (ma petite soeur) adorée

    Then comes the phrase - “with my beloved (little sister).”
    Use this phrase to say that you really enjoy being with a person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Sympa !

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “Nice!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling positive about the poster’s comment.

    2- Profitez-bien :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy :)”
    Use this expression to wish someone a good experience, short and sweet.

    3- Il faudra que tu me montres ce que tu as acheté !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You’ll have to show me what you bought!”
    Use this expression to be conversational and show interest in the poster’s activities.

    4- Par ce temps pourri ? Vous avez du courage ! :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “With this crappy weather? You’re brave :p”
    Use this expression if you want to tease the poster in a friendly manner.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • journée: “day”
  • soeur: “sister”
  • sympa: “nice”
  • profiter: “enjoy”
  • montrer: “show”
  • acheter: “buy “
  • temps: “weather”
  • courage: “courage”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in French

    Sports events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in French.

    François plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au programme d’aujourd’hui: beach-volley !
    “On today’s agenda: beach volleyball! ”

    1- Au programme d’aujourd’hui

    First is an expression meaning “on today’s agenda.”
    Use this phrase to explain your plans for the day. This phrase is generally followed by a noun but can be followed by a list if it’s a busy day.

    2- beach-volley

    Then comes the phrase - “beach volleyball.”
    In social media, nouns are often used by themselves to point out something particularly important.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Un peu de sport ne te fera pas de mal mon vieux :p

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “Some sports won’t hurt you, old boy :p”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling negative or pessimistic about the poster’s choice of sport. It could also be meant to tease the poster.

    2- Ton équipe a gagné ?

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Did your team win?”
    Ask this if you want the poster to share

    3- Amuse-toi bien :)

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun :)”
    Use this expression as a short well-wish.

    4- Trop bien, la prochaine fois je veux venir moi aussi !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “That’s (so) great. I wanna come next time!”
    Use this expression to show your excitement for the game, and to share your desire to join the next one.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • programme: “program”
  • beach-volley: “beach volleyball”
  • mon vieux: “old boy”
  • équipe: “team”
  • gagner: “win”
  • s’amuser: “have fun”
  • trop bien: “great”
  • la prochaine fois: “next time”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in French

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Léa shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    J’adore cette chanson.
    “I love this song.”

    1- J’adore

    First is an expression meaning “I love.”
    Use this phrase when you’re really into something.

    2- cette chanson

    Then comes the phrase - “this song.”
    The pronoun before the noun indicates that you’re talking about one thing in particular.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Moi aussi ! Il faut qu’on aille au concert ensemble !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Me too! We need to go to the concert together!”
    Use this expression to indicate that you share the poster’s enthusiasm for the music, and wants to be part of the group attending the concert.

    2- C’est pas trop mon genre de musique ;)

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not really my type of music ;)”
    Use this expression to share a personal opinion about the music.

    3- C’est la première fois que je l’entends mais j’aime bien :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “It’s the first time I’m listening to it, but I like it :)”
    This is another personal experience and opinion to share.

    4- Personnellement, je préfère la musique classique.

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “I prefer classical music.”
    Use this expression to share a personal preference for different music.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • adorer: “love”
  • chanson: “song”
  • ensemble: “together”
  • genre: “kind”
  • musique: “music”
  • bien aimer: “like”
  • musique classique: “classical music”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. French Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in French!

    François goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au concert tant attendu :D
    “At the long-awaited concert :D

    1- au concert

    First is an expression meaning “at the concert.”
    Sometimes, to answer the question “Where are you?”, you can respond briefly by using a preposition followed by the name of the place you’re at.

    2- tant attendu

    Then comes the phrase - “long awaited.”
    In France, people generally enjoy going to concerts, especially when their favorite singer is in town. The most popular music genres are pop and rock, but France has a wide variety of bands that play different kinds of music. American music is also very popular in France.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- J’ai hâte que ça commence !

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait for it to start!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling enthusiastic and impatient for the event to start.

    2- Vous êtes au concert de qui ?

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Awesome :)”
    Use this expression to indicate your positive feelings in a short manner.

    3- Vous êtes au concert de qui ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Whose concert are you at?”
    Use this question for more details about the location of the concert.

    4- Prends plein de photos !

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Take lots of pictures!”
    Use this expression to show your interest in the topic, and instruct the poster to keep an image record of the event.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • concert: “concert”
  • avoir hâte: “look forward”
  • commencer: “start”
  • génial: “awesome”
  • de qui: “whose”
  • plein de: “a lot of”
  • photos: “pictures”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in French

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these French phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Léa accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Mon téléphone est cassé ! :’(
    “My phone is broken! :’(”

    1- mon téléphone

    First is an expression meaning “my phone.”
    In France, smartphones are becoming increasingly popular. There are many brands, colors and sizes suited for different people’s preferences.

    2- est cassé

    Then comes the phrase - “is broken.”
    This phrase is used to express that something is not working anymore. It can be used with different objects: electronic devices, toys, kitchenware, etc.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Oh non :(

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Oh no :(”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sympathetic with the poster’s poor luck.

    2- On va aller faire du shopping ce week-end !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s go shopping this weekend!”
    Use this phrase to suggest that you will accompany the poster to a shop for a new phone.

    3- Comment tu as réussi à faire ça ? :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “How did you manage to do that? :p”
    Use this expression if you want to know how the phone broke, but not in an interrogative manner.

    4- Tu as perdu beaucoup de données importantes ?

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “Did you lose a lot of important data?”
    Use this expression to show your concern about what the poster might have lost from the phone.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • téléphone: “phone”
  • casser: “break”
  • shopping: “shopping”
  • week-end: “weekend”
  • réussir: “manage”
  • perdre: “lose”
  • donnée: “data”
  • important: “important”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in French. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in French

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in French!

    François gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Pfff… rien à faire à la maison… des idées ?
    “Pfff… nothing to do at home… any ideas?”

    1- Pfff… rien à faire à la maison

    First is an expression meaning “pfff… nothing to do at home.”
    In French social media, onomatopoeias can be written down, and the verb is omitted to emphasize the main idea.

    2- des idées?

    Then comes the phrase - “any ideas?.”
    During their free time, French people often enjoy relaxing at home, hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing video games, reading books, going to the cinema, playing sports or doing other kinds of activities.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Non désolé :p

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “No, sorry :p”
    Use this expression to show you are void of any ideas to relieve boredom.

    2- On sort ce soir ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “You wanna go out tonight?”
    This is an invitation to go out with the poster in order to keep busy.

    3- Je suis sûre que tu trouveras quelque chose d’intéressant à faire ;)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m sure you’ll find something interesting to do ;)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic that the poster will soon be busy.

    4- Et si vous lisiez un livre ?

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “How about reading a book?”
    This is a suggestion or idea to combat boredom.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • rien: “nothing”
  • maison: “home”
  • idée: “idea”
  • désolé(e): “sorry”
  • sortir: “go out”
  • quelque chose: “something”
  • lire: “read”
  • livre: “book”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in French

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in French about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Léa feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    La journée était longue, je suis morte…
    “It was a long day, I’m dead…”

    1- La journée était longue

    First is an expression meaning “It was a long day.”
    In France, people can legally work 35 hours per week (generally from Monday to Friday) and are entitled to five weeks of paid leave per year, which they can take whenever they want. Families with children generally go on vacation for a few weeks during the summer when their children are on holiday and don’t have to go to school.

    2- je suis morte

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m dead.”
    Sometimes people express themselves in strong, exaggerated language to convey their feelings.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Reposez-vous bien, nous avons une réunion importante demain.

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Rest well. We have an important meeting tomorrow.”
    These phrases convey plans for the next day at work, relevant to the poster.

    2- ça va?

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Are you ok?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling concern for the poster.

    3- Vivement ce week-end ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait for this weekend ^^”
    Use this expression to be encouraging, implying that rest is in sight for everyone.

    4- Moi aussiiiiii !

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Me tooooooo!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling the same as the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • journée: “day”
  • long: “long”
  • mort(e): “dead”
  • se reposer: “rest”
  • réunion: “meeting”
  • vivement: “can’t wait for”
  • aussi: “too”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in French! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in French

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in French.

    François suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    J’ai super mal à la cheville :(
    “My ankle hurts really badly :(”

    1- J’ai super mal

    First is an expression meaning “It hurts really bad.”
    To talk about pain in French, the speaker begins his sentence with a personal pronoun because he’s talking about his own feelings.

    2- à la cheville

    Then comes the phrase - “at my ankle.”
    To talk about where something hurts, you generally use this preposition, then the noun (preceded by the corresponding article).

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu es allé chez le médecin ?

    His girlfriend, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Have you seen a doctor?”
    Use this question to obtain more information about the action the poster has taken regarding their injury. It also shows concern.

    2- Mon pauvre…

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Poor you…”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sympathy with the poster.

    3- Ça arrive, c’est pas la fin du monde !

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “It happens. It’s not the end of the world!”
    Use this expression to remind the poster that it is not the worst injury.

    4- Tu guériras sûrement rapidement :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “You’ll probably recover soon :)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic about the poster’s prospects of speedy recovery.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • avoir mal : “be hurting”
  • cheville: “ankle”
  • médecin: “doctor”
  • pauvre: “poor”
  • ça arrive: “it happens”
  • fin: “end”
  • monde: “world”
  • guérir: “recover”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in French

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Léa feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Ce temps est déprimant.
    “This weather is depressing.”

    1- Ce temps

    First is an expression meaning “This weather.”
    The weather varies greatly depending on where you are in France. In Paris, which is in the north of France, it is often cloudy, rainy or cold. In the south, temperatures are generally warmer.

    2- est déprimant

    Then comes the phrase - “is depressing.”
    On rainy days, people generally like to stay at home, relax and not do much. Instead of going out, they prefer watching TV, reading, cooking, playing video games or board games etc.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Moi j’aime la pluie :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “I like the rain :)”
    Use this phrase to express a preference for rainy weather.

    2- Au moins il n’y a pas besoin d’arroser les plantes :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “At least there’s no need to water the plants :p”
    Use this expression if you are being frivolous and wish to keep the conversation light.

    3- C’est parfait pour une soirée film ;)

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “It’s perfect for a movie night ;)”
    Use this expression as a suggestion to comfort the poster.

    4- Moi aussi je ne suis pas motivé pour faire quoi que ce soit.

    Her boyfriend, François, uses an expression meaning - “I’m not motivated to do anything either.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling the same as the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • temps: “weather”
  • déprimant: “depressing”
  • pluie: “rain”
  • arroser: “water”
  • plante: “plant”
  • soirée film: “movie night”
  • motivé(e): “motivated”
  • quoi que ce soit: “anything”
  • How would you comment in French when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in French

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    François changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Léa together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    “En couple avec Léa”.
    “”In a relationship with Léa.”"

    1- En couple

    First is an expression meaning “In a relationship.”
    In France, it’s common to post about relationship statuses when something changes to see how everyone reacts.

    2- avec Léa.

    Then comes the phrase - “with Léa..”
    French people also like to add the name of whom they are with. Not only to satisfy their friend’s curiosity, but also to show that they are proud to be with that person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Je m’en doutais.

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “I suspected it.”
    Use this expression to show the announcement is not surprising.

    2- C’est pas trop tôt !

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “It’s about time!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling positive about the relationship.

    3- Bien joué mon vieux ;)

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Well done, buddy ;)”
    Use this expression to congratulate the poster.

    4- Vous formez un beau couple :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “You’re a nice couple :)”
    Use this expression to compliment the couple.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • en couple: “in a relationship”
  • se douter de: “suspect”
  • C’est pas trop tôt: “It’s about time”
  • bien joué: “well done”
  • mon vieux: “buddy”
  • former: “form”
  • couple: “couple”
  • What would you say in French when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in French

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in French.

    Léa is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Je me marie aujourd’hui :D
    “I’m getting married today :D

    1- Je me marie

    First is an expression meaning “I’m getting married.”
    Nowadays, with the PACS system (a contractual form of civil union), fewer people are getting married than in previous generations. For those who do, they typically get married later in life. In France, it’s socially acceptable to have children without being married.

    2- aujourd’hui

    Then comes the phrase - “today.”
    The date is optional but can be used to emphasize that it’s a very special day.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Je vous souhaite beaucoup de bonheur :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “I wish you tons of happiness :)”
    Use this expression as a warmhearted well-wish to the couple.

    2- Tu as l’air magnifique dans cette robe !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You look gorgeous in that dress!”
    Use this expression to compliment the bride.

    3- Je suis super contente pour vous 2 :)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m really happy for you two :)”
    Use this expression to show that you are pleased for the sake of the couple.

    4- Vive les mariés ! :D

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Long live the newlyweds! :D
    This is an uncommon way to congratulate the couple and wish them a long marriage.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • se marier: “get married”
  • beaucoup: “a lot”
  • bonheur: “happiness”
  • magnifique: “gorgeous”
  • robe: “dress”
  • content: “happy”
  • vive les mariés: “long live the newlyweds”
  • How would you respond in French to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in French

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in French.

    François finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Dans quelques mois nous serons 3 ;)
    “In a couple of months there will be 3 of us ;)”

    1- Dans quelques mois

    First is an expression meaning “In a couple of months.”
    To show that you’re excitedly awaiting something, you’ll often start by talking about the date.

    2- nous serons 3

    Then comes the phrase - “there will be 3 of us.”
    In French, sometimes people don’t always write exactly what they mean. Instead, they will hide the meaning a bit, inviting others to interact.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu vas être papa ? :o

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “You’re gonna be a dad? :o
    Use this expression if you feel humorous and pretend to be unbelieving.

    2- C’est une fille ou un garçon ?

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Is it a girl or a boy?”
    Use this question to gather more information.

    3- Je suis sûre que vous serez des parents géniaux :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “I’m sure you’ll be great parents :)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic about the couple’s parenting skills.

    4- Félicitations :D

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations :D
    Use this expression to congratulate the couple in a traditional, understated way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • mois: “month”
  • papa: “dad”
  • fille: “girl”
  • garçon: “boy”
  • être sûr(e): “be sure”
  • parents: “parents”
  • félicitations: “congratulations”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting French Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in French.

    Léa plays with her baby, posts an image of the little angel, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Ma petite princesse.
    “My little princess.”

    1- Ma petite

    First is an expression meaning “my little.”
    Nowadays many women focus on their careers and may delay having children until they’re 30 years old.

    2- princesse

    Then comes the phrase - “princess.”
    French people often use a variety of cute nicknames or terms of endeardment like “sweetie” or “honey”. Some nicknames that might sound strange to English speakers include “my cabbage” or “my flea”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Elle est trop chou !

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “She’s so cute!”
    Use this phrase to agree with the poster about the baby’s powers of charm.

    2- Je viens faire du baby-sitting n’importe quand ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll come to babysit anytime ^^”
    Use this expression to be helpful.

    3- Quel beau sourire!

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “What a beautiful smile!”
    Use this expression to pay the baby a compliment.

    4- Elle est le portrait craché de son papa :)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “She’s the spitting image of her daddy :)”
    This phrase is a neutral comment which relates to the baby’s resemblance to the father.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • petit(e): “little”
  • princesse: “princess”
  • chou: “cute”
  • baby-sitting: “babysitting”
  • n’importe quand: “anytime”
  • beau: “beautiful”
  • sourire: “smile”
  • portrait craché: “spitting image”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in French! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. French Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    François goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Pique-nique avec la famille :)
    “Picnic with the family :)”

    1- Pique-nique

    First is an expression meaning “picnic.”
    Starting a sentence with a noun shows that it’s the most important part of what you want to say.

    2- avec la famille

    Then comes the phrase - “with the family.”
    In France, people have family reunions that can last for hours. There are many dishes in a typical French course, and family gatherings are a great opportunity to catch up with relatives you don’t see that often.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Passe le bonjour à tout le monde de ma part stp !

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Say hi to everyone please!”
    Use this expression if you know the family and wish to send them greetings.

    2- J’ai une tête affreuse sur cette photo !

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “I look horrible in this picture!”
    Use this expression to be self-deprecating about your own appearance.

    3- Super! Le temps est idéal pour un pique-nique :)

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Great! The weather is perfect for a picnic :)”
    Use this expression to share your enthusiasm for the good weather.

    4- Profitez-bien de votre week-end !

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Enjoy your weekend!”
    Use this expression as a traditional wish that the poster enjoy their time with the famly over the weekend.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • pique-nique: “picnic”
  • famille: “family”
  • passer le bonjour: “say hello”
  • tout le monde: “everyone”
  • tête: “head”
  • affreux: “horrible”
  • idéal: “ideal”
  • profiter: “enjoy”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in French

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in French about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Léa waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Départ dans une heure :)
    “Departure in an hour :)”

    1- Départ

    First is an expression meaning “departure.”
    French people typically go to southern France or to other warm places in Europe during their holidays. Most European countries are close to each other and don’t require visas for EU citizens, which makes it easier to go to different places.

    2- dans une heure

    Then comes the phrase - “in an hour.”
    French airlines are usually on time. Delays or cancellations can happen but are not that common.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Bon voyage !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Have a nice trip!”
    Use this expression to be old fashioned.

    2- Tu vas où exactement ?

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Where exactly are you going? ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    3- Je veux un souvenir !

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “I want a souvenir!”
    Use this expression if you demand a gift from the poster, bought at the holiday destination.

    4- La chance ! Moi aussi je veux y aller !

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “You’re so lucky! I wanna go too!”
    Use this expression to indicate that you envy the poster and wants to join them. You’re not seriously asking to go; it’s just an expression that emphasizes envy in a nice way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • départ: “departure”
  • heure: “hour”
  • bon voyage: “have a nice trip”
  • où: “where”
  • exactement: “exactly”
  • souvenir: “souvenir”
  • chance: “luck”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in French!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in French

    So maybe you’re strolling around at a local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy French phrases!

    François finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Je me demande à quoi ça sert…
    “I wonder what this is for…”

    1- Je me demande

    First is an expression meaning “I wonder.”
    Use this expression when you aren’t sure about something.

    2- à quoi ça sert

    Then comes the phrase - “what this is for.”
    In France, people sell all kinds of things at flea markets. Sellers are usually trying to get rid of old stuff they don’t use anymore by selling them for cheap rather than throwing them away.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Aucune idée !

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “No idea!”
    Use this expression when you have not clue regarding the identity of the find.

    2- C’est joli :)

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Where did you find that?”
    Use this question if you wish to know where the item was found.

    3- C’est joli :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “It’s pretty :)”
    Use this expression to indicate your liking of the item.

    4- Ca a l’air vieux.

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “It looks old.”
    This is an opnion regarding the item’s appearance - in this case, it looks aged.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • se demander: “wonder”
  • quoi: “what”
  • servir à: “be used for”
  • aucun : “no”
  • trouver: “find”
  • joli: “pretty”
  • avoir l’air: “look”
  • vieux: “old”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in French

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in French, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Léa visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Où suis-je ? ^^
    “Where am I? ^^”

    1- Où

    First is an expression meaning “Where.”
    When French people travel, they love seeing touristy stuff. Everyone who goes to Paris has certainly been to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum.

    2- suis-je?

    Then comes the phrase - “am I?.”
    It’s common on social media for people to add obscure pictures of where they are so that others can guess and share their opinions about that place.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu t’amuses à ce que je vois ;)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Too easy ;)”
    Use this expression if you think the location is easily identifiable. Or you could be bluffing!

    2- Sur la photo ! lol

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “On the picture! lol”
    Use this expression if you are in a joking, frivolous mood.

    3- Tu t’amuses à ce que je vois ;)

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I see that you’re having fun ;)”
    Use this expression just to comment in a positive way.

    4- C’est une très belle ville, n’est-ce pas ?

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a beautiful city, isn’t it?”
    Use this to make conversation by stating a fact and asking for agreement. Often, this is a rhetorical question, but it could be a good conversation starter too.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • trop: “too”
  • facile: “easy”
  • sur: “on”
  • à ce que je vois: “from what I can see”
  • ville: “city”
  • n’est-ce pas: “isn’t it”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in French

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in French!

    François relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Moment de détente :)
    “A moment of relaxation :)”

    1- Moment

    First is an expression meaning “Moment.”
    On French social media, it’s a common practice to shorten sentences by starting with a noun that expresses duration to explain what you’re doing.

    2- de détente

    Then comes the phrase - “of relaxation.”
    To relax, people in France enjoy walking in the park, sunbathing, going to the spa, and other such activities.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Tu le mérites ;)

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “You deserve it ;)”
    Use this phrase to express warm feelings towards the poster.

    2- C’est le même endroit où tu vas chaque année ?

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Is it the same place you’ve been going to every year?”
    Use this question to garner more information from the poster.

    3- J’arriiiiiiiiiiiiiiive :D

    His wife’s high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “I envy you :p”
    Use this expression if you feel envious of the poster.

    4- J’arriiiiiiiiiiiiiiive :D

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Comiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing :D
    Use this expression if you are feeling frivolous, and wish to join the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • moment: “moment”
  • détente: “relaxation”
  • mériter: “deserve”
  • même: “same”
  • endroit: “place”
  • année: “year”
  • envier: “envy”
  • arriver: “arrive”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in French When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Léa returns home after a vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Qu’on est bien chez soi !
    “How nice it is at home!”

    1- Qu’on est bien

    First is an expression meaning “How nice it is.”
    This phrase is equivalent to “home sweet home,” but cannot be translated literally into English. It’s typically used when speaking to oneself.

    2- chez soi

    Then comes the phrase - “at home.”
    When French people travel, they either like to bring souvenirs from where they went or write postcards to their family and friends.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Contente de te revoir ! :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back! :)”
    This is a traditional welcoming phrase when someone returns from a trip away from home.

    2- Tu nous as manqué.

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “We missed you.”
    Use this expression to indicate your feelings to the poster about missing them.

    3- Prochaine étape: défaire la valise… amuse-toi bien :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Next step: unpack the suitcase… have fun :p”
    Use this comment to make conversation in a playful way.

    4- C’était comment ? ^^

    Her husband’s high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “How was it? ^^”
    Use this question if you want to know more about the trip.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • chez soi: “at home”
  • content(e) de te revoir: “welcome back”
  • manquer: “miss”
  • prochain: “next”
  • étape: “step”
  • défaire: “unpack”
  • valise: “suitcase”
  • comment: “how”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media during a public celebration day such as Candlemas?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in French

    It’s a national celebratory day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    François leaves this comment about the meal served on Candlemas.

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Au menu du jour: des crêpes pour la Chandeleur :D
    “On the menu today: crepes for Candlemas :D

    1- Au menu du jour:

    First is an expression meaning “On the menu today:.”
    Beginning with this phrase shows that you are offering something different than usual.

    2- des crêpes pour la Chandleur

    Then comes the phrase - “crepes for Candlemas.”
    Candlemas takes place 40 days after Christmas. It used to be a Christian celebration and a symbol of prosperity for the coming year. Now, however, it’s just a day where you make crepes; no one really cares about the origin. People generally eat their crepes with Nutella, jam, honey, sugar, etc. But in some recipes you don’t add sugar to the dough, so you can make salty crepes like ham and cheese.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Ouaaaaaais ! Merci.

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Yaaaaay! Thanks.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling good about the food.

    2- Je peux passer ? J’ai de la confiture faite maison ;)

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Can I stop by? I have homemade jam ;)”
    Use these phrases to make arrangements with the poster.

    3- Tu en as raté combien en essayant de les retourner ? :p

    His nephew, Jean, uses an expression meaning - “How many did you mess up trying to flip them? :p”
    Use this expression to joke with the poster.

    4- Moi aussi j’en veux !

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “I want some too!”
    Use this expression to show you think the food looks desirable.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • menu: “menu”
  • crêpe: “crepe”
  • Chandeleur: “Candlemas”
  • confiture: “jam”
  • fait maison: “homemade”
  • rater: “mess up”
  • retourner: “flip”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    Candlemas Day and other public celebration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in French

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Léa goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Merci à tous d’être venus :)
    “Thank you all for coming :)”

    1- Merci à tous

    First is an expression meaning “Thank you all.”
    This is a polite expression to show one’s gratitude.

    2- d’être venus

    Then comes the phrase - “for coming.”
    In France, house parties with sweets, cakes, presents and games are popular among children. Adults also enjoy house parties and invite their friends over for food, music and conversation. Otherwise, they meet up with their friends somewhere else to do something special.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Joyeux anniversaire !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday!”
    This is the simple and traditional birthday wish.

    2- Tu as été gâtée ? ;)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Have you been spoiled? ;)”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    3- Tu ne rajeunis pas :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “You’re not getting younger :p”
    Use this expression to make playful fun of the poster’s age.

    4- Merci pour l’invitation ^^

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Thanks for the invitation ^^”
    Use this expression to be ironic and a bit sarcastic, if you were not really invited, or to really thank the poster for the invitation to the party.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Merci: “thank you “
  • joyeux anniversaire: “happy birthday”
  • gâter: “spoil”
  • rajeunir: “rejuvenate”
  • invitation: “invitation”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in French

    Impress your friends with your French New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    François celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Bonne année à tous !
    “Happy New Year, everyone!”

    1- Bonne année

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year.”
    In France, people light fireworks at midnight to celebrate the New Year. Some New Year’s gatherings happen at big places in big cities. Some people celebrate with their friends at home by having a nice dinner and following the countdown on TV. Afterwards, people wish their friends a happy new year by texting or writing on social media.

    2- à tous

    Then comes the phrase - “to everyone.”
    It’s considered courteous to wish people a happy new year on social media where everybody can read the post.

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Bonne année à toi aussi :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year to you too :)”
    This is the traditional reply to a New Year wish from anyone.

    2- Bonne santé !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Good health!”
    This is another common wish appropriate to this time of year.

    3- Meilleurs Voeux !

    His supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Best wishes!”
    Yet another traditional New Year wish, that’s also appropriate for other special occasions.

    4- Quelles sont tes bonnes résolutions ? ^^

    His college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “What are your New Year’s resolutions? ^^”
    Ask this question if you want to start the conversation about this favorite topic.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Bonne année: “Happy New Year”
  • santé: “health”
  • meilleur: “best”
  • voeu: “wish”
  • bonne résolution: “New Year’s resolution”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in French

    What will you say in French about Christmas?

    Léa celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Léa’s post.

    Noël en famille :D
    “Christmas with the family :D

    1- Noël

    First is an expression meaning “Christmas .”
    On the 24th of December, people usually enjoy a big meal in the evening. Then they go to bed and in the morning they open the presents that Santa Claus brought. Some families have another big meal on the 25th for lunch as well. Afterwards, they spend the rest of the day with their families.

    2- en famille

    Then comes the phrase - “with the family.”
    In France, Christmas is the most important family event of the year. Many shops are closed because it’s the one time of the year that everyone in France is spending time with their families.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Léa’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Joyeux Noël :)

    Her neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas :)”
    This is the traditional Christmas wish.

    2- Le père Noël t’a apporté beaucoup de cadeaux cette année ? :p

    Her high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Did Santa Claus bring you many presents this year? :p”
    Use this expression to make conversation about receiving gifts, which is a common tradition over Christmas.

    3- Le père Noël t’a apporté beaucoup de cadeaux cette année ? :p

    Her college friend, Rémi, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t eat too much :p”
    Use this expression if you want to playfully warn your friend about their eating habits. Usually not meant seriously.

    4- Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année !

    Her supervisor, Pierre, uses an expression meaning - “Happy Holidays!”
    This is another traditional wish appropriate to this time of year.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Noël: “Christmas”
  • Joyeux Noël: “Merry Christmas”
  • Père Noël: “Santa Claus”
  • cadeau: “present”
  • manger: “eat”
  • bonnes fêtes de fin d’année: “happy holidays”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in French

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which French phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    François celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down François’s post.

    Dîner en amoureux pour nos 1 an de mariage.
    “Candelit dinner for our one-year wedding anniversary.”

    1- dîner en amoureux

    First is an expression meaning “candelit dinner.”
    In France, people don’t eat out at nice restaurants that often as they can be expensive. But on special occasions, like a wedding anniversary, couples usually enjoy a nice dinner and other fancy activities afterwards.

    2- pour nos un an de mariage

    Then comes the phrase - “for our one-year wedding anniversary.”
    Anniversaries are a big deal in France. Couples often celebrate their love by doing something special together as well as by giving each other gifts like jewelry, perfume, flowers etc…

    COMMENTS

    In response, François’s friends leave some comments.

    1- J’ai hâte.

    His wife, Léa, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait.”
    Use this expression to show you eagerly anticipate the occasion.

    2- Comme c’est romantique !

    His neighbor, Céline, uses an expression meaning - “How romantic!”
    Use this comment to express your positive opinion of the anniversary.

    3- Déjà? Le temps passe super vite !

    His wife’s high school friend, Inès, uses an expression meaning - “Already? Time flies so fast!”
    Use this expression to make conversation in a humorous way.

    4- Joyeux anniversaire de mariage les amoureux :)

    His high school friend, Elodie, uses an expression meaning - “Happy wedding anniversary you lovebirds :)”
    This is a traditional wish for a wedding anniversary, used with a term of endearment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • dîner: “dinner”
  • en amoureux: “romantic”
  • mariage: “wedding”
  • romantique: “romantic”
  • temps: “time”
  • vite: “fast”
  • anniversaire de mariage: “wedding anniversary”
  • amoureux: “lovebirds”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn French! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in French

    Apologize in French: How to Say Sorry in French

    Thumbnail

    “An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything.” (Lynn Johnston)

    Whatever our reasons are, it’s never easy nor pleasant to apologize. Even in our native language where we can express all the subtleties needed to tone things down and smooth off the rough edges, “Sorry” still seems to be the hardest word.

    Now, imagine you have to offer your apologies in another language, like French. Would you know how to say “sorry” in French? Of course, you won’t want to risk any further mishap or an unfortunate choice of words that could put you in a tougher spot.

    Learning how to say “sorry” in French will not only help you go through delicate situations when you’ve made a mistake or behaved poorly. It will also provide you with a collection of ready-made formulas that you can use as a polite lubricant in everyday interactions. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to tell someone you’re sorry in basic French. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your French Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. The 3 Most Important Words
    2. Take Responsibility
    3. Sorry Gestures
    4. How to Accept an Apology
    5. Make it Official
    6. French Culture of Apologies
    7. How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Apologizing

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in French

    Man Saying Sorry


    1. The 3 Most Important Words

    When it comes to learning how to say “sorry” in French, vocabulary is, of course, a huge player. Although they can take many different forms, apologies in France mainly come down to only three words:

    • Excuse (“Apology”)
    • Désolé (“Sorry”)
    • Pardon (“Pardon”)

    Once you start practicing their variations, outlined below, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. As you’ll see, there are variations for saying a formal apology in French, as well as casual variations.

    1- S’excuser (“To apologize”)

    Here are Casual and Formal variants of “Excuse me” with their literal translations:

    Casual “Excuse me” Formal “Excuse me”
    Je m’excuse. (“I excuse myself.”) Je m’excuse. (“I excuse myself.”)
    Excuse-moi. (“Excuse me.”) Excusez-moi. (“Excuse me.”)
    Veuillez m’excuser. (“Please, excuse me.”)
    Toutes mes excuses. (“All my apologies.”)
    Je vous présente mes excuses. (“I present you my apologies.”)

    Je m’excuse (“I excuse myself”) may sound weird once literally translated, but this is the most popular way to say that you’re sorry. In French, it doesn’t actually sound like you’re asking for forgiveness and forgiving yourself in the same sentence!

    2- Pardonner (“To forgive”)

    Here are Casual and Formal variants of “Forgive me” with their literal translations.

    Casual “Forgive me” Formal “Forgive me”
    Pardon. (“Forgiveness.”) Pardonne-moi. (“Forgive me.”)
    Je te demande pardon. (“I ask for your forgiveness.”) Pardon. (“Forgiveness.”)
    Pardonnez-moi. (“Forgive me.”) Je vous demande pardon. (“I ask for your forgiveness.”)

    How to use it:

    Sentences with S’excuser (“to apologize”) or Pardonner (“to forgive”) can all be used to express that you’re sorry about your actions or the situation.

    For example: If you accidentally bump into someone and spill their coffee, you could say: Oh, toutes mes excuses ! or Je vous demande pardon !

    Excuse-moi and Excusez-moi are two common polite formulas that you can use in everyday situations, just as their English counterpart, “Excuse me.”

    Pardon (“forgiveness”) works just as well for casual or formal encounters.

    For example: You want to reach for your cheese in the fridge and someone you don’t know is standing in the way. You could say: Excusez-moi to catch his attention.

    With a friend, you would use the casual Excuse-moi for the same result.

    In both cases, you could also say: Pardon (“forgiveness”).

    3- Être désolé (“To be sorry”)

    Last but not least, Désolé (“Sorry”) is another cornerstone of the French apologies and works for casual and formal situations.

    • Désolé [Male] / Désolée [Female] (“Sorry”)
    • Je suis désolé(e) (“I am sorry”)

    Now, depending on the gravity of the situation, you may not want to sound overly laid-back when saying “I’m sorry” in French. Here are some ways to emphasize your apologies along with how to combine that apology with Désolé.

    • Vraiment (“Really”) — Je suis vraiment désolé. (“I am really sorry.”)
    • Sincèrement (“Sincerely”) — Je suis sincèrement désolé. (“I am sincerely sorry.”)
    • Réellement (“Truly”) — Je suis réellement désolé. (“I am truly sorry.”)
    • Tellement (“So”) — Je suis tellement désolé. (“I am so sorry.”)

    On the other hand, if the incident is so trivial that it doesn’t even deserve Désolé, you might want to go for our super-casual Oups (“Oops”).

    Not sure when you should say “Sorry?” Have a look at our list of phrases to say when you are angry on FrenchPod101. If you hear some of these directed at you, there’s a good chance you might want to apologize for something!

    Not Sure To Say Sorry


    2. Take Responsibility

    3 Ways To Say Sorry

    Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see how to go a step further. If you ask for forgiveness, you may want to accept the blame and acknowledge that you’re guilty of your bad deeds. Here’s how:

    • Je regrette. (“I regret.”)
    • Je suis navré. (“I’m sorry.”)
    • C’est ma faute. (“It’s my fault.”)
    • Je ne le ferai plus. (“I won’t do it again.”)
    • Je n’aurais pas dû dire ça. (“I should not have said that.”)
    • Comment puis-je me faire pardonner ? (“How can I be forgiven?”)

    In an informal setting, you could use a bit of slang (with care, as both of these terms are very familiar):

    • J’ai merdé. (“I’ve messed up.”)
    • J’ai déconné. (“I’ve screwed up.”)

    You can find more examples and useful phrases on our list of Common ways to say Sorry, as well as an audio recording to practice your accent.


    3. Sorry Gestures

    When working on your apology in learning French, gestures are an important aspect to consider. Although there’s no ‘official’ gesture to express that you’re sorry or to ask for forgiveness, having your body language in line with your words never hurts. In France, here are a few gestures to pick up:

    • Hold your hands up, as if you’re held at gunpoint.
    • Place one hand over your heart.
    • Open your hands in front of your hips, palms up or down.
    • Slightly extend one hand, palm up, toward the other person.
    • Hold your hands together perpendicularly in front of you.

    Remember to look at the other person in the eyes while apologizing. Keeping eye contact inspires trust and evokes a deeper connection. The other person will be more likely to believe in the sincerity of your apologies with a straight and confident look than with shifty eyes.

    Eye Contact


    4. How to Accept an Apology

    Now, what do you do when you’re on the other side of the apology? If you believe in the sincerity of the other person and feel ready to accept their apologies, you need to know how to proceed. And if you’re apologizing to someone, you need to understand what they might say in reply.

    In the case of a trivial matter that didn’t really require an apology:

    • C’est rien. (“It’s nothing.”)
    • C’est pas grave. (“It’s nothing serious.”)
    • Pas de soucis. (“No worries.”)

    For something more serious, here are a few examples:

    • J’accepte tes excuses. / J’accepte vos excuses. (“I accept your apologies.”)
    • Merci de t’être excusé. / Merci de vous être excusé. (“Thank you for apologizing.”)
    • Ne t’en fais pas. / Ne vous en faites pas. (“Don’t worry.”)
    • Je comprends. (“I understand.”)


    5. Make it Official

    Saying Sorry

    While most situations allow you to show some creativity with your apologies, there are some cases where it’s codified and doesn’t leave much room for improvisation.

    1- Condoléances (“Condolences”)

    Expressing your condolences is just as socially codified in France as anywhere else in the world. Here are a few examples of condolences sentences that you may want to use, should the need arise:

    • Je vous présente mes sincères condoléances.
      (“I offer you my sincere condolences.”)
    • En ces moments difficiles, je vous apporte tout mon soutien.
      (“During these difficult moments, I offer you my full support.”)
    • Je partage votre douleur et vous adresse mes sincères condoléances.
      (“I feel your pain and offer my sincere condolences.”)

    On a personal note, while these are certainly appropriate as a token of respect toward strangers or distant acquaintances, I would recommend something warmer and more personal for your friends.

    Unfortunately, there’s no prefabricated formulas for this but you can find some resources in our free vocabulary list for the Day of the Dead.

    Pink Roses

    2- Professional Apologies

    Any company is eventually bound to present apologies, be it toward customers, partners, or investors. Once again, professional apologies are highly codified and are usually expressed with formulas without too much soul.

    There’s no strict template but they usually look like these:

    • Veuillez nous excuser de la gêne occasionnée.
      (“Please, excuse us for any inconvenience.”)
    • Je suis au regret de vous informer que ___
      (“I’m sorry to inform you that ___”)
    • Nous vous présentons nos excuses pour ce désagrément.
      (“We offer you our apologies for this inconvenience.”)
    • Je vous prie de nous pardonner pour ___
      (“Please, forgive us for ___”)


    6. French Culture of Apologies

    We’ve all heard before how the French are rude or insensitive, and especially if you’re coming from a country where the customer-centric approach reigns supreme, you’re bound to miss the exquisite courtesy you’ve been lulled by before coming to France.

    1- The French VS The Customers

    “And then, he slammed in on the table like an angry French waiter!”

    As much as it makes me laugh, it also saddens me a little that my compatriots are mainly famous for their bad manners and rough tempers. And it’s not just waiters; it applies to most of our daily interactions as customers, from the supermarket to the bank, the phone company or the tickets booth in the subway.

    Being born and bred in France, it never struck me as a problem or even an oddity. But when I traveled to countries with a strong customer-centric philosophy such as Australia or Japan, I immediately noticed the difference:

    • In Australia, I was being called “Sweetheart” or “Love” by a cashier I was seeing for the first time.
    • In Japan, it seemed to me that the staff would apologize for bringing me the bill, then apologize for taking my money, and apologize again for giving the change back.
    • In France, I consider myself lucky when they look me in the eyes and I’d be shocked if they ever thank me for anything, even more so apologize.

    All things considered, this is just a different approach to customer interactions and it shouldn’t be taken as an offensive behavior or a lack of empathy. French professionals are just not as inclined to apologize as in other countries.

    Tables and Chairs

    2- The French VS The Feelings

    Now, outside of these artificial business constructions, and more generally speaking: Why is it difficult for French people to apologize?

    To understand this, you need to consider the balance between “Reason” and “Feelings.” It varies wildly from one culture to the next and to keep it simple, let’s say that the French tend to overvalue rationality at the expense of their emotional landscape.

    As I mentioned in another article, our body language is more restrained, our gestures aren’t as exuberant as those in North America, and our intonation isn’t as loud and assertive as those in Latin America.

    Being rational creatures, the French are less likely to apologize for what they might see as “wrong reasons.” One such reason being to calm someone down or to alleviate their resentment.

    We tend to think that it’s more important to be right than kind and won’t apologize unless we sincerely believe that we’ve done or said something wrong. On one hand, it’s a positive trait, as we keep things straight and honest. On the other hand, this isn’t the best way to handle emotional people who care more about their connection with you than your quest for the truth.

    “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.” (Mark Matthews)


    How Frenchpod101 Can Help You Learn More about Apologizing

    In this guide, you’ve learned how to say “sorry” in French, as well as when you want to make amends for your bad deeds or in everyday situations as polite formulas. We’ve also seen how to take the blame and recognize our fault.

    Do you have anything you need to apologize for? Don’t wait any longer and offer a heartbreaking apology using what you’ve learned today!

    A good exercise is to write an apology about an imaginary blunder, trying to combine the different sentences that we’ve seen. Also make sure to explore FrenchPod101, as it has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and vocabulary!

    Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching and have your private teacher answer any of your questions or give you feedback on your “apology essay!”

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    About the Author: Born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril Danon has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

    Celebrating Assumption Day in France

    On Assumption Day, France celebrates the rising of Mary, the mother of Jesus, into Heaven. For this reason, it’s often called Assumption of Mary Day.

    The Assumption Holy Day reflects the strong Catholic nature of France, being one of the most popular and heavily celebrated holidays in the country. Even non-Catholics like to participate in the fun, often as a final party before the end of summer.

    Learn all about The Assumption of Mary Feast Day with FrenchPod101.com, and become more familiar with French culture as a whole. We hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Assumption Day?

    Assumption celebrates Jesus’s mother, Mary, rising up to Heaven.

    As such, the French also recognize Assumption Day as the name day for those named Mary (the most-given name of the twentieth century in France). Since 1946, this name has been given more than two-million times to little French girls!

    But is the Assumption a holy day of obligation? Yes, it is; but if the date happens to fall on a Monday or Saturday of a given year, people are not expected to attend the mass.

    2. When is Assumption Day?

    Man Holding Bible

    The date of Assumption in France holds much historical significance.

    In the sixth century, the Byzantine emperor Maurice established the Feast Day of the Virgin Mary in his empire every day on August 15. The holiday was introduced to the West by Pope Theodore in the seventh century, and took the name of Assumption starting the following century.

    In 1637, King Louis XIII wanted an heir, so he asked his subjects to make a procession every August 15 in every parish, so that his prayer would be granted. Because King Louis XIII’s request was granted the following year, the holiday on August 15 took on special importance.

    3. French Assumption Day Traditions

    A Church Building

    Every year, religious processions have taken place in certain cities in France. For example, after mass, pilgrims carry a statue of the Virgin Mary in the streets and around the neighborhood. On Assumption Day, Paris hosts a procession that has taken place for a few years, on a boat in the Seine, where the silver statue of the Virgin kept in Notre-Dame is taken out.

    Though Assumption is a Catholic holiday, even the non-religious in France celebrate. The most common secular celebrations include fireworks in popular cities and neighborhood dances, most of which are free to attend.

    During Assumption, the city of Lourdes experiences its busiest day of the year!

    4. The End of Summer…

    Assumption Day is often associated with the end of summer and the coming of autumn and winter.

    As such, there are many sayings about Assumption Day, such as À la mi-août, adieu les beaux jours (meaning “In mid-August, say goodbye to good weather,” in English) and à la mi-août, l’hiver est en route (meaning “In mid-August, winter is on the way,” in English). Indeed, August 15 also symbolizes a summer well-spent, and the approaching autumn.

    5. Useful Vocabulary for Assumption Day in France

    Virgin Mary in Stained Glass

    Here’s the most important vocabulary you should know to celebrate Assumption Day in France!

    • Église — “Church”
    • Assomption — “Assumption Day”
    • Chrétien — “Christian”
    • Assomption — “Assumption”
    • Croyance — “Belief”
    • Dogme — “Dogma”
    • Célébrer — “Celebrate”
    • Festin — “Feast”
    • Jour férié — “Public holiday”
    • Paradis — “Heaven”
    • Vierge Marie — “Virgin Mary”
    • Mort — “Death”

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our French Assumption Day vocabulary list! You’ll also find a relevant image with each word to help you remember more effectively!

    Conclusion: How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Master French

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Assumption Day in France with us! Does your country have an Assumption Day celebration, too? If so, are traditions similar or very different from those in France? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about French culture and the language, explore FrenchPod101.com and take advantage of our fun and effective learning tools! There are many, designed for every type of learner:

    If you prefer a one-on-one approach, complete with a personal learning plan tailored to your needs and goals, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus and begin learning with your own French teacher. Let FrenchPod101 be your constant companion for each step of your language-learning journey!

    You can do this. :)

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    End of the French Revolution: Bastille Day in France

    Each year, the French commemorate the end of the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille fortress. Called Bastille Day everywhere but France itself, this holiday is France’s national day and possibly the most significant public holiday in the country.

    By learning about Bastille Day, France’s history and culture will become more clear to you. And as any successful language-learner can tell you, studying culture is a step you can’t miss if you hope to master the beautiful French language.

    At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make this learning experience both fun and effective!

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    1. What is Bastille Day?

    The nation remembers the storming of the Bastille (otherwise known as the Bastille Day attack) on this holiday, which took place in 1789 during the French Revolution. For this reason, the word Bastille is often associated with our national day, though French people never actually call it “Bastille Day.”

    1- The Bastille

    Bastille was a fortress and an arsenal destined to defend the East of Paris, which later became a prison by the Cardinal Richelieu.

    The storming of this structure on July 14, 1789, symbolizes the French Revolution as a major event of the people’s revolt, the initiation of today’s nation. The first edition of the national day in 1790 was named “the federation party” during this era. It represented the reconciliation of the French by the monarchy constitution under Louis XVI.

    The federation party was considered a happy ending to the French Revolution, which lasted ten years with the proclamation of the First Republic under Louis XVI.

    Napoléon Bonaparte succeeded him with the establishment of the First Empire at the beginning of the 19th century.

    2- Bastille Day History

    The true origin of the current national holiday is found in the historic facts of the Republic. It took root with two events at the end of the 19th century.

    The first one was the official national day on June 30, 1878, to celebrate the Republic. A painting of Monet exposed in the Museum of Orsay redraws this event in the Montorgueil street situated in the second district. The second celebration unfolded itself July 14, 1879; this one was more popular and semi-official to celebrate the revolution of the French people.

    These two marking days resulted in a law proposition in 1880 to establish July 14 as the national day. The senate accepted July 14 to represent the storming of the Bastille Fortress, instead of August 4 to honor the end of the feudal system from the Roman Empire and promoting the strength of the lords by their land.

    2. When is Bastille Day?

    A Cockade

    Bastille Day is celebrated in France each year on July 14.

    3. Reading Practice: Bastille Day Celebrations

    Decorations for Bastille Day

    Do you know how France celebrates its national day? Read the French text below to learn about the Bastille Day parades and other traditions. Check your French reading skills with the English translation directly below it!

    Chaque année depuis 1880, a lieu un défilé militaire à Paris, en présence du Président de la République. Les militaires sont à pieds, à cheval, en voiture ou dans des avions. Ils descendent l’avenue des Champs Élysées, la place de l’Étoile et vont jusqu’à la place de la Concorde, où ils saluent le président et son gouvernement. Ce défilé attire des milliers de Français. Ceux qui ne peuvent venir le voir à Paris le regardent à la TV. Les deux chaînes françaises qui diffusent cet évènement attirent des millions de téléspectateurs chaque année.

    Le soir, les Français peuvent faire la fête puisque des bals sont organisés dans la plupart des villes. Ils ont le choix car différents styles de bals et de musiques sont proposés au sein même d’une seule ville. A Paris, le bal le plus populaire est le bal des Pompiers. Il est organisé dans la caserne même des pompiers et réunit des personnes de tous les âges, toutes les professions.

    Le saviez-vous ? La plupart des Français ignorent que le 14 Juillet célèbre deux évènements. En général, ils pensent que c’est en la mémoire de la prise de la Bastille uniquement ! La Fête de la Fédération reste méconnue, même en France.

    Every year since 1880, a military parade has taken place in Paris in front of the President of the Republic. The soldiers are on foot, on horseback, in vehicles, or flying in planes. They go down the Champs Élysées boulevard, the Place de l’Étoile, and all the way to Place de la Concorde, where they salute the President and his government. This parade attracts thousands of French people. Those who cannot come to see it in Paris watch it on TV. The two French channels that broadcast this event draw millions of viewers each year.

    At night, the French have an opportunity to party, since dances are organized in most cities. They have a choice, as many different styles of dances and music are offered in each city. In Paris, the most popular dance is the Bal des Pompiers. It is organized in the firefighters’ actual firehouse, and brings people together of all ages and professions.

    Did you know? Most French people don’t know that July 14 celebrates two events. In general, they think that it only celebrates the taking of the Bastille. The Fête de la Fédération remains little-known, even in France.

    4. Fireworks in France!

    On the evening of July 14, French people can see fireworks being set off in most cities. This is a tradition that has existed since the creation of this national holiday in 1880. In Paris, the Trocadéro fireworks alone bring together thousands of visitors.

    5. Essential Vocabulary for Bastille Day

    Depiction of a Noble

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Bastille Day in France!

    • Roi — “King”
    • Fête nationale — “Bastille Day”
    • Révolution française — “French Revolution”
    • Cocarde — “Cockade”
    • Bourgeoisie — “Bourgeoisie”
    • Sans-culottes — “Sans-culottes
    • Révolutionnaire — “Revolutionary”
    • Noblesse — “Nobility”
    • Noble — “Noble”
    • Monarchie — “Monarchy”
    • Guillotine — “Guillotine”
    • Prise de la Bastille — “Storming of the Bastille”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Bastille Day vocabulary list.

    Conclusion

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Bastille Day and its history with us! Did you learn anything new about France’s national day? What does your country’s national holiday look like? Let us know in the comments! We always look forward to hearing from you.

    To continue in your French studies, explore FrenchPod101.com and take advantage of our fun and practical learning tools! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study free French vocabulary lists on a range of topics, and chat with fellow French learners on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also start using our MyTeacher program and learn French one-on-one with a French teacher and more personalized plan.

    Learning French is a bold endeavor, and one that you’ll never regret. Know that your hard work and determination will pay off, and you’ll be speaking, writing, and reading French like a native before you know it! FrenchPod101 will be here with you each step of your way there.

    Happy Bastille Day!

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    Fête de la Musique: Celebrating World Music Day in France

    In France, ninety-seven percent of French people know about Fête de la musique (”World Music Day”)!

    On World Make Music Day (or simply Make Music Day), France celebrates music and encourages anyone and everyone to create music, along with many other countries.

    This is the most characteristic aspect of World Music Day: It encourages absolutely everyone to do some music; anyone can sing or play an instrument, alone or in a band, in public spaces. Hence the wide range of styles and talents during the Fête de la musique French festivals.

    World Music Day in France is a prime example of how a country’s holidays can reveal what its people hold near to their hearts. And any successful language learner can tell you that comprehending a country’s culture is a necessary step in mastering its language. At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Music Day in France?

    Though sometimes referred to as the biggest music festival in France, World Music Day is completely different from a music festival. La fête de la musique, also known as “World Music Day,” is the celebration of music and life through free concerts and presentations, mainly outdoors, on the summer solstice each year. This popular manifestation encourages professional and amateurs alike to play instruments on the streets.

    The idea of Music Day first appeared in 1976. It was conceived by the American musician Joel Cohen, who worked at the time for the radio station “Radio France” (France Musique). Back then, Cohen was proposing “Musical Saturnalians” for the two solstices, the winter one on December twenty-first and the summer one on June twenty-first.

    After the presidential elections of 1981, Maurice Fleuret adopted the idea, which Jack Lang (then Minister of Culture) put in place. It took place for the first time on June 21, 1982, and was officially declared the following year. Music Day immediately met an increasing success, which has spread to this day well beyond the French borders.

    2. When is World Music Day?

    Musical Notes on a Page

    On June 21, France celebrates World Music Day. This is usually on the date of the summer solstice, the perfect time of year for outdoor music fun! As mentioned earlier, the 21 June France celebration date for this holiday was chosen in 1982.

    3. World Music Festival: France’s Celebrations

    La fête de la musique (meaning “World Music Day̶ ;) is such a fun day. Anywhere you go, music is present. On Music Day, France is home to all types of music styles that are represented by young, talented musicians—from newly created bands to professionals making it their way of life. Concerts are organized with elaborate production, and musicians on their own or in small groups play with their instruments on street corners. Everyone performs for free, just for the pleasure of sharing their art.

    People who appreciate the music, but aren’t actually playing, enjoy the day by walking through the yards of castles, schools, and town squares to enjoy the performances. The mature public usually appreciate orchestras, choruses, and operas which take place in scheduled places and times in large towns. The younger generations prefer to dance and party till dawn at programmed concerts offered by the city.

    Bars and restaurants take on bands and musicians to attract people inside or on their patio. People can also find music playing in prisons, hospitals, airports, and subways.

    French bars and restaurants usually have to close a little after midnight. But on Music Day, they’re allowed to stay open much later to welcome the public. Furthermore, the date of the twenty-first most often corresponds with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Night falls very late, so French people often use this as an excuse to continue celebrations late into the night!

    4. Most Common Musical Instruments in France

    A Music Festival

    Do you know which musical instrument is played the most by French people?

    In France, the most played musical instrument is the guitar, closely followed by the piano. But the piano is the instrument that is most taught in music schools, whereas many people play the guitar as amateurs, without a teacher.

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for World Music Day

    Woman Playing an Instrument

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Music Day in France!

    • Jazz — “Jazz
    • Rue — “Street”
    • Guitare — “Guitar”
    • Violon — “Violin”
    • Concert — “Concert”
    • Musique rock — “Rock music
    • Batterie — “Drums”
    • Festival — “Festival”
    • Fête de la musique — “Music Day”
    • Groupe — “Band”
    • Jouer — “Play”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Music Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Did you know about World Music Day before reading this article? Does your country have elaborate celebrations for Music Day like France does? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about the culture in France and the French language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com. We provide practical learning tools for every learner to ensure that anyone can master French! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study up with our free French vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow French students on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin learning French one-on-one with your own personal teacher through our MyTeacher program.

    Learning a new language, and absorbing the culture around it, is no easy task. But it’s well worth the effort and determination you put into it! And FrenchPod101 will be here with you for each step of your journey to mastery.

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    Fête de Voisins: Celebrating National Neighbor Day in France

    National Neighbor Day in France (or Fête de Voisins as voisin is “neighbor” in French) is a day for people to spend time with their neighbors, usually in the form of a party. This is a significant concept in a world that’s becoming more and more adapted to life on the screen, and where people are spending less face time with each other. It can be difficult to even muster a “hello” to fellow neighbors these days!

    On Neighbor’s Day, France encourages its people to get together, socialize, and just appreciate each other. It’s such a revolutionary type of holiday that other places around the world are beginning to celebrate it too (resulting in a European Neighbor’s Day).

    At FrenchPod101, we hope to clue you in on what to expect should you receive a Fête de Voisins invitation, and teach you all about the origins of Neighbor’s Day in France. We hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Neighbor’s Day (Europe)?

    Neighbor’s Day, also called Immeubles en fête (”Building Festival”), is an originally French holiday. Its goal is to let neighbors meet each other in a friendly way, and is the initiative of a Parisian non-profit association.

    This idea was born in 1990 when a group of friends created the association Paris d’amis (”Paris of Friends̶ ;) in the seventeenth district of the French capital. They wanted to strengthen the ties of proximity between inhabitants in the neighborhood and thereby fight isolation.

    The association then carried out numerous projects with this goal, such as a sponsorship service for neighbors with hardships.

    In 1999, the association launched Neighbor’s Day in the seventeenth district of Paris. And its success was immediate because 800 buildings participated, mobilizing more than 10,000 inhabitants!

    2. When is Neighbor’s Day in France?

    Flat Apartment

    The date of Neighbor’s Day varies each year, though it is always the last Friday of May or the first Friday in June. In 2019, it will take place on May 31.

    3. Reading Practice: How Does France Celebrate Neighbor’s Day?

    Neighbor's Getting Together For a Meal

    Learn how Neighbor’s Day is celebrated in France by reading the French text below! You can find the English translation directly below it.

    Le principe est simple—une fête est organisée dans un immeuble, une maison, un jardin…Tout le monde est libre d’organiser cette fête et d’ y participer ! Chaque participant peut amener à boire ou à manger.

    Cette initiative permet de rencontrer ses voisins et de mieux connaître les personnes qui habitent le quartier.

    Cet évènement français a maintenant dépassé les frontières de son pays d’origine, d’abord avec l’extension de la fête à la Belgique et 10 autres villes européennes en 2003, puis avec l’organisation de la Journée européenne des voisins en 2004, qui se déroule dans plus de 150 villes d’Europe, et au-delà avec le Canada, la Turquie et l’Azerbaïdjan.

    Il existe un film français à propos de la fête des voisins ! Réalisé en 2010 par David Haddad, ce film narre l’histoire de Pierrot, gardien qui organise cette fête dans son immeuble. Il s’intitule “La Fête des voisins.”

    The principle is simple—a party is organized in a building, house, garden, and so on. Everyone is free to organize the party and to participate in it! Each participant can bring something to drink or eat.

    This initiative lets neighbors meet and to get to know people who live in the neighborhood better.

    This French event has now crossed the borders of its home country, first with the extension of the holiday into Belgium and ten other European cities in 2003. Then, with the organization of European Neighbor’s Day in 2004, which takes place in more than 150 cities in Europe and beyond in Canada, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

    There is a French film about Neighbor’s Day! Released in 2010 and directed by David Haddad, the film tells the story of Pierrot, a security guard who organizes a party in his building. It’s called “La Fête des voisins.”

    4. Three Largest Cities in France

    Do you know which are the three biggest cities in France?

    The three biggest cities in France are Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. Just these three cities alone house more than three-million people. That’s a lot of neighbors to invite over!

    5. Useful Vocabulary for National Neighbor Day in France

    Real Estate Sign

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Neighbor’s Day in France!

    • Maison — “House
    • Rue — “Street”
    • Étage — “Floor”
    • Voisine — “Neighbor”
    • Fête des voisins — “Neighbor’s Day”
    • Appartement — “Flat”
    • Digicode — “Digital lock”
    • Immobilier — “Real estate”
    • Quartier — “Neighborhood”
    • Lotissement — “Housing estate”

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Neighbor’s Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think of the idea behind France’s Neighbors’ Day? Does your country have a similar holiday (such as National Good Neighbor Day)? And if not, do you wish it did? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about France’s history, culture, and language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com! We have something here for every learner, making it possible for anyone to master French! Find insightful blog posts like this one, free vocabulary lists, and an online forum where you can chat with fellow French students. You can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program by creating a Premium Plus account, to learn French one-on-one with your own personal French teacher.

    Until next time, hang in there, keep your determination fueled, and say hi to your neighbors for us!

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    The Best Series and TV Shows for French Learners

    Many non-native English-speakers learned the language while watching popular TV shows such as Friends or Game of Thrones.

    This tip works just as well for other languages! Luckily, the French TV scene is bustling with great series and programs in every genre. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced French learner, you’ll find popular shows perfect for your level. All you need is access to YouTube, Netflix, and/or Amazon Prime.

    Here at FrenchPod101, we just love binging on quality shows. We proudly consider ourselves to be expert reviewers when it comes to French television! Here’s our top list of the best French series for learners of all levels. Pick your favorite and clear your schedule!

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    Table of Contents

    1. For the Glamour Lovers
    2. For the Drama Queens
    3. For the Foodies
    4. For the Fun Learners
    5. For the Aspiring Detectives
    6. For Our Younger Students
    7. Bonus: What NOT to Watch
    8. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

    1. For the Glamour Lovers

    Who doesn’t fantasize about living in Paris, the “City of Love?”

    Producers are obviously well aware of our fascination with the French glamour. Here are some shows that will acquaint you with the most famous French singers and actors!

    1- Dix pour Cent

    This is a fiction/reality show, and is ongoing with two seasons to date. Dix pour Cent is perfect the intermediate French learner, and is available on Netflix and FranceTV.fr.

    If you love French cinema and wish you could sneak behind the scenes, Dix pour Cent might just be your dream come true!

    Delve into the daily life of fictional artist A.S.K., where three agents struggle to accommodate their prestigious clients. In each episode, a famous French actor plays his or her own role with talent and self-deprecation. The exceptional casting unites many of the most prestigious and talented French stars in a unique show!

    Here’s a sneak peek at the cast:

    • Cécile de France
    • Joey Starr
    • Nathalie Baye
    • Gilles Lelouche
    • Laura Smet
    • Ramzy Bédia
    • Michel Druker
    • Virgine Effira
    • Fabrice Luchini
    • Christophe Lambert
    • Julien Doré
    • Isabelle Adjani
    • Juliette Binoche

    Further, Jean Dujardin, Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Lanvin, and Béatrice Dalle are announced as part of season three’s casting!

    Call My Agent

    2- Danse Avec les Stars

    This is a reality show, ongoing with eight seasons to date. We consider Danse Avec les Stars to be a fantastic French show for those just beginning to learn the language. It’s available on YouTube and TF1.fr.

    Danse Avec les Stars is the French version of the British show Strictly Come Dancing. Every season, three famous French dancers judge the dance performances of French artists (singers, actors, comedians, and models). Luckily for them, the candidates are coached by their partners, who are also famous French dancers. Who will be the most stylish couple?

    Starring in this fab series are:

    • Matt Pokora
    • Shy’m
    • Amel Bent
    • Alizée
    • Lorie
    • Fauve Hautot

    Danse Stars

    2. For the Drama Queens

    Who doesn’t love a bit of drama to spice up a casual TV binge?

    1- Plus Belle la Vie

    This Drama is ongoing with a whopping fourteen seasons to date, and we recommend it for intermediate French learners. Find Plus Belle la Vie on francetv.fr and tv-replay.fr.

    Plus Belle la Vie

    We could hardly list France’s most popular shows without mentioning Plus Belle la Vie. It has been on air for more than 10 years! Apparently, the French cannot get enough of the inhabitants of Le Mistral, a fictitious district of Marseille. With more than 3500 episodes, you’ll be bilingual by the time you’re done with the show!

    2- Koh Lanta

    Koh Lanta is a reality show, with twenty-two—yes, you read that correctly! —seasons to date. This one is great entertainment for both beginners and more advanced learners! It’s available on tf1.fr.

    Koh Lanta

    Stranded on a desert island, two teams of candidates must overcome various challenges to survive. Become a master of the French language while sitting on the edge of your seat to find out who has the gumption to make it!

    3. For the Foodies

    Food probably accounts for at least a quarter of the reasons you wanted to learn French in the first place. The French love their blanquette de veau, confit de canard, sole meunière, Paris-Brest, macarons, and 1200 kinds of cheese…and so does French TV. Watching these shows at dinnertime is a pretty typical French experience!

    1- Un Dîner Presque Parfait

    This reality show finished up after nine seasons, and is available on YouTube and 6play.fr. We think that beginners will reap the most benefits from watching this show—and enjoy it all the way through!

    Un Dîner Presque Parfait

    Based on the British reality show Come Dine with Me, this program has become a staple of French pop culture. Un Dîner Presque Parfait pits four couples against each other in a friendly competition. The French hospitality and gastronomy is at stake. Which couple will throw the most lavish, refined, delicious dinner party for the three others?

    2- Top Chef

    Top Chef, as you likely guessed, is a reality show and is great for the beginner in French. Available on YouTube and 6play.fr, this series is ongoing with nine seasons to date.

    Here’s a snapshot of the top-notch cast:

    • Cyril Lignac
    • Jean-François Piège
    • Michel Etchebest
    • Hélène Darroze

    Top Chef

    Do you want to up your culinary level a bit? The French always do! Top Chef focuses on exceptionally talented amateurs. Every season, up to fourteen talented candidates try to impress four of France’s best chefs. They may or may not have professional training, but many of them aspire to open their own restaurant. Unfortunately, one candidate is eliminated in each episode… Fingers crossed that your favorite will make it!

    3- Le Meilleur Pâtissier

    With six seasons so far, this French cooking show is excellent for beginners. You can watch it on YouTube and 6play.fr.

    The cast of Le Meilleur Pâtissier includes:

    • Cyril Lignac
    • Jacqueline Mercorelli
    • Pierre Hermé

    Le Meilleur Pâtissier

    It’s time for dessert! Indulge your sweet tooth with this version of Top Chef that focuses on the French’s favorite: la pâtisserie. Up to eleven aspiring pastry chefs will compete for the judges’ favor through several demanding challenges. And many of them own their own pastry shop, so you may hope to taste their wonderful creations someday!

    4. For the Fun Learners

    Somewhat less famous than Belgian or English humor, French humor has given us some great shows over the years. These series are a perfect introduction!

    1- Un Gars Une Fille

    Jean Dujardin and Alexandra Lamy star in this comedy, which is over after five seasons. This show is lighthearted and perfect for beginners and advanced learners alike. Check out YouTube to see for yourself!

    Un Gars Une Fille

    Catch some hilarious glimpses into the life of the “couple next door!” Also discover the debut of Jean Dujardin, star of award-winning movie The Actor.

    2- H

    This show concluded after four seasons, and starred Jamel Debbouze, and Eric & Ramzy. This one is best suited for intermediate French learners, and is available on francetv.fr.

    H

    “H” is for Hôpital! A parody of famous hospital series, H follows the inner life of a (quite dysfunctional) hospital. It also stars some of the most famous French comedians, including Jamel Debbouze and Eric & Ramzy.

    3- Bref

    This hilarious comedy aired over eighty-two episodes, starring Kyan Khojandi and Bérengère Krief.
    We recommend this one especially for beginners. Find it on YouTube and get ready to laugh.

    Bref

    Bref is one of the most recent series on this list, but is already a common French pop reference. It depicts the life of an average French millennial in a series of very short—well, brief—scenes. Warning: It will, in turn, make you laugh and move you to tears.

    4- Kaamelott

    Kaamelott is unique in its own right, as a historical comedy. This show ended after six seasons and is currently available on 6play.fr. If you’re an intermediate or expert French student and are looking for something to bring you genuine laughter, give this one a shot.

    Kaamelott

    This caustic take on King Arthur’s court will remind you just how much the French love to make fun of the English.

    5- Au Service de la France

    Another historical comedy—and a new one at that—Au Service de la France is ongoing with one season to date. We’ll mention that this one is more for advanced learners, and is available on Netflix and arte.tv.

    Au Service de la France

    Self-deprecation is the basis of French humor, and this new show is a perfect illustration. Just like the OSS 117 movies, it makes a mockery of the French secret services during the sixties.

    5. For Those Fascinated with France’s Rich History

    Thankfully, French TV can also take history seriously! These shows will teach you more than all of your high school social studies classes put together.

    1- Versailles

    This historical drama ended after three seasons, and is currently available on mycanal.fr. We recommend this show for intermediate learners in particular.

    Versailles

    The court of the Roi Soleil is everyone’s favorite period of France’s history. This series brings you behind the scenes; discover the glorious decors, flamboyant costumes, and mysterious intrigues of this time period.

    2- Un Village Français

    Over after seven seasons, Un Village Français is available on francetv.fr. This is another excellent option for those more advanced in their French language learning.

    Un Village Français

    WWII’s Occupation remains a touchy subject in France. This made it all the more surprising when Un Village Français delivered an intelligent yet popular take on it. Collaboration, resistance, communism, loss, and courage make up the lives of the inhabitants of a fictitious French village, from 1939 to 1945.

    6. For the Aspiring Detectives

    The French thriller series have gotten better and better these last few years. Check out the latest mystery shows!

    1- Les Revenants

    This wonderful mystery series is now over after two seasons. Best for more advanced learners, this show is available on mycanal.fr.

    Les Revenants

    A thriller with a supernatural twist! In a small mountain town, a few individuals come back from the dead. But why?

    2- Engrenages

    This intense thriller is ongoing with seven seasons to date; we recommend that only more advanced learners try watching this one. It’s available on mycanal.fr.

    Engrenages

    Engrenages is one of the best cop shows you can view these days, and not just in France! Inspired by real affairs, this realistic show will soon be on air in the UK and the US.

    3- Malaterra

    This one is already over after one season, but is still available on both Netflix and francetv.fr for advanced French learners.

    Malaterra

    This French adaptation of Broadchurch is set in the gorgeous landscapes of Corsica. As a boy’s corpse is discovered on the beach, the nearby village’s secrets are unraveled.

    4- La Forêt

    Another thriller over after one season, La Forêt is currently available to watch on Netflix. It’s a perfect show for the advanced French student in terms of both learning opportunity and entertainment.

    La Forêt

    When a teenager’s body is discovered in a forest, the inquiry unearths the past of an orphan and a wild man. (Sounds pretty intense, right?)

    5- La Mante

    If you’ve got your footing pretty well secure in the French language and want to dig into some suspense, watch La Mante. Over after one season, it’s available on Netflix and tf1.fr.

    La Mante

    A serial killer’s son, now a cop, is forced to face his past when a copycat mimics his mother’s crimes. Actress Carole Bouquet is amazing in the titular role.

    7. For Our Younger Students

    Did you know that there are many French artists among the staff of Disney and Pixar Studios? The French love a good animation show! Here are a few productions that will motivate our younger learners:

    1- Les Aventures de Tintin

    This animated mystery, over after twelve episodes, is a fantastic television option for your youngster—you’ll love it too. This neat cartoon is available on Netflix, francetv.fr, and YouTube.

    Les Aventures de Tintin

    Did you love to read young reporter Tintin’s adventures as a child? The younger generations can also enjoy this animated French adaptation!

    2- Code Lyoko

    If you or your young French learner is into action, give Code Lyoko a try. Over after four seasons, you can still find this cartoon on YouTube. It’s ideal for the beginner French student.

    Code Lyoko

    In this incredible series, a tech-savvy band of teenagers fight a demonic entity that tries to take control of their school.

    3- Totally Spies

    Here’s another action cartoon that will help you or your kiddos enjoy learning French even more. This show for beginners is composed of six seasons, and is available on tf1.fr and YouTube.

    Totally Spies

    In this modern, kid-friendly version of Charlie’s Angels, three teenage girls live a double-life as spies.

    4- Miraculous

    This action cartoon, ongoing with two seasons to date, is perfect for beginners and more advanced students alike. You can find it on Netflix.

    Miraculous

    Set in Paris, Miraculous depicts the adventures (and flirting) of Marinette and Adrian…or should we say, super-heroes Ladybug and le Chat Noir.

    5- Avatar the Last Airbender

    A little more action never hurt anyone, right? Over after three seasons, this beginner-level cartoon is conveniently available to watch on Netflix.

    Avatar the Last Airbender

    Young avatar Aang must learn to master the four elements to put an end to the war. The French version of this fantastic show is now available on Netflix—check it out!

    8. Bonus: What NOT to Watch

    Sadly, television is not always the best teacher. French learners should stay away from some programs to avoid becoming bored to death, or worse: catching an annoying accent.

    • Les Marseillais - This is low-quality and trashy. You don’t want your French to sound like any of the people in this show.
    • Marseille - As much as we love Gérard Depardieu, his acting is terrible in this show.
    • Le Chalet - Its actors speak too quickly and sound a little bit odd, for no apparent reason.

    9. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

    Luckily, many of the great shows we covered are due for new seasons! Don’t miss out on the next developments of Top Chef, Engrenages, and Plus Belle La Vie. We at FrenchPod101 will be sure to remind you!

    In the meantime—when you’re done binging—we’re working on other ways to help you improve your French. Coming up next: The best French novels to read on the beach this summer!

    Don’t miss out on your next adventure into the French culture. Sign up today!

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    Lundi de Pâques: Easter Monday in France

    If you know our history, you should know that France is a secular country. In 1905, a law was created to separate the Church from the State. Still, many public holidays and traditions in France have Catholic origins. And one of the most important Catholic holidays is Easter.

    Is Easter Monday a bank holiday in France? Yes! Easter in France, for kids especially, is a great joy!

    In this lesson, we’re going to teach you how French people celebrate Easter. At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make learning about French culture both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Easter Monday in France?

    Originally, Easter commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ and marked the end of Lent for Catholics. Lent is a period of fasting that lasts forty days, referencing the forty-day fast that Jesus Christ did in the desert. The Monday following this Sunday is a public holiday called Lundi de Pâques. Many French people celebrate this holiday, even if they’re not Catholic or religious.

    2. When is Easter Celebrated in France?

    Someone Marking Calendar

    The date of Easter Monday (the Monday after Easter) in France varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

    • 2019: April 22
    • 2020: April 13
    • 2021: April 5
    • 2022: April 18
    • 2023: April 10
    • 2024: April 1
    • 2025: April 21
    • 2026: April 6
    • 2027: March 29
    • 2028: April 17

    3. Reading Practice: Easter Celebrations in France

    Someone with Candle Praying

    How is Easter Monday celebrated in France? Read the French text below to find out (and find the English translation directly below it).

    Les Français fêtent Pâques en famille. Le dimanche, les adultes cachent des œufs dans le jardin ou la maison, et les enfants doivent les chercher. Ce sont de vrais œufs de poule, vidés et décorés, ou alors ils sont en chocolat. Traditionnellement, on offrait des œufs à Pâques car, durant le Carême, on ne pouvait en manger. Mais les poules continuaient à pondre des œufs ! Une fois le Carême passé, on offrait alors ses œufs en trop à ses amis, ses voisins… Aujourd’hui, on n’offre pas uniquement des œufs. En effet, les chocolatiers proposent, par exemple, des chocolats en forme de lapin, de cloche, de poisson… le choix est varié !

    En France, on raconte aux jeunes enfants que ce sont les cloches qui apportent les œufs de Pâques. Car la tradition veut que les cloches des églises sonnent chaque jour de l’année, mais au moment de Pâques, elles sont silencieuses du jeudi au samedi. Elles résonnent le dimanche de Pâques et apportent aux enfants des chocolats. Par contre en Alsace, on dit aux enfants que c’est le lapin de Pâques qui délivre les chocolats.

    Connaissez-vous le 1er avril ? C’est un jour où l’on fait des farces aux autres. On colle un poisson en papier dans le dos d’une personne. C’est pour cela qu’à Pâques, on peut déguster des poissons en chocolat, en référence au “poisson d’avril.”

    French people celebrate Easter as a family. On Sunday, adults hide eggs in the garden or in the house, and the children have to look for them. These can be real hen eggs that have been hollowed out and decorated, or they’re made of chocolate. Traditionally, eggs were offered at Easter, because during Lent, you couldn’t eat them. But hens would continue laying eggs! Once Lent was over, these extra eggs were given to friends, neighbors, and so on. Today, not only eggs are given. Indeed, chocolate makers make chocolates in the shape of rabbits, bells, fish…the choice is great!

    In France, young children are told that bells bring the Easter eggs because traditionally, church bells would ring every day of the year, but at Easter time, they would be silent from Thursday to Saturday. They would ring again on Easter Sunday and bring children chocolates. However, in Alsace, children are told that the Easter Rabbit brings the chocolates.

    Do you know about April 1? It’s a day when we play jokes on each other. We stick a paper fish on someone’s back. This is why at Easter we have chocolate fish, in reference to the poisson d’avril (”April fish”).

    4. Easter Symbols in France: Symbol of the Lamb

    Do you know what French people generally eat at Easter? And be careful, we’re not talking about chocolate eggs!

    At Easter, French people traditionally roast a lamb. The recipe is called agneau de Pâques (”Easter lamb”). This is because, for Christians, the lamb symbolizes Christ resurrected. During this time, butchers and supermarkets advertise lamb.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Man Remembering Something

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter in France!

    • Messe — “Mass”
    • Prière — “Prayer”
    • Rappeler — “Remind”
    • Deuxième jour — “Second day”
    • Semaine Radieuse — “Bright Week”
    • Octave de Pâques — “Octave of Easter
    • Huit jours — “Eight days”
    • Tous les jours — “Every day”
    • Temps Pascal — “Eastertide
    • Chant — “Chant”
    • Résurrection — “Resurrection”

    To hear each word pronounced, check our our French Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What do you think about Easter in France? Are Easter celebrations similar in your country (or different?). Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about French culture and the language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists to increase your word bank, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with other French learners. You can also learn French one-on-one with your own personal French teacher by upgrading to Premium Plus and taking advantage of our MyTeacher program!

    Your determination and hard work will pay off, and FrenchPod101.com will be here to help you as you master the French language! Best wishes, and happy Easter!

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    How to Find Jobs in France — The Best Work Guide

    So, you’re ready to move to France! Will you live and breathe the amazing culture of the City of Love or stroll on the sandy wonders of the Côte-d’Azur? Maybe you prefer the lush countryside of the Alsace region and long to taste the elixir of its world-famous vineyards. Or waking up in Annecy with the smell of wildflowers and breathtaking views on the Alps mountains? Whatever you seek, there’s a beautiful corner waiting for you in France. But if you want to live there, let’s put it bluntly: You’ll have to make French money!

    Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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    Table of Contents

    1. Get Your Paperwork Ready
    2. Find the Right Job for You
    3. Job-hunting in France from A to Z
    4. Here’s Why You’ll Love Working in France
    5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in France

    Moving to a new country is equally exciting and challenging, but finding a job abroad is mostly just a headache. However, no matter your skills or your level of French, if you know where to look and how to deal with the French working culture, you’ll always be one step ahead of your competitors.

    In this guide, we’ll walk you through the whole adventure of finding jobs in France, from work ideas to foreigners’ favorites, up to the best places for your job-hunting. Take it from a local: It’s not easy to find jobs in France, especially English-speaking ones, but it’s definitely rewarding!

    If you’re reading to start working and living in France, we truly hope this guide will provide you with all the information you need on finding employment in this beautiful place.

    1. Get Your Paperwork Ready

    Before we go job-hunting, let’s get the bureaucratic burden out of the way and make sure you have everything you need when you find your dream job. Obviously, this only applies if you intend to work within the limits of the Law, something we strongly encourage for many reasons, ranging from your personal safety to the penalties you’d be exposed to otherwise.

    Visa

    1- Working Permit & Visa

    If you’re from the EU-EEA (European Union - European Economic Area), you can live and work in France with very few formalities and restrictions.

    For most other people, it’s significantly tougher, as France has tightened its immigration rules in recent years in an attempt to lower the unemployment rate. Priority is given to the native workforce or to European nationals, but there are still many sectors where foreign workers are welcome!

    Do I need a Visa?
    Find out by filling out a quick form from the official government website.

    How do I apply for a Visa?
    Once again, check the official website. It will guide you step-by-step and allow you to track your application.

    Work and residence permits in France are a wide topic and the specifics depend on your home country, the kind of job you seek, and the set of skills you have to offer. So checking out the official website may be the best way to learn more about Visa requirements for foreigners to work in France.

    In a nutshell, most employees looking for a job in France will need to apply for a Residence Permit or a Talent Passport Permit a few months before entering the country and will need to be sponsored by a French employer. It’s generally much easier to get the permit when applying for a highly qualified job than for entry-level work. You can read more about this on Expatica.com or Welcome to France.

    2. Find the Right Job for You

    As in any country, there’s a galaxy of different career fields or positions you could undertake in France. It first comes down to your personal tastes, but then also to your level of French because let’s face it: speaking French will always be a HUGE advantage.

    Do I sound like “Captain Obvious” here? Believe me, this simple truth is much truer in France than in most other countries, because English isn’t yet so widely spread in the French monde du travail (“world of work”).

    Four People Talking

    1- If You are Fluent in French

    If French holds no secrets for you, you can afford being picky when finding a job in France! Depending on your skills and degrees, you’ll find a wide variety of jobs and can apply freely, just as you would in your home country.

    Throughout your job-hunting, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked for proof of your fluency. DELF and DALF are French proficiency certificates and are a reasonably cheap option. They’re valid for life and widely recognized.

    2- If You are Intermediate in French

    You’ll have to be more flexible, but there will still be many more open doors than without any French in your arsenal! Don’t be shy about using it in your professional interactions and in advertising about your interest in learning more. Potential employers will appreciate it and it will greatly facilitate your job search.

    You could also consider getting a certificate, such as DELF or DALF diplomas, but many employers simply test your level during the job interview. So, there are options when it comes to intermediate French jobs for foreigners.

    3- If You are a Beginner in French

    You’ll have to be open-minded and more creative, as many options won’t be available for you, like most jobs involving customer service or collaborative work. In that case, I recommend that you take a closer look at the Foreigners-friendly jobs listed in the next section.

    I would also recommend that you work hard and smart to get at least the survival basics to get you through your working days in France. FrenchPod101 offers a wide variety of free resources and lessons, starting from absolute beginner. You can speed up the process with MyTeacher to get private one-on-one help and guidance from your personal teacher.

    4- Foreigners-Friendly Jobs

    Citizens of France are usually not really into foreign languages and their average English level leaves a lot to be desired. For you, this can be an amazing opportunity to fill all kinds of unsuspected vacancies! There are many types of jobs you can perform just by being a native speaker from your home country, or with an intermediate level of English and an open mind. Here are a few examples:

    Language Teaching

    This is always the first one that comes to mind, and for good reason! Teaching English is in high demand, but you could also find a job teaching another language.

    For English teaching jobs, head to the following portals:

    For this kind of job, a TEFL certificate will often be asked for (although not many employers actually check if you really have it) and experience is usually requested.

    There are countless academies and private schools in France, with more than 300 in Paris alone, and you should thoroughly research their reputation before applying. Chains of language schools can be a quick road to employment, but keep in mind that it’s often the least stimulating and financially rewarding.

    Also, outside of the realm of famous academies, you might want to expand your search to primary and secondary private language schools as well as universities.

    Lady in Red Holding a Chalk

    Tourism Industry

    There’s a wide range of jobs in the tourism business where you can thrive just by being a foreigner or thanks to your skills in any language in high demand (English, Spanish, or Mandarin, to name a few).

    Jobs range from Guide touristique (“Tour guide”) to working in an Agence de voyage (“Travel agency”). Working as a receptionist for hotels or Auberges de jeunesse (“Youth hostels”) is another popular option, but you could go off the beaten path and attend passengers on a luxury cruise or guide mountain hikers. Your imagination is the limit!

    Check out the Pages Jaunes (“Yellow pages”), the French official business directory where you can find extensive lists of businesses by category and location.

    NGOs and Think Tanks

    Paris, especially, is the best place to start if you want to work for one of its many NGOs, Think Tanks, and institutions that are posting job offers on a regular basis.

    The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is a good place to start, with a frequently updated joblist on their official website.

    You can also check the career section of UNESCO, as well as SOFRECO, or really any “Human Rights” association based in France, such as the FIDH.

    Check out websites specialized in NGO jobs such as IndevJobs as well as general job directories like Indeed.

    If you do check out some French job-hunting websites while looking for work in France, you’re likely to find success, followed by a fruitful career start.

    Assisting Other Foreigners

    Another way to use your unique position and expertise is to help other foreigners make it to France!

    • As a Relocation consultant, you’ll help other foreigners move to France. You can find a list of Relocation companies to check out.
    • Working as a French Red Tape Expert is another way to put your unique knowledge to work. If you’ve been in France for a couple of years or more, you should have learned a lot about the ropes and knots of French bureaucracy, as well as all of its overly complicated and soul-consuming rules and regulations!
    • As long as France remains the top destination for British and US citizens wanting to buy a new home, either for vacations or relocation, there will be a high demand for Estate Agents. Check out Leggett Immobilier for an example of successful businesses hiring agents.

    5- Volunteering in France

    Now what if you want to get your first experience in France without going through the trouble of getting a work permit? Or to simply enjoy the local lifestyle for a short time on a tourist visa?

    Then, being a Volontaire (“Volunteer”) in France might be for you, and although it’s not gonna make you any wealthier, it will lift your spirit with wonderful experiences and unique job opportunities!

    Harvesting

    Volunteering usually consists of offering your time and energy in exchange for lodging and, in the best case scenario, food. The workload is usually not overwhelming and it’s a great way to meet people and experience various jobs as well as the local lifestyle, without the commitment of an actual work contract.

    You can find a wide variety of jobs from walking dogs (or horses!) to renovating houses or even helping on movie sets, but you’ll find that 90% of these opportunities are given by farms and hostels.

    • Workaway and HelpX are two similar volunteering services. I personally find Helpx messy in its presentation (the job directory is quite terrible to look at) and Workaway has a significantly larger catalog. Both have a Premium membership for anything above just browsing the job listing. This means that you’ll have to pay a yearly fee to be able to contact the hosts (employers).
    • WWOOFing is the most popular option for nature lovers. It specializes in organic farming and may help you indulge in your French wine-tasting fantasy! (As if you needed more reasons to relocate to France for a while!)

    3. Job-hunting in France from A to Z

    Now that you (hopefully!) have a better idea of what kind of work you’re aiming at, let’s see what the best ways to find ANY kind of job are!

    1- General Job Search Engine

    Official Websites

    • Pole-emploi is the national agency for employment and as the biggest resource for French jobs, it’s your logical first stop. It has offices all over the country, but you can simply browse it online and lose yourself in its staggering number of job offers (688,535, at the time of writing!). Over time, it has partnered with more than 100 other job portals such as APEC or Monster.fr and is aggregating all of their results.
    • APEC (Agence pour l’Emploi de Cadres) is another national agency specialized in the employment of executives, and it also has a very well-stocked job directory.

    Job Listing

    French Favorites

    Forget about Craigslist and jump right in these born and bred French job-finding websites!

    • Leboncoin - Emploi: If you’re looking for the French Craigslist, look no further. Leboncoin (“The good corner”) has a massive collection of ads and will keep you busy for weeks to come!
    • MeteoJob: Although “only” ten years old (compared to its antique competitors), MeteoJob is now a force to be reckoned with.
    • RegionsJob: Even if you’re into French job-hunting, you may not have heard of RegionsJob as it doesn’t fare very well in “Top Tens.” This is because its directory is divided into regions with different domain names such as NordJob or ParisJob. But all in all, it’s also a major player!

    Here are a few more, in no particular order, that are still going strong:

    Still not burned-out with job directories? Here are some more resources you can check out:

    • Indeed, although not French, is the second-biggest job-hunting directory in France, with more than six-million visitors every month.
    • Craigslist is also available in France. Remember when I told you to forget about it? Really, you should, unless you’re desperate enough to dig through its job section: a mass grave of creepy half-disguised prostitution ads of questionable legality.

    2- Specialized Job Directories

    If you’re looking for a job in a specific field and you’ve come out empty using the general search engines, try some more specific directories. I cannot list them all, but here are a few examples:

    3- Getting Help Finding a Job

    Temporary Jobs

    The Agences d’Intérim (“Temporary job agencies”) are increasingly popular in France. They offer your resume to potential employers in exchange for a fee (paid by the employer).

    The good thing is that you’re technically working for the agency and usually for a higher paycheck than what you’d get while on a normal work contract.

    The icing on the cake is that the French working laws will shower you with financial bonuses such as the Prime de précarité (“Precarity bonus”) and the Indemnités de congés (“Paid leaves allowance”), to make up for the temporary nature of the contract.

    Most Interim agencies have physical offices where you can directly meet someone and drop off your resume without arranging an appointment beforehand, but you can also register online.

    Here’s a list of some of the major players in the Interim business:

    Shaking Hands

    Recruitment Agencies and Headhunters

    Similar, but not confined to temporary jobs, the Agences de recrutement (“Recruitment Agencies”) and Chasseurs de têtes (“Headhunters”) can be a decent way to get help finding a job in France. But unless you have some skills that are in high demand or a couple of fancy degrees, they’re likely to politely thank you for your resume before burying it at the bottom of a huge pile of forgotten talents.

    4- Expat Portals and Communities

    There’s a number of Expats work directories, listing various kinds of jobs, often related but not limited to English and teaching.

    Some of these portals are:

    Another possible place for finding employment in France are Expats communities on social networks and message boards, such as American Expats in Paris or Expats in France.

    Obviously, I cannot list them all here, but a simple search on Facebook or Reddit will take you a long way.

    5- Job Fairs

    Find where you can attend the Salons de l’emploi (“Job fairs”) and get out there! You can have several interviews in one day, which is an amazing shortcut. But keep in mind that you’ll have to be well-prepared and very convincing to win them over in the few minutes they usually allow.

    You can find more information about the dates and places of these events on nSalons or recrut.com.

    6- Spontaneous Applications

    With the rise of the internet, it has fallen out of grace, but I strongly believe in the power of the Candidature spontanée (“Spontaneous application”) and the Porte à porte (“Door-to-door”) as a way to differentiate yourself and catch an employer’s attention.

    • Spontaneous applications can work anywhere. Get the email address of the company and send them some love in an emotional cover letter and an expertly crafted resume.

      Most French companies’ website will have a link called Contactez-nous, Nous contacter (“Contact us”) or Carrières (“careers”).
    • Door-to-door is even bolder and will probably work best for small- to medium-sized businesses. It will do wonders at your local bakery, but the receptionist at the office of a multinational corporation such as Renault or Dassault-Aviation might be confused about what to do with your resume.

    7- NETWORKING, The Power of People!

    Why this enormous title? Because this is the most important way to find a job in France (and most likely anywhere in the world). To be honest, everything I’ve previously enumerated can give you some results, but it really counts for about 10% of the job opportunities out there. Where are the 90%, then? Networking, networking, NETWORKING.

    Most jobs in France are found through relationships and contacts, and even the positions that you see listed on Pole-emploi often end up being filled by someone with contacts within the company.

    My golden rules of successful networking are:

    • Make the best of every single contact that you have and stay in touch with as many friends, acquaintances, and coworkers as possible, for as long as you can. It can take a lot of energy, especially if you’re not on the extrovert side, but it will pay off.
    • Make sure everybody knows on social media that you’re looking for a job.
    • Get out there! Take every opportunity to meet people with similar interests and genuinely make new friends. Maybe you’ll just end up doing yoga together, but there’s always a chance they’ll eventually lead you to your dream job.

    4. Here’s Why You’ll Love Working in France

    Working in France comes with a list of benefits that are truly hard to believe for many foreigners, including lots of days off and a collection of goodies and vouchers on just about everything. So let’s take a look at France work benefits and perks, shall we?

    Job Security

    Working in France, you’re protected by a heavy set of laws making you hard to fire and leaving you with a hefty compensation if it happens. Lately, some of these laws are being targeted by President Macron to make the Code du travail (“Labor code”) more flexible in favor of higher employment rates, but at the moment, French workers are well taken care of.

    Unemployment Allowance

    If you happen to lose your job or are coming to the end of your temporary contract, you can benefit from the Allocation Chômage: the French unemployment allowance program. You will be compensated monthly for about two-thirds of your former salary to help you find another job!

    Transport and Food Subsidies

    If you come to work using public transports, your employer will pay for at least 50% of your monthly Pass. In some cases, they can also pay for your gas if you come with a car.

    On top of that, most companies pay half of your Tickets restaurant: vouchers that can be used in any restaurants or bakeries, and many supermarkets.

    35-Hour Weeks

    Many workers in France are working more than the legal limit of 35 hours per week. But in that case, they get compensated with paid vacations called RTT. That’s a fair amount of additional days off if you work 38 hours per week! And overtime is strictly regulated—you don’t mess with French working hours!

    Paid Holidays

    On top of your RTT, you’ll get five weeks of paid vacation per year. Oh, and did I mention around 11 days of national holidays (when we’re lucky enough not to have them on Sundays!) and some more special time off if you get married?

    Health Insurance

    If our cheap health care system wasn’t a good enough reason to relocate to France, many employers offer cheap deals on a Mutuelle: a complementary private plan that takes care of whatever the general health care isn’t paying for you.

    Your Best Friend: the Comité d’entreprise

    If you’re working for a big company, it’ll most likely have what we call a Comité d’entreprise (“Work council”). These guys are working full-time on your happiness by providing all kinds of perks: from cheap tickets to discounted holidays and various kinds of vouchers for books and gifts.

    5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Get a Job in France

    And here we are! You’ve learned what kind of work you can find in France, how to search for it, and more importantly, how to land the job of your dreams. Are you excited to work in France? Do you think you can gracefully blend in with the French work culture?

    FrenchPod101 has tons of free vocabulary lists with audio recordings that can help you prepare for your job search:

    Learn more about the professional vocabulary that you’ll need to quickly go through job offers, using the most important keywords that we’ve seen in this guide.

    Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching and have your private teacher answer any of your language questions during your job search!

    About the Author: Cyril Danon was born and bred in the rainy north of France, Cyril has been bouncing off various jobs before he left everything behind to wander around the wonders of the World. Now, after quenching his wanderlust for the last few years, he’s eager to share his passion for languages.

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    How to Celebrate Grandmother’s Day in France

    For many, a grand-mère (“grandmother”) is a relative of unparalleled consideration and admiration. This is as true in France as it is in numerous countries around the world. Grandmother’s are so loved and respected that the French have dedicated a day just to celebrate them!

    By learning about Grandmother’s Day in France, you’re also glimpsing a unique aspect of the country’s culture. From the commercial origin of this holiday to how it’s celebrated today, Grandmother’s Day in France is a reflection of both history and the present. And to think it all started with coffee

    Let FrenchPod101.com guide you through the details of National Grandma Day!

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    1. What is Grandmother’s Day in France?

    In France, Grandmother’s Day is celebrated to honor grandmothers and show them the love they always shower us with. Grandma’s Day was first celebrated in France in 1987, and has grown since then into the holiday it is today.

    2. When is Grandmother’s Day?

    Grandmother's Day is on a Sunday

    When is Grandmother’s Day? The date of Grandmother’s Day varies slightly each year in France, though it’s always on the first Sunday of March. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

    • 2019: March 3
    • 2020: March 1
    • 2021: March 7
    • 2022: March 6
    • 2023: March 5
    • 2024: March 3
    • 2025: March 2
    • 2026: March 1
    • 2027: March 7
    • 2028: March 5

    3. How is Grandma’s Day Celebrated?

    Granddaughter Kissing Grandmother's Cheek

    National Grandmother Day celebrations in France are all done in honor of one’s grandmother. Find out how the French celebrate this heartwarming holiday by reading the French text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).
    —–
    Les enfants créent donc à l’école des cadeaux pour leurs mamies et ce, dès la maternelle. C’est l’occasion pour les familles françaises de se retrouver. Les petits-enfants offrent des cadeaux à leurs grands-mères. Les présents les plus populaires sont les bouquets de fleurs ou les plantes, comme les orchidées . Une étude réalisée par les fleuristes français a montré que cette fête avait un impact significatif sur la vente des végétaux d’intérieur.

    Durant cette journée, des évènements commerciaux ou non, sont organisés dans toute la France.

    Par exemple, une “mamif” a lieu place de la Bastille depuis quelques années. Une “mamif” est un mot-valise jouant avec les mots mamie et manifestation. Le but de cet évènement était de réunir les mamies et leur famille.
    Les grands-pères sont les grands oubliés du calendrier ! Effectivement, la fête des papis n’existe pas, contrairement à celle des grand-mères… Peut-être faut-il attendre qu’une marque créée cette fête ?

    —–

    Children create gifts for their grannies at school starting in kindergarten. It’s an occasion for French families to gather. Grandchildren give gifts to their grandmothers. The most popular presents are bouquets of flowers and plants such as orchids. A study carried out by French florists showed that the holiday had a significant impact on the sale of indoor plants.

    During this day, events, whether commercial or not, are organized all over France.

    For example, a “mamif” has taken place at La Bastille for a few years now. A “mamif” is a portmanteau word that plays upon the words “mamie” (grandma) and “manifestation” (rally). The event is meant to unite grandmas with their family.

    Grandfathers are completely forgotten from the calendar! Indeed, “Grandfather’s Day” doesn’t exist, as opposed to Grandmother’s Day… Perhaps we’ll have to wait until a brand creates this holiday?

    4. Additional Information

    A survey was made of French grandmothers, and do you know what the main motivation for 80% of them is?

    In France, there are more than 6 million grandmothers. They are an average of 65 years old and have four grandchildren.

    And for 80% of them, the most important thing is to indulge their grandchildren, according to a survey carried out on French grandmas.

    This certainly explains why grandparents are often accused of spoiling their grandchildren!

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Offering Gifts to Grandmother

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for National Grandmother Day in France, including “Grandmother’s Day” in French:

    • Fête des Grands-Mères — “Grandmother’s Day”
    • Dimanche — “Sunday”
    • Mars — “March”
    • Cadeau — “Present”
    • Premier — “First”
    • Annuelle — “Annual”
    • Origine — “Origin”
    • Marque de café — “Coffee brand”
    • Fête commerciale — “Commercialized celebration”
    • Offrir — “Offer”
    • Grand-mère — “Grandmother”
    • Visite — “Visit”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our French Grandmother’s Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio with its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know more about Grandmother’s Day in France. Do you celebrate Grandmother’s Day in your own country, or a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn even more about French culture and the language, visit us at FrenchPod101.com! We offer plenty of information through insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and fun podcasts! Further, you can use our online community to discuss lessons with fellow French learners and check out our MyTeacher program for a one-on-one learning experience.

    We hope you enjoyed today’s holiday blog. Keep up the study and practice, and you’re sure to reap the benefits and speak like a French native before you know it!

    In the meantime, we’ll just wish you a Happy Grandmother’s Day!

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