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Archive for the 'French Culture' Category

French Family Guide: Talking About Your Family in French

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Your romance with a lovely French local has gained momentum and the time has come for one of the most terrifying milestones of ‘serious’ relationships: meeting your mother-in-law. Whether she’s a gatekeeper mom or just genuinely interested in her daughter’s “one and only,” chances are, you’ll be asked a lot of questions that will make you say: “Damn, how do I say mother in French? Or father or family in French?”

When meeting your parents-in-law, or any random person before a work meeting or over a beer, the trick is to find some common ground and get the other person to talk about something they can relate to. Hence, before you get to know a person and learn about your common interests, talking about their family or yours is a highly effective icebreaker.

Besides, have you ever noticed how often our relatives randomly pop into seemingly unrelated conversations? “My wife this,” “My mother that,” “My brother has the same thing,” and “My cousin has done that too!” As soon as you get comfortable with the vocabulary and the basic structures, it will unveil a whole lot of conversation opportunities and a wealth of follow-up questions to keep it going!

Learn how to describe family in French with FrenchPod101’s guide to family in French for beginners, and never lack the proper word again!

Table of Contents

  1. French Family Vocabulary: Complete Family Word List
  2. Beyond the Blood
  3. How to Talk About Family
  4. The French Family is Changing Rapidly
  5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

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1. French Family Vocabulary: Complete Family Word List

Before we get to talk about our family or inquire about somebody else’s, we’re gonna need some serious vocabulary! But don’t worry about the size of the list, just pick and remember whichever ones apply to your situation and the ones you’re typically going to ask about (siblings, kids?). You’ll learn the rest in due time as you continue talking about family in basic French.

1- The Inner Circle

Here are the most basic family members in French, the ones you’ll likely talk the most about.

La famille “The family”
Un parent “A relative”
Mes parents
Mes vieux
“My parents”
“My folks” [Slang. Literally: “My old-ones”]
La mère
Ma maman
“The mother”
“My mom”
Le père
Mon papa
“The father”
“My dad”

/!\ Do not confuse mon parent, meaning “my relative,” and mes parents meaning “my parents.

Un parent meaning “a relative,” and des parents meaning “relatives,” both refer to relatives of any kind, while mes parents (possessive plural) means: “my parents” (in the sense of: mother and father).

Examples:

  • Je vais voir mes parents.
    “I’m going to see my parents.”
  • J’ai des parents dans la région.
    “I have relatives in the region.”
  • Comment vont ses parents ?
    “How are his parents doing?”
  • Tu vis chez tes parents ?
    “Are you living with your parents?”
  • Tu vis chez des parents ?
    “Are you living with relatives?”

Father and Son Skipping Stones

Tel père, tel fils. (Like father, like son)

Les frères et soeurs “The siblings”
La soeur
Une grande-soeur
Une petite soeur
Ma soeur aînée
“The sister”
“An older sister / A big sister”
“A younger sister / A little sister”
“My elder sister”
Le frère
Un grand-frère
Un petit frère
Mon frère cadet
“The brother”
“An older brother / A big brother”
“A younger brother / A little brother”
“My youngest brother”

As you can see, there’s no specific word for “siblings” and we simply use “brothers and sisters.” For example, you could ask someone:

  • Tu as des frères et soeurs ?
    “Do you have siblings?”
Les enfants
Mes gosses
“The children”
“My kids”
Ma fille “My daughter”
Mon fils “My son”

/!\ Be careful with the slang word gosses or “kids.”

In France, it’s very common and not overly familiar to use. However, in Canadian French, it has a completely different meaning and is vulgar slang for “testicles.” You can imagine how confusing these meanings could lead to some awkward misunderstandings.

2- French Extended Families

Extended family in French culture is important, so here are some words to help you start conversations about your loved ones outside your inner circle.

La marraine “The godmother”
Le parrain “The godfather”

I’m talking about the one sending money on your birthday, not Marlon Brando.

Les grand-parents “The grandparents”
La grand-mère
Ma mamie
Ma grand-maman
Mémé
“The grandmother”
“My granny”
“My grandma”
“Granny”
Le grand-père
Mon papy
Mon grand-papa
Pépé
“The grandfather”
“My grandpa”
“My granddad”
“Gramps”
Les arrière-grand-parents “The great-grandparents”
(Literally: “The back-grandparents” when translated.)
L’arrière-grand-mère
Mon arrière-grand-maman
“The great-grandmother”
“My great-grandma”
L’arrière-grand-père
Mon arrière-grand-papa
“The great-grandfather”
“My great-granddad”
Les petits-enfants “The grandchildren”
(Literally: “The little children” when translated.)
La petite-fille “The granddaughter”
Le petit-fils “The grandson”
Les arrière-petits-enfants “The great-grandchildren”
L’arrière-petite-fille “The great-granddaughter”
L’arrière-petit-fils “The great-grandson”
La tante
Ma tata / tatie / tantine
“The aunt”
“My aunt” (childish version)
L’oncle
Mon tonton
“The uncle”
“My uncle” (childish version)
La cousine “The cousin” (female)
Le cousin “The cousin” (male)

Make sure to visit our vocabulary list about Family Members, with audio recordings to practice your pronunciation. It’s available for free on FrenchPod101.

Family Celebrating Around A Table

Famille nombreuse, famille heureuse. (Big Happy Family)


2. Beyond the Blood

Families extend beyond the people you share a blood relationship with. Let’s dive into the various types of these unrelated relatives.

1- Couples

Whether you’re in a relationship, engaged, married, single, divorced, separated, widowed, in a civil union, or in the type of situation Facebook describes as c’est compliqué (it’s complicated), talking about your marital status will often be useful.

Ma petite amie
Ma copine
“My girlfriend” (Literally: “My little friend” when translated.)
Mon petit ami
Mon copain
“My boyfriend”
Mon ex “My ex-boyfriend / girlfriend”
Ma femme
Mon épouse
“My wife”
Mon mari
Mon époux
“My husband”
Ma fiancée “My fiancée”
Mon fiancé “My fiance”
Ma compagne
Ma partenaire
Ma concubine
“My companion”
“My partner”
“My concubine”
Mon compagnon
Mon partenaire
Mon concubin
“My companion”
“My partner”
“My concubine”
Mon ex-femme
Mon ex-épouse
“My ex-wife”
Mon ex-mari
Mon ex-époux
“My ex-husband”
Ma maîtresse “My mistress”
Mon amant “My lover”

2- In-laws

Once you get married, you strap yourself to a whole bunch of “in-laws” that, with a bit of luck and a lot of work, might become as close as your own relatives.

Les beaux-parents “The parents-in-law”
La belle-mère “The mother-in-law”
Le beau-père “The father-in-law”
La belle-soeur “The sister-in-law”
Le beau-frère “The brother-in-law”
La belle-fille “The daughter-in-law”
Le beau-fils “The son-in-law”

Don’t you think that “beautiful mother” (belle-mère) or “handsome father” (beau-père) have a nicer ring to them than the legalish “mother-in-law” or “father-in-law?” As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like it helps to counter the negative association that many people have with the idea of having parents-in-law.

Man Kissing His Mother-In-Law on the Cheek

Meeting your “beautiful mother” (Belle-mère - Mother-in-law)

3- Recomposed Family

Blended or reconstituted families (when the parents have children from previous relationships, but all the members come together under one roof) are increasingly common in France, and are slowly becoming the new normal. They bring unexpected stepfathers, stepbrothers, and usually a lot of complications to work through everyone’s differences. But it can also make broken families whole again and take a turn for the better.

La belle-mère “The stepmother”
Le beau-père “The stepfather”
La belle-fille “The stepdaughter”
Le beau-fils “The stepson”
La demi-soeur “The stepsister”
Le demi-frère “The stepbrother”
La demi-soeur “The half-sister”
Le demi-frère “The half-brother”

/!\ Hold on! There’s something confusing here: does belle-mère stand for “mother-in-law” or “stepmother?” Both!

As inconvenient as it sounds, French uses the same set of words for parents-in-law and step-parents. But it’s not a problem, because it’s usually obvious from the context, right? Not always, and quite often, you’ll have to clarify who you’re talking about when referring to your “steps” or “in-laws.”

/!\ Wait…what about la demi-soeur? Is it the “stepsister” or the “half-sister?” Both!

Demi literally means “half” and demi-soeur perfectly translates to “half-sister.” But then, we don’t have words for the step brothers & sisters, and it’s common to use demi-frère and demi-soeur, to make up for the lack of better words.

I personally use zéro-demi (or “zero-half” in English) to emphasize the difference, but there’s nothing official about it, and you won’t find it outside of this article!


3. How to Talk About Family

French Parents

Now that we have a strong arsenal of new words at our disposal, let’s see how you can use them in a conversation. First, we’ll see how to talk about your marital status, then how to mention them in various ways, and finally how to ask questions and learn more about your friends’ families.

1- Your Marital Status

You could be asked about your marital status by friends or colleagues, for paperwork by any administrative office, or by a potential romantic interest on a date. Either way, no time to get it mixed-up!

Start with:

Je suis _______.
“I am _______.”

And just pick from the list:

en couple “In a relationship”
marié
mariée
“married”
fiancé
fiancée
“engaged”
célibataire “single”
divorcé
divorcée
“divorced”
veuf
veuve
“a widow”
pacsé
pacsée
“In a civil union”

For example:

  • Je suis marié.
    “I am married.” [Masculine]
  • Je suis divorcée.
    “I am divorced.” [Feminine]
  • Je suis célibataire.
    “I am single.” [Same for both genders.]

Most of these words are self-explanatory, but let’s talk about the civil union for a minute. The pacs or PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité, or “Civil Solidarity Pact” in English) is, with the classic civil marriage, one of the two forms of civil union in France.

It was created in 1999, originally to give the same rights and legal protection to same-sex couples. Creating a new type of union instead of changing the traditional marriage was a clever way to not upset the conservative segment of the population, and it proved extremely successful.

Nowadays, the PACS is getting increasingly popular, especially for straight couples who find it more flexible and less bureaucratically heavy than getting married. They represent more than 95% of the total couples getting a PACS. Numbers are also showing that the PACS is slowly taking over traditional marriage.

Wedding Celebration

Je suis mariée. (I am married.)

2- Questions and Answers About Family

With all the words that we’ve learned in the first part of this article, you’ll be able to talk about your family and ask the other person about their parents or brothers and sisters. Let’s have a look at the most common structures:

Est-ce que tu as _______ ?
“Do you have _______?”

Or simply:

Tu as _______ ?
“Do you have _______?”

For example:

  • Tu as des frères ?
    “Do you have brothers?”
  • Est-ce que tu as des cousins ?
    “Do you have cousins?”
  • Tu as des enfants ?
    “Do you have children?”

You can answer with:

J’ai _______.
“I have _______.”

Examples:

  • J’ai une soeur aînée.
    “I have an elder sister.”
  • J’ai deux frères.
    “I have two brothers.”
  • Je n’ai pas d’enfants.
    “I don’t have children.”
  • J’ai trois mères.
    “I have three mothers.”
    This one is guaranteed to raise a lot of questions at a dinner party.

3- Talking About Family Members

There are many ways you could mention your relatives, and a number of things you may want to talk about, but here are a few examples to help you get the basic structures and elaborate from there:

  • Mes parents habitent à Toulouse.
    “My parents are living in Toulouse.”
  • Mes parents sont divorcés.
    “My parents are divorced.”
  • Mon père est décédé l’an dernier.
    “My father died last year.”
  • Ma grand-mère est Brésilienne.
    “My grandmother is Brazilian.”
  • Mon grand-père est photographe.
    “My grandfather is a photographer.”
  • Mes grand-parents vivent en Floride.
    “My grandparents live in Florida.”
  • Ma soeur aînée a deux ans de plus que moi.
    “My elder sister is two years older than me.”
  • Mon demi-frère a bientôt vingt ans.
    “My half-brother will be twenty soon.”
  • Ma femme s’appelle Maurice.
    “My wife is called Maurice.”

Check out our Top 10 Quotes About Family on FrenchPod101.

Family Photo with Dark Lighting

Mes parents habitent en Transylvanie. (My parents are living in Transylvania.)


4. The French Family is Changing Rapidly

Over the last few decades, the very concept of family in France has evolved, mutated, and broadened its definition. The family unit in French culture is now a mix of modernity and tradition, and while some are celebrating those changes, others are claiming that this once “sacred” institution got lured by progress and lost its way.

Before 1950, the French family was traditionally composed of two parents and often many children, as abortion remained illegal until 1975. Couples were getting married young, often before their 20s, and didn’t divorce. The woman usually stayed home and was subject to the authority of her working husband.

Between 1950 and 2000, families began changing quickly. Divorces became increasingly frequent, as well as single-parent families. After WWII, women began emancipating, claiming more importance and freedom in and out of the household. More and more mothers started working, and the patriarchal system gave way to a more balanced separation of tasks and authority. French laws began evolving at the same time, reflecting these changes of mentalities.

After 1980, divorces and remarriage became commonplace, and three types of families were now frequently found all over France: “traditional” families, single-parent families (children raised by only one parent, usually the mother), and blended families (remarried partners living with children from former relationships).

Nowadays, the definition of the family has expanded a lot, thanks to the PACS (civil union) and the 2013 law on marriage and adoption for same-sex couples. 80% of women from 25 to 49 years old are working (even though income inequality remains an issue), and families are forming later in life.

The average age that mothers have their first child is around 30, and households rarely have more than one or two children. Children born outside of the traditional structure of a married couple are more and more frequent, with the rise of civil union or common-law union.


5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French Vocabulary

Family Quotes

In this guide, you’ve learned a lot about how to talk about your family or ask about your friends’ relatives, from the giant word list to the most common questions and answers.

Did I forget any important words or expressions? Do you feel ready to get out there and reveal your most intimate family secrets, using everything you’ve learned today?

Make sure to explore FrenchPod101, as it has plenty of free resources for you to practice your grammar and learn new words. Our vocabulary lists are also a great way to revisit the words in this article and learn their pronunciation.

Remember that you can also use our premium service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching. Practice talking about your family in French with your private teacher so they can give you personalized feedback and advice, and help you with your pronunciation.

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.

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The French Celebration of Armistice Day

How do the French celebrate Armistice Day, and why?

Armistice Day in French culture is one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays. It commemorates the end of WWI, during which France suffered heavy losses. In this article, you’ll learn about his significant public holiday in France, and about French Armistice Day traditions.

At FrenchPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Armistice Day?

Cease-Fire Flag

If you know French history, you might know that November 11, 1918, is an important date for French people. In fact, it is a public holiday. This is the date of an armistice, a convention signed by several governments in order to stop combat between their armies. This armistice marked the end of World War I.

World War I was a military conflict that mostly took place in Europe between 1914 and 1918. It was a traumatic war for France, because it was the most heavily affected country, with 1.4-million people dead. It ended when the English, French, and Germans signed the armistice of November 11, 1918.

The last French soldier of WWI, Lazare Ponticelli, died on January 20, 2008, at the age of 110. After his death, it was decided that November 11 should no longer be a commemoration of the soldiers who fought in the First World War, but rather a commemoration of all of the French soldiers who have died during service.

2. French Armistice Day Celebrations & Traditions

A Parade

How do the French mark Armistice Day? What do the French do on Armistice Day?

On each November 11, the President of the French Republic conducts a ritual in order to commemorate this date. He lays a tricolored sheaf in front of the tomb of Georges Clémenceau as a symbol of victory in the Great War. Then, escorted by the Cavalry of the Republican Guard, he goes back up the Champs-Élysées and reviews the troops on Charles-de-Gaulle Square. Finally, he engages in private prayer in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe.

Small ceremonies are organized each year in French cities and towns. Usually, they consist of musicians—marching bands, for example—who play some music. French people can go and watch these concerts, which are generally free.

During this public holiday, the President of the Republic wears the Bleuet de France pinned to his buttonhole, as do some other French people. This French flower for Armistice Day symbolizes the support and the solidarity of France to its veterans, widows, and orphans.

3. Brave & Reckless

Do you know what nickname was given to the French soldiers from the First World War?

The French soldiers from the First World War were nicknamed poilus. At the time, the word poilu could mean, in the familiar language, somebody who was courageous and manly. To nickname the French soldiers poilu indicated that they were brave and reckless.

4. Must-Know Vocabulary for Armistice Day in France

Armistice Day Memorial

Here’s the essential vocabulary you should know for Armistice Day in France!

  • Armistice de la Première Guerre mondiale — “Armistice Day”
  • Combat — “Fight”
  • Parade — “Parade”
  • Première Guerre mondiale — “World War I”
  • Trêve — “Truce”
  • Solennel — “Solemn”
  • Tombe du soldat inconnu — “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”
  • Mémorial — “Memorial”
  • Cessez-le-feu — “Cease-fire”
  • Accord — “Agreement”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and see them accompanied by relevant images, be sure to visit our French Armistice Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about French Armistice Day with us, and that you learned something new. Does your country also have celebrations for the end of World War I? Let us know in the comments!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the most rewarding and entertaining aspect of trying to master its language. If more cultural information is what you’re after, be sure to check out the following pages on FrenchPod101.com:

We know that learning a new language is a monumental task, but you can do it! Practice, consistency, and the proper learning materials can get you from beginner to fluent before you know it. And FrenchPod101.com will be here with you on each step of your language-learning journey! Create a free lifetime account today.

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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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