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How to Celebrate Grandmother’s Day in France

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

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

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

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1. What is Grandmother’s Day in France?

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

2. When is Grandmother’s Day?

Grandmother's Day is on a Sunday

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

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

3. How is Grandma’s Day Celebrated?

Granddaughter Kissing Grandmother's Cheek

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

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

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

—–

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

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

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

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

4. Additional Information

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

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

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

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

5. Must-know Vocab

Offering Gifts to Grandmother

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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How to Say I Love You in French - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in French could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your French partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At FrenchPod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your French lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make French dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. French Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. French Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn French Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your French love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the French word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these French date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

French Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • Tu veux aller dîner avec moi?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in French is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • Tu es libre ce weekend?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • Tu veux traîner avec moi?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • On se voit à quelle heure demain?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • Où est-ce qu’on se retrouve?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • Tu es superbe.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • Tu es trop chou.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • Qu’est-ce que tu penses de cet endroit?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your French language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • Est-ce qu’on peut se revoir?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • On va ailleurs?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • Je connais un bon endroit.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • Je vais te raccompagner en voiture chez toi.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • C’était une soirée géniale.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • Quand est-ce qu’on se revoit?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • Je t’appellerai.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the French phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in French below!

Date Ideas in French

museum

  • musée

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • dîner aux chandelles

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • aller au zoo

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • faire une longue promenade

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • aller à l’opéra

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • aller à l’aquarium

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • marcher sur la plage

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • faire un pique-nique

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • cuisiner ensemble

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • dîner et voir un film

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in French

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in French - think how impressed your date will be!

4. French Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in French yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in French? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your French love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in French

I love you.

  • Je vous aime.

Saying ‘I love you’ in French carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • Tu comptes tant pour moi.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • Veux-tu sortir avec moi?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • Tu es si belle.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in French, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • Je vois en toi plus qu’un(e) ami(e).

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the French dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • Une centaine de coeurs seraient trop peu nombreux pour transporter tout mon amour pour toi.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • L’amour est simplement l’amour. Il ne pourra jamais être expliqué.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • Tu es si beau/belle.

Ladies, this phrase lets your French love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • J’ai le béguin pour toi.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • Tu me donnes envie d’être un homme meilleur.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your French girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • Que tout ce que tu fais se fasse dans l’amour.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • Tu es mon soleil, mon amour.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • Les mots ne peuvent pas décrire mon amour pour toi.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • Nous sommes faits pour être ensemble.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • Si vous pensiez à quelqu’un en lisant ceci, vous êtes certainement amoureux/amoureuse.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. French Quotes about Love

French Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your French lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in French that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

French Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your French lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the French custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

French Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • Il faut qu’on parle.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • Ce n’est pas toi. C’est moi.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your French lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • Je ne suis simplement pas prêt(e) pour ce genre de relation.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • Soyons seulement amis.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in French, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • Je pense que nous avons besoin d’une pause.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • Tu mérites mieux.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • Nous devrions commencer à voir d’autres personnes.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • J’ai besoin de mon espace.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • Je pense que nous allons trop vite.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • J’ai besoin de me concentrer sur ma carrière.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • Je ne suis pas assez bien pour toi.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • Je ne t’aime plus tout simplement.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • Nous sommes tout simplement pas faits l’un pour l’autre.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • C’est mieux comme ça.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • Nous nous sommes éloignés.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn French faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. FrenchPod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the French language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn French Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your French speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    FrenchPod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you French, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn French even faster.

    2- Having your French romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced French language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive French lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your French partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why FrenchPod101 helps you learn French Even Faster when you’re In Love

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    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking French is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at FrenchPod101 is translated into both English and French. So, while your partner can help you learn French faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with French Culture
    At FrenchPod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in France. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your French partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic French Phrases
    You now have access to FrenchPod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your French soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    La Chandeleur: How to Celebrate Candlemas in France

    Learning about French holidays is an excellent way to gaze at the country’s culture from a viewpoint you otherwise wouldn’t. La Chandeleur is no different, providing you with a lot of great history to study and ponder.

    La Chandeleur or “Candlemas” is a French religious holiday, known for the delicious crepes the French make to celebrate. In fact, it’s often called Crêpe Day!

    As with many holidays in France and worldwide, La Chandeleur lost its religious meaning over time. Originally a day to worship the god Pan, and later Jesus Christ, most French today use Candlemas as a day of fun and good French food.

    While the religious meaning is pretty much looked over today, many Candlemas traditions in France remain.

    Find out more about Candlemas Day, from Candlemas traditions to information on its shifting meaning over the years.

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    1. What is Candlemas in France?

    La Chandeleur, or Candlemas in France, was once an important religious holiday to the French people. It began as a day dedicated to worshipping the god Pan, as this was a custom Roman tradition. However, this Candlemas tradition came to an end in 472 when Pope Gelasius I decided to Christianize the holiday. Religious people would worship Jesus instead by lighting candles. Chandeleur comes from the word chandelle meaning “candle,” hence the holiday’s name.

    Like most holidays, La Chandeleur eventually lost most of its religious meaning. But that doesn’t mean Candlemas traditions ended! Certainly not. This French holiday proves to remain largely celebrated and is held close to the French people’s heart.

    2. When is Candlemas Day?

    Clock

    The French celebrate Candlemas on February 2 each year, which is forty days after Christmas. This explains the similarities in the two holidays’ names.

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Candle

    1- French Candlemas Traditions: Crepes

    Candlemas is a holiday that French people celebrate with their family if they have young children, or with their friends. And this is France we’re talking about, so of course Candlemas celebrations are going to involve crepes and crepe-making! But why do French people make crêpes on this day in particular?

    Well, at this time of the year, winter planting would begin. Peasants would use their excess flour to make crêpes. Also, with their round shape and golden color, they reminded people of the sun.

    In France, making the crepes is just as much fun as eating them! The French have a fascinating Candlemas tradition: If you use a “frying pan,” or poêle à frire, you need to flip the crêpe without letting it fall! If it falls, it brings bad luck. In French, “good luck” is called Bonne Chance and “bad luck” is called Malchance.

    In the past, an ancient coin was used while flipping your crêpe. Someone would hold the Louis coin in their hand, and if the crêpe fell properly they would be rich and have prosperity all year long. Nowadays no one does this, but you could still try it with your own currency if you want!

    2- Religious Traditions

    For those who still hold La Chandeuleur’s religious meaning close to heart, there are several religious traditions that take place.

    This day is also called by some as the day of “the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple” (présentation de Jésus au temple) or the day of “the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (purification de la vierge Marie). This is due to the fact that in times past, it was customary for a woman to present herself for purification about a month after a boy’s circumcision; in the Book of Luke, this occurs with Jesus.

    On Chandeleur in France, many people attend church with candles and have them blessed. It’s believed that the candles serve as a representation of Jesus’ claim to be Light.

    Further, many French people light their homes with candles and put away Christmas decorations.

    4. Additional Information

    A few weeks before the day, French people will start seeing advertisements for crêpe batter in magazines or on television. There are two types of batter. One is made with wheat for sweet fillings, and the other is made with buckwheat for savory fillings.

    Now, crepes are a kind of really thin, soft, pastry dough made with milk, eggs, flour, and a bit of butter to make it better. You put them in a pan, flip them, and fill them with whatever you like. Usually, it’s sweet with sugar, jam, or chocolate.

    Crepes called Crêpes Suzette are a great classic of French cuisine invented by Auguste Escoffier. They’re made with melted butter mixed with sugar, Grand Marnier, orange, and lemon. They can be flambéed with Grand Marnier.

    Crêpes from Brittany are also popular throughout France. If you go to Brittany, you simply must try this culinary specialty!

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Vocabulary

    Here’s some vocab you should know to celebrate Candlemas Day:

    • soleil — “sun”
    • farine — “flour”
    • hiver — “winter”
    • minuit — “midnight”
    • crêpe — “crepe”
    • chandelle — “candle”
    • lumière — “light”
    • présentation de Jésus au temple — “presentation of Jesus at the temple
    • fête religieuse chrétienne — “Christian religious festival”
    • prospérité — “prosperity”
    • proverbe — “proverb”
    • purification de la vierge Marie — “purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

    If you want to hear each of these words with its pronunciation, be sure to check out our French Candlemas Day vocabulary list. Here, you can read each word while listening to an audio pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know a little more about France’s La Chandeleur. What do you think about this holiday? Do you celebrate Candlemas or a similar holiday in your home country? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn even more about French culture, be sure to visit us at FrenchPod101.com. We offer several blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even host an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow students. And if you prefer a one-on-one approach to learning, be sure to download our MyTeacher app so you can learn French with your own personal teacher.

    Be sure to create your account soon to learn French efficiently, and have fun while doing it!

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    How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in French

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in French!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - Testing New Technology

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    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in French? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million French words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. funny - drôle
    2. joke - plaisanter
    3. surprise - surprendre
    4. sneaky - sournois
    5. prankster - farceur
    6. prank - farce
    7. lie - mentir
    8. humor - humour
    9. fool - idiot
    10. deceptive - trompeur
    11. April 1st - premier avril
    12. play a joke - faire une blague

    2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    French Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in French to prank your favorite French friend or colleague!

    1. I learned French in 1 month.
      • J’ai appris le français en un mois.
    2. All classes for today got canceled.
      • Tous les cours d’aujourd’hui ont été annulés.
    3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • Je suis désolé, mais je viens de casser votre paire de lunettes préférée.
    4. Someone has just hit your car.
      • Quelqu’un vient de heurter votre voiture.
    5. I’m getting married.
      • Je vais me marier.
    6. You won a free ticket.
      • Vous avez gagné un billet gratuit.
    7. I saw your car being towed.
      • J’ai vu votre voiture se faire remorquer.
    8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • Ils sont en train de donner des cartes-cadeaux gratuites devant l’immeuble.
    9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • Un beau mec vous attend dehors.
    10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • Une jolie femme m’a demandé de vous donner ce numéro de téléphone.
    11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • Pouvez-vous descendre? J’ai quelque chose de spécial pour vous.
    12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • Merci pour votre lettre d’amour de ce matin. Je n’aurais jamais deviné vos sentiments.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in French, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit France, or if you work for any French company, knowing the above French prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core French words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in French - bone up your French language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, FrenchPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in French below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at FrenchPod101.

    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - testing new technology

    Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

    • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
    • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

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    How to Say Happy New Year in French & New Year Wishes

    Learn all the French New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join FrenchPod101 for a special French New Year celebration!

    How to Say Happy New Year in French

    Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

    So, how do you say Happy New Year in French? Let a native teach you! At FrenchPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these French New Year wishes!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in France
    2. Must-Know French Words & Phrases for the New Year!
    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in French
    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
    7. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn French

    But let’s start with some vocabulary for French New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in France

    Like in many other countries, French people celebrate the New Year, or “Nouvel An” in French, on December 31. This celebration is also called “le réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre” or “le réveillon du Jour de l’an”. For French people, it’s a special time to be spent among friends, an opportunity to eat a good meal, a time to dance, and of course a time to party until the end of the night.

    Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

    What do French people traditionally have to do when they pass under a sprig of mistletoe, as well as just after the stroke of midnight on New Years?

    If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

    In France, people celebrate the coming New year with friends. The celebration takes place at home, or in cafes and restaurants. The most popular places are those close to the Eiffel Tower, or in French, “Tour Eiffel”. Restaurants and homes are decorated with banners, or “banderoles”, displaying messages that say “Happy New Year.” As soon as night falls, people go and meet to share the last meal of the year, and to also spend the evening together. It’s a good opportunity to take some time and enjoy life.

    As you may know, French people are foodies. In order to spend the evening well, they have to eat a sophisticated meal! Supper takes place over several courses. First, there is the “apéritif”, when French people drink champagne and give toasts to the health of friends and family. Then they begin to eat, starting with smoked salmon or foie gras on toast. People also eat oysters, meat, or fish. And of course, there has to be a cheese platter! For dessert, French people sometimes eat a log cake. Doesn’t all of this make you hungry?

    After the meal, French people turn on the TV for the midnight countdown. The most watched show of the night is called “Le plus grand Cabaret du Monde”, which can be translated as “The Biggest Cabaret in the World.” It takes place at a theater and features magic, dance, and acrobatic performances. Once midnight has struck, the New Year is here! French people celebrate this moment by throwing paper cotillons. French people also wish a “Happy New Year,” or “Bonne Année”, to all of their close relations, so they call all their family members. Then they give each other New Year’s gifts, or “étrennes”. In general, these consist of envelopes with money in them.

    Did you know? After the New Year, you should make some resolutions! In French, “New Year’s resolution” is “Bonnes résolutions”. You need to choose one or more ways in which you’re committed to improving your behavior in the coming year. Losing weight, quitting smoking, or playing more sports are the resolutions chosen most often by French people.

    Now it’s time to answer our quiz question!

    Do you know what French people traditionally have to do when they pass under a sprig of mistletoe, and at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s?

    Custom dictates that French people should kiss under a sprig of mistletoe. This plant is used as an ornament for the holiday season. It symbolizes prosperity and longevity. The legend states that couples who kiss under the mistletoe will be married within the year.

    Happy New Year!
    Bonne Année!

    2. Must-Know French Words & Phrases for the New Year!

    French Words & Phrases for the New Year

    1- Year

    année

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in France could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

    2- Midnight

    minuit

    The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

    3- New Year’s Day

    nouvel an

    In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

    How to Celebrate New Year

    4- Party

    fête

    A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

    5- Dancing

    danse

    Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

    6- Champagne

    champagne

    Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

    7- Fireworks

    feu d’artifice

    These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

    8- Countdown

    compte à rebours

    This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

    9- New Year’s Holiday

    vacances du nouvel an

    In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

    10- Confetti

    confettis

    In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    11- New Year’s Eve

    Réveillon

    This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

    12- Toast

    toast

    A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

    13- Resolution

    résolution

    Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

    14- Parade

    parade

    New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At FrenchPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what French New Year celebrations are like!

    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

    New Year’s Resolutions List

    So, you learned the French word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at FrenchPod101 - what are yours?

    Learn these phrases and impress your French friends with your vocabulary.

    New Year's Resolutions

    1- Read more

    lire plus

    Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more French in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your French language skills!

    2- Spend more time with family

    Passer plus de temps avec ma famille.

    Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

    3- Lose weight

    perdre du poids

    Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

    4- Save money

    économiser de l’argent

    Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to FrenchPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

    5- Quit smoking

    Arrêter de fumer.

    This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

    6- Learn something new

    Apprendre quelque chose de nouveau.

    Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

    7- Drink less

    moins boire

    This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

    8- Exercise regularly

    Faire du sport régulièrement.

    This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

    9- Eat healthy

    manger sainement

    If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

    10- Study French with FrenchPod101

    étudier le français avec FrenchPod101.com

    Of course! You can only benefit from learning French, especially with us! Learning how to speak French can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. FrenchPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

    Inspirational Quotes

    Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

    Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special French new year greeting!

    Make decorative notes of these in French, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read French incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Language Learning Quotes

    Still undecided whether you should enroll with FrenchPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

    Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

    As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in French could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in French - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

    Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with French - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

    7. Why Enrolling with FrenchPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

    If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn French! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that FrenchPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

    Learning Paths

    • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning French at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
    • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with French that makes sense!
    • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
    • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
    • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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    There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning French with FrenchPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

    How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in French

    How to Say Merry Christmas in French

    Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in French? FrenchPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of French Christmas phrases!

    Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native French speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, FrenchPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in French!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in France
    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
    4. Twelve Days of Christmas
    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
    6. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in France

    Christmas Words in French

    Like those in many other countries, French people celebrate Christmas on December 25th. Indeed, for a long time before it became a secular state, France had a Catholic government. This is why many celebrations and public holidays have religious origins. For French people, even for non-believers, Christmas remains a very important celebration. In this lesson, you will learn how to celebrate it French-style!

    Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

    What special meal is served at Christmas, only in Provence?

    If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

    During the holiday period, many Christmas markets, or marchés de Noël, are held in different French cities. The most famous one takes place in Strasbourg, in Alsace. French people can buy Christmas decorations there, as well as regional products and food, including cakes. People also drink hot wine, or vin chaud. This is a hot drink, generally made with red wine and spices, that is drunk during winter.

    In France, Christmas is a family holiday. It’s an occasion to see many family members including parents, grandparents, and cousins. French people celebrate Christmas in their home, which they decorate to mark the occasion. The Christmas tree, or sapin de Noël, is an indispensable element in this. Whether real or artificial, it dominates the living room. The presents are put in front of it, and it is decorated with Christmas ornaments and garlands.

    The colors most often used by French people to decorate their houses are red, gold, silver, and green.

    Christmas Eve, or Réveillon de Noël, is celebrated on December 24. A real feast is served. Traditionally, it is made up of a Christmas turkey, or dinde de Noël, with a log cake for dessert. French people also eat oysters or snails. As for the presents, they are given out at either midnight, after the meal, or the next morning. French children believe in Santa Claus or Père Noël and it’s not rare to have a family member dress up in order to give the kids their gifts.

    The most well-known French Christmas song is “Petit Papa Noël,” which means “Little Santa Claus.” It was written by Raymond Vinci and the music was composed by Henri Martinet. It tells the story of a little boy talking to Santa Claus.

    Now it’s time to answer our quiz question!

    In Provence, a Christmas meal is served that’s different from what you’ll find in other regions of France. It’s the thirteen desserts. Traditionally, they represent Jesus and the twelve apostles. The thirteen desserts are made up of dry fruits, fresh fruits, chocolates, and other sweets.

    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

    Holiday Greetings and Wishes

    1- Merry Christmas!

    Joyeux Noël !

    Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in French? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

    2- Happy Kwanzaa!

    Joyeux Kwanzaa!

    Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

    3- Have a happy New Year!

    Bonne année!

    In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

    4- Happy Hanukkah!

    Joyeux Hanukkah!

    Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

    5- Have a great winter vacation!

    Bonnes vacances d’hiver!

    This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

    6- See you next year!

    À l’année prochaine!

    Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

    7- Warm wishes!

    Amicalement

    An informal, friendly phrase to write in French Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

    8- Happy holidays!

    Bonnes vacances!

    If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in French, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

    9- Enjoy the holidays!

    Profitez des vacances!

    After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in French, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

    10- Best wishes for the New Year!

    Meilleurs vœux pour la nouvelle année!

    This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

    Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in French! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At FrenchPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

    1- Christmas

    Noël

    This is the French word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in French will include this word!

    2- Snow

    neige

    In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

    3- Snowflake

    flocon de neige

    Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

    4- Snowman

    bonhomme de neige

    As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

    5- Turkey

    dinde

    Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

    6- Wreath

    couronne

    Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

    7- Reindeer

    renne

    Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

    8- Santa Claus

    Père Noël

    Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

    9- Elf

    lutin

    An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

    10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolph le renne au nez rouge

    ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

    11- North Pole

    pôle nord

    The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

    12- Sled

    traîneau

    A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

    13- Present

    cadeau

    Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

    14- Bell

    cloche

    On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

    15- Chimney

    cheminée

    The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

    16- Fireplace

    cheminée

    In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

    17- Christmas Day

    jour de Noël

    This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

    18- Decoration

    décoration

    Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

    19- Stocking

    bas

    According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

    20- Holly

    houx

    Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

    21- Gingerbread house

    maison en pain d’épice

    According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

    22- Candy cane

    bâton de sucre d’orge

    According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

    23- Mistletoe

    gui

    Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

    4. Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in French, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

    The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

    ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

    Top 10 Christmas Characters

    This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in French! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

    6. FrenchPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

    Visit FrenchPod101!

    We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From French for Absolute Beginners to Advanced French, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

    We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, FrenchPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct French. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

    So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in FrenchPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

    How to Start Thinking in French

    Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in French

    Going through French lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of French, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in French. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

    We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between French and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the French vocabulary word and the tangible object.

    start thinking in French

    In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through FrenchPod101.com.

    Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole French Language from the Beginning!

    1. Surround yourself with French

    Surround Yourself

    By surrounding yourself with French constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a French radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

    One great feature of FrenchPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

    2. Learn through observation
    learn through observation

    Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then French words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in French.

    FrenchPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach French.

    3. Speak out loud to yourself
    talk to yourself

    Speaking to yourself in French not only gets you in the mindset of French, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

    With FrenchPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native French speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

    4. Practice daily

    If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

    It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but FrenchPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with FrenchPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

    Conclusion

    Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that FrenchPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

    Learn French With FrenchPod101 Today!

    To Do or not to Do on the Beach in France

    Learn some French basic phrases to fully enjoy your holidays in France!

    Voilà l’été! Ok, not yet…We are only in June but the months of July and August are highly awaited by many, because it is vacation time!

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    Do French people like to go to the beach?

    Many people take their summer vacations so they can go to the beach. French people usually spend a weekend or even as long as three weeks at the beach.

    So if I wanted to go to the beach in France, where should I go?

    The most fashionable beaches are on the:

  • English Channel: Cherbourg, Honfleur…
  • Atlantic ocean: Biarritz, Saint Jean du luz…
  • Mediterranean sea: Cannes, Nice, Marseilles…
  • These are the main sea resorts in France, and the destination usually depends on what people want to do.

    The Atlantic side, especially Biarritz, where the waves are big, and it is a surfing spot. There is a famous surfing competition there every summer. All of the Atlantic coast is great for jetskiing.

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    For partying, the French Riviera along the Mediterranean sea is the best. Oui, you can enjoy private beach parties with famous international DJs and if you are lucky, you can make VIP friends who will invite you to night parties on luxury yachts.

    For a family vacation, the north is the place to go if you don’t mind stone beaches and cooler water. The Atlantic is also nice. But be wary of the tides when you go to the beach because in France, they are as fast as a horse running. I don’t know if your horse runs but “tides” in French is les marées.

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    Are French beaches free?

    Most of them are free, but you may have to pay to go to private beaches.

    What should you eat on the beach? Cheese?

    No, we don’t eat cheese! We eat chouchous. Chouchou are peanuts with caramel. There is a guy who yells: chouchou, chouchou! Many people want to sell you things on the beach. Don’t hesitate to ignore them or just say “I don’t speak French” with an American accent, and they will not bother you again!

    What about attitude ?

    Try to not to be loud and noisy. Don’t play music with a sound system as there will be probably one on the beach.

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    What are some other recommendations?

    Keep an eye on your stuff on the beach. Don’t leave your bag alone. French people are nice but you never know!

    Learn some French basic phrases to fully enjoy your holidays in France!

    Here are some handy ways you can master the quotes with this lesson:

  • Press the sound icon to hear each word and read along
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  • Leave us a comment and put these quotes to use
  • Speak and master even more French with our fun audio and video lessons made by real teachers. Click on “Browse Lessons” in the top menu to access our massive library. Then, start speaking minutes into your lesson.

    Click Here to Learn French Quotes with FREE Audio Pronunciation!

    6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

    6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

    There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

    What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

    1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
    Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

    2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
    Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

    Click here for French Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

    3. It helps you relax.
    Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

    Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

    4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
    Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

    Click here for the Top 25 French Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

    If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

    5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
    If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

    6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
    For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.

    5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

    5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

    1. Schedule your time.

    One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

    2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

    Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

    Click here to get the French Word of the Day for FREE!

    3. Make friends!

    Make friends!

    If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

    4. Take a break!

    Break time

    If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

    Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

    5. Don’t give up!

    As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the French proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

    If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in French.