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The Best Series and TV Shows for French Learners

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. For the Glamour Lovers

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

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

1- Dix pour Cent

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

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

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

Here’s a sneak peek at the cast:

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

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

Call My Agent

2- Danse Avec les Stars

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

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

Starring in this fab series are:

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

Danse Stars

2. For the Drama Queens

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

1- Plus Belle la Vie

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

Plus Belle la Vie

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

2- Koh Lanta

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

Koh Lanta

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

3. For the Foodies

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

1- Un Dîner Presque Parfait

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

Un Dîner Presque Parfait

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

2- Top Chef

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

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

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

Top Chef

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

3- Le Meilleur Pâtissier

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

The cast of Le Meilleur Pâtissier includes:

  • Cyril Lignac
  • Jacqueline Mercorelli
  • Pierre Hermé

Le Meilleur Pâtissier

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

4. For the Fun Learners

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

1- Un Gars Une Fille

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

Un Gars Une Fille

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

2- H

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

H

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

3- Bref

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

Bref

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

4- Kaamelott

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

Kaamelott

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

5- Au Service de la France

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

Au Service de la France

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

5. For Those Fascinated with France’s Rich History

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

1- Versailles

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

Versailles

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

2- Un Village Français

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

Un Village Français

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

6. For the Aspiring Detectives

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

1- Les Revenants

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

Les Revenants

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

2- Engrenages

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

Engrenages

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

3- Malaterra

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

Malaterra

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

4- La Forêt

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

La Forêt

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

5- La Mante

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

La Mante

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

7. For Our Younger Students

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

1- Les Aventures de Tintin

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

Les Aventures de Tintin

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

2- Code Lyoko

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

Code Lyoko

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

3- Totally Spies

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

Totally Spies

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

4- Miraculous

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

Miraculous

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

5- Avatar the Last Airbender

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

Avatar the Last Airbender

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

8. Bonus: What NOT to Watch

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

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

9. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

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

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

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

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Lundi de Pâques: Easter Monday in France

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

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

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

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1. What is Easter Monday in France?

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

2. When is Easter Celebrated in France?

Someone Marking Calendar

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

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

3. Reading Practice: Easter Celebrations in France

Someone with Candle Praying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Easter Symbols in France: Symbol of the Lamb

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

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

5. Must-know Vocab

Man Remembering Something

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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How to Find Jobs in France — The Best Work Guide

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

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

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

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

1. Get Your Paperwork Ready

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

Visa

1- Working Permit & Visa

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Find the Right Job for You

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

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

Four People Talking

1- If You are Fluent in French

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

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

2- If You are Intermediate in French

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

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

3- If You are a Beginner in French

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

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

4- Foreigners-Friendly Jobs

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

Language Teaching

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

For English teaching jobs, head to the following portals:

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

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

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

Lady in Red Holding a Chalk

Tourism Industry

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

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

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

NGOs and Think Tanks

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

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

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

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

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

Assisting Other Foreigners

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

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

5- Volunteering in France

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

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

Harvesting

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

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

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

3. Job-hunting in France from A to Z

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

1- General Job Search Engine

Official Websites

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

Job Listing

French Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

2- Specialized Job Directories

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

3- Getting Help Finding a Job

Temporary Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

Shaking Hands

Recruitment Agencies and Headhunters

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

4- Expat Portals and Communities

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

Some of these portals are:

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

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

5- Job Fairs

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

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

6- Spontaneous Applications

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

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

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

7- NETWORKING, The Power of People!

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

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

My golden rules of successful networking are:

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

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

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

Job Security

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

Unemployment Allowance

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

Transport and Food Subsidies

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

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

35-Hour Weeks

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

Paid Holidays

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

Health Insurance

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

Your Best Friend: the Comité d’entreprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to 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!

    How to Say “Hello” in French: Break the Ice Like a Pro!

    How to Say Hello in French

    We all know the importance of first impressions, but do you know how long it really takes for a person to make a judgement and put you in a mental box from which you might never get out? According to psychologists and communication experts, it’s around five seconds, just enough time to walk down the hall and say “Hello” or “Good morning.” Hence, choosing the proper greeting is the best way to make you sound fun and engaging to your friends, or professional and trustworthy to your business partners.

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    It’s even more important with French, as we can be pretty intense about manners and social “etiquette.” No wonder, we even invented the word. So, if you want to learn how to say hello in French as naturally as native speakers would and learn everything about greetings in French, buckle up and follow this French greetings guide!

    1. “Bonjour” and “Salut,” Your French Bread-and-Butter

    Wish there was a magic word to get you through 95% of your social encounters when it comes to saying “hello” or “good morning” in French? You’re in luck, there are two generic ways of how French greet!

    • Bonjour (“Hello”) is as fail-proof as it gets. Literally, “Good day” (Bon jour), it can be used all morning and afternoon, with anybody, in any kind of situation. The beauty of Bonjour is that it’s neither too formal nor too relaxed; you cannot go wrong with it.
    • Salut (“Hi”) is the casual bonjour that you use with friends and peers. It’s short, cheerful, easy to pronounce, and you can use it all day long. And the best part? You can also use it to say “Bye!”

    French Greetings

    2. Greeting Like a Boss!

    Now that you have the basics, let’s get to the juicy part and learn some specific greetings.

    • Coucou (“Hey”) is an odd bird, quite literally. Coming from the “cuckoo” bird sound, it’s a way to attract attention in a naïve and childish manner. One cannot get less formal than using Coucou, and it’s common in use between romantic partners or with close friends or family. If you want to sound cute or playful, Coucou is right for you and is an excellent French greetings for between friends.

    1- Time-dependent Greetings:

    • Bonsoir (“Good evening”) takes over when it’s too late to say Bonjour. Literally “Good evening” (Bon soir), you can use this French greeting after sundown. Don’t worry, nobody will ever get offended if you get you bonjour and bonsoir mixed up!
    • How to say “Good morning” in French? We don’t! Unless you’re in Quebec, where French speakers use Bon matin. Better not use it in France, though, as it may sound quite awkward to an unprepared French audience.

    /!\ Bonne matinée, Bonne journée, and Bonne soirée (Literally: “Good morning,” “Good day,” and “Good evening”) may sound like greetings, but they are only used to say goodbye!

    2- Phone and Online Greetings:

    • Allo? (“Hello?”) is only used for answering the phone in French, as a question, to make sure your interlocutor can hear you. Use it either at the start of the conversation or if you suspect the call might have dropped.

      If someone ever greets you in the street with a Allo, check your GPS: you’re most likely in Quebec where Allo is used for Bonjour while Bonjour? starts a phone conversation. Yeah, it’s slightly confusing.

    • Cc, yop, and plop (“Hi”) can be used in online games and chat. Cc is short for Coucou (“Hey”), while yop and plop are just sounds.

    3- The Magic of “Nice to Meet You”

    Once you’ve met someone for the first time, you might want to add a polite or charming “Nice to meet you.” It can take many forms, but the most common and simple is:

    • Enchanté (“Delighted”), which can be used for anybody, anytime, anywhere.

    If you want to sound fancier or display your French knowledge, you can choose to use one of these:

    • Ravi de vous rencontrer or Heureux de vous rencontrer. (“Happy to meet you.”)
    • C’est un plaisir de faire votre connaissance. (“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”)
    • C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer. (“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”)
      It can be cut down to Un plaisir de vous rencontrer (“Pleased to meet you”) or even Un plaisir (“A pleasure”). Sprinkle it with a charming smile and it can take you a long way!

    3. How to Say “How are You?” in French

    Now that you’ve said “Hello,” it’s time to break the ice and give some honey to whoever you’re talking to. With a simple “How are you doing?” or “What’s up?” you can be polite, show your interest, or even spark a conversation.

    • Comment allez-vous ? [Formal] / Comment vas-tu ? [Casual] (“How are you doing ?”)

    Literally “How are you going?” this is the easiest way to inquire about someone’s well-being. Other popular casual forms are Comment ça va ? (“How is it going?”) or Tu vas bien ? (“Are you good?”).

    The typical follow-up is Ça va (“It goes”), a foolproof noncommittal answer. But you can make it a bit more personal with Ça va bien (“It’s going well”) or with the world-famous Comme ci comme ça (“So-so”) which literally means “Like this, like that.”

    • Quoi de neuf ? [Casual] (“What’s new?”)

    There are no standard follow-ups for this one, so you’ll have to come up with a genuine answer and curse your interlocutor for making your life so hard!

    4. Tu or Vous: A Lesson in French Etiquette

    Formal or casual? You have to choose it wisely, as French can be slightly more demanding with manners than in other aspects of the language.

    1- Choose a “You”

    The French have two distinct pronouns for “You”: Vous and Tu (formal and casual “You”), and each new encounter gets a bit trickier when you have to choose one. We can imagine how horrible it seems to English speakers, but it’s easier than it seems and even has some perks!

    In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

    • Friends, peers, family, kids, or teens, someone younger than you, and animals: Tu
    • Anybody else: Vous (until decided otherwise by both parties)
    • Whenever in doubt: Vous

    See? Not so much of a headache!

    When you feel comfortable enough, you can use Tu with strangers in informal situations (in a bar, club, or hostel), and anyone using Tu with you allows you to do the same. It’s also an interesting way to gauge your level of intimacy with someone.

    2- Choose a Title

    If you go for a formal greeting, you can add a title, but it’s not mandatory. It might come as a shock after the previous section, but there’s nothing complicated about titles. Hurray!

    • Monsieur (“Mister”)
    • Madame (“Madam”)
    • Mademoiselle (“Miss”)

    3- Formal and Casual Greetings

    So, if we put everything together, what does it look like? Here are two examples of greeting conversations in French to help you figure it out:

    [Formal] Julien meets Sebastien Laroche in a business meeting.

    • Julien: Bonjour Monsieur Laroche. (“Hello Mr Laroche.”)
    • Sebastien: Bonjour ! (“Hello!”)
    • Julien: Comment allez-vous ? (“How are you doing?”)
    • Sebastien: Ca va bien, merci. (“I’m good, thank you.”)

    In this formal setting, Julien opens with the universal Bonjour, followed by the title Monsieur to show his respect. Then, he continues with a polite Vous. Maybe when they get comfortable enough, they will switch to the Tu.

    [Casual] Julien meets his friend Cédric.

    • Julien: Salut ! (“Hi!”)
    • Cédric: Salut Julien ! (“Hi Julien!”)
    • Julien: Tu vas bien ? (“How are you doing?”)
    • Cédric: Ça va. (“All good.”)

    Julien addresses his friend with a friendly Salut (“Hi”) and uses the casual Tu throughout the conversation.

    5. Spice it Up with a Pinch of Slang!

    Now that you know how to casually say “hello” in French, what about sounding even cooler with some slang? Here are some fun ways to say “hi” and impress your French friends with your laid-back fluency!

    • Yo! (“Hi”)
    • Wesh? (“Hi”)

    This one comes from the Algerian Wesh rak (“How are you doing?”) and became increasingly popular in recent years, even though it’s frequently frowned upon.

    • Ça fait un bail ! (“Long time no see!”)
    • La forme ? (“How are you doing?”) — Literally “the shape?” from “Are you in good shape?”
    • Bien ? (“Are you doing well?”) — Literally “Good?”
    • Ça roule?, Ça gaze?, and Ça biche? are tough to explain, but all mean the same as Bien ?

    Hugging

    6. The Secret Art of French Kissing

    No more vocabulary here, it’s time to get physical and learn about kissing. But despite this deceiving chapter’s name, there won’t be any tongue involved! French greetings body language is one of the most vital aspects of the language as a whole, so without further ado, let’s talk about the most typical, infamous, and confusing feature of French etiquette: La bise.

    1- Shaking Hands

    Hold on! Before the kissing part, let’s get the classic and manly handshakes out of the way. Yes, we shake hands in France. We do it vigorously, with a firm hand while looking straight into each other’s eyes. You can shake hands with your friends, your father-in-law, every day with your co-workers, your boss, a friendly bartender, or really anybody you meet for the first or hundredth time. Shaking hands is still the most popular French greeting, by far.

    2- Do We Hug in France?

    Not really. Some people do, but many also tend to become uncomfortable, stiff, and clumsy when hugging is involved. We actually don’t have a word for friendly hugging and it’s usually kept for close family and romantic partners.

    3- Fake-kissing with “La Bise”

    In French, the word Bise refers to a kiss on the cheek. Applied to our typical daily greeting, it can be a weird, confusing, or even stressful moment for unsuspecting foreigners. Any gender combination can practice La bise, no matter their age, beliefs, or sexual orientation: this is a friendly greeting. La bise isn’t really a kiss, it’s just a way to say “hello” in French.

    Its origins are unclear, but it’s believed to have become prominent sometime after the Social Revolution and Moral Emancipations of May 1968, even though many similar greetings can be found throughout the country’s history. Nowadays, kids start doing and receiving la bise from a young age, and it’s practiced among all social circles. You may have seen photos of our Presidents voraciously kissing German Chancellors or First Ladies alike!

    4- How-to Faire la Bise

    To do la bise (Faire la bise), you lean forward and touch cheeks with the other person while mimicking a kiss (with the sound and lips gesture). There’s no actual lips-to-cheek contact during the typical bise, just a slight brush of the cheeks. Then, switch cheeks and repeat the same process on the other side.

    Pro-tips:

    • Some people tend to exaggerate the kissing sound, producing a loud “Mwuaah” on each side, but there’s a good chance you’d be made fun of, if you do so.
    • Make sure you don’t “air-kiss” by doing la bise without any cheek contact. Even though your lips are kissing the air, the cheeks should touch.

    What Side? How Many?

    Brace yourself and don’t panic. Although somewhat codified, la bise is a friendly greeting that shouldn’t be tainted with distress!

    • Should you start with the left or right side? Doesn’t matter! If you’re not sure, just follow the other person’s lead and go with the flow.
    • How many kisses? Well…it depends. Most French make two, southeasterners make three, while some regions are governed with the rule of four. If it escalates up to five or further, I’d get suspicious!

      Yeah, it can get confusing when you’re mentally prepared for two while the other person keeps going up to four, but nothing one cannot handle. Just adapt to whatever comes and always accept that more bises could be hiding around the corner!

    You can even find some statistic maps for la bise, but don’t take them too seriously!

    To Bise or not to Bise?

    Now for the most important question: Should you do la bise or not?

    Let us break it down for you:

    • If you’re a woman, you can do la bise with friends, family, or peers, no matter their gender, and vice-versa.
    • As a man, you can do la bise with female friends, family, or peers, or female strangers met in an informal context.
    • As a man, you can also do la bise with your male friends and family, but it usually takes a higher level of intimacy and some people just don’t do it.

    It might seem easier for women, but it’s not! When joining a big group of male and female co-workers, for instance, men can just do la bise to women and shake hands with men. Women, on the other hand, are somehow expected to do la bise to everyone. In my experience, however, it’s perfectly fine to just wave or shake hands. If anybody gets offended, they’re just not worth your time.

    When joining a group of friends, you may have to do la bise to every single one of them and repeat the same social ritual when you leave. It might sound tedious, but with practice you’ll become fluent with la bise and greet everyone in no time!

    Oh, and never be pushy! If you go for la bise and the other person doesn’t mirror your leaning movement or give you their hand to shake, just pack up your bise and don’t get bitter! While in France, you can just let your French hosts take the initiative and follow their bise habits.

    7. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You Learn More French

    You’ve learned how to say “Hello” in French and to rival with native speakers using fancy greetings and cool slangs. Together, we’ve unraveled the mysteries of la bise and you’re now ready for any casual or formal French encounter at any time of the day!

    Next time you bump into a French person, offer them your most graceful Salut ! or Bonjour and see what happens next. Or why not prepare short dialogues to practice, and get comfortable with the Tu and the Vous?

    FrenchPod101 has many resources, such as vocabulary lists, to help you improve your French in no time. You can download them for free from our website! Check out our list of Common ways to say “Hello” with audio recordings to practice your accent.

    Thank you and we hope that you enjoy learning French with us! Now take your knowledge from this French greetings guide, get out there, and make the most of your new French language skills!

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    How to use the French verb Monter

    How To Use The French Verb Monter

    Table of Contents

    1. Definition of the verb ‘Monter’
    2. Which auxiliary verb to use with the verb ‘Monter’?
    3. ÊTRE and AVOIR Conjugation in Indicative
    4. When it has a Direct Object Complement (DOC), the verb Monter necessarily conjugates with the auxiliary AVOIR.
    5. When the subject is a person
    6. To talk about a level or a price
    7. The verb ‘Monter’ conjugated
    8. 10 French expressions with ‘Monter’
    9. When ‘Monter’ is a noun

    Hi everyone, in this article I share with you How to use the verb Monter.

    1. Definition of the Verb Monter

    1- Move up

    • Example :
      • Nous montons au sommet de la montagne. ? We climb to the top of the mountain.

    2- Increase, grow

    • Example :
      • Le niveau du fleuve a monté. ? The level of the river has risen.

    3- Put yourself on an animal or in a vehicle

    • Example :
      • Il monte à cheval. ? He rides horseback.
      • Elle monte dans la voiture. ? She gets in the car.

    Verb

    2. Which auxiliary verb to use with the verb Monter ?

    Depending on the context, the verb Monter is conjugated with

    • the auxiliary verb AVOIR
    • or

    • the auxiliary verb ÊTRE

    Verb

    3. ÊTRE and AVOIR conjugation in indicative

    ÊTRE
    Present tense Past tense
    je suis j’étais
    tu es tu étais
    il est il était
    nous sommes nous étions
    vous êtes vous étiez
    ils sont ils étaient

    AVOIR
    Present tense Past tense
    j’ai j’avais
    tu as tu avais
    il a il avait
    nous avons nous avions
    vous avez vous aviez
    ils ont ils avaient

    4. When it has a Direct Object Complement (DOC), the verb Monter necessarily conjugates with the auxiliary AVOIR.

    To find out if the sentence contains a DOC, we ask the question QUOI (WHAT) or QUI (WHO) after the verb.

    The verb + QUOI (WHAT) ? / QUI (WHO) ?

    Examples :

    • J’ai mangé une pomme. ? I ate an apple.
    • J’ai mangé QUOI ? – une pomme. ? I ate WHAT ? – an apple.
    • Guillaume a attendu sa mère. ? Guillaume waited for his mother.
    • Guillaume a attendu QUI ? – Sa mère. ? Guillaume waited for WHO ? – his mother.
    • Julien a monté l’escalier rapidement. ? Julien climbed the stairs quickly.
    • Elle lui avait monté dans sa chambre quelques livres et un verre d’eau. ? She had brought him some books and a glass of water in his room.
    • J’ai même monté les valises dans sa chambre moi-même. ? I even bring the suitcases to his room myself.
    • Ses amis lui ont monté un bateau pour son anniversaire. ? His friends built him a boat for his birthday.

    5. When the subject is a person

    When the verb has no direct object complement, the two auxiliaries verbs (ÊTRE and AVOIR) are in competition. In fact, the auxiliary verb ÊTRE is used more often than the auxiliary verb AVOIR when the subject of the verb is a person. Note that AVOIR is sometimes possible in some contexts.

    Examples :

    ÊTRE

    • Simone n’est jamais montée dans un avion. ? Simone never got on a plane.
    • Harold est monté se reposer quelques minutes. ? Harold went up to rest a few minutes.
    • Jeanne est montée à cheval pour la première fois la semaine dernière. ? Jeanne rode for the first time last week.
    • Ils sont montés sur le toit pour enlever la neige. ? They climbed onto the roof to remove the snow.
    • Philippe est immédiatement monté sur ses grands chevaux. ? Philippe is immediately mounted on his big horses.

    AVOIR

    • Sylvie a monté les valises dans sa chambre. ? Sylvie packed the suitcases in her room.

    Price Level

    6. To talk about a level or a price

    When Monter is used when speaking of a level or a price, the auxiliary verb AVOIR is used more often than the auxiliary ÊTRE.

    Examples :

    • Le thermomètre a monté à vingt-six degrés dans l’après-midi. ? The thermometer rose to twenty-six degrees in the afternoon. (or Le thermomètre est monté à vingt-six degrés).
    • Le prix de l’essence a monté en flèche hier. ? The price of gasoline skyrocketed yesterday.
    • L’eau du lac a monté encore aujourd’hui. ? The lake’s water has risen again today.
    • Les enchères ont monté particulièrement haut pour cet article. ? Auctions rose particularly high for this article.

    7. The verb Monter conjugated

    Indicative
    With the auxiliary ÊTRE
    The indicative mode is used wherever the real can be expressed.
    The indicative is the time that makes it possible to grasp the facts, the acts, the opinions or the thoughts in their realization.
    Present tense Past tense
    je monte je suis monté(e)
    tu montes tu es monté(e)
    il monte il/elle est monté(e)
    nous montons nous sommes monté(e)s
    vous montez vous êtes monté(e)s
    ils montent ils/elles sont monté(e)s
    Present tense Past tense
    je montais j’étais monté(e)
    tu montais tu étais monté(e)
    il montait il/elle était monté(e)
    nous montions nous étions monté(e)s
    vous montiez vous étiez monté(e)s
    ils montaient ils/elles étaient monté(e)s
    Future
    je monterai
    je monterai
    tu monteras
    il montera
    nous monterons
    vous monterez
    ils monteront

    Conditional
    We use the conditional to mark:
    Politeness
    An advice
    A suggestion
    A reproach
    Almost confirmed information
    A wish
    An imaginary fact
    Present tense
    je monterais
    tu monterais
    il monterait
    nous monterions
    vous monteriez
    ils monteraient

    Subjunctive
    With the auxiliary ÊTRE
    The subjunctive is the time of doubt, of uncertainty
    Present tense Past tense
    que je monte que je sois monté(e)
    que tu montes que tu sois monté(e)
    qu’il monte qu’il/elle soit monté(e)
    que nous montions que nous soyons monté(e)s
    que vous montiez que vous soyez monté(e)s
    qu’ils montent qu’ils/elles soient monté(e)s

    Imperative
    The imperative is the mode to express an order to the positive form or a defense to the negative form
    Present tense
    monte
    montons
    montez

    Indicative
    With the auxiliary AVOIR
    Present tense Past tense
    je monte j’ai monté
    tu montes tu as monté
    il monte il a monté
    nous montons nous avons monté
    vous montez vous avez monté
    ils montent ils ont monté
    Present tense Past tense
    je montais j’avais monté
    tu montais tu avais monté
    il montait il avait monté
    nous montions nous avions monté
    vous montiez vous aviez monté
    ils montaient ils avaient monté
    Future
    je monterai
    tu monteras
    il montera
    nous monterons
    vous monterez
    ils monteront

    Subjunctive
    With the auxiliary AVOIR
    Presente Past
    que je monte que j’aie monté
    que tu montes que tu aies monté
    qu’il monte qu’il ait monté
    que nous montions que nous ayons monté
    que vous montiez que vous ayez monté
    qu’ils montent qu’ils aient monté

    Translation

    8. 10 French expressions with Monter

    The French expression / the literal translation into English = what does it mean

    1. La génération qui monte / The rising generation = the generation that comes to adulthood
    2. Le ton monte / Tone up = a situation of tension is created between people. The tone is the way a person says or writes something
    3. La moutarde lui monte au nez / Mustard goes to his nose = he starts to get angry
    4. Monter à cheval / Ride a horse = to practice riding
    5. Monter le son / mount the sound (of a sound device) = to make the sound lower
    6. Monter une couleur = give it more intensity
    7. Monter la gamme = pass from the lowest sounds to the highest sounds
    8. Monter une pièce de théâtre = put a play on stage
    9. Monter au filet / Climb to the net = engage vigorously in an action
    10. Monter à la tête de quelqu’un = obsessed, troubled, stunned by something

    Noun

    9. When Monter is a noun

    1 - Action to go up

    • Example :
      • Il est en train de faire une montée. ? He is doing a climb.

    2 - Place where we go up.

    • Example :
      • Prenez par la montée, c’est le chemin le plus court. ? Take the climb, it is the shortest way.

    3 - A little slope in front of a building

    • Example :
      • La montée du Capitole, à Rome, est grande. ? The slope of the Capitol, in Rome, is great.

    4 - All that goes up

    • Example :
      • La montée de la sève dans les plantes. ? The rise of sap in plants.

    Thank you for reading this article. Hope you enjoyed it and leave a comment if you have any question.

    Thomas Ricomard
    Fast French Learning

    Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Know to Survive

    Top 10 French Phrases

    Learning a new language can be increasingly challenging—especially if you’re learning a language that dates all the way back to the Roman Empire and has multiple variations all over the world.

    According to About-France.com, French is an official or second language in 55 countries worldwide and almost 300 million people speak French as their native or second language.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    My childhood friend’s grandfather was the French teacher at my high school, so instead of taking Spanish—which would have been a tad more useful in the United States—I chose French. (Not to mention my birthday is also Bastille Day, some would call it a sign.)

    I started taking French when I was 14 years old. From there, I took French 1, French 2 and Honors French 3 in high school; I was French Club president my senior year of high school; and in college, I took Intensive Elementary French 121 and 221 (the difference is the courses counted for six credit hours instead of three, meaning two semesters were jammed into one).

    I was very fortunate to get to travel to multiple European cities with my high school French teacher and some classmates the summer before my high school senior year, including Paris. And let me just say, without knowing some useful French phrases, I’m not sure how I would have made it.

    Contrary to (the not-so) popular belief, showing up to Paris only knowing bonjour, merci, and oui will not get you very far à La Ville Lumière (“in the City of Lights”).

    However, since not everyone has the ability to take three years of French before traveling to France, here are some tips to get you going with the French basics, or at least teach you some useful French phrases.

    Table of Contents

    1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases
    2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive
    3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

    1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases

    Memorise

    a. Create Flashcards on Memrise

    One of the most traditional (and for many, most effective) studying tricks is creating flashcards. However, trying to create and organize hundreds of flashcards to help you learn a whole new language can be extremely frustrating. You have to subcategorize each word or phrase, make sure your handwriting is legible and also not break the bank with how many index cards you’ll need to buy.

    This is why I recommend using Memrise. Memrise is a virtual flashcard website specifically designed to help you learn a new language! Just go to the website and select which language you want to learn!

    For example, to help you learn useful French words or phrases, you would need to select “French” and then “Beginner.” From there it will let you either create a Memrise account or sign in through your Facebook or Google account, and you’re ready to start learning!

    Instead of you deciding what useful French words and phrases you need to know, Memrise has already done that for you! This will save you a lot of time and effort, and will give you more time to study.

    Online Lesson

    b. Book a One-on-One Online Lesson

    For those who need a little more help than what flashcards can offer, booking an interactive online lesson with a native-speaking teacher (or a teacher who is completely fluent) would prove to be extremely beneficial!

    Especially with French, pronunciation is really important. Practicing the pronunciation of any useful French phrases you have memorized with someone completely fluent will serve as a stronger learning tool than you can imagine.

    There are words in French that are pretty similar sounding if you don’t know the proper pronunciation, so you could spend all this time memorizing the phrase, but when you try saying it to a francophone (French-speaking) person they won’t have a clue what you’re trying to say.

    While online translators (especially Google Translate) have stepped up their game in the past few years, they are certainly not as trustworthy as coaching from someone who is fluent in French.

    Watching Movies

    c. Watch French movies or television shows and listen to French music

    Familiarizing yourself with French entertainment is another great way to help you master pronunciation. Plus with the amazing inventions of Netflix and Hulu, or Spotify and Pandora, this is even easier to do!

    For films or television shows, I highly encourage watching with subtitles turned on. This way, you’re not only hearing the pronunciation but you could also pick up on even more helpful phrases!

    Since the film industry was historically heavily influenced by France, the United States Netflix honors that with a subcategory called “French films.” If the idea of looking over an entire subcategory of French films overwhelms you, here is a list of the top 20 French films on Netflix.

    Likewise, for music I would search for famous French musicians, look up their music and then look up the lyrics while listening. That way you can hear it as you read along!

    Two of my favorite French musicians are Stromae, a Belgian-French singer-songwriter-composer; and Carla Bruni, a French-Italian singer-songwriter who also happens to be married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Especially if you’re as big into music as I am, being able to listen to music to help you learn a foreign language is way more exciting than textbooks!

    Trip to France

    d. Take a Trip to France

    If your ultimate goal is to become fully fluent in French, I would highly suggest taking a trip to France! I know for me, one thing that really helped was asking for help from French natives while in Paris.

    It’s important to acknowledge at first that you aren’t fluent in French. For example, I would start out any conversation with, Bonjour! Je ne sais pas beaucoup de français, mais… (“Hello! I don’t know a lot of French, but (…)”). Instead of just directly asking if the other person speaks English, I attempted to speak their language first, and if I failed miserably at least they knew why.

    While it might sound scary to just pick up and head to a country where you aren’t fluent in the language, you don’t understand the culture and you don’t know anyone there, it’s a great way to make yourself vulnerable enough to adapt.

    Of course, this isn’t always the easiest (or most financially painless) choice, but if the opportunity ever arises you should consider taking it!

    2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive

    I mentioned earlier one phrase that definitely saved me while I was in France. Below is a list of 30 other useful French phrases I believe will help you out:

    Traveling to France

    1.Bonjour, ça va?
    “Hello, how’s it going?” This is a friendly, informal way to greet someone. If you’re meeting this person for the first time, it might be helpful to include your name before asking “how’s it going?” Further, if someone says this to you, kindly respond with, Très bien, merci! (“Very well, thank you!”)

    2. Comment allez-vous?
    “How are you?” If you’re looking to be more formal with someone, you can simply ask them how they’re doing. You can also respond to this question with Très bien, merci! or Pas mal, merci. (“Not bad, thank you.”)

    3. Je m’appelle (name).
    “My name is (name).” This is extremely important to know when greeting someone for the first time. Especially if you’re asking someone for help, you should at least let them know who you are!

    4. Comment t’appelles-tu ?
    “What is your name?” If you happen to recall a name, but are not absolutely sure that name belongs to that person, you could even say, Tu es (name), n’est-ce pas? (“You are (name), aren’t you?”)

    5. Enchanté(e)!
    “Nice to meet you!” After asking someone who they are and what their name is, it is polite to let them know that it is nice to meet them! If you are a woman, it’s important to include that second “e,” or the feminine form.

    6. Je vais bien.
    “I am fine.” Here is another phrase you can use if someone has asked you how you are or how’s it going, but there are plenty of other situations where letting someone know you’re fine will prove to be important.

    7. Très bien, merci. Et vous?
    “Very well, thank you. And you?” As I demonstrated earlier, this is a happy, upbeat response when someone asks how you are. However, if someone else asks you first, make sure to always counter with how they are doing! Saying et vous is the easiest way to do that!

    8. A bientôt/demain!
    “See you soon/tomorrow!” This is a friendlier way to say goodbye to someone.

    9. Au revoir!
    “Goodbye!” Hello and goodbye are always core phrases someone should know. Instead of saying goodbye, one might even say, Bonne journée! (“Have a nice day!”) or even, Bonne chance! (“Good luck!”)

    10. Quelle heure est-il?
    “What time is it?” This phrase will always come in handy, especially because most businesses close for a couple hours during lunch time. If you know what the time is, you’ll know when a store will open back up, for example.

    11. Est-ce que vous pourriez m’indiquer le chemin pour aller à (…)?
    “Could you show me the way to (…)?” If you can at least say this, you can simply follow with the name of the street, business, tourist attraction or restaurant you are trying to get to. Knowing how to ask for directions is very important.

    12. Je ne sais pas.
    “I don’t know.” This is what I used in my previous example, saying “I don’t know a lot of French.” Below I’ve also included other negatives that could come in handy!

    • ne … pas du tout (“not at all”)
    • ne … pas encore (“not yet”)
    • ne … plus (“not anymore”)
    • ne … jamais (“never”)

    13. Je ne crois pas que je connais l’adresse.
    “I don’t believe I know the address.” In today’s world, we are a lot luckier and can plug addresses into our smartphones. One useful French phrase to know how to ask is what that address is!

    14. Je ne sais pas quoi faire.
    “I don’t know what to do.” If you’re just completely unsure about where you are, where you’re going or what you need to do, this could prove to be an incredibly useful French phrase.

    15. Que voulez-vous dire?
    “What do you mean?” This is a great French phrase to know when you’re trying to keep up with the dialogue but somewhere along the way got lost.

    16. De quoi parlez-vous?
    “What are you talking about?” This is another great French phrase to know if you’re finding yourself completely confused in a conversation!

    17. Que fais-tu?
    “What are you doing?” If you’re trying to have more of a friendly conversation with someone, or you see someone doing something you’ve never seen before, this is a useful phrase to ask someone!

    18. Quel temps fait-il?
    “How’s the weather?” If you’re about to go outside but you’re not sure what the weather currently is, or even how it’s going to be, this is a great phrase to know. Below I’ve also included how to say “It is (…)” in case someone asks you!

    • Il fait (…)
    • chaud (“hot”)
    • beau (“beautiful”)
    • doux (“mild”)
    • du soleil (“sunny”)
    • mauvais (“bad”)
    • Il + pleut (“raining”)
    • il y a du vent (“windy”)

    There, of course, are other weather related responses out there, but these phrases are going to be the most useful for you to start with.

    19. Où se trouve (…)?
    “Where is (…) located?” There’s no better way to ask someone for directions than with this phrase. A person might even respond with, Voilà! which means “Here/There is/are” when pointing something out; they could also responds with (…) dans la rue (street name) (“(…) on (street name.)”)

    20. Avez-vous de l’argent/l’eau?
    “Do you have some money/water?” While I would hope you would never be in a situation where you need to ask somebody for money or water, I included this phrase just in case you have an emergency. Further, I included this phrase so you will know in case someone asks you.

    21. J’ai un peu d’argent.
    “I have a little money.” You just never know when this phrase will come in handy. Again, hopefully you’re never in a situation where you have to know this, but it’s one of those I find smart to hold onto.

    22. Répondez à ma question!
    “Answer my question!” You don’t have to say this in a yelling manner, it’s just how you’d phrase a command. You could follow the phrase with “please,” or s’il vous plait. Similarly, one might say Réponds-moi! (“Answer me!”)

    23. Bien sûr!
    “Of course!” This is also one of those staple phrases you should always have under your belt. It’s a more polite way to say “no problem,” which makes you look friendlier. If you wanted to show more excitement, you could even say Bien sûr que oui! (“Yes, of course!”)

    24. C’est vrai/faux
    “That is true/false.” You just never know when you’re going to need to know how to say this. C’est alone is how you would say “this/that is,” you’re welcome to follow with almost any useful French vocabulary word.

    25. Je voudrais (…)
    “I would like (…)” Use this French phrase when making a request. When ordering food, you can use this or you could simply say, Je veux (…) (“I want …”).

    26. Oui, j’en veux.
    “Yes, I’d like some.” Especially when it comes to restaurant etiquette, this is a very useful French phrase.

    27. C’était dèlicieux!
    “It was delicious!” While customers don’t leave tips for waiters and waitresses in most European countries, it is extremely polite to let the employee or chef know that what they prepared for you was delicious!

    28. Restes-y.
    “Stay there.” This is a useful phrase to say to someone if you’re asking for help with your group of friends. If you have to step away for a second, letting them know to stay will help not confuse the other person!

    29. Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
    “How much does it cost?” If you’re struggling to understand what the price of something is, and you only have a certain amount of money, this is a very useful French phrase to know!

    30. Voulez-vous venir?
    “Do you want to come?” Hopefully by using these useful French phrases you’ll be able to make a couple new French friends! Using this phrase could help expand the friendship by inviting them to hang out with you!

    3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

    Similar to the useful French phrases, I have compiled a list of useful French words that everyone should know before traveling to France:

    Useful French Words

    1. Aujourd’hui - “Today.”

    2. Maintenant - “Now.”

    3. Régardez! - “Look (at)!”

    4. Ceux-là! - “Those!”

    5. Les langues (étrangères) - “(Foreign) languages.” From here, you might need to know how to say some of the languages in French:

    • Allemand(e): “German”
    • Anglais(e): “English”
    • Espagnol(e): “Spanish”

    6. D’accord - “Okay!”

    7. Il y a - “There is/are.”

    8. C’est ça? - “Right, is that so?”

    9. Alors - “So/Therefore.”

    10. Quand - “When?”

    11. Comment - “How?”

    12. Combien de - “How much/many?”

    13. Parce que. - “Because.”

    14. Pourquoi? - “Why?”

    15. Où est (…)? - “Where is (…)?”

    16. Oui - “Yes.”

    17. Non - “No.”

    18. Pas mal - “Not bad.”

    19. Francophone - “French-speaking.” (I mentioned this earlier but I wanted to reiterate.)

    20. Américain(e) - “American.”

    Inevitably, one of the best ways to start learning a foreign language is by learning useful phrases.

    While it’s not necessarily learning the basics, learning useful French phrases allows you to learn some pronunciation, along with verb structure and sentence structure.

    If you take the time to use these helpful tips, you’ll be ready for a trip to France in no time.

    There you’ll find yourself surrounded in French culture, getting to see the country and experience their completely different lifestyle can also help you master the language!

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    Now there’s an even more effective way…

    Believe it or not, at FrenchPod101, you can find more than 1,370 free audio and video lessons covering almost every day-to-day conversation and topic you might think of.

    And that’s not all!

    You’ll get personalized help from top native French teachers who correct your assignments and answer your questions.

    Join the hundreds of thousands of people already learning French the 21st century way.

    Bonne chance !

    Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

    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.

    Thank you for helping FrenchPod101! We’re serious about making learning French fun.

    French Word of the Day - toilet paper (noun)

    Learn a little French everyday with the free French Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

    papier toilette toilet paper (noun)

    J’ai acheté deux rouleaux de papier toilette.
    I bought two rolls of toilet paper.

    Sois sûr de toujours avoir du papier toilette en plus dans la salle de bain.
    Make sure you keep extra toilet paper in the bathroom.

    rouleau de papier toilette
    roll of toilet paper

    Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the French Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

    4 Reasons Why French Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

    Learn 4 honest reasons you need French slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

    Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning French slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak French? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning French or any new language.

    reasons to learn french slang words

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    1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

    If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

    2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout French Culture

    If you turn on any popular French TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning French slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, French culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

    Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

    3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

    Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate French slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

    4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

    We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

    The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

    Learning French slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

    But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

    The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual French people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from French TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right French slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

    Step out from the darkness and Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Start Learning French!

    So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

    At FrenchPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the French slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

    French slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

    However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
    At FrenchPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

    Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on FrenchPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in French!