French and bread, a love story
If the history of bread doesn’t start with France, no one can deny the special link between this country and the magical mix of wheat, water, leaven and salt.
Buying a baguette in a french bakery, waiting in line, mixed with the French population, until the seller serves you, is a part of the French “journey”.
French Pastries, the best way to start a day or end a meal
Desserts could be divided in two categories: regular pastries that would just give anyone a sweet note to finish a meal. Then there are French pastries. Those are not your regular donuts or cheesecakes. This is also not your regular French courses in France that will let master the pastry vocabulary.
Before you even taste them, you can listen to their names that will sound almost like sweet poetry to your ears.
Wine and France a love story, founded in History and Geography
It is simply impossible to refer to France without talking about wine. One of the main aspect of French culture revolves around its relation to winery, and even its landscapes in many regions of the country have been shaped by the way vineyards were settled, especially in the southern part of France. Any cooking lessons in a French language course in France would be incomplete if we did not mention wine.
If the history of wine in Gaul brings us back to the time when Etruscan and Greeks brought it to the Mediterranean coast of what is now known as France, the modern development of winery is linked to the way Christianity needed wine for its most important ceremonies. This wine was more used for liturgical reason that pleasure. But this will not last. As early as the 13th century, people started to make classifications of wine, from the best to the worst.
Low-Tech and the French technology complex
Have you ever heard of the “Minitel”? Probably never in a regular French language course. No, it is not a small telephone. It is one of those pieces of engineering that can only come from France, just like the Citroën DS, or … the guillotine.
Where would you learn this if not in a French language course in France? OK, maybe on Wikipedia, but that’s not the point.
Is Cyrano de Bergerac the ultimate French character?
In december 1897, a brand-new play by author Edmond de Rostand was first shown to an audience at the “Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin”.
The name of the play is also the name of its main character: Cyrano de Bergerac. Until today, he still represents the essence of what we would call “L’esprit français”.
French courses in France are not just about learning the language, but also to get a glance of what this French spirit is all about.
Let’s speak French cheese language
How many kind of cheeses are there in France? This is the kind of information you only get in a French course in France! Because speaking French is not complete if you can’t know and pronounce correctly the name of most French cheeses.
Some say France has almost one cheese to eat for each day of the year. De Gaulle claimed that a country with 256 kinds of cheeses can’t be governed.
So is it closer to 365 or 256 different kinds of cheeses?
Speaking French is also Singing in French
Learning French in France can also turn the French classroom into a concert hall. You don’t need to be a professional singer to be a part of the show. What you need is just to learn the French lyrics of any song you like… and at last understand the meaning of it!
The difference between “Classroom French” and “Real Life French”
This is one of the great mystery of french language learning (or any language learning!). How come there is such a huge gap between what Mrs Harrison the French language teacher in High School, who was supposed to be fluent, taught me and what I first experienced in real life in France?
Two conclusions: or what your teacher taught you was outdated and not connected to reality, or maybe reality is just wrong.
Well, let’s assume that even if reality is not as we wish it was, we have no choice but dealing with it.
Do you speak “Verlan”?
No? But at least you should try to understand some...
For anyone that spent a few days in France, especially going downtown and passing by youngsters, or in the suburbs, a strange feeling occurs: what is this language everyone seems to speak? Don’t worry, you just met the most common used version of french slang.
You don’t need to learn it to be understood, but a few words will certainly help, and could get you out of some quite interesting situation, this is the least to say.
This is not a new language that they are using, it is called « Verlan ». The name Verlan comes from “ l’envers” (flipped, or upside down in English). If you think it is brand new, like most people think in France, you would be mistaken.