Why You Shouldn’t Read Le Petit Prince

Why You Shouldn’t Read Le Petit Prince

Everyone should read Le Petit Prince when he learns French

Ok, tell me who started all this? Who?

It is not that I have something against that beautiful book — it is not my favourite French classic and certainly not the best! — and if you absolutely want to read it, go on, give it a try.

(You can start off by listening to this playlist)

Here is the truth:

First, many French people didn’t read Le Petit Prince — or other classics by the way — even if they praise it and would fight tooth and nail for it!

Most of the time, they just studied some extracts at school. Only two categories of people would read the entire books: 

  • the motivated ones 
  • those interested by literary studies.

Second, you have to know that even natives may have difficulties to understand Le Petit Prince because it is complex since it is about imagination and poetry!

Thus it is absolutely normal if you face the same difficulties. One has to be really advanced in the language to understand the implicit, etc. 

Also, thinking about it, French literature is not set in stone: there are so much treasures to discover and promote…

For example, did you know that Simone de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine’ sister, was also a writer? She was older than him and when he started to be famous, he didn’t want another writer in the family (!). Despite that, she was a dedicated sister since she protected her brother’s work until the end of her life in 1978.

Their descendants, reporting they didn’t know why she didn’t do it herself, published her uncompleted but interesting childhood memories book, Cinq enfants dans un parc, to commemorate the centenary of the birth of her brother in 2000. 

I really want to pay tribute here to unknown or lesser-known authors like Simone de Saint-Exupéry who was not just “Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s sister”, but a person, a woman and a writer in her own right.

People like her make me reflect a lot on what is — or not — considered as major books and authors “you have to know”…

Anyway, there are so much great books to read out there so make your own way!

This being said, you will find below some reading advice if it can help:

1) Read books in French that you have already read in your language

Since you know the story, it will help you (and you can find bilingual versions if you want to take it slowly).

2) Read French versions of “must-read” books from all over the world

For example, read again Anne Frank’s diary, Le Journal d’Ann Frank, in a French graphic version. You can also find French versions of short writing style books like Le manuel du Guerrier de la Lumière by Paulo Coehlo. If you feel ready for more, check the French versions of 1984 by George Orwell, La chambre solitaire by Shin Kyong-Suk (신경숙) or Les Délices de Tokyo by Durian Sukegawa.

3) Read books in French about topics you are interested in

If you like travel writing, go at Librairie Grangier downtown Dijon — it is the biggest bookshop around — and flick through the “récits de voyage” area! If you are more into crime novel, try Le Mystère de la Chambre jaune*, a classic by Gaston Leroux.

* Yes, it is a version for teenagers but who cares? You will find useful annotations

If you are a soccer fan, check out this book + CD: La fabuleuse aventure des Bleus (A2). It is about the French team who won the World Cup in 2018.

And for more suggestions depending on your level in French, check out this page!

4) Read classic (or not!) books in French

Classics especially dedicated to learners of French (teenagers and adults): for example, Le Tour du monde en 80 jours + CD (A2) by Jules Verne

Classics published in bilingual versions: check out this page

Short texts: for exemple an engaged essay, Indignez-vous ! by Stéphane Hessel (30 pages), an outstanding French diplomat, resistant, writer and activist who addressed a beautiful message to the French people in 2010 (3 years before his death) about what they fought for in the past and shouldn’t forget. You also have La préférence nationale and other short stories, first book by Fatou Diome who shared her experience of immigration in France with a unique and brilliant style.

Comics to relax (but also learn thanks to the images! ): you can find lots of classics adapted into comics and if you are a comics books fan, you have to know all about Franco-Belgian comics! Here is a selection that people from all ages love to read again and again: Le Petit Nicolas, by Sempé-Goscinny (also without images here), Cédric (Cauvin/Laudec/Dupuis), Boule et Bill (Roba Jean/Dupuis), Gaston Lagaffe (Franquin/Dupuis) ⇓, etc.

“There is black ice”

➨ For more, check out Sam’s Book Club

You have an opinion about a book from this list (or not!)? Share with us below!

NEW:

Check our Free Quizzes for Beginners!

(update 20/08/13)

Workliday in Montpellier?

Workliday in Montpellier?

Only a small school like École Bonjour France can be flexible to fit your requirements wether you want to work on reading, listening or speaking… And of course according to y-o-u-r availability!

A few weeks ago, Agata contacted me from Germany because she was planning a trip here and was looking for a French school in Montpellier.

👏 Bravo: this is what you call in French “mêler l’utile à l’agréable” or “faire d’une pierre deux coups” (kill two birds with one stone)

When we talked on the phone, I immediately realized that her French was veeeeery good 👏! Also, she said that one of her hobbies was lindy hop and “ce n’est pas tombé dans l’oreille d’une sourde” 😁 (it hasn’t fallen on deaf ears).

Indeed, learning is easier when you are motivated so since I am able to prepare every type of content, I created a tailor-made program for Agata:

debates: expressing pros and cons are a must-do when you have reached a high level in French
talking about French events, general knowledge and social issues with a focus on dance topic, her passion

Et voilà ! We did that program last week and I would like to share here an interesting question Agata had:


🤔


Ok so first let’s find out real examples…

L’Open Sud de France se déroule à Montpellier du 30 janvier au 4 février
Le Parisien, 30/01/2024

La huitième bourse aux vélos se déroule à Montpellier les 4 et 5
Midi Libre, 16/04/2024


Le plus grand skatepark d’Europe se trouve à Montpellier
Le Bonbon, 31/01/2024

Cycles SH a déménagé : où se trouve à présent le spécialiste du vélo électrique ?
Actu.fr, 30/04/2024


🤔


📣 Conclusion


🌴 Feel free to contact me if you plan a sunny trip in Montpellier 😎🌴

📨 French course quote

Enjoy your holiday and remember that you can turn it into a list of real challenges to progress in French!

Quiz / Free public transport in Montpellier

Did you know that people living in Montpellier have free access to public transport? You can also be one of them if you have a permanent address because you study or you work here.

Let’s dig more about this topic thanks to today’s radio report from RFI.

Listen to the audio below and answer the questions

How can you get prepared for DELF B2?

How can you get prepared for DELF B2?

You are currently living in Montpellier for work or to study or you will visit soon and maybe wondering about DELF exam and how you can get prepared for it?

First, why would you even do that 😅?

You need to know that the DELF B2 exam is a French official certificate valid for lifetime. It is required to prove your proficiency if your project is for example to go to a French university / business school or apply for citizenship.

It is divided into 4 parts, 3 at the same time with other people (listening, reading and writing) and the last part (speaking) in a one-to-one assessment.

⚠️ Of course, you have to get prepared regarding the content itself but you also have to get prepared for the exam (getting familiar with the way it happens, managing time, etc.)

Listening

Forget everything, close your eye if needed and focus on what you hear, don’t interpret, just l-i-s-t-e-n.

Don’t tell yourself “I understand nothing”, grab these words and pieces of sentences you caught.

You can practice listening with short videos from local TV channel France 3 Occitanie and when you will feel confident, short audio reports like this one from France 3 Hérault and then, step by step, you go to longer contents, etc. Find what works for you.

Reading and writing

Always focus on finding the verb in a sentence! It will lead you to the sujet and the most important elements to understand the meaning. To practice French reading, focus on what you like, for example if you like tennis 🎾, follow French sport news and French athletes on social media to become more and more familiar with the vocabulary. Also, you will find here my advice if you want to read books in French 📚.

This being said, as you can easily guess, if you read regularly in French, you will naturally be prepared for the writing part of the exam. Indeed, while you read, your brain does its work silently: remembering expressions but also things that go together and things that don’t (always follow that voice inside you!). 

🚨 2 important tips when you write:

  • avoid long sentences when it is not necessary 
  • proofread your work please!! A very simple thing most people forget to do 🥺

Speaking

Managing time is particularly important here so prepare a bullet list of what you want to say because you don’t have the time to write a full text. Also, the purpose of this exercise is to prove your speaking level, not convincing or being convinced, so even if you don’t ride a bike, don’t put an end to the exercise because you are not concerned by this topic ! Always try to find a way to develop ideas, for example in this case, you could talk about a close one who is concerned.

Remember that the aim of the exercise is to make the instructor forget about the exam because both of you are having a smooth conversation in French 🤩!

📍 Examples of mistakes you can’t afford to make with a B2 level in French: forgetting the connection between “de + un” making “d’un” or not knowing the conjugation of basic verbs like être, avoir, aller.

🔥 Last but not least, your mindset is the key before and during the exam!

  • Can you focus on your goal?
  • Can you prioritize based on a list of tasks?
  • Have you identified what keep you motivated?

Book your session now to get prepared for DELF B2 exam with Samyra

and get personalized tips 🤫

New office in Montpellier

Pam & Tom (USA) ont eu la primeur (expression: “avoir la primeur” / meaning)! 😃

They are my first clients in Montpellier since I moved from Dijon and the first ones to discover my new office! It’s close to tram station Albert 1er – Cathédrale so very convenient for our weekly Start French Now sessions.

⚠️ I share this office with other self-employed people so make sure to contact me beforehand: my availability for appointments is only on Tuesdays for now.

How about you take this opportunity to schedule a free French session in Montpellier?
I can’t wait to know more about your goals regarding French language and of course practice!

€10,000 deposit to study in France?

French parliament has just approved a toughened immigration law which, if it is confirmed by enactment, will have an impact on non EU-students.

To apply for a student residence permit, a deposit will be required and students will be expected to put it on a frozen account.

𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁?
It is said that the amount will be decided by a decree. FYI, in France, a decree can be issued either by the Prime Minister or the President.

Reports talk about:
🤷 €10 or €20, said Prime Minister Borne
🤷 several thousands euros
🤷 €10,000 was also heard at the Assemblée nationale

📚 It is a shame to prevent ambitious students from coming in France to study the language and the culture but not that surprising considering the fact that our country is more and more losing its voice when it comes to world matters.

Our school stands with the individuals and organizations opposed to this law: students unions, universities, lawyers, but also human rights organizations such as Amnesty International France or Utopia 56 especially concerned by the situation of refugees in France, which is worsening year by year.

École Bonjour France will keep doing its job: make people love French language and help them find their way and their due place in a French-speaking environment.

Start French Now… for free! 😨

Feel free to take part to this #GiveAway to celebrate our opening in Montpellier 🥳

It is not easy to get familiar with French grammar not to mention the vocabulary especially when you have to respect when it is masculine and when it is feminine!

Our school offers French courses to anyone interested to discover French language and culture. If you live in Montpellier, we can schedule one-to-one sessions or group sessions. If you don’t live in Montpellier, it is possible to take online sessions.

Anyway, feel free to contact us or even to book a free French talk with Samyra if you have any question before joining!

Indeed École Bonjour France is a small and friendly French school with easy access to Samyra, the founder and instructor.

No complicated steps nor hidden fees to join!

We are perfectly aware of your struggles with the French administration not to mention the fact that the average French doesn’t speak a second language fluently so be sure that you are certainly a role model for a lot of people here as far as the languages are concerned…

30 Researchers in 4 years

30 Researchers in 4 years

Since 2019, our small school has trained almost 30 Researchers from INRAE Bourgogne Franche-Comté!

𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗵:

❌ first of all, it’s hard to find your place in a new country, culture, language, etc.
❌ especially when you have to perform asap at work in English but in a French-speaking environment
❌ when you don’t have time to learn and go out to practice IRL
❌ when the French contents provided don’t fit or are far from your interests
❌ when you don’t feel well-regarded for example if you feel pressure to learn French but don’t get help from your colleagues (by the way, we could talk about those who can’t even speak English 👀)
etc.

🔥 𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙩? 🔥

Feel free to contact us

First Podcast with B2 Researchers

First Podcast with B2 Reseachers

Take a look at one of the biggest achievements of our school in 2022!

INRAE Dijon told us about three researchers, Yaoyun (China), Denise (Brasil) and Didac (Spain), very advanced in French and determined to progress even more. ✊

Since they work on legumes, we wanted to make them think about how to use French in order to be understood on the radio and at the same time, how to popularize your work as a researcher.

🔥 This issue gave us all an opportunity and a challenge during several months:

create a unique and specific French course aiming at recording a real podcast

🎧 Deliverable now available on:

What people go through

What people go through

Saturday 16th July 

This morning was our weekly class with Eugene, Julia and Nina.

Before we parted, we talked about the situation in their country, Ukraine and how hard it is for them to adapt here and learn French in Dijon. Their level is really advanced but they feel like it is not enough to live and work in France.

Don’t say it if your project is to go back“. That’s what I advised them to tell when in a job interview.

I can see the sadness in their eyes and their smiles. Their heart is with the missing ones. They remind me of the Syrian people I met back in the beginning of the war in their country. Heartbroken to see that the whole world would keep turning like nothing changed. 

While wars still go on.

Home, career, future: it is not by choice that you leave everything behind you. And at least when you do have an everything behind you. What about all those, I told them, who have nothing left but hope when they go through seas, deserts and unfriendly places, looking for a better life?

It breaks your heart when you realize that some people have a destiny you may never be at risk and even able to face yourself.

Now waiting for the bus, another day of strike in France, I turn the last pages of French journalist Florence Aubenas’ book, Le Quai de Ouistreham. Her undercover investigation about the precarity of cleaning jobs is of public interest. More than 10 years after this book was published, the yellow jackets protests started in France. 

Quai-de-Ouistreham

It breaks your self-esteem when you are stuck and silenced in a meaningless life.

The bus has eventually made it. This is another summer day safe in France. The sun is bright and the sky is blue. Everything seems under control except that we face another heat wave.

No one knows if this is the calm before the storm. 

No one knows what people go through.

Let us just stick together to what we c-a-n do.

Lifelong learning and adapting.