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!


Check our Free Quizzes for Beginners!

(update 20/08/13)

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 👀)

🔥 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. 


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.

Stronger thanks to Rhetoric

Stronger thanks to Rhetoric

Podcast “résumé du livre” (20mn)

Carte d’identité de la rhétorique

9 conseils (incluant le plus précieux💎) pour devenir plus fort grâce au langage

Clément Viktorovitch is a famous French Rhetoric teacher at Science-Po Paris. For several years now, he has been going on radio and TV to decrypt public figures’ speeches. His contributions to encourage people, especially young generations, to understand how language works and how important it is in a democracy is amazing!

As soon as he released his book in October 2021, I wanted to read it and here is one sentence to sump it up:

Rhetoric is a power that will empower you, go grab it!

La rhétorique est un pouvoir qui donne du pouvoir tout court alors vous aussi, prenez ce pouvoir !

Viktorovitch’s book is a must-read book for anyone who lives in a French-speaking environment so both French natives like me and French advanced learners should definitely read it!

Knowing the high-quality of Viktorovitch’s content, I really wanted to have an active reading. During all the process, I took notes for myself but also to share here hoping this content can help raise awareness about the importance of langage.

First, you will find below the beginning of the retranscription of my audio, then my interpretation of rhetoric’s ID from the book and finally, 9 tips to become powerful thanks to rhetoric. 😎


[A2] Here you should be able to understand / produce a general presentation about something
Le Pouvoir rhétorique de Clément Viktorovitch est paru en automne 2021. Ce livre donne les savoirs de base sur la rhétorique mais aussi bien sûr plein d’exemples concrets. L’auteur, on ne le présente plus : enseignant à Science Po, chercheur, il est surtout connu pour ses interventions dans les médias. 
En décryptant les paroles publiques, il veut rendre accessibles à tous les clefs du langage car si nous sommes en démocratie, dit-il, c’est notre droit. Autrement dit : “la rhétorique est un pouvoir qui donne du pouvoir tout court alors vous aussi, prenez ce pouvoir !”.
[B1 – raconter et structurer] Here you should be able to understand / produce content about different events, well and clearly organized
Il explique que la rhétorique est fondamentalement liée à la démocratie. Pour que le citoyen puisse faire un choix entre plusieurs candidats, il faut qu’il s’appuie sur leurs discours (p14) et qu’il soit aussi à même de s’exprimer à son tour pour prendre part à cette vie démocratique. Pour poursuivre et protéger cet idéal, il ne peut donc y avoir d’autre solution que la transmission de la rhétorique. C’est d’autant plus vrai, ajoute-t-il, que certains citoyens l'utiliseront pour manipuler tandis que d’autres seront manipulés. 
Et nous sommes tous libres de nous poser la question : “quel orateur voulons-nous être ?” (p23). À travers ce livre, Viktorovitch veut nous proposer une “rhétorique pratique” (p36) qui va nous accompagner et nous entraîner au quotidien. Il utilise une métaphore intéressante : pour lui, la rhétorique se situe entre le karaté et l’aïkido.
[B2 argumenter et convaincre] Here you should be able to understand / produce content with statements for or against something in order to… convince! And since you are expected to understand French fluently, no more retranscription provided from now 😋

Carte d’identité de la rhétorique

  • art martial : mélange de karaté et d’aïkido
« si la rhétorique était un art martial, elle serait à la fois le karaté et l’aïkido » (p44)
  • armes : les arguments produits, l’image dégagée, les émotions suscitées
périmètre tridimensionnel de la rhétorique : « argumenter, plaire, émouvoir » (p46) - (argumenter = logos ; plaire = ethos ; émouvoir = pathos)
  • principe clef : “sois convaincu, tu deviendras convaincant”
« plus nous paraissons convaincus et plus nous avons tendance à en devenir convaincants » (p84)
  • paradoxe fondamental : moins on aura l’air d’avoir construit son argumentation, plus on sera convaincant
« plus un procédé est visible et moins il est efficace » (p403)
  • secret d’une argumentation réussie : la clarté et la concision
« plus notre argumentation sera ramassée, resserrée, condensée et plus elle en sera percutante, incisive, mémorable » (p123)

9 conseils pour devenir plus fort grâce au langage 

  • être capable de détecter la dynamique* dans laquelle nous baignons au quotidien, c’est déjà gagner en force de conviction (p46)
* il y en a 4 principales : monologique, délibérative, compétitive, conflictuelle** (p50)
**celle-ci est absurde du point de vue de la rhétorique car c'est celle des débats stériles et des invectives (p53), mieux vaut s’en détourner, conseille l'auteur
  • apprendre à sortir de soi-même, ses préoccupations, ses objectifs afin d’adopter le point de vue de l’autre et ainsi mieux trouver les arguments pour le contrecarrer (p83)
  • quand on nous impose une définition négative d’un terme, il faut se réapproprier ce mot et lui redonner une définition qui va venir renforcer notre argumentation (p175)
Exemple : si on vous dit qu’« intello » est associé à quelque chose de barbant ou compliqué, vous pouvez contredire en affirmant qu’il est associé au contraire à quelque chose d’exigeant et profond !
  • parlons positif 
L’auteur conseille d’utiliser des formulations positives, particulièrement pour se décrire soi-même, et plus généralement de n’employer que des mots dont les connotations sont à notre avantage (p179)
« Les mots que nous proférons déterminent notre perception du monde. Il ne tient qu’à nous de la réenchanter. Voilà un bon exemple de ce que la rhétorique peut, au quotidien, nous apporter » (p182)
  • apprenons à écouter (pour accéder à la 5D* 😁!)
*conseil de l’auteur : « devenir des décrypteurs du discours » (p198). En effet, les indices sont partout autour de nous, à nous d’apprendre à les identifier. Par exemple, même le choix de la conjugaison est de la rhétorique : on utilise le « je » pour se mettre en avant ou susciter de l’empathie mais si cela ne nous arrange pas de porter la responsabilité de quelque chose, on va s’abriter derrière le « on » ou le « nous » (p191)
  • ne séparons ni n’opposons la raison et les émotions : les deux ont leur place dans le processus argumentatif
« L’une ne va pas sans les autres » (p233) ; utiliser la rhétorique des émotions est une bonne idée quand c’est bien pensé, adapté à la situation, justement dosé et si cela incite à l’action (cf. fin du chapitre 5)
  • apprenons à surprendre
« D’un point de vue de la rhétorique, ces caractéristiques confèrent à la surprise une utilité tout à fait unique. Parce qu’elle va saisir les auditeurs et faciliter leur attention, elle permet de mettre en valeur l’émotion qui lui succède et de décupler son efficacité. » (p283)
  • apprenons à nous taire : le silence est d’or !
« Retenons-le, c’est dans les silences les plus lourds que surgissent, flamboyants, les grands discours » (p285) ; « Le premier outil, pour s’assurer d’être écoutés… c’est le silence » (p410) cf. le contexte du débat contradictoire, « combat pour la parole », il ne peut être remporté que grâce au silence !
  • dédions toute notre vie à la construction et à la protection de notre ethos*
L'ethos est l'image que nous renvoyons en tant qu'assise de notre force de conviction. Viktorovitch en parle comme de « l’œuvre d’une vie » à forger (p341), c’est dire son importance !
*il consiste en 3 enjeux : paraître sincère, compétent et séduisant (p311)


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10 years in France but no French

10 years in France but still no French

A few months ago, I met someone who was living in France for 10 years and since he didn’t need French for work – he worked in the wine business industry -, he didn’t practice it and / or didn’t find it necessary to learn it.

A few days ago, the same situation happened: a man called and said that his wife, who moved in a few years ago now, just found it necessary to take French lessons because she faces difficulties to get a job. He wanted to know how I could help.


I decided that I am not the right teacher for this profile of learner. Do you know why?

I don’t know how to deal with them. Sincerely.

A teacher is only helpful when he joins you on the journey you started

Because the first question one needs to ask himself as soon as he arrives in a new country and by the way, as soon as he decides to move in another country* HAS to be:

*of course, I am not talking about a situation of emergency when people are forced to leave their home and migrate (they have all my respect 🙏)

What is MY personal strategy to learn the language?

A language is a key that will allow you to open the door of a new country / city / community and BECOME A PART OF IT.

Without the language, you stay at the door. 


So for your own good, please take a moment and write down things you like and hobbies you have, anything you want as long as they can fit the four skills and then keep doing them but in French: 

listening / talking

reading / writing

Do you like sports? Follow instagram accounts of famous local sport teams (in France: football, cycling, etc.).

Do you like make-up vloggers? Look for French Youtubers

Can you sew? Join a sewing group, etc.

Also, the very first thing you need to do as soon as you arrive in France is to go get a library card! 😍Most of the time, it’s cheap or even FREE.

I am a huuuge fan and most of the books I read come from public libraries!

You will be able to borrow plenty of books, DVDs, etc. in French, know more about local events, meet new people, have more confidence and one day, without even realizing it: you will be fluent! Of course, it’s a process: even natives make grammar mistakes, etc. it’s normal. 

To me, being fluent in French is not about knowing the language perfectly (who can do that?), it’s more about feeling comfortable because YOU BELONG HERE.

Do you know what I answered to the man asking for help on behalf of his wife?

I asked if they have children (yes) and why she didn’t call me herself (she speaks French a little but didn’t feel confident).

I said that I could obviously make them pay for French lessons but it would be wrong because it’s not the problem here.

I gave him the advice above and added that if you start a life in France, you are physically here but you need to ask yourself if you are MENTALLY here.

When you help your children with their homework in French, when you go to the library or attend local events as a family or when you challenge yourself with actions such as calling someone you don’t know to ask for information, it makes you BE IN CHARGE. 

So you feel more and more confident.

💪 And you don’t have time to look back because you are too busy looking forward and widening your comfort zone.

70 Words always with “s”

70 Words always with “s”

Ready for today’s French lesson in Dijon?

Very early in your learning process, you must have been told told that “s” at the end of French nouns shows plural.

It’s true but here is another fact.

In French, you also have lots of words with “s” and it’s not because of the plural:

  • adjectives* ➨ “anglais” (English), “gros” (fat)…

*In that case, even if adjectives should follow the plural on the noun, you don’t add another “s”: “le thé anglais ; les thés anglais” ; “le gros chat ; les gros chats” 

  • adverbs ➨ “toujours” (always), “alors” (so)…
  • prepositions ➨ “sous” (under), “vers” (towards)…
  • pronouns ➨ “nous” (we), “vous” (you), “plusieurs” (several)… 
  • nouns see below

In this article, I will focus on nouns and to cheer you up, I selected 70 of them frequently used by native French people and I decided to write a little – and hopefully funny! – story about a mouse, fan of Ratatouille.

I hope you will also enjoy the cartoon I designed (if so, feel free to share on social media) and by the way, if you want to learn more about made in Franche-Comté Cancoillotte cheese, you can click here.

Une Souris à la cancoillotte

Il était une fois au pays des Croûtons, une souris qui vivait cachée au fond d’un palais.

Elle s’y était aménagée un taudis douillet sur le dessus d’un recoin chauffé.

Depuis qu’elle avait vu le film Ratatouille – en français, s’il vous plaît – elle ne cessait de rêver au paradis : le garde-manger. 

Elle s’y voyait gobant les radis en entrée avant d’attaquer les hachis !

Elle se rêvait attablée devant des repas dignes des plus grands héros à qui la postérité dédie des vers !

Et sur des tapis d’honneur, des mets de choix portés à bout de bras par mille serviteurs débordés !

Avançant avec mille précautions comme dans un parcours d’obstacles.

Et les yeux myopes de notre souris s’écarquillent à la vue des pois verts géants et des fraises, rubis luisant de vernis

Puis la voici salivant devant les jus et les coulis 

Corps et âme, notre souris appelle les festins…

Aujourd’hui, ni remords ni tracas !

À bas les discours creux et les propos fétides

Les procès malheureux et les mois de disette

Ni repos ni gâchis car il faut tout finir

Oubliée la rigueur de l’hiver car le printemps commence

Fi du fracas dehors, place au chaos dedans

Celui d’une cuisine mise à sac, sens dessus dessous !

Le temps s’est figé dans cet univers de prodiges : la mie de pain est un matelas de velours et le tas de graines un parfait amuse-gueule.

En bordure, des asperges alignées comme la lisière d’un bois parfait pour un duel

Entre une pièce montée vanille et un succès praliné.

L’accès est désormais interdit à toute personne étrangère aux délices !

Ici, plus rien n’est à craindre sauf un appétit perdu

Oublié, le félin et ses cruelles pattes

Quand bien même à pas de loup, il approcherait

Pauvre gars au dos rond n’inspirant que mépris !

Le cas est grave : notre Souris est devenue bien brave

L’honorable poids de sa panse lui a donné bien des témérités

Et ivre sur le parvis, elle chante à tue-tête entre deux bouchées.

Hélas, tandis qu’elle engloutissait entremets et clafoutis

Et qu’elle remportait haut la patte les concours et les joutes

L’imprudente n’a rien vu venir et lentement la porte s’est refermée !

Prise de court, notre souris glisse dans sa cancoillotte

Elle s’accroche, se débat dans sa moustache collante

Passé la surprise, le déni puis le refus

Comment ? Elle, championne invaincue de tous les pillages,

Défaite par un simple fromage ?

Impossible, à son avis !

Outrée, elle s’indigne de ce revers du festin et se débat sur le fatal verglas

Trop tard, son estomac replet l’entraîne au fond du puits acharné à l’engloutir…

Or tandis que notre histoire suivait son cours et que la souris couinait “au secours

Là-dehors, Rusé le Gris guettait sa proie dodue : “Miaou, quel progrès, ces prisons garde-manger” ! 

L’envers du décor est bien amer pour la souris… 

Après son décès, le chat prendra le relais car de ce colis inattendu, il fera son banquet.

Et voici ce qu’il ronronnera au prochain congrès matou :

Rien ne sert de miauler, il faut chasser à point
Et souris en gelée vaut mieux que gros lapin

l’accès (access)le fracas (crash)le puits (well)
l’avis (opinion)le frais (freshness)le radis (radish)
le bas (bottom)le gâchis (waste)le refus (refusal)
le bois (wood)le gars (guy)le relais (reins)
le bras (arm)le gris (grey)le remords (remorse)
le cas (case)le hachis (ground meat)le repas (meal)
le chaos (chaos)le héros (hero)le repos (rest)
le clafoutis (clafoutis)le jus (juice)le revers (reverse)
le colis (parcel)le matelas (mattress)le rubis (ruby)
le concours (contest)le mépris (contempt)le secours (assistance)
le congrès (convention)le mets (dish)la souris (mouse)
le corps (body)le mois (month)le succès (success)
le coulis (coulis)le palais (palace)le tapis (carpet)
le cours (course)le paradis (paradise)le tas (pile)
le décès (death)le parcours (route)le taudis (slum)
le dedans (inside)le parvis (paved square)le temps (time)
le dehors (outside)le pas (step)le tracas (trouble)
le dessous (bottom)le pays (country)l’univers (universe)
le dessus (top)le poids (weight)le velours (velvet)
le discours (speech)le pois (pea)le verglas (black ice)
le dos (back)le printemps (spring)le vernis (sheen)
l’entremets (dessert)le procès (trial)le vers (verse)
l’envers (other side)le progrès (progress)
la fois (time)le propos (words)

10 other original French tales

How do you write a letter to a friend in French?

How do you write a letter to a friend in French?

Let’s go out from the class today to use French for real in Dijon or more exactly, in Bussy-le-Grand, 30mn far from here, to visit Bussy-Rabutin’s castle.

Use proper greetings

You can write your friend’s first name alone* or with the adjective “cher”. If necessary, make sure to show the feminine and the plural!

*definitely that choice for someone you don’t know well or you can write “Madame” / “Monsieur”

Chère Cecilia,

“Tu” instead of “vous”

For a close friend, you will obviously use “tu”! Do not assume that French people know conjugation so do the same as they do: check it*! 

*Lots of free French tools available on line, for example la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com

Also, since it’s someone you are comfortable with, you are allowed to ask about private topics such as health, family’s, etc.

“Tu” is also possible in a professional email/letter if both correspondents agreed beforehand

J’espère que tu vas bien ? 

Past tenses to talk about past events

Imparfait is used to describe something in the past, talk about something usual in the past or different steps about something which occured in the past. 

Passé-composé is used to talk about specific actions that are over now.

Both of them have to be used alternately, it depends on the situation and what you want to say.

Ce week-end, il y avait les journées du patrimoine alors ça coûtait seulement 5eur l’aller-retour pour voyager dans la région. Au dernier moment, j’ai décidé d’aller visiter le château de Bussy-Rabutin, situé à 30mn de Dijon. 

Present tense to relate to present actions AND talk about the person’s likes and dislikes

Even if you talk about something in the past, don’t forget the fact that some things will still be conjugated with permanent present.

Toi qui aimes les châteaux, j’ai pensé à toi car celui-ci est vraiment magnifique sans parler de son immense parc de plus de 30 hectares ! 
Son plus célèbre propriétaire était le comte Roger de Bussy-Rabutin, né en 1618 et mort en 1693. Il était général des armées royales de Louis 14e, l’un des plus célèbres rois de France, et pas vraiment fan de liberté d’expression…
En effet, il va exiler Bussy-Rabutin pour avoir ouvertement dit du mal des mœurs et du libertinage de la cour. Le roi décide de l’envoyer chez lui en Bourgogne pour le punir.
Franchement, entre nous qui ne voudrait pas se faire confiner ici ?
Pour s’occuper, Bussy-Rabutin va alors écrire ses mémoires et entretenir une correspondance active avec ses amis et sa famille. Il va aussi faire décorer son château avec plus de 500 portraits des membres de la cour, un peu comme un feed Instagram !

Prepare the end of your email or letter

Adverbs are always interesting, for example to express when something happens.

Aujourd’hui, on peut visiter tout ça car le château appartient à l'État depuis 1929 et c’est lui qui se charge de son entretien et de l’ouvrir aux visiteurs.

Talk about your hopes for the future with first group verb 

espérer (present tense) + que + subject + verb conjugated with future tense

J’espère que cette lettre des temps modernes te plaira et que tu auras pu* imaginer la paix et la beauté de cette magnifique journée.

*be careful “auras pu” is “futur antérieur” of the verbe “pouvoir”! This tense is used to talk about an action in the future but still coming before another future action.

Use proper greetings (2)

If you know the person closely, you can use “à bientôt”, “à plus” (= “à plus tard” meaning “see you later” OR “see you soon” here in this context) or “prends soin de toi* (take care)”, etc.

*definitely not for someone you don’t know or in a professional context!

À bientôt

Check out example below


Helping Adam use French to influence

These past few months, I was challenged by INRAE Dijon, French public research institute dedicated to agricultural science, to design something unique: a 30h Advanced French Course for Research Director Adam Vanbergen.

Of course, Adam was already fluent in French but he was determined to do even better for example in situations when several Researchers interact and you have to process different things at the same time in order to provide appropriate AND convincing answers.

More than 100 pages of content

All through our sessions, I made him discover how people* build their speech. Some of them are easy to understand because their ideas are clear and when they talk, it’s well prepared. Some of them give you a headache and you have to deal with that.

Everyone still wants to make his point and builds a conscious (or unconscious) strategy to do so!

*Researchers and well-informed public (or not!) in science

French grammar, linguistics, rhetoric, argumentation: I created more than 100 pages of content from real situations and I challenged Adam with missions to accomplish. Of course, in an action-oriented evaluation of the language, I wanted this course to be useful for him as a Researcher and Research Director. 💪

Read below Adam’s feedback about this course and check link if you also want to join

Adam, merci de témoigner pour cet article ! Voici les questions :
  • Êtes-vous satisfait de cette formation et a-t-elle répondu à vos objectifs de départ ?

Oui parce que je trouve que le programme est bien construit avec un mélange de grammaire, de compréhension orale, etc. J’ai apprécié l’interactivité grâce à l’utilisation de la vidéo qui stimulait les échanges et aussi que Samyra place le sujet dans le contexte de mon domaine de recherche. C’est plus facile à comprendre.

  • Qu’est-ce qui vous a été le plus utile dans cette formation ?

La grammaire (pronoms relatifs, etc.), les connecteurs logiques, etc. ont été des outils que je réutilisais après les séances dans mon travail.

  • Avez-vous constaté des changements pour votre travail ?

J’ai plus de confiance quand je parle avec mon équipe.

  • Est-ce que vous recommanderiez cette formation à un.e autre chercheur / chercheuse ?

Oui, cette formation a été construite de manière très précise pour les besoins individuels des chercheurs. Elle est très différente des formations dans d’autres instituts de langue.

“Use French to Influence”

30h French course made in Dijon & especially designed for Researchers (B2/C1 level)

Thank you!

Thank you!

These past 3 years of teaching French in Dijon (France), I had the opportunity to meet clients from almost 20 countries.

Students, researchers, tourists, gite owners, etc.: THANKS to all of them for their motivation and above all, for trusting me.

I don’t teach them French, they teach me how to pass it them on