Rue des Mauvais Garçons

Read the Signs: Rue des Mauvais Garçons in Paris

At the heart of the Marais district in old Paris, many of the old medieval streets have retained their names. The origins of one such lane can be traced at least back to the 12th century. Much of the street...
A French pharmacy

Le Dernier Mot: Complimenting a Frenchwoman

Mom and I are in the village pharmacy, having made a beeline here from the doctor’s office. We’re in luck when one of the three counter stations instantly opens. We step up to the comptoir, where I hand...
Space Invader at Rue du Temple in Paris

Read the Signs: Rue du Temple in Paris

It is one of the oldest streets in Paris, running 1,335 metres and linking Rue de Rivoli and Place de la République. Rue du Temple is named after the Knights Templar, who set up their headquarters in Paris in 1140, building a...

Le Français: The Common Language in the New World

Nearly a century before the Pilgrims sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 to Plymouth, now Cape Cod, the French ran a thriving fur trading business from eastern Canada and southward into what became the...
a scene in the south of France

Le Dernier Mot: An Internet Pause in Provence

Now is a time to sit and listen. I try to ignore the temptation to go upstairs and work on the computer. Email can wait. So can senseless surfing. This is where I need to be: facing my belle-mère,...
2CV

Le Dernier Mot: Fuzzy Dice at the French Auto Parts Store

There I am, wandering aimlessly through an auto-parts store, killing time. I have come here to pick up a repaired pneu, but the man behind the counter has told me it’s not ready yet and has asked me...
Pauline Carmona, Consul General of France, with Gabrielle Durana, Founder of EFBA

Learn French in San Francisco: France “Knights” Gabrielle Durana of EFBA

In recognition of her success in promoting French language and culture, Gabrielle Durana has been named Chevalier (knight) of the Order des Palmes Académiques. Durana is the founder and president of Education Francaise of...
sheep

Le Dernier Mot: Between You, Me and the Gatepost

The day I stopped believing I was a bad student, I could finally start to relax and absorb the lessons floating all around me. Idioms were a new and delightful discovery; expressions such as revenons à nos moutons (‘let’s...

Editor’s App Choice: busuu, Learn French for Free

First things first: this language-learning app, busuu, is free to download and use, and so its merits and failings should be assessed from a viewpoint of cost-efficiency. The concept of matching photos with words...

Le Dernier Mot: Shopping Delights in La Motte

"I think the translation is ‘hardware store’,” I say to my dad as we enter our town’s old quincaillerie. Ducking beneath the rainbow of market baskets which hang over the entrance, my belle-mère is giddy: “I used to...