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...
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...
Immersion France, the app

Editor’s App Choice: Immersion France

Language learning in France is big news (it’s the second most widely learned language in the world), bringing in thousand of visitors to the country. Estimates show that more than 130,000 students and foreigners arrive each year in...
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,...
A street sign on the rue du Chat-qui-Pêche

Read the Signs: Rue du Chat qui Pêche in Paris

The Rue du Chat qui Pêche, literally the street of the fishing cat, is not only notable for being the narrowest in Paris but also for an eerie ghost story. The street, perpendicular to Rue de la Huchette, gives on...
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...
Author Kristin Espinasse

Le Dernier Mot: La Guerre des Roses

Perched on the edge of the bed, I’m putting on my make-up. It’s 10.30am and the washing machine is already whirling away. In the next room, I’ve hung out the previous load on theétendoir....

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...

Book Reviews: Other Cats to Whip

No matter the level of our French expertise, we’ve doubtless all committed linguistic faux pas, the effects of which range from mild embarrassment to hilarity. The authors of this super little book decided to capitalise...