What I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Learning French

A person is writing, we see only their hand (holding a pen) and sleeve (it looks like they're wearing a comfy cardigan). On the table in front of them are worksheets, a notebook, and a coffee or tea mug.

When you start to learn a language, you may feel intimidated or overwhelmed. There’s so much you don’t know, so much to study and so much knowledge to acquire. Or maybe you only feel overwhelmed when you come upon the first challenging thing. I had my first French class when I was in sixth grade …

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Essential French cooking vocabulary

A smiling, happy middle-aged couple looks at what is probably a recipe book. The woman is cutting squash, and there are other vegetables, as well as wine, baguette, and a frying pan on the counter in front of them.

Whether you’re a budding chef, enthusiastic foodie, or just trying to expand your knowledge of the French language and culture, there are two main kinds of French cooking vocabulary you need to know: cooking words commonly used in French recipes, and French cooking words that have been borrowed into English. Let’s look at the most common …

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What Is the Legal Drinking Age in France – and Why?

A small amount of champagne is swirled in a glass.

The legal drinking age in France is 18, or 16 if the person is in the presence of adults (usually understood to be family members). This might seem surprising. After all, France has a reputation for being a country of wine-lovers. You may even have heard that there’s no legal drinking age at all. And …

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All About the Phrase “Bon Voyage” – and the Travel Habits of the French

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French people have been wishing each other Bon voyage (Have a nice trip) for centuries. The saying is so common that it’s one of those French phrases that’s been adopted into other languages, including English. Despite how frequently you might hear it, like any ultimate travel destination, bon voyage offers a lot more to discover …

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The Essential Guide to the French Subjunctive

A woman with wind-blown shoulder-length blonde hair, wearing a blue and white striped shirt and sunglasses looks contemplatively at the mountainous landscape in front of her.

Make a wish, demand, statement of uncertainty, or even simply say that something is the best you’ve ever seen or done. If you were speaking French, you probably used the subjunctive. The subjunctive can be a tricky tense for non-native French speakers, for two main reasons: Not all languages have this mood, or use it …

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