Voilà: What’s the meaning of the popular French word?

An overhead image of three girls pointing at the screen of a laptop computer on a coffee table in front of them. We can only see their legs, feet, and parts of their torsos, as well as their arms. We can see two of the girls are blonde. They are wearing jeans in different colors and sweaters or peasant blouses. The girl in the middle has jeans with large holes in the knees.

Voilà is a word you’ve probably heard at least a few times before, even in languages other than English. But maybe you’re wondering what exactly voilà means, and how to use it in French. Looking for an explanation of all things voilà?  Here it is! What does voilà mean? Voilà essentially means “here or there something/someone is”. By extension, …


How to talk about family (la famille) in French

A long line of what seems to be family members, including adults, children, and babies being held in adults' arms, stands on a beach near the water and looks out over the ocean. It's near twilight and the sky is colorful with sunset, light blues and oranges, with a few shadowy, wispy clouds.

How do you say “family” in French? It’s a question that seems pretty simple, but as is the case with families in general, sometimes things can get a little complicated! Let’s look at some common French family vocabulary and clear up some confusion about things like talking about family members in French and how to …


How do you say “French” in French? With audio

A crowd holds up French flags outside a building possibly the Louvre. In the foreground, a man and woman seem to be kissing but we can only see their foreheads.

“French person”,  “Frenchman” or “Frenchwoman”, “Frenchie”, or even “frog” – there are a number of ways to refer to French people in English. But what terms do French people use to refer to themselves? It turns out there are several fairly common ways French people refer to themselves and their language. Let’s look at how …


How long does it really take to learn French?

Three people in silhouette stand and look out of the famous clock window at the Musee d'Orsay. Through the window we see the line of Haussmannian buildings across the Seine and to the extreme left a bit of the Sacre Coeur in the distance. Mostly we see a partly cloudy sky. The people and interior are in shadow.

As a teacher, French culture and language writer, and non-native French speaker, “How long does it take to learn French?” is a question I get a lot. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single, concrete answer. That’s because there are a few questions you have to ask yourself first. Let’s look at five questions that will help …