How do you say “beautiful” in French? Here’s the bizarre answer!

19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire once wrote Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizarre). Although he wasn’t talking about the word beau itself, he might as well have been.

19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire once wrote Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizarre). Although he wasn’t talking about the word beau itself, he might as well have been. Beau and its feminine form, belle, mean “beautiful” or, depending on the context, “handsome”.  That seems pretty straightforward. But the more you use …

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10 Strange Habits You Might Learn Living in France

Like French people and transplants alike, I've gotten into a habit of drinking a glass of grenadine sirop

Whether you’ve stayed in France for a long vacation, as part of a study abroad program, internship, or short-term job, or whether you’re making your life here, there are some parts of the culture that end up becoming a part of you. Some of these, like appreciating five weeks of paid vacation a year (plus …

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What does “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” mean – and do the French actually say it?

a couple holding hands and drinking coffee

Before you started learning French, there’s a phrase you might have already been familiar with: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? A quick online search will show you you’re not alone. You’ll easily find dozens of stories of tourists or French students spouting out this question, sometimes without even knowing what it means, and always …

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The many secrets of the French phrase C’est bon

Macarons - c'est bon!

When you’re learning a language, some phrases seem like a dream come true, easy to understand and translate. C’est bon is one of those, as its name coincidentally implies. Or, rather, it can be.  Let’s take a closer look at this phrase that’s often confused with its cousin, c’est bien, and whose meaning ranges from …

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Where do people speak French – and what do they sound like?

map of french speaking countries in the world

“Regarde cette vidéo!” (Watch this video!) a friend from Quebec told me, holding up her phone. “Tu vas rire!” (You’re going to laugh!) But I didn’t laugh. I didn’t understand a word of what was being said, even though the people on the screen were speaking French. The problem was, they weren’t speaking the French …

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These Are the Best French Movies for French Learners

Learn French with these best French movies

No matter how motivated and interested you are in learning a language, let’s face it: sometimes all that memorizing and practicing can be boring. Luckily there are some genuinely helpful things you can do to practice your French that are also actually fun – like watching movies. Exposing yourself to the sounds of a language …

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