If you have a passion for all things French, then you have found the right space! Read on . . . .

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

If you know a language other than your native tongue, you may find yourself becoming a global citizen. Speaking another language can open up a whole world of opportunities - far more than just getting the right short-black instead of a cappuccino. Whether spoken or written, language is used to verbally communicate and share how we feel, what we think, and what we need - and knowing more than one language enhances our possibilities of being able to share this.

Knowing more than one language Feeds Your Brain! It helps your brain to form new networks that are then primed for further learning, making it easier for you to find the patterns associated with any learning.

The cognitive benefits of learning a language have been well documented. Your brain is pushed to become familiar with new vocabulary and grammar rules and scientists believe this improves your brain health and function, and may delay the onset of dementia.

Those who speak more than one language have been shown to be better at problem solving, have enhanced concentration, better listening skills, and benefit from improved memory. Research has shown that people who speak more than one language display greater creativity, they can multitask better, and they have heightened critical-thinking skills.

Being proficient in a second language, or more, improves communication skills, and not surprising speaking another language increases your ability to add a whole library of words to your vocab bank in your primary language.

If you want to have an edge over your professional peers, learning another language is among the top skills required in many high paying professional jobs.

The demand for bilingual professionals has increased significantly in the past 10 years. Professionals chase job opportunities around the world, and in particular in Asia, Europe and the UK (hey, do you speak English?!). Knowing another language can give a job candidate a significant competitive edge, and can advance your career. Being bilingual may also mean a bigger pay-packet, and perhaps bonuses.

The most direct connection to another culture is through language - being able to communicate effectively shows that we have an appreciation for the culture and traditions associated with that language.

Studies have shown that people who are bilingual and multilingual express more positive attitudes towards the people and culture associated with the language spoken. This promotes acceptance, tolerance and often empathy with the people of that culture.

One of the most exciting things about speaking another language is that it opens up the world to you!

If you want to navigate outside the tourist bubble and interact with the locals, then knowing the language of the places you visit will give you more opportunities than just backpacking your way around the world (although from experience that is an awesome way to see the world!). Being bilingual or multilingual can give you the opportunity to work or study abroad.

The internet rules the world - shudder - and you can immerse yourself in entertaining media online in the languages you speak. Watching a foreign YouTube video and understanding what they are saying can be a thrill!

If you speak and understand French, watching a French movie in their native tongue is quite different to watching it with English subtitles. The subtle nuances, inflections and intonations of speech are lost with subtitles. And speaking of my native tongue . . .

There are 29 countries in the world who speak French as their official language. A French nation, or Native French speaking person is referred to as a Francophone, both in French and in English. The French language has an interesting and long history as an international language of scientific standards, and of literature. And I have just thought that the history of the French language deserves more than two paragraphs in a blog post. Stay tuned for another post in the not too distant future!

Many people who learn another language immerse themselves in the culture of that language, enhancing their perception of the world and of others.

For me, this last point is possibly the most important. My native tongue is French, but I also speak German (the language of my father) and I speak English, which is the language of my husband and my children. Knowing languages other than my primary language has enabled me to deepen my relationships with others who do not speak French, and to heighten my understanding of them more intimately.

There is so much to say about learning another language, but rather than read about it, go out and find a language teacher and expand your world!

Check out the comprehensive and fun French Language Courses Destination France offers.


Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Most people associate lavender with glorious sunny fields of violet sweeping across France, but in fact lavender did not originate from France but from the Middle East, specifically ancient Egypt dating back to about 2,500 years ago.

Egyptians used lavender as a holy herb, and it was often placed in clothing and other personal items, including the hair, not only to scent things but also to act as an actibacterial. When there was an abundance of it, it was strewn through the streets as it was thought to deter rats and other vermin.

Travellers and traders brought the plant to the Old World Countries (Europe, Africa and Asia) where it not only flourished but thrived.

Curiously, although most of the world associates France with stunning sweeping purple fields awash with lavender, French people do not! Most visitors to Aix-en-Provence in the South of France are foreigners, who are drawn to the region for the fields of lavender. Although lavender is grown widely throughout France in the country areas, there are a few main areas that grow lavender commercially.

The 3 main lavender cultivation areas in France are Sault Plateau, Luberon, and Valensole Plateau

Lavender fields in these regions are at peak harvest in the European summer season, usually around mid July. If you visit after this time, you are unlikely to see any lavender as it will have been harvested, but you can still see bountiful fields of this gorgeous scented plant if you travel to the Vaucluse mountains in the north, specifically to the villages of Sault and Aurel. From these hilltop villages you can see the lavender fields sweeping across the land like a gentle blue-purple sea right up to early August.


Updated: Sep 23, 2021

From their clothes, hairstyles, and choice of pooches, French people are renowned worldwide for their style choices. But is it actually Style, or is it just Simple Basics?

The question is often thrown around about French Chic - "do the French really have great style, or is it a learned behaviour?"

French Style Mavens

"Fashion changes, but style endures" said style maven Coco Chanel. She also said "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."

As a French native, I like to aspire to both of those quotes. I think of my wardrobe as a 'Collection' that I can build upon with simple basic structures. I was taught to invest in 'forever pieces' rather than to embrace fast fashion, and to ensure that every piece of my Wardrobe Collection complements each item. My mother instilled in me that the most important thing to remember when buying clothing was to make sure it suited my personality. Growing up in France, many little girls and boys are taught the elements of grace, style, and simplicity with not only our choice of clothes, but the way we furnish and decorate our houses, the way we entertain, and the food we eat. And foremost to all of this is to ensure you embrace choices that enhance your character.

French Style Emanates from Confidence

Like any thing in life, when you are confident and self-assured you will look naturally at ease, elegant and stylish. With confidence, you do not need a lot of accessories and bling as these can detract from your naturalness, and your Style. If I decide to have an elaborate hair-do for an occasion, I will minimise my makeup and accessories. Conversely, if I want to have my makeup done professionally, I will keep my hairstyle natural.

But Not all French People Exude Style!

Style is learned, and not everyone has that opportunity.

As with anywhere in the world, some people 'have got it' and others do not, whether that be in what they wear, how they present their house, and the food they prepare and eat. When I lived in France, I saw many people who simply had no fashion nous at all! And I do not mean the tourists. We either embrace style or we do not.

So is French Style Myth or Legend?

I guess that's up to you to decide!