Why getting complimented on your French means you’re not fluent

Written by Diane. Posted in French language

Why people complimenting your French means you've got a ways to go toward fluency1

You’ve been living in France for a little while now. At first, it might seem like a good thing when native French speakers compliment your French. Yay, someone has noticed! You feel proud, accomplished and like you’ve made progress… and you should feel all of these things. Congrats! Language learning is hard. But the real marker of progress is when native French speakers stop complimenting you on your French. That’s when you know you’ve majorly improved. Yes, really. Why is this the case?

Read on!

“Pardon My French” by Stephen Hare is the French book you’ve been waiting for

Written by Diane. Posted in French language


The other day I dusted off a French grammar book on my bookshelf, and about 5 minutes into my little lesson, I regretted cracking it open. I found myself reading a section on the historic past tense, a tense you will never need because it’s rarely used anymore. It seemed unnecessary to know and just confused me, so to stave off any further frustration, I put the book back on the shelf. A few days later, Stephen Hare’s Pardon My French arrived in the mail and I was eager to start reading. Insightful, interesting, and best of all, practical, this is THE book you want to add to your French learning repertoire.

I’m telling you why in my review!

Quick French Lesson: Get your wallet ready if you “invite” someone out to eat

Written by Diane. Posted in France, French language


Picture this: You’re in France and you want to invite a platonic French friend out to dinner at a restaurant. So you invite him or her — they seem delighted — mention a restaurant and time to meet, and then you both go on to have a wonderful meal. When you ask for the check, your friend doesn’t move or say anything about paying the bill or splitting it, and it just sits there on the table. Finally, you pick up the bill and leave feeling a little confused because you assumed you’d split the bill. After all it was just your idea to eat out and you guys are just friends — you didn’t volunteer to cover the cost!

But a-ha! You did!

Let me explain further…

Throwback to 2009 when I was teaching in France

Written by Diane. Posted in France, French language

teaching in france

Back in 2009, I had a 7-month contract where I was an English language teaching assistant out in the suburbs of Paris (more on the program here). It was my first move to France and my French was intermediate. I had zero experience talking to French kids and was assigned to two grammar schools. My job was to assist the teachers with their lessons… except most of the time, they let me be the teacher. I wrote about it on my blog back then and recently read through some old posts. I smiled as I read this particular one that I’m sharing with you today. So let’s throw it back to 2009 when I shared some observations and what my first day of teaching in France was like…


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