Archive for the celine Tag

Pardon my French !


Is the French language so rude that it should come with an apology ? Should expats expect to hear a lot of swearwords in their everyday life in France ? French language is appreciated by foreigners. Many English people told me how they assimilate the sound of French to poetry, but then why do anglophones say ‘Excuse my French’ when using a curse word ? Looking back I found that in […]

Read more

French Terms of Endearment

cuddly toy

‘Céline, what are the pet names that French mums use for their children?’ asked my friend Michela. Of course! She probably heard them at school, the park or supermarket but wasn’t exactly sure what they were saying, so I thought back to all those French-flavoured sweet names: ‘mon p’tit canard’ (my little duckling), ‘mon p’tit lapin’ (my little bunny), ‘mon trésor’ (my treasure), ‘mon amour’ (my love), ‘ma poulette’ (my hen), ‘mon poussin’ […]

Read more

Langue de Boeuf, Anyone? Or Why French Schools Won’t Allow Packed Lunches


A large white plate with two big floury potatoes, boiled. No butter, just a bit of gravy. The real attraction actually lies across the plate, textured and moist: a long brownish tongue, about 3 times the size of a human one. It’s a classic French delicacy: langue de boeuf (beef tongue). When I was little, dishes like this would feature in our school canteen from time to time. Nowadays, on […]

Read more

How Teachers Can Shape You

Girl's own book

At the beginning there was a teacher in a classroom full of 14 year-old students, who were learning when to use the English auxiliary verb ‘shall’. “Un châle, pour les genoux” (a blanket for your knees = shall for ‘je’ & ‘nous’) she said, and instantly that made perfect sense. Making lessons interesting and engaging for children is no mean feat. How about translating Madonna’s songs? Fancy an overnight trip to London? My English teacher at school […]

Read more

Mums Rule the Playground

bubbly girl

We all had a favourite playground game when we were little, but can you keep up with your little expats as they attend French-speaking school? Here’s Céline’s own selection from when she was a child, enjoy! L’EPERVIER (THE SPARROWHAWK) A group of pupils choose one person to be the ‘hawk’. Everyone lines up at the end of a playground while the hawk stays in the middle. All at once ask the hawk […]

Read more

Memories of My French Childhood

School desk

Join Céline on her trip down memory lane. Céline grew up in Lille, northern France, before moving to London in her twenties. Here she recalls her end-of-year kermesse at school, such amazing memories! Do your expatriate children attend a local French school? Will they cherish similar recollections of their time here? ——————————————————- Remember watching Grease, and the last day of school when the pupils storm out throwing their notes and books […]

Read more