Whether it's retiring to the sunny Dordogne, studying in Paris or taking the plunge to teach English in picturesque Bordeaux or Lyon, many people dream of living in France.
But how easy is it if your level of French is basically non-existent? And aren't you just asking for problems?
For a start, talk to anyone who's moved to France and they're guaranteed to mention the word ‘bureaucracy'.
Finding a place to live, opening a bank account and dealing with the endless amount of paperwork you'll encounter can be cumbersome for any foreigner, even those who are fluent French speakers.
For some things a good knowledge of French is simply essential. For example if you're planning to apply for French citizenship you will need to take a French test if you're under 60.
And whether you're trying to register a car, get a French driving license or a resident's permit (carte de sejour) then speaking French is pretty much a necessity.
“Even if you are just applying for a residence permit, it helps to be able to explain your position in French,” explained Christopher Chantrey, vice-chairman of the British Community Committee of France.
“Many prefectures have forgotten how to issue residence permits to EU citizens because they haven't been compulsory since 2004. So it helps if you can explain to prefecture employees in French what French law actually says they have to do,” he added.
But it's not just the bureaucracy. Going to the doctors and trying to explain your symptoms to a doctor who doesn't speak English will be tricky and potentially a risk to your health.
And if you are dealing with banks, post offices and police you will likely struggle without the language.
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But there are ways you can overcome the bureaucratic hurdles.
For a start if you're lucky enough to know a native speaker who's willing to help, this can be a godsend. Even better if your partner is one because they will feel duty bound to help you through the process.
“Having a French spouse obviously helps, but you still have to do a lot on your own,” said Charli James, who moved from the US to France with little knowledge of French. She shared her tips in the link below.
But what if you haven't met any French people yet?
Certain areas of France like the Dordogne or the Charente will have such an established network of expat English speakers that you'll probably be able to find all the help you need to settle down without uttering a word of French.
Many expats have set up their own services whether it's house renovations (be careful and watch out for the cowboy builders) or help with paying taxes so you might be able to get all the help you need from English speakers.
If you're willing to pay, dedicated relocation agencies like Savoir Faire Paris can help you with things like finding insurance or registering your children in a French school.