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LIVING IN FRANCE

Energy bills, remote working and ‘coup’ phrases: 6 essential articles for life in France

What you can expect from your energy bills in France in 2023, how serious winter blackout warnings actually are, remote working in France and a word with multiple meanings - here are six essential articles for life in France.

Energy bills, remote working and 'coup' phrases: 6 essential articles for life in France

France’s freeze on gas prices comes to an end at the end of 2022, while the four percent cap on electricity price rises also expires – however the government has now announced the price caps for 2023.

We’ve done sole calculations and figured out what the new price rates will mean for your monthly energy bills.

EXPLAINED: What your French energy bills will look like in 2023

Now, we don’t want to put a downer on your day, but blackouts are a distant possibility in the months ahead.

RTE – the independent, electricity system operator of France – has laid out what a worst-case scenario might actually entail, and what would need to happen before we reach that point.

Revealed: The worst-case scenario for blackouts this winter in France

More possible bad news, we’re afraid. Travellers planning a trip between France and the UK in 2023 are likely to face ‘massive disruption’ caused by a combination of the EU’s new digital visa system and the UK government’s unwillingness to work in a constructive manner with French or EU leaders, a former British ambassador to France has warned.

Fears of ‘massive disruption’ of travel between France and UK in 2023

Modern technology means that many jobs can be done from anywhere in the world with only a laptop and a decent wifi connection – but what are the rules if you are working remotely in France for a company back in your home country?

Because this is a relatively recent phenomenon, it’s not always easy to find information on this – so from immigration paperwork to taxes, here’s what you need to know.

Working remotely from France: What are the rules for foreigners?

Let’s set about improving the mood. Are you looking for something to do now the nights are drawing in? Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in France – here’s our pick of the festivals and events around the country in September, October and November.

Fall festivals: What’s on around France in autumn 2022

French is a difficult language to pick up. We know. Understanding is not helped by the fact, for example, that there is one four-letter word that pops up repeatedly, in a bewildering array of different meanings. So, here’s our definitive guide to getting to grips with ‘coup’.

Love to luck – 21 different ways the French use the word ‘coup’

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FRENCH LANGUAGE

‘Sac iconique’: France unveils French shopping terms to replace English versions

A commission that seeks to act as a guardian of the French language has published a string of recommendations for translations of shopping and style terms, to replace widely-used English ones.

'Sac iconique': France unveils French shopping terms to replace English versions

Perhaps inspired by this month’s Paris Fashion Week, the non-binding recommendations from the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language were published in Wednesday’s Official Journal.

Instead of an “it-bag” — defined as “a handbag in the latest fashion or that stands for a brand” — ministries and businesses are encouraged to write “sac iconique“.

An “it-boy” or “it-girl” can now safely be described as an “icone de la mode” and a “must-have” transforms into an “incontournable“, while “try before you buy” becomes “essayer-acheter”.

There are also more baffling business terms that may be unfamiliar to many native English speakers, like “digital native vertical brand” (“marque integree nee en ligne“).

Set up in 2015, the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language aims to “provide French vocabulary appropriate to the need for communication that is clear and accessible to the greatest number of people”, it said in the introduction to its 2021 annual report.

Led by a member of the Academie Francaise — founded in 1635 under King Louis XIII to guard “pure” French — the Commission says it “recalls to a broad audience the importance of having and using French vocabulary so as to keep our language functional”.

Given the dominance of English in global business and technology, its terms are the most frequently targeted for translation into the language of Moliere.

“These days there’s no invention, innovation or discovery that doesn’t have its corresponding term, increasingly often in English,” the Commission said in its report.

“The flow of new concepts that must be defined and named in French is therefore continuous.”

The report cited fields including hydrogen power, the Covid-19 pandemic and malicious digital activities as recent areas to which  its 20-odd expert groups have turned their attention.

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