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PODCAST: Your questions answered - Are the French funny and can anyone stop Le Pen?

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PODCAST: Your questions answered - Are the French funny and can anyone stop Le Pen?
The Talking France podcast. Image: The Local

For the first episode of Talking France in 2024 we have a special show based entirely on questions about France and the French submitted by our listeners.


From politics to driving laws, the French sense of humour to their preferred snacks - the Talking France podcast team of John Lichfield, Ben McPartland, Emma Pearson and Genevieve Mansfield aim to answer your questions.

You can find the Taking France podcast on Spotify, Apple or Google podcasts, download it HERE or listen on the link below:



Questions sent in by listeners began with politics - is the current French government system, with its wide-ranging powers given to the president, fit for purpose? And can anyone defeat Marine Le Pen in the 2027 presidential election, in which Emmanuel Macron will be unable to run because of the two-term presidential limit?

Cars and driving proved a popular theme, from the apparent preference in France for French car brands, to the use of speed cameras and whether these are likely to be scrapped in response to widespread public anger.

Learning French is always a popular topic - and our contributors explain their own very different journeys towards picking up the French language.

And one the hardest aspects of speaking French is understanding (and telling jokes) - one listener asked why it's so hard to understand the French sense of humour.

And finally - one listener asked us about the meat pie situation in France.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted questions - unfortunately we couldn't answer them all on the podcast, but we have turned some into articles on The Local website in the 'reader questions' section HERE.

Talking France is a free podcast, made possible by the generous support of subscribers to The Local - find out more here about becoming a member.



Comments (1)

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Atty Tordoir 2024/01/10 14:48
In the topic about learning French I missed a way of improving French that works very well for me (a Dutch woman living mostly in France since 2014, level French between B1 and B2/C1). I speak French every day, with many different people (neighbours, friends etc). and about a wide range of things. I am not a very disciplined person, but there are periods I spend a lot of time with the excellent (and free) French teachers on YouTube, like Pierre, Nellie and Madame Paname. They produce short video's around many of topics of grammar and vocabulary, for beginners as well as advanced students like me. I know my own 'faiblesses' and choose topics that deal with them. I make notes and try to apply asap and repeatedly the things I learned in my conversations. Warning 😉 : the YouTube video's are quite addictive, once I start I find it difficult to stop. Another thing: the first years I asked my friends to correct me. Later I asked some of them who don't manage to do this in a subtle way (f.i. by casually including the correct word or grammatical form in their response to what I say), to stop correcting me as it tends to make me feel inferior to them. On the whole I prefer to ask my friends myself about the right word or form when I am not 100% sure.

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