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Riviera Pebbles Blog: Courses on the Cote d’Azur: French

Posted on 22nd Jan 2016 in Nice News


Parlez with the locals on a Riviera French course

Want to parlez with the locals? Want to paint like Matisse? The Cote d’Azur hosts courses on cookery, language and much else besides. Practise makes perfect with our new three part blog series:

Part 1: Learning French on the Cote d’Azur

Speaking the lingo has obvious benefits. You can order your café crème with extra chocolat. You can catch the correct bus to Cannes. Plus your waiter/plumber/driver won’t take you for a complete idiot.

Then there’s the unspoken truth. Do French really look down on visitors who cannot parler Français? They most certainly do.

This is a nation that banned the words ‘le weekend’, ‘low-cost’, ‘supermodel’, ‘ebook’, ‘crowd funding’, ‘podcast’ and ‘hashtag’. It makes it so tempting to tweet #bunchofsissies

Speak French and you’ll get a better restaurant table and a larger scoop of ice cream on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

Where to start? For flexible Francophiles we recommend Alliance Française near Nice train station. It’s courses are interactive, time-tested and are taught to 90 nationalities each year.

Courses at Alliance Française teach French to absolute beginners, curious tourists and semi-pro Frenchies alike. All run year round. Expect to pay €120 for their two week two-hour-per-day course. Or €450 for their intensive two week class.

Professional Francophones should reserve the Institut de Français instead. The location above Villefranche is sublime. But the intensive eight-hour days (for four long weeks!) makes it far from a holiday.

Current tuition prices are €3,730 per month, or €3,080 in winter. It’s pricey, but you are almost guaranteed to speak grammatically perfect French in a month. The Institute can also arrange discounted accommodation in Villefranche.

All too arduous? Then post a ‘teach me French’ post on our local messageboards AngloInfo Riviera or Craigslist Cote d’Azur. Private tuition hovers between €20 and €30 per hour.

Finally, we haven’t forgotten about kids. International House in Nice has week-long summer courses for teens, plus many more adult options. Declic & Co offer fun in French and English for under-10s.


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