French Language Blog

French Culture – Current Events Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Culture, Music, Vocabulary

The last few weeks have been busy in France. There are a number of notable passing and other news updates that I thought would be good to share this week. Some are happy, some sad, but all are making waves on the French airwaves over the last few weeks.

Paris sous l’eau (Paris beneath the waters)

Paris (and many parts of France) has seen record levels of rain over the last weeks. As a result, the Seine river, which flows through the heart of the city, has overflowed it’s banks. Les quais de la Seine (The quais along the river) are submerged and river traffic (including the famous Bateaux Mouches and the newer Batobus) has come to a halt. On a walk through the city this past weekend mon beau-frère (my brother-in-law) took the pictures above showing just how high the water has risen.


Janvier fut un triste mois (January was a sad month) not just because of the la pluie (rain), but also because two giants of French culture left us this month. La chanteuse (singer) France Gall died on January 7. Known for such hits as Ella, elle l’a and Poupée de cire, poupée de son, Gall’s career spanned more than 30 years from les années soixantes (the 60’s) to the mid 90’s. In addition to her pop hits, Gall won the 1965 Eurovision competition (representing Luxembourg) and starred in the 1970’s era rock opera Starmania.

January 20th was marked for many by the death of Paul Bocuse, one of France’s most famous chefs. Bocuse, who gave his name to the annual Bocuse d’or (the golden Bocuse) cooking competition, was known throughout France and the world not only for his own cooking but for training some of the best chef’s alive today.

A passing of a different kind

Rain isn’t the only wild weather to strike France of late. On January 1st, a violent wind storm blew across the country with enough force to topple un éolienne in Brittany.

Speaking of Eurovision

I’m a late comer to this European song competition. It was never something my French family paid much attention to. And while the finals are still months away, I did happen to see that France held their finals this weekend and selected their entry for the annual European song competition. Josh has made it an annual tradition to feature France’s song in a spring post, so I won’t steal his thunder. But if you want to start gearing up … and see what other countries are bringing to the show … you can enjoy a whole world of international songs on the official Eurovision Youtube channel.

Image / Photo Credits:
Paris flooding photos courtesy of Fabrice Arnould, 2018.
France ‘media’ logo By Wikinews_France.png: *France_map_modern.png: MinestroneWikinews_waves_Right.png: Wikimedia FoundationWikinews_waves_Left.png: Wikimedia Foundationderivative work: Mikani (talk)WikiNews-Logo-fr.svg: *Wikinews-logo-en.png: High resolution version by NGerda. See meta:Wikinews/Logo.WikiNews-Logo-en.svg: By David Vasquez. SVG by User:Simon. Text adaptation and reworking on light effect by Otourlyderivative work: Otourly (talk)derivative work: Otourly (talk) – Wikinews_France.pngWikiNews-Logo-fr.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.