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Baby It’s Cold Outside – Turning On The Heat In France Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Culture

It seems like just yesterday I was waking up to la canicule, but with the changing seasons and clocks falling back, it’s really starting to get cold. I already have to turn on le chauffage (the heater, the heating) and find mes vêtements d’hiver (my winter clothes)!

"Radiator" by GollyGForce on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Radiator” by GollyGForce on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

After spending months next to le ventilateur (the fan) and wishing mon appartement (my apartment) had la climatisation (air conditioning), I was happy that France was cooling down. Cependant (however), after putting off buying un ventilateur for so long I didn’t want to put it away until I had no choice.

As the temperature drops, I have turned off le ventilateur and closed les fenêtres (the windows), but it has quickly become a struggle to stay warm. I’ve had to turn on le chauffage, prepare du café chaud (some hot coffee), and me couvrir (bundle up).

I’m from la Floride (Florida) and preparing for l’hiver (Winter) and le temps froid (cold weather) is something I’m not used to doing. I’ve learned how to survive and bought des vêtements d’hiver (some winter clothes), but there are still many things about le froid that surprise me.

When il faisait trop froid (it was too cold) and I turned on le chauffage, I noticed une odeur bizarre (a strange smell). Mon voisin (my neighbor) noticed l’odeur as well and came over to see if I was okay.

Ça va ? Il y a une odeur bizarre qui vient de ton appartement.
Ouais, je ne sais pas d’où ça vient.
Est-ce que tu as allumé le chauffage ?
Oui…. Il fait froid ces derniers jours.
Ahh ! Tu dois ouvrir les fenêtres !

Is everything alright? There’s a strange smell coming from your apartment.
Yeah, I don’t know where it’s coming from.
Did you turn on the heater?
Yes… It’s cold these days.
Ahh! You have to open the windows!

La Floride never taught me how to deal with l’hiver and I wasn’t aware of l’odeur bizarre that comes with turning on the heat for the first time!

Since it was already froid, I had to suffer for a little while while l’odeur left l’appartement. I took it as a sign that I needed to prepare for l’hiver and found all mes vêtements d’hiver.

L’hiver is only just starting and I’ll have to get used to le froid. I’m looking forward to les marchés de Noël, but I hope I don’t catch a cold!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Aleksandra:

    I adore ton two-languages text! It is really magnifique! Combination of ces deux langues, makes my day. So, merci beaucoup, and keep up the good work !