France in Belfast

French voices are increasingly common around Belfast as we make progress towards becoming a more metropolitan place to live and work.
Although the city is quite compact and well signposted you occasionally see people consulting their maps, wondering where they should go next. It’s a particular pleasure to hear visitors speaking French and so when I overheard a group discussing which direction they should take to get to our “big fish” I decided to introduce myself.
To their obvious delight, I got them going in the right direction and walked part of the way with them, speaking French. That makes my day. I get to use the language and it is an opportunity to sustain the reputation for being friendly and welcoming.
The truth is that I don’t get to France as often as I would like these days and look for ways to keep the connection strong. This francofiled blog is part of that process and so too is surfing social media to keep up to date through Facebook, Twitter and the web.
If you, like me, are interested in sharing useful information with our French friends then there are some places on the web to turn to for that kind of information. Here are some that may be useful in and around Belfast.
Staying on the tourist theme, you could check out the Tourist Board’s Discover Northern Ireland pdf guide which is available here for download in French. I like the guide because, while being already very familiar with the places it mentions, it contains plenty of key vocabulary to add to the “use it or lose it” language bank.
Another thing that strikes me about life in Belfast is the growing number of French people who are now living, studying and working here. Several of them connect on the FrenchCo, web forum. FrenchCo organises regular meetings for its members so it is worth a few moments to check for information here.
Film making is an important art form in France, so it is great to see the Queens Film Theatre (QFT) continuing its long and proud tradition of bringing the very best of French cinema to audiences here. Be sure then to look up screenings of the current programme to see what is on offer.
And of course, there is our own dedicated band of Francophiles and Francophones who rendezvous each month as the Cercle Français de Belfast. The Alliance Française London supports the network of French Circles including the CFB and publishes details on its website. You might like to circle some Belfast events on the current programme.
There are of course many other ways and places to keep up to date with France and French. Please add your ideas and suggestions in the comment section where I will look forward to reading them.
Meantime, I had better sign out. Someone’s looking for a “poisson”.

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