87 episodes

Talking France is The Local’s weekly podcast where we discuss the big news and talking points in France as well as explore and explain the major issues that impact life in the country. We also answer your essential questions and look ahead at what’s coming up.
In each episode presenter Ben McPartland chats about the most important news and must-know information with The Local France’s Emma Pearson and Genevieve Mansfield. They are also frequently joined by John Lichfield, a veteran journalist whose knowledge of French news and politics is second to none, as well as other expert commentators. 

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Talking France The Local France

    • News
    • 4.8 • 35 Ratings

Talking France is The Local’s weekly podcast where we discuss the big news and talking points in France as well as explore and explain the major issues that impact life in the country. We also answer your essential questions and look ahead at what’s coming up.
In each episode presenter Ben McPartland chats about the most important news and must-know information with The Local France’s Emma Pearson and Genevieve Mansfield. They are also frequently joined by John Lichfield, a veteran journalist whose knowledge of French news and politics is second to none, as well as other expert commentators. 

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    What are real French values and does France care about its troubled far-away territories?

    What are real French values and does France care about its troubled far-away territories?

    This week we find out why so many workers are going on strike in Paris at the moment. From waste collectors to firefighters - what do they all want, and what's the Olympics got to do with it?
    We also explain the crisis in France's overseas territory of New Caledonia, why the president has deemed it necessary to fly there and why France has such a complicated relationship with several far flung parts of the world.
    And French star footballer Kylian MBappé has said goodbye to Paris and to France, so we'll explain why everyone, including the mayor and the president, is so upset. 
    And in response to a great listener's question we'll try to explain what classic French values are and why you might need to know them - especially if you want to become French.
    Host Ben McPartland is joined by Emma Pearson the local France's editor and we also hear from John Lichfield our politics expert.
    Further reading:
    How likely is strike chaos during the Paris Olympics?EXPLAINED: What's behind the violence on the French island of New Caledonia?'Confetti of an empire': Understanding France's troubled overseas territoriesEXPLAINED: What are real 'French values'?What are the most overrated tourist attractions in France?Beat the crowds - 19 alternative places to visit in France

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    • 32 min
    Is France booming or bust, Paris QR codes explained and how to drive like a Frenchwoman?

    Is France booming or bust, Paris QR codes explained and how to drive like a Frenchwoman?

    This week on Talking France we explore more of the big issues in France such as... who'll actually need a special QR security code during the Paris Olympics, why male motorists in France are being urged to drive like women and why the future is uncertain for Normandy's famous D-Day beaches as the 80th anniversary of the landings approaches.
    And is France doomed or is it booming? With the French government bragging about record foreign investment we try and work out whether the country’s economy really is in a healthy condition.
    And on the subject of health, why is getting blood tests in France such a confusing process? 
    To help answer these questions will be The Local France's special intelligence unit of Emma "the editor" Pearson, Gen, the journalist Mansfield and John the politics, economy and Normandy beaches expert, Lichfield. They'll join host Ben McPartland.
    Further reading
    Who will need a QR code to get around Paris during the Olympics?EXPLAINED: How getting a blood test works in FranceWhat to expect for the 80th anniversary of D-Day in FranceOPINION: France's economy is far from doomed, but not quite booming eitherRising sea levels threaten Normandy's historic D-Day beachesCan France confiscate your foreign driving licence?

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 35 min
    Major French border changes explained and could France ban screens for kids?

    Major French border changes explained and could France ban screens for kids?

    We kick off this week looking at the Féte du Travail on May 1st. Is it still a significant, symbolic day for workers in France or is it just regarded as a bonus day off?
    We also look at the big upcoming change for passport checks in Europe. It's called EES and it's almost certain to cause lots of travel issues, which is why we try and answer some of the important questions our readers have about it.
    And... we also look at how France plans to take better care of its elderly population, whether the French government could impose bans on screen time for kids and what exactly is an “integration contract" when it comes to visas or residency permits in France.
    Host Ben McPartland is joined this week by The Local France's fountains of knowledge and sound advice, Emma Pearson, Gen Mansfield and politics expert John Lichfield.
    Further reading:

    What will EES passport system mean for foreigners living in Europe?How France plans to protect kids from too much screen timeNew immigration law: who has to take integration courses in France?How will France's free-flow autoroute toll booths work for foreign vehicles?'Ageing well': What is France's new law to protect the elderly and carers?
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    • 36 min
    How French invaded the English language, where foreigners buy second homes and youth violence flares

    How French invaded the English language, where foreigners buy second homes and youth violence flares

    This week we explore just how big an issue is youth violence around schools in France. Is it out of control or just being exploited by those pesky politicians?
    We explain where foreigners buy second homes in France and why fewer Brits are snapping up properties. We also find out why one French island is taking on Airbnb and look at why drivers on French motorways could soon avoid stopping for the tolls.
    And "the English language is just French pronounced badly". Who would say such a provocative thing and why? We'll reveal all.
    Ben McPartland your host is joined for this new series by our regular team from The Local, Editor Emma Pearson, journalist Gen Mansfield and politics expert John Lichfield.
    Welcome to a new episode and new series of Talking France. Thanks to all our regular listeners for tuning in and a big welcome to any new listeners joining us. This podcast is produced by the team at The Local France and while it's free it is only made possible by our paying members. Thanks to all of you who have joined. And a particular thanks to the gentlemen who emailed us to say he had joined The Local to help keep this podcast going. Much appreciated.
    Further reading:

    OPINION: No, France is not suffering from an unprecedented wave of violenceREVEALED: Where foreigners are buying second homes in FranceBrits still buying in France despite a post-Brexit drop in property salesFrance to start scrapping motorway tollboothsIs the English language just 'badly pronounced French'?
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    • 33 min
    Is the Entente Cordiale still worth anything, France's new rail pass and 'crookie' versus croissant?

    Is the Entente Cordiale still worth anything, France's new rail pass and 'crookie' versus croissant?

    On this week's Talking France we talk about trains, croissants, the Le Pens, French bashing and the sexy subject of tax declarations in France.
    France is about to test a new 49 euro rail pass to encourage people to get onto trains. We explain who can take advantage of it and where you can use it.
    Plus it's 120 years of the entente cordiale between France and the UK, we will explore whether there's any real entente between the two countries these days and whether or not it's even cordial. 
    And French far right stalwart Jean-Marie Le Pen is a talking point this week. Does he deserve any credit for shaking up French politics in recent decades, or is he just a racist in the right place at the right time…?
    And people have been meddling with croissants again! We've had fish-fingers and sausages, what on earth are they putting in these sacred pastries now? I'll give you a clue... it's been called a crookie.
    Ben McPartland your host is joined this week by three of the finest minds at The Local France, Emma Pearson, Gen Mansfield and John Lichfield. 
    Further reading:

    France on track to launch €49 rail pass this summerFrench baker starts 'crookie' craze by adding cookie dough to sacred croissantSwapping of the guard: French and British troops mark Entente CordialeWhat are the changes to the 2024 French tax declaration?
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    Can regional French airports survive, big changes in Paris and France's most dangerous animals

    Can regional French airports survive, big changes in Paris and France's most dangerous animals

    Up for discussion this week are France's regional airports. Have you flown into or out of the likes of Limoges, Brest or even Bergerac? No doubt these airports are handy but are they really sustainable? 
    We also look at how France's official Champagne region is going to grow. Could it include part of England one day? And with the Olympics in sight we'll explain, with the help of author Simon Kuper, how Paris and even Parisians are changing.
    And can you really get €6,000 a month in unemployment benefit in France for a whole year? Yes, you can, but perhaps not for much longer with the French government under pressure to make cuts.
    And most of the deadly animals in France are in zoos but the numbers of wolves and bears in the wild are growing. We look at where they are and the chances of you encountering one.
    Host Ben McPartland is once again joined by The Local France's Emma Pearson and Gen Mansfield as well as French politics expert John Lichfield.
    Further reading:
    France to revise official Champagne making area due to climate changeWhat are the most dangerous animals in France?Are France's loss-making regional airports under threat?Just how generous is France's unemployment system?How France plans cuts to its generous unemployment system
    Simon Kuper's book "Impossible City - Paris in the 21st Century" is published on April 11th and is available in all book shops as well as online.

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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

MelodicMetalBusa ,

Love it! C’est excellent!

Ben, Emma, Gen, and John bring a lively and informational mix of French news, politics, culture, and tips for tourists and anyone considering moving to or already living in France.

As expatriates and journalists from the UK and the US now living in France, they have excellent insight derived both from their professional research and their own individual experiences while living in France.

Highly recommended for anyone that has an interest in French culture, history, language, politics, news, travel, or living.

Thank you and eell done to the entire Talking France team!!!

Chris Pida ,

Smart, Stylish, Informative Program

I look forward to listening to Talking France each week. The segments are interesting and the experts do a lovely job of explaining French current events, history, and what it’s like living in France. Talking France is that rare podcast that has style, is smart, educational, funny, and warm. As a French learner and a Francophile, Talking France is an essential part of my growth as a student of French and a lover of current events and history. Thank you for creating and putting out this podcast and I sincerely hope it runs for many seasons to come.

well-fed soul ,

well done

Stumbled on to this podcast after subscribing to the Local, and in preparation for upcoming travel. I have worked my way backwards through all seasons. Each episode is educational and informative, but also entertaining and humorous.

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