Learn French in La Creuse - with the BBC
One of the best, free, on-line resources for learning French is the BBC website.
This site is full of useful tips, tests and practices to help all speakers of French improve. They even have a quick on-line assessment to help you decide on what you need to do. As you'd expect from the BBC the site is very professional and full of interesting audio and video content and is suitable for all ages.
There is a section called La Vie en Creuse where there is a series of ten audio clips from the BBC radio archive. These are interviews recorded on location in the Creuse. All the clips are excellent and each come with a little test, a transcript and the answers.
One of these is a piece of audio from Monsieur Chardonnet who is the owner of a two-star hotel in La Creuse, in the clip called Un hôtel de bon standing. He talks with pride about his business explaining the difference between one and two star hotels. It's only a small piece (under 2 minutes). I recommend that everyone gives it a go and, for those that can, try the questions.
Another of my favourites is "Une petite maison dans la campagne" (a little house in the country). In this one a local Estate Agent talks about the different needs of the Parisians, the local Creusois and of the English buyers. He gets it about right and so this is a very useful lesson for those house hunting in the Creuse as it is filled with useful words and phrases that you might say or hear during your search, together with the local pronunciation.
I can not emphasis enough the need to learn French at the earliest possible opportunity if you are thinking of living here. Few people outside of tourist centres or estate agencies will speak much English. Whatever your plans here, be it just a few weeks a year, or full time residency, your life will be easier, less frustrating an often enriched by being able to speak to your neighbours.