Promoting French Culture and Language
in the Greater Lynchburg Area for over 50 Years

April 13, 2015

Parli Francese?

Steven Bullock
Board Member

My wife, Jaclyn, and I are French enthusiasts, or Francophiles, as well as avid travelers.  We love to travel all over the U.S. and Europe.  We haven’t made it yet to Asia or South America, but with a little help from our friends, namely those of Brazilian and Chinese descent, we plan to make the leap out of our comfort zone.

In the first half of last year, we took in a Broadway show in New York City, went antiquing in Camden Passage in London, we celebrated my birthday in Paris, and we lounged on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea under the white peaks at Forte dei Marmi.  We saw a lot last year, but prominent among our favorites had to be Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost village of the Cinque Terre.  Don’t get me wrong, we love France, but Italy, specifically the area around Florence and Pisa, is such a pleasant place to visit.  The pasta is always perfect, the wine is always delightful (and not expensive), and the weather is usually amazing.

When we were in Paris last year, it rained and rained, so arriving in sunny Tuscany was a welcome change.  Navigating the Italian train system is never easy.  Not being a student of Italian (I’ve put all my energy into learning French), it’s a memorization game to guess what the signs mean in the train stations—and forget about the train schedules!  Although trains tend to run on time (at least in our experience), it would help to know the word for Departures and the word for Arrivals, as they are two different schedules on two different boards in the station and you could easily find yourself on the wrong side of the tracks if you’re not careful.

Our path to the Cinque Terre started at Paris’ Orly Airport, early one rainy morning.  As the taxi driver sailed down the slick autoroute from Denfert-Rochereau at 130 kilometres (82 mph), I learned for myself how to tell the driver to slow down.  After some mild snafus with regard to having over weight bags and finding our way to the Easy Jet counter, we finally landed in sunny Pisa.  From Pisa, we made our way to La Spezia and finally to Monterosso.  When we arrived at our hotel, we were delighted to find a darling 3 room inn, hosted by a kind  older gentleman and his daughter, neither of whom spoke any English.  For a while, he would call his son, whose English was not much better than his, but we understood each other. 

After some phone calls and passing the phone back and forth—and a lot of miming—the all-important question finally came out, “parlez-vous français?

“Oui. Bien-sûr, Monsieur.”

Once we discovered we shared a common language (French), communication was much easier.  His French was not much better than mine, so there was still some pantomime, but there was no more need for telephone calls to his son.

January 25, 2015

Bonne Année Lynchurg!!

#BonjourLynchburg !!  News from your Alliance Française.

So far, 2015 is shaping up to be a good year.  We do not forget those we lost last year, but in their memory, we persevere in our mission to spread our love for French language and culture.  Link to our recently departed group president's obituary.

Upcoming Events
-Conversations with Solange – starting January 29
-French Immersion Dinner at Mangia – Tuesday, February 10, 7 p.m.
-Mardi Gras Celebration – Tuesday, February 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Conversations With Solange
Westminster Canterbury, 501 V.E.S. Road, Terrace (Lower) Level, Activity Room
Thursdays:   Jan. 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26; Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr. 2.  
4:30 – 5:30 pm

Immersion Dinner
We have an exciting February planned for you so far.  Our monthly dinner is planned for 7 p.m., February 10, at Mangia on Rivermont Avenue.  RSVP to

La Chandeleur
On February 17, we have a party planned to celebrate La Chandeleur !  RSVP to

More News

French Language Classes
We are planning a new semester of French classes!  Planned to start in March.  If you are interested, the more the merrier, so tell your friends, too!  Please let us know as soon as possible—write to

French Cooking Classes
We would like to know who’s interested in taking a French cooking class!  The timeframe would be around April.  We can only do this if we get enough interest.  Registration will be in the form of sending a check for payment at least 72 hours in advance of the class.  Let us know if you are interested by sending an email to and we will keep you informed when we plan the class!

December 3, 2014

La Fête de Noël

Joyeuses Fêtes, Lynchburg !

Join in the spirit of this French Alliance Française Tradition. 

We hope you will bring your best of food you wish to share, and get ready to sing "Les Anges dans nos Campagnes" and other traditional songs.

It is always a delightful, joyful event and on a Sunday afternoon early in December. We make it welcoming to all! See you there!

Date: Sunday, December 7
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Location: Chez Annik Miller
RSVP to aflynchburg[at] (replace [at] with @ when you RSVP)

Another Upcoming Event:

French Immersion Dinner

Contrary to some belief, one is not required to be fluent in French to join us for these immersion dinners.  We want to speak French, but we're not all fluent.  It works just fine anyway and the more the merrier!  On December 9, at 6:30 p.m., join us at the Depot Grille downtown for dinner with friends.  We usually have several Francophiles, as well as a few native speakers.  We hope to see you there!!

Date: Tuesday, December 9
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Depot Grille - 10 Ninth Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504, 434-846-4464
RSVP to Steven Bullock

November 6, 2014

What's new for November?

Bonjour Lynchburg !

The autumn season is shaping up beautifully.  The leaves around the Hill City are turning very nicely.  Just as delightful are the plans we have for you and our Alliance for the upcoming month and beyond.

Also, we would like to remind you to renew your membership in case you have not done so yet for 2014-2015.  See the membership form by clicking here.

French Immersion Dinner
Next up for this month is our monthly French Immersion Dinner.  At 6:30 p.m., November 11, we'll meet at Dish, downtown for a lively dinner with others who love anything French as much as you do.  We try to speak as much French during dinner as we can, but if you do not speak much, join us anyway because it will at least offer the opportunity to learn and enjoy a delicious meal!
RSVP to Cedric Taylor.

Date: Tuesday, November 11
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Dish: 1120 Main St, Lynchburg, VA 24504

Beaujolais Nouveau
On the Third Thursday of every November, we celebrate the new harvest with the Beaujolais Nouveau.  Join us this year at Frank and June Britt's home on November 20, at 6 p.m.  The Alliance will provide the wine and Main Street Eatery will provide New England Clam Chowder and bread.  This event is free for members and guests are requested to contribute $15.

Date: Thursday, November 20
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Chez Frank and June Britt

Take a moment to re-up your membership to enjoy this and other events for no extra charge!  The new membership form is posted online.  You can follow this link to sign up online.  Even if you sign up online, you may still mail payment.

French Language Classes
The French classes that are now ongoing are progressing very well!  If you would like to participate in a French class starting again in January, email us now!
If you have experience teaching and are interested in helping to organize / plan our classes, notify Steven Bullock.

Conversation with Solenge
Do you want to develop your conversation skills with a former French teacher and native speaker?  Join Solenge at Westminster Canterbury.  Free to attend.

Location: 501 V E S Rd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503 (Activities Room)
Time / Date: 4:30 p.m. / weekly on Thursdays

French Cooking Class
Interested in learning to cook like a French chef?  Well, that takes a lot of time and effort, but you can at least start down the path to le Cordon Bleu with Pascale.  Watch your email for information about a class planned for November or December (or maybe both!).  Email us if you are interested.  Details will follow as they become defined.
Note: RSVP is absolutely required for the French Cooking class.  RSVP by mailing payment to the Alliance.  A 72 hour cancellation policy shall apply.

October 30, 2014

Bonjour President Jefferson!

Thomas Jefferson was a huge Francophile!

And this was back in the days when getting from Washington to Paris was not merely a matter of an eight hour flight.

   Not everyone knows that President Jefferson, before his time in the White House, spent a good bit of time in France and was very good friends with the Marquis de Lafayette.

   He also spent a great deal of time in our neck of the woods in the Lynchburg Area.  Poplar Forest was essentially his getaway retreat, which he loved because Charlottesville's Monticello was often too crowded for him to enjoy.

Join us for a talk on Thomas Jefferson and the time he spent in Paris.  

Our esteemed speaker: Travis C. McDonald,
Director of Architectural Restoration at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

Date: Thursday, November 6
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lynchburg Public Library

Free and open to the public.

Take a moment to visit and "Like" our Facebook Page to keep up to date on our events!!  Address: 

September 5, 2014

French Classes forming Now!!!

By: Steven Bullock
Board Member and Secretary

Want to #LearnFrench?!
Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, if you are interested in improving your French language ability, look no further!  Join us now!

The Alliance Française of Lynchburg is hosting two new French classes: Beginner and Intermediate levels.

Beginners: Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m., starting September 22, for twelve 90 minute sessions (no class November 24)
Intermediate: Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., starting September 24, for twelve 90 minute sessions (no class November 26)

Where: AREVA offices on Old Forest Road (open to public)
Cost: $200 per student (12 week course)
Enroll: Email aflynchburg(at) and provide your name, email address, telephone number and which level course you wish to take.

More Information about each Course

Intermediate: A new intermediate level class is being offered for students with a higher level of proficiency in French and interested in improving on French language abilities they already have.  This course will focus on business-related French.  Among other things, conversation, workplace vocabulary, business communication, and cultural aspects of the French workplace will be discussed.

Beginners: This course is designed to provide beginner and novice French students with fundamental skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing French.  Some cultural information about France and Francophone countries will also be introduced.  This twelve-week course will expose students to basic vocabulary and grammar, as well as useful phrases, through which they will begin to develop communicative competency in French.  Prior experience in French is not required.  If you do have previous experience in French, this class will help you practice and enhance your skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!!

July 26, 2014

More idioms

More idioms: can you translate into French?

  • No pun intended
  • To be toast
  • Cooking the books
  • The rubber meets the road
  • No ifs and buts
  • Wearing many hats
  • Throw the baby out with the bathwater
  • Caught flat-footed
  • Put foot in one's mouth
  • Sitting duck
  • Pep talk
  • Wrapped around the finger
  • Bless your heart!