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

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!

April 29, 2014

Who was Charlemagne?

A lecture by Sweet Briar Professor Marie-Therèse Killiam.

Who was Charlemagne?

Was he blond? Did he have a beard? How tall was he and did he really create schools for everyone? Why was his mother called big foot Bertha? What did they eat? Where did they leave? Did Roland exist? Did Charlemagne go on a crusade in Spain? Did he really own a white elephant? Why is it important to know about him?

These are the questions I had to answer when I decided to write his story. I have some answers, some others I had to guess, deduce, or invent. I have no doubt that you will be surprised by some facts, and edified by others....

To be continued on Wednesday, April 30, 5:30 p.m., at Randolph College-reception to follow. Check our Facebook Page for details!

March 30, 2014

Message from Francoise Watts, President of the Alliance Française de Lynchburg

Chers amis !

   As I know you love to read about France, I recommend a book that I found delightful: French Impressions by John S. Littell (New American Library, 2000). It is the story of the adventures of an American family in the South of France in the 1950s.  Mary and Frank set off for Paris on an ocean liner with their two young sons. They arrive in the town of Montpellier, where they spent one hilarious and unforgettable year. I hope you will love the book as much as I did!

   Lots of students of French from all our colleges will be at the French Film Festival in Richmond March 28-30. It is a fantastic cultural event, a true immersion in French language and culture for a week end. I will tell you about it in our next newsletter! May be you should try to go sometime!  For one day, Saturday would be the day I would choose, but arrive very early morning.

   Some good news: classes have started with Rachel Nablo as instructor.  Classes are held at AREVA on Wednesdays for 10 weeks. Proceeds will support our cultural activities.  If you are interested in learning  or continuing to learn French, click here to express your interest and help us make it happen.

   We really need to thank Elaine Jackson for her many years on the board of Alliance Française. Elaine wrote for us a beautiful and rich newsletter that made us look so good! With her we could brag about all our activities. Elaine is a true Francophile and Alliance Française meant a lot to her and Myles. Both also meant a lot to all of us at Alliance Française. Merci!

   Let’s meet again around dinner or the book club!

A bientôt,


March 10, 2014

Update: French Class Forming Now - first class March 19

Update: the class it's filling quickly, so we are starting a waiting list. Please use the RSVP link below to hon the waiting list or to express interest in upcoming classes.

Want to Learn French?

We're offering an advanced beginners French class on Wednesday evenings from 6-7:30, starting March 19, at the AREVA office on Old Forest Road.

This course is designed to provide 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 ten-week course will allow students to expand upon basic vocabulary and grammar, as well as useful phrases, through which they will 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.

Tuition: $175

We intend to offer more classes in the future.  This is just the beginning!  If you are interested in higher level classes, your expression of interest will help us in knowing what classes to offer.

March 3, 2014

Test your knowledge of colloquial phrases

How do you translate?

  • Rule of thumb
  • Spoiler alert
  • From the horse's mouth
  • Amount to a hill of beans
  • All the bells and whistles
  • Wet behind the ears
  • Devil's advocate
  • Spill the beans
  • Go viral
  • High five

Et comment traduire?
  • Froid de canard
  • Rhume carabine
  • Raz le bol
  • Casser les pieds
  • Perdre les pédales

January 29, 2014

Book Review : Le Bonheur - Simple, non ?

By Françoise Watts, President of the Alliance Française de Lynchburg
Le Bonheur-this is the subject of the new book by French philosopher Frederic Lenoir (Du Bonheur, voyage philosophique, Fayard). It is a bestseller in France right now, as if everyone wanted to know the recipe for le bonheur. What Lenoir says is that, for the most part, it is up to us to make our own happiness, and we can manage that by focusing on the little pleasures of our life. Simple, non?
There are however  cultures who are more predisposed to le bonheur than others, and this has nothing to do with material wealth (only 10%). But remember, le bonheur is contagious.
What I loved in the book is that Lenoir links philosophies of the West with those of the East. Montaigne, the great French philosopher of the 16th century who wrote in his Essays about le Bonheur is not that distant from Buddhism and Taoism.

January 26, 2014

Ce blog n'est pas une blague

Bonjour Lynchburg !

Lynchburg, Virginia is a city with deep roots in American tradition and culture, and is a leader in the region in education and high technology jobs.  Did you know Lynchburg also enjoys a strong foundation in the French culture?

For over 50 years, the Alliance Française de Lynchburg has promoted French culture and education in our region.  Led by American Francophiles and French expatriates who have come to Lynchburg over the years, the Alliance has built a strong French community in the Hill City.

We are a diverse group, with varied backgrounds and life stories, but we share the common desire to come together and enjoy French culture, food, and language.  We have already planned an exciting year of events and language classes.

Our big events include Mardi Gras, 14 juillet (Bastille Day-French Independence Day), and la Fête de Noël (Christmas party).  Other events include various lectures and film presentations, as well as monthly dinners and French cooking classes.  We hope you will join us at our events and in our classes through out the year.

à bientôt !!