Just one short French year.

The countdown has started. It’s a year to the next French presidential elections.

Of course, the excitement didn’t just start this May. Politicians who have said they will run, ‘les candidats déclarés’ and those who may run, ‘les candidats potentiels’ have been vying for space in the media for some time now. ‘La droite’, copying the successful strategy of ‘la gauche’ the last time round, are holding a primary election in November to select a candidate. At the moment there are a probable thirteen participants in ‘la primaire de la droite et du centre’and still counting. While most have no chance of winning, it’s a good way to gain attention. Nicolas Sarkozy will announce his decision this summer.

‘La gauche’? Well it’s anyone’s guess at the moment as to whether there will be ‘une primaire de la gauche’. It rather depends on whether François Hollande runs or not. He has said he will only decide at the end of the year, but meanwhile he is making lots of suspiciously electoral-like visits to different regions of France.

There are also all the other candidates ranging from the far right Marine Le Pen to the far left Jean-Luc Melanchon. And no French presidential election would feel quite right without François Bayrou. There’s no lack of hopefuls.

The French say they are fed up with politicians, but they continue to be passionate about what needs to be done in France. Around the dinner table, in cafés and in the workplace there are spirited discussions that can be a bit overwhelming for the non-native. Raised voices and lots of gesticulations are part and parcel of talking politics in France.

To follow these heated debates, you will need to brush up on your French slang. When the French lose their calm, they increasingly pepper their arguments with slang words and expressions. Kolibri Languages new Better French series includes a module on Essential French Slang. For only 5,50€ you can download this module onto your computer or mobile device and get up to speed in time to enjoy the fun. The next twelve months are going to be decisive!



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