Posted by / Category London /

London is the sixth biggest French city, with 400 000 French citizen. It is bigger than Bordeaux or Nice. There are French everywhere, and the French community keeps growing. It even downed on me that, in fact, you might be able to live in London and speak very little English.

There are French schools, French libraries, French medical practices, French grocery shops, French estate agents…the list is simply endless. In fact, it is entirely possible to live in a French bubble in London. And it is getting easier by the day with all the businesses coming over.
French companies are everywhere, and more seem to be coming every day. You can live and work in French over here. The thing is, why would you do it? Living the French life in London would make me miss out on so much stuff. If I hadn’t had to learn to speak English (I learned mostly German at school), where would I be now ? Would I be as happy? Would I even have started this blog? Probably not.

I understand the need to stay in a French bubble if you are only going to stay for a a year or two. But at the same time don’t you think that the best way to make the most of your life abroad is actually to go local and embrace life the British way? What do French Londoners fear?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Totally agree with you. Sadly I met plenty of French people who don’t even speak english after years living in London… Just because they’re plain lazy and they don’t want to leave their comfort zone full of similar Frenchies… What’s the point of living abroad if this is not to embrace fully the local culture and behaviour?

  • It’s probably that way in Paris, too, with the English-speaking people living in an Anglo bubble. While I’d love to have more English-speaking people on call in Dijon, it certainly has forced me to use my French (even though I still suck at it).

  • Jenny

    There is a simple answer to avoiding living in a French bubble, and it is to stay away from SW London which is where they mostly seem to be. There aren’t ANY French people around here as far as I know, and yet there must be almost every other nationality! You are perfectly right by the way.

  • Salut Alex! Thanks for your comment. I had a look at your lovely blog and loved it. As for me, well, there is no going back to France. I love it so much in London that i will try to stay as long as possible!

  • He did, didn’t he? Sarah, how do you manage in France? I am not sure that i would have the patience!

  • Well, Julie, at least you are trying! I think that it is what matters, right?

  • Very true. I also think that having children in a British school helps!

  • Carolina HeartStrings

    You’re English is truly amazing. Most people here whose English is their second language are far less articulate. Plus you know the “slang”, etc. I was surprised to see that London has such a large French population. Interesting!

  • I have to try or I’d spend all day in the apartment waiting for my husband to come home from work. I hope one day to learn well enough that I can have some kind of conversation with someone who speaks zero English.

  • SueraeStein

    I agree that you would probably be missing out on quite a bit if you chose to live in a French bubble.

  • Anne

    It’s the same in Ireland, and I totally agree with you. I used to work with a lot of French people, and the majority of them would speak French all day at work, live with French people and go out amongst themselves. And after all that, be complaining they didn’t improve their English and that Irish people were not very welcoming!!! I don’t see the point of going to another country and not try to integrate…

  • Carol

    It’s a bit like the Italian community here in Toronto. It’s much bigger than our francaphone community.