English in France

Hi we have lived here now for nearly 4 years in the Vendee, there are quite a few English Ex Pats around in the Vendee, more than I thought when we moved here!!! We just came back from the Dordogne which we absolutely loved, so pretty and full of history but we were inundated by English wherever we went and I just wondered if anyone knows how the French in Dordogne (If there are any lol)view all of us English. Would like to move to the Montignac area...anyone any ideas?????

J IS Irish and the French call him Aglais perhaps without thinking or even bothering to

go any deeper.

I find that they take their time to make the time to get to know you.

Most our friends in uk were not British but I never questioned why they were

there or why we got on so well.But they were great friendships....not so easy to find

these days.

ps Why should the French be anti gay?

They have given up on us in our crowd because Italian Swiss and Scot together confuses them. I am also a small, high cheek-boned person who looks Latin so some are convinced I have that blood, not that I know of though.

Elizabeth Bott is a long way off that and, by the way, I learned all that theory in the early 1970s and have only 'occasionally' had vague attempts at catching up. Recent work does include the principle that if you live on a floor of an apartment building and move to the other end of the corridor in theory it is a migration. It is American work so I found it hard to grasp, but in principle I guess the author is rightish. But in migration people have almost always chosen where to go and the main reason is for a better life, all other reasons such as land clearances are forced migrations and nobody forced me to come here. Apart from that I was trying to defuse the factionalisation a bit by going through it a bit sociologically.

Good point, well made.....

Very true Terry, most french people I meet don't care a jot if I'm from London or NY - if we speak english we're all 'anglo -saxon' as far as they're concerned!

@Brian interesting to 'map on' your migration studies to this debate, but historically migrants had no choice but to move to where they could find work, therefore social integration was surely a secondary and rather low priority? The last 2 decades must be a relatively new area of study where people have chosen to move elsewhere for a better quality of life, non? I know it's not the same area of study, but Elizabeth Bott springs to mind....if one no longer has the family structure, support needs to be sought elsewhere and this would naturally come from the nearest source that would emulate a similar structure. I think that it's a shame that some are so quick to make judgements about others or even denounce where they originate from, they may never know when that other 'english' person could be giving them a helping hand!!


WEll said Angela...I couldnt agree with your sentiments more.

A very balanced point of view, Angela - completely agree with your opinion.

Yeah, I agree with Carol. If we all conformed to whatever the norm was, there would be no social change or evolution, surely? And there must be something good us lot have contributed to French culture in our many years of living there?

Oh, more directly related to the original question, I have heard some horror stories of experiences of English people in the Dordogne, terrible unjust treatment at the hands of people in authority, but I'm not going to share them here. Reasons of confidentiality, not wanting to dwell on the negative and the fact that life's just too short. But it could be that some of these are related to the numbers of English people in that particular area, I don't know.

My little bit of South East London was friendly and there's an established community, many of whom have been there for at least 45 years. I lived in the Dordogne, near Sarlat, for seven years and never had any problem of unfriendliness with the local French people. I never felt the desire to be entirely integrated, if by that we mean turning our backs on our life, experience, culture and learning up to the point we decide to live in France. I felt v comfortable being an English person in France. I found the process of trying to understand a different culture and learn a foreign language fascinating. I always enjoyed being able to experience three cultures, English and French as well as the hybrid Dordogne Ex=pat one. Being a multiculturalist, I wouldn't expect any immigrant coming to live in the UK to adopt all aspects of"English" culture, so I don't think the English in France should be expected to adopt all aspects of French culture. Anyway, as far as the Dordogne is concerned,if you're looking for somewhere without too many English, then don't choose the area near Sarlat. There are a lot of them there. And it's because the scenery is reminiscent of the cotswolds, with the added attraction of chateaux, the housing is cheaper than the UK, the weather is wonderful and, well, you know the rest. The English have been visiting and making the Dordogne their home, in numbers, for at least 50 years so there's an established community, going into the 3rd generation now. I never found that the Dordogne had "too many English", but I quite like most English people.

Not just "les anglais" but "les anglo saxons" which is a real catch-all phrase for the English-speaking world I keep hearing on TV. I've often wondered how many people can still justifiably call themselves anglo-saxons and trace back a lineage unsullied by any "foreign" blood. And I've given up telling people I'm not anglais but britannique or gallois. "Oui, mais tu es anglais quand-même," is the stock response!


Yes, true, I was being pedantic. I was making hay because the bitter divisions were at war again.

One of the ‘funnier’ things that always strike me when this subject comes up is just how subjective it is. Time and time again, I hear from French friends that ‘there are loads of English people here’ ( and sorry Monsieur Milne, but is seems that any English speaker is termed English, whether they are Australian, Scottish or Welsh!), but from my perspective, having lived in the 22 and 47 where there were way more, there are hardly any…

Not sure where you get that information from Carol unless its changed in the last 2 years Ian Wright the conservative housing minister has said all councils should give injured ex service personnel priority on the council waiting list for serving personnel its the forces responsibility but once they have been discharged medically or otherwise its down to the council there are various forces charities working in this line but the last time I stood in front of a housing official on Stoke on Trent city council housing dept his words and I quote we have every sympathy with the person in question but he must have the required points priority at this moment is given to drug addicts and alcoholics until I hear to the contrary, my question of how many points does half a leg and one arm missing get you was ignored and on that note I leave the discussion as it gone way of subject

At least I now know what the French think of enclaves of Brits...the same as most people in the UK by the looks of it. Thanks everyone for the input but I will be careful of wordings in future haha!!!

Whatever, but the two angry brigades have done it again.

Sorry Brian, I should have put Brits in the thread title....exusez-moi......I think I was thinking more of the language at the time...sorry to all the Welsh, Scots and Irish...

Actually to follow on, I was wondering how the French felt about all the English not actually moaning about all the English oops done it again Brits!!!!!!!

Following on from an earlier comment you made about servicemen/women...the woman you are speaking of may be an ex soldier, injured whose husband has left her with the children...would you still say she shouldnt consider moving abroad because she was disabled?

Think you will find John that its down to the Army to ensure injured troops are suitably housed and compensated. MPs can be very helpful when there is a situation where an ex serviceman is obviously not receiving the benefits or care they should....and which 'jumped up little office workers' are you speaking of? all of whom I assume, must abide by rules and guidelines..