Transcription :

Manon : Hello, Julie.

Julie : Hello, Manon.

M : Are you well?

J : Well, great, the sun is shining, it's almost summer, I'm doing great. And you?

M : The sun is shining in Lorraine.

J : Yes, honestly, I thought... I thought spring... Actually, we didn't have spring, we had winter, a week of spring and now, it's summer. That's it.

M : That's right, it's so weird. Thank you for accepting the invitation to talk, precisely, about your region. Because, this week in my conversation group, we will talk about the regions, where we live. And I thought it would be interesting to have someone talk about their region, a region in France, to discover a little more about it. But before that, can you, well, introduce yourself? For those who don't know you.

J : It's my pleasure. So, well, my name is Julie. I just turned 30.

M : Happy birthday!

J : Thanks, I had a party, anyway, now about the subject then, there you go. Well, I'm like Manon, I'm also a French teacher for a few years now and I also have my podcast 'My French Journey'. There you go, I'm a very energetic person who lives, therefore, in Lorraine. There you go, a region you'll find interesting and not interesting.

M : I think, it's still a pretty well-known region in France. And so, were you born in Lorraine and do you live in Lorraine? Have you always lived in Lorraine or have you... ?

J : I'm from here, I was born here and I think to survive the climate, you have to, it's true, be directly in the region. But yes, I was born in the town of Thionville which is located 25 km from Metz.

M : Okay. And so, for those who don't know Lorraine, can you say where it is located approximately?

J : Yes, so, we're in the northeast, actually, of France. So, I'm really next to Luxembourg, at the border with Belgium and Germany.

M : How far are you from the borders?

J : Well, listen, Luxembourg, I'm 30 minutes away.

M : Oh, do you go to get your gas there?

J : Oh yes, ah yes, shopping, too. I'm 30 minutes away, when the traffic, when there's no jam, because if you go to work in Luxembourg in the morning and you leave from Thionville, you will average an hour and a half, with the border crossers. There are many. 30 minutes from Luxembourg and then about 45 minutes from Germany.

M : Okay, ok, that's great. And what does Lorraine look like? Are there typical landscapes of Lorraine that can only be found there, maybe?

J : So, typical, listen, I know that in Lorraine, we have a lot of nature. That's what I like. There are a lot of forests, a lot of fields, because we grow quite a few cereals and on the Vosges side, there are mountains. It's a little more varied, very nice. There are waterfalls, lots of hikes. But otherwise, we don't have the sea. That's about it, a lot of nature as I said, mountains and then we also find vineyards, especially in my department, with production of white wine. So, vineyard, lots of green, nature.

M : Great. And is there a traditional dish from Lorraine?

J : Of course, the quiche Lorraine, I think everyone knows it.

M : We immediately think of that, I think we recognize the quiche Lorraine more than Lorraine, yes that's right.

J : But just in case, for people who wouldn't know, quiche Lorraine, it's a savory pie. In fact, to prepare it, you need a shortcrust pastry, you need egg, cream, salt, pepper and hop, you put it in the oven.

M : It makes you hungry.

J : It's almost noon too. But that's it, this, a little maybe for the learners, something that might be a little less known, it's the Lorraine pâté. This time, it's stuffing, in fact. So meat, crushed meat surrounded by puff pastry. It's very good.

M : The quiche Lorraine is very famous. I don't know why it's so well known. Maybe for the simplicity to make, and it's very good. Very practical for picnics or in a meal.


J: That's right, you can eat it hot, cold, it's easy to make, it's also cheap, inexpensive. That, too, is important. And it's a dish, it has lardons. So, when it's cold, it really sticks to your ribs.

M: Do you add any Gruyère or not at all?

J: Listen, I add it, but it's not in the traditional recipe.

M: Yes, I've seen a bit of Gruyère on top. A bit of cheese after all!

J: Yes, indeed, to make it gratinated, it's even better. But, no, sometimes, there are different versions. Some people add ham, etc. But yes, traditionally, it's the lardons, eggs, cream.

We also have a quite famous fruit, it's the mirabelle plum. Lots of mirabelle plums. And then, yes, some candies.


M: And is there a particular dialect or accent in Lorraine?

J: So, there is an accent. There's a Lorraine accent, but then, I think you can hear me, I don't think I speak with an accent.

M: No, honestly, I don't hear much of an accent.

J: That's why I would say that in Lorraine we speak Parisian French. In general, when we say "Oh, the beautiful French!", it's a bit neutral French. Yes, that's right, the neutral French of Parisians. I think that in Lorraine we are close to this accent. However, if you talk with older people or in the countryside, in small villages, you will hear the Lorraine accent, since these are also people who inherited the German language from the occupation.

M: Is it similar to the Alsatian accent? The Alsatian is a very strong accent though.

J: Yes, because Alsace is more influenced by Germany. Yeah, that's it. But that, it depends. I know that for me, on my side, we are more towards Luxembourg. So maybe also, yes that's it. Luxembourg is more Francophone, but on the other hand, I know that Moselle, and notably Forbach, have a greater influence from Germany. There are Germans who also live in France, less on my side.

M: Ok, what are the things to see and do in Lorraine? What would you recommend to tourists visiting your region?

J: So, for tourists, as you've already understood, if you like nature, you will appreciate. The first city

J: So, for tourists, then after, as you've already understood, if you love nature, you'll appreciate it. The first city I recommend is Metz. So, as we discussed a little earlier, you'll see that Metz is actually spelled M-E-T-Z, so we tend to pronounce it "Metz", but the correct pronunciation is M-E-S. Actually, for the anecdote, before we used to pronounce it "Metz", but precisely during the Second World War, Metz became a German city. Therefore, people, to show resistance, opposition to the occupation, started to call the city, to pronounce the city "M-E-S". So, it comes from there. And then, it stayed and followed the resistance. It's nice, because right away, we know who is really from the region or not.

M: Yes, absolutely.

J: People who are not from Lorraine tend to say "M-E-T-Z", not exactly, but whether it's someone from the south of France or a Luxembourger. 
So, I love Metz. Especially, as we said, it was a city that was occupied during the war, so you will find a mix of French and German architecture.  So, I find this very interesting. In Metz, there is the cathedral, the Cour d'Or museum as well, where you can see objects from the Gallo-Roman period. Well, I love this historical period, so I find this very nice. But more simply, you can just go to the market on Saturday morning to discover and taste the local products. So that's for Metz.

Then, there is a bigger city in Lorraine, it's Nancy. It's a city well known especially for students. In terms of tourism, there is Place Stanislas. I am not a big fan of large cities, so what I would recommend to someone who, like me, prefers nature, is to spend a weekend in the Vosges, especially in Gérardmer. There, you can go hiking, there are many water activities on the lake, see waterfalls. It's great for history buffs.

In the region, there are quite a few things to do. You can go to Verdun, where the famous Battle of Verdun took place during the First World War, so that, you can visit. But also, near my home, there are old iron mines that you can also discover. There, you discover the work, the living conditions of the miners. I find that super interesting. But really, if you must come to Lorraine, then don't come in the summer, because it's scorching hot.

In fact, I totally recommend the winter. So, take a good coat because in Lorraine, the climate in summer is super hot, in winter it's super cold.

M: Yes, it's the extremes.

J: But in winter, there are all the Christmas lights and Christmas markets. Well, you probably know the Christmas market in Strasbourg, but there are many small markets. As you are close to

J : But in winter, there are all the Christmas lights and Christmas markets. Well, you probably know about the Strasbourg Christmas market, but there are many small ones. As you are close to Germany, you can also go there to discover local specialties. So I find it really nice.

M : A real tourist guide!

J : Thank you. There are parts of my region that I haven't yet discovered, but of course, I think that nobody has discovered everything.

M : I think that it's even often that you discover more of your own region than other regions.

J : No, but that's it, but well, it's horrible for a teacher because consequently, we are always told "oh, and you, in your region, what do you recommend, what can you do?" and then you bring up the museums that you visited when you were a child with school, well, after that, no, it's... but yeah, I think we're all like that, we want to first discover what is 3000 km from our home, it's human.

M : And you, specifically, what is something you prefer about Lorraine, personally? 

J : Well listen, as I was born here, for me it's my heartland. Even if it has many flaws, as I've said. So, the climate is not easy. There's also not a lot to see. But already, what I appreciate is the proximity to other countries. That, really, for me, it's natural to go see other cultures. So, I take my car and I'm immediately in a different environment. You go to Luxembourg, it's really a multicultural environment. So we speak English, there are really different foods, so that, I love.

The proximity to Paris too, because, I told you, for me I'm not too much into big cities, but well, it's always nice to be able to go to a big city. And then, I go to Metz, I get on the TGV and in an hour and twenty minutes, I'm in the center of Paris. So that's really cool. Then, I find that in Lorraine, people are rather nice. Then, like in all regions, I want to say, there are exceptions. But I have the impression that when you make friends, they are really friends that last a long time.

And what I also like is the nature and especially the food. We have many specialties, there's a lot of charcuterie, the sausage.

M : Can you tell us where we can find you, where we can follow you for those who are watching and listening to us?

J : Yes, with pleasure. Well, in fact, there's my podcast "My French Journey" and my Instagram account "@myfrenchjourney_", the same thing, but with the underscore at the end.

M : Ok, there you have it. Great, well, thank you very much for talking so well about your region and in detail. I hope, in fact, I'm sure, that it will inspire others to come and visit Lorraine and taste all the specialties there are.

J : Don't hesitate, I would be delighted to show you around.

M : There you have it, you have your guide.

J : But it was a pleasure, thank you again for your invitation, Manon.

M : Thank you and have a great summer in Lorraine.

J : You too, bye!

M : See you soon!


Vocabulary exercise :