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LingoMap: Technology and Social Media

20 January 2018

Bonjour tout le monde ! (Hello everybody!) Ça va ? (How are you?) This is my first submission for the Routes into Languages LingoMap blog.

As you can see from my profile, I am a third year History and French student at Cardiff University, currently on my year abroad studying at Université Savoie Mont Blanc in Chambéry. The theme I will cover in this blog post is Technology and Social Media.

Generally speaking, I haven’t noticed much of a difference between the UK and France in terms of la technologie et les réseaux sociaux (technology and social media). Popular social networking sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, for example, seem to be used daily and in a very similar way. Something I have noticed however, is that the French don’t seem to be on their téléphones portables (mobile phones) all the time when out in public (something too many of us may be guilty of).

When reflecting upon my experience of international study, I can’t help but feel as though French universities ne sont pas à la page (are not up to date) where technology is concerned (or at least my host university isn’t). Most lectures are not accompanied by PowerPoint presentations or any other form of technology, communiquer par e-mail (communicating by email) is a real battle, and don’t get me started on le wifi (the WiFi)… Perhaps the comparatively low tuition fees are to blame?

La Fête des Lumières, Lyon

To explore the theme of technology further, I thought I would share my visit to La Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) in Lyon, one of the biggest cities in France. The festival was created when councillors in the city promised to pay tribute to Mary after the city had been struck by the plague in 1643, providing that the city’s residents were spared. Therefore, the festival expresses gratitude to Mary with the use of lights.


The view over the city from Lyon’s Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière


The event uses technology in a fascinating way. Huge light displays are accompanied by music, and spread across the city. Each part of the city has a different display, and the event lasts a whole weekend. My friend Hannah and I visited for a day on a trip organised by Chambéry’s Foreigners Association.


One of the main displays illuminating the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste 


As you can tell by the crowds, the event is very popular!


This was another part of the city, featuring a particularly authentic display


Lights and animations alongside a gigantic ferris wheel in Place Bellecour


We were especially lucky as two of our course mates studying in Lyon came to show us around (thanks Justyna and Alex!). After walking around all of the sights, we were all absolutely exhausted, but it was definitely worth it!

Key Vocabulary: 

  • Bonjour tout le monde – Hello everybody
  • Ça va ? – How are you?
  • La technologie et les réseaux sociaux – Technology and Social Media/Networks
  • Téléphone portable – Mobile phone
  • Être à la page – To be up to date
  • Communiquer par e-mail – To communicate by email
  • Le wifi – (The) WiFi
  • La Fête des Lumières – Festival of Lights

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed and are maybe even feeling inspired to visit Lyon’s “Festival of Lights” in the future! My next blog will be based on Health and Fitness. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

À la prochaine ! (Until next time!)