Ep: 43 Catherine Berry – But you are in France Madame

Over a decade ago, Australian-born Catherine embarked on the ambitious project to only speak French to her son despite this not being her first language. In the wonderful way that one challenge often inspires another, Catherine and her husband then decided that living in France would bring some authenticity to this social experiment.

Either that or it was a thinly veiled excuse to up stumps and move to France. The initial one-year adventure with their three children turned into 3 ½ and the purchase of a house on the Annecy Lake. ‘But you are in France, Madame’ is Catherine’s published memoir of this period and their house is available for holiday rental (http://www.ourfrenchvillagehouse.com).

Catherine loves to engage in dialogue about bilingual education, moving across the world, her French real estate buying experience and her writing.



  1. Bonjour Rosemary, what lovely timing – re-visiting our story was a great way to end our Christmas Day here in France. We did things a bit differently this year and lunched on baguette, cheese and salami in the snow looking over at Mont Blanc. Dinner was a more traditional chapon and bûche de Noël. Thank-you again for taking the time to chat.


  2. I loved the reading of the excerpt of the book, and it is lovely to hear the interview with Catherine. What a decision to make with 3 kids in tow, and what a life-changing experience. I must get this for my French teacher sister-in-law, who has also tried getting her babies to speak French with mixed success.
    Another great interview (and book reading) Rose.


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