France is one of the most popular locations for British people moving overseas. The British community in France now numbers around 400,000. The majority of these head for Paris or the South, but the migrants are spread across the country. In some rural areas the British expat population accounts for a large proportion of residents.

One aspect of France’s immigration rules is the granting of retirement visas. They will have economic conditions attached, but they are still a great plus for British people looking to retire somewhere warm.

Although French is widely taught in British schools a lot of British people moving to France are initially unconfident about speaking the language and understanding technical or legal documents in French.

Speaking the French language

In Eymet, Dordogne, British expatriates account for a third of the population, yet the village website is only in French. Respect the fact that the French, though welcoming, are fiercely proud of their language and traditions – you will settle in much more easily if you make the effort to learn some French. It will also help you in communication with French estate agents, local authorities, builders and so on, before and after you move. La Academia can arrange 1 to 1 French tuition to give you a good grounding in the language.

Translating your English documents into French

La Academia’s sister company, Accutranslate offers French translation services. You’ll need plenty of paperwork (another great French tradition!) and getting key documents translated is better done in the UK before you leave than in France, especially if you are in a rural area. Depending on the type of visa and length of stay you may need to have your passport, birth certificate and qualifications translated into French, and have the translations notarised by a solicitor – Accutranslate can recommend a couple, or take care of that at the same time as the translations.

Translating your French documents into English

Conversely, you’ll have a lot of French paperwork to manage. Accutranslate can take a look at any official documentation you are given, and ensure that you fully understand the legal and financial obligations of any contract you have been given. We’re happy to accept documents by fax for translation also.

If you are moving to France you’ll need professional and helpful language specialists on your side – get in touch with la Academia on 0161 491 1444 and let us know your plans – we’ll be happy to help you get settled into your new life!