Wondering what to buy for the French lover on your list? Someone who really loves French probably already has a good dictionary and grammar book, so here are some gifts that will thrill your favorite Francophile.
The gift of France
A trip to France
What could be better for a Francophile than a trip to France? Just be sure to check his or her schedule before you buy the plane tickets and make hotel reservations
Related: French and francophone travel info | Travel French lessons
Paris from Above
If a real trip to France is out of the question, how about a virtual one? Take a look at this breath-taking collection of aerial photographs of Paris.
France photo galleries: Albi | Carcassonne | Toulouse
French festivals: Hyères flower festival | Fête du Citron à Menton | Nice Carnaval
The gift of French vocabulary
Le Grand Robert
For a French lover, particularly one who loves words, there can be no gift better than Le Grand Robert, a veritable encyclopedia of the French language. This single CD-ROM replaces 6 enormous books: 100,000 words and 325,000 quotations, in an attractive and easy-to-use interface. The detailed definition for each entry includes pronunciation, etymology, historical uses, register, regionalities, and examples from literary and historical sources, and everything is hypertexted so that you can jump from one word to another. This is the dictionary that native speakers rely on, and what I recommend whole-heartedly for everyone, particularly advanced and fluent French speakers. (French only)
More: French dictionaries
Le Grand Larousse illustré
Le Grand Larousse is a combination French dictionary and encyclopedia in beautiful full color. The 178,000 definitions are shorter and more accessible than their Grand Robert counterparts. (French only)
More: French encyclopedias
I think thesauruses (thesauri?) are my favorite reference books, and I couldn't live without this one when I translate or write in French. What I do is look up English words in my bilingual dictionary, and then look up the French words in this thesaurus. Very nicely indexed, includes almost 900 subtopics. A must for translators and writers. (French only)
More: French vocabulary
The gift of French learning
French Learning Software
While not a replacement for a teacher or conversation partner, software can help you improve your listening and reading comprehension as well as learn vocabulary, grammar, and even, thanks to speech recognition technology, pronunciation.
Tips and tools: Learn French
Le Bon Usage
This is the bible of French grammar - the most thorough French grammar book that exists. It has been republished more than a dozen times and is a must for fluent speakers. This is the book that native speakers refer to when they want to understand or explain some aspect of French grammar. (French only)
Online lessons: French grammar
The gift of French linguistics
The Story of French
This is a definitive analysis of French as it is spoken around the world. An in-depth, compelling, and above all affectionate look at the language of love, The Story of French is required reading for all Francophiles.
More: Non-fiction about French and France
La francophonie: French-speaking countries
Le français dans tous les sens
A fascinating book about the French language - where words come from, why they are spelled the way they are, how French is spoken in different countries around the world - learn all this and more. (French only)
More: French linguistics | French dialects | French spelling
The gift of French fun
French magnetic poetry
A fun little tool for learning and practicing French.
More: French word play | French crossword puzzles
Trivial Pursuit - French Edition
Team up to play Trivial Pursuit in French.
More: French games | More French fun
The gift of French that keeps on giving
A subscription to a French audiomagazine will make your favorite French lover happy for months to come.
More: French listening | French reading