When having conversations abroad, some of the first facts you share with a new (French-speaking) friend are usually about your background, including whether or not you have brothers and sisters, where you grew up, and where your family is from. The expectations around how a family behaves and even what constitutes a family vary widely across countries. This means it’s also an opportunity to learn about families in different cultures, perhaps by asking your new friend about whether they are close with their family members, how often they see each other, and what they like to do together.
Learning how to describe your family members will allow you to talk about past family vacations to French-speaking countries and describe your childhood. If you’re lucky, you may even get invited to a new French-speaking friend’s family home for a meal or celebration. If you’re having trouble remembering a whole list of new French names, think of how thankful you’ll be to have French family vocabulary memorized, so that you can simply refer to your new friend’s family members as “your mom” or “your niece’s fiancé.” If you’re fortunate enough to have been invited to a family gathering, you’ll absolutely want to be sure you can keep track of all of those aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents!