Ville lumière: What does zat means?


Did you understand that?
Let me repeat it with my French accent: Did you understand zat?

This is the French expression for “city of light”.
Ville = city.
Lumière = light.

Hey, congrats, you just got your very first French lesson from SomeFrenchDude.

In case you already knew that, please pause for a moment and think about this:

What was your very first – almost instinctive – thought
when reading ville lumière?


You’re right: Paris is the City of Light.

I told you to pause for a moment. Why?

This is VERY important. At least for two reasons:

  • Reason #01: Your HEALTH.
  • Reason #02: Your LEARNING success (whatever your goal in life).

The City of Light and… Your Health: What’s the point?

When you first read ville lumière – or when you first understood that it meant City of Light – what was your IMMEDIATE thought?


Yes, we already said that.

But what I want you to realize is the extreme speed of brain processing and everything it mobilizes along the way. Here is the process that you just went through without even realizing it:

STEP 1: While reading this post, your brain deciphers EACH word. It is doing its best to make sense of all those letters combined and stuck together as the building blocks of a huge LEGO game.

The bueaty of htis is taht it can evne autmoaticalyl corretc wrods and make sense out of letters arranged in a very chaotic way.

Incredible, isn’t it?

STEP 2: The subconscious part of your mind immediately feedbacks the conscious part of your mind.

Ville lumière ? Hey, that’s not English, says your subconscious mind.

STEP 3: Your concious mind needs to figure out the problem. Call it the mental riddle if you like.

That’s where you start understanding what this article is about (rational analysis) while being invaded by uncontrolled thoughts, and even preconceived ideas and feelings.

That describes your subjective human experience of language!

Not only are words amazing and powerful tools to let you access minds, manipulate emotions and get to know others and yourself…

… but all this means one critical thing:

The way you use and react to words directly impact your health

As you understood, words have powerful psychological impacts. What you don’t want to forget too is that behind those psychological effects are neurological processes (and as such physiological processes).

One example should be enough to make you gauge the importance of those processes on your daily and long-term health quality and life expectancy.

Ellen Bialystok is a psychologist at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is an expert in cognitive and language development who regularly publishes in The Journal of Neuroscience or in Journal of Experimental Psychology.

This is what you should know about one of her recent studies:

Bialystok and colleagues examined 102 longtime bilingual and 109 monolingual Alzheimer’s patients who had the same level of mental acuity. The bilingual patients had been diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s about four years later than the monolingual patients, on average.


What this means is that the knowledge of at least two languages is protecting your brain as you grow old. This is a hot topic for public health and scientific researches are ongoing.

How to Improve Your Learning Success?

Learning French is a lifelong endeavour passion for many people worldwide.

As with any other language, learning French can come with its own doses of frustration:

  • What textbook should I buy?
  • Should I learn to read or to speak first?
  • How to best memorize new vocabulary?
  • How to best select what I should learn?
  • How can I speak real French, not textbook French?
  • How to avoid plateaus and keep improving every single day!
  • How to start thinking like a real French person and avoid applying textbook recipes?
  • Where can I find a genuine source of knowledge about the French culture and avoid falling into misconceptions that could ruin my efforts long-term?

The list could go on and on. Endlessly.  

I have a secret for you:


Words are absolute building blocks of language.

Without words, you CANNOT…
… build phrases, sentences, posts, articles, books, movie scripts, poems, etc.

With words, you CAN…
… understand the overall meaning of any text even without knowing anything about grammar (sure, you will minsinterpret, but you will have an understanding of the overall meaning of the text and know if it is about ‘apples and bananas’ or about ‘money and banking’),
… create complete new worlds (does Tolkien ring a bell?), order any food in the finest Parisian restaurant (one word is enough) or write love emails, etc.
… discover and understand the most subtle nuances of French culture and the heritage and psycho-sociological aspects of the French language,
… understand the shared, cultural psyche and genuine lifestyle of the French people,
… trigger emotions and improve your interactions with others,
… know yourself through your reactions to words.

This is the reason why SomeFrenchDude is sharing words and phrases with you.

Words are not only bricks in the wall. Each word comes with its very special personal heritage. Each word conveys cutural references, popular symbolism and personal memories as well.

Ville lumière does not ONLY mean ‘city of light’.

Above all, it has a very powerful and symbolic power. The one of PARIS.

This may be why 2020 New Year’s Eve in PARIS was designed to be such a
special and stunning immersive LIGHT SHOW EXPERIENCE,
expressing the revival of a new and old Paris at the same time
after knowing the darkest traumas related to terrorist attacks everybody knows:

The revival of l’ESPRIT FRANÇAIS.
Lights for hopes, harmony and a positive future.

SomeFrenchDude was there:

New Year’s Eve 2020: Never-Seen Before, Phenomenal Lighting Show on the Arc de Triomphe

NOTE – Special dedication to the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and her team for buidling this never-to-be-forgotten LIGHT experience

For You: SomeFrenchDude’s Super Easy and Gratifying 1-Question French Quiz

Please answer the question below seriously.

DO IT! Do it right now and do it seriously
… if you don’t want to have some serious issues with the old-school French teacher.

You know zat, right:

Old-school French teachers are strict disciplinarians

But SomeFrenchDude has been very kind with you to make sure you won’t fail your 1-Question French Exam. Please relax!

So here is your question below:

How do you say ‘City of Light’ in French?

Ville lumière is the French translation for ‘city of light’.

It is made of the two French words:
ville, standing for city
lumière, standing for light.

The particle ‘of’ (in French: de) is implicit, even if you could perfectly say ‘ville de lumière’.

The difference between ‘ville de lumière‘ and ‘ville lumière‘ is that ‘ville lumière‘ immediately refers to the city of PARIS while the latter can be applied to describe any city.

Easy, right? I told you. SomeFrenchDude is a kind dude.

Now, here is your reward

You can be proud of yourself:

  • Reward #01: You just expanded your knowledge about France and French.
  • Reward #02: You just stimulated your brain, which is good for your general health and sanity.

Learning is good for you.
Learning helps you keep an open mind.
Learning stimulates your neurons and keeps Alzheimer away.

That’s all of what SomeFrenchDude can offer you…
… plus unique, genuine facts about French life, culture, lifestyle and language.

In short?

SomeFrenchDude opens a window on the French mind and lets you hack it.

You will discover a very unique way to look at France and French.
You will get never-seen before information.
You will expand your knowledge, boost your results and reach your goals.

Zat is zee end of ze story, folks!

Please now join SomeFrenchDude’s list of very private contacts to never miss an update and penetrate the French mind:


  1. Hey, congrats on your first post. It’s very conversational and an easy read.

    My favorite part was learning the difference between Ville lumière and Ville de lumière.

    Good job, Au Revoir!

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