While the L2 Motivational Self System (L2MSS) has been extensively investigated among learners of English, this study explores through a crosslinguistic lens its applicability to learners of a language other than English (LOTE), in this case French. Quantitative survey analysis among 522 university learners of French and English in two European countries (Sweden and Poland) suggests that while the framework is relevant in the case of learners of French, other motivation constructs are also at play. The L2MSS supposedly subsumes various traditional motivational constructs (e.g. integrative orientation, instrumental orientation), yet there is evidence to suggest that these were perceived as distinct constructs in their own right, especially by the learners of French. Even a strong form of integrative orientation was found to play an active role among the learners of French who had spent time in a francophone country and had learnt the language for longer. As such, the article argues for a more comprehensive approach to second language (L2) motivation theory that is also sensitive to factors at play in the specific case of LOTEs.