French people need romance to be unexpected, a coup de cœur, a smack to the heart. …
« Excusez-moi de vous importunez » (EN : Sorry to bother you)
« Je suis nouveau ici… » (EN : I am new here…)
« Des endroits à me conseiller… » (EN : Any places you would like to recommend…)
« Puis-je vous offrir un verre ? » (EN : Can I offer you a drink?)
« Puis-je vous voler quelques minutes de votre précieux temps ? » (EN : Can I steal a few minutes of your precious time?)
« Mes yeux ne peuvent vous quitter… » (EN : My eyes can’t get over you…)
« Puis-je vous confier un secret, j’ai perdu la tête en vous voyant… » (EN : Can I tell you a secret, I have lost my mind when I saw you…)
« Je ne parle pas bien Français, voulez-vous m’apprendre ? » (EN : I don’t speak French very well, would you mind teaching me?)
« M’accorderez-vous cette danse ? » (EN : Shall we dance ?)
« Bonjour, puis-je vous embêter quelques secondes ? » (EN : Hi, can I bother you a few seconds ?)
« Bonjour, je cherche cette adresse, pouvez-vous m’aider ? » (EN : Hi, I am looking for this place, can you help me?)
-Don’t chat up (FR: draguer) a woman on public transport such as the Métro
-Don’t be heavy / insistent
-Be a gentleman / lady
-Speak French, even if you only know a few words… (S)he will fall for your accent
-Compliment her / him
-Be romantic (FR: être romantique)
-Play the game: If (s)he is going to play with your emotions, play with hers/his. The typical femme Française loves the chase.
-Be open to seduction in chat-friendly scenarios
We have also built a playlist with her / his favourite tunes (cliché):
-Beautiful by James Blunt
-Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
-Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye
-You can leave your hat on by Joe Cocker
-Angels by Robbie Williams
A pique-nique in front of the Canal Saint-Martin To surprise her/ him, contact Marion, your BFF for a night and she will deliver an amazing basket with some bubbles to make this moment unforgettable. /Contact: Marion 06 09 57 32 57/
A cruise on the River Seine A scenery you won’t forget. The captain of the cruise will also provide you champagne and petit fours. /Adresse : 6 Quai Jean Compagnon, 94200 Ivry Sur Seine/
Claus, for a « special » breakfast. /14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001 Paris/
La Corte, At the bottom of a secret passage, you will find the perfect restaurant charm your date. /320 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris/
Le Restaurant Biotiful is a colorful and cozy in the 17th arrondissement. /18 rue Biot, Paris 75017/
Le Gravity Bar, with its warm atmosphere and its wooden desigh you can only spend a great evening. /44 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010/
Le Pas de loup, our favorite spot in Paris. We can’t tell you why.. Find out at /108 rue Amelot, Paris 75011/
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by Samia Timol
This is the part of the year where your feel worn out and your immune system (système immunitaire) is known as an “open window”. Unless you live in a bulle, you will be exposed to infections. And apart from staying inside all winter (hiver) with your head under a duvet and avoiding all possible human being, you will need to protect your health and reinforce (renforcer) your immune defences (défenses immunitaires).
To protect your organisme (organism) against germs (microbes), Magnesium and Vitamin D activates both the white blood cells (globules blancs) needed for the creation of antibodies (anticorps). You’ll find vitamin D in various foods such as smoked herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies or cod liver oil. For magnesium, you can eat seafood, almonds, cashew, tofu, or dark chocolate 70% minimum. You have a good reason not to take chocolate out of your diet.
Vitamin C stimulates the creation of interferon (interféron), this molecule is produced by our immune system cells to destroy germs. Drink a large glass of fresh squize orange juice (jus d’orange pressé) every morning or eat clementines, lemon, blackcurrant or kiwi. We suggest you a colourful fruit salad, it is like adding a “little summer” to your day.
70% of our immune system is in our intestin (intestine), so it ‘s important to do a course of probiotics (cure de probiotique) to strengthen your intestinal mucosa (musqueuse intestinale). Take a mixture of lactobacilli daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced the risk of catching a cold (rhume). You can find probiotics in yogurt, but also in artichoke, leeks, brewer’s yeast or wheat germ.
It is important to warm yourself enough. Always keep your neck covered (protéger / couvrir) and try to choose thermal clothes (matières thermales). In Paris, the weather is always changing, from sun to rain and it is easy to get sick when you don’t have the right outfit.
You need at least 7 à 8 heures de sommeil (7 to 8 hours sleep) per night so make sure to organise your day efficiently. You need to spend time on yourself, treat yourself with a massage or a diner between friends… You immune sytem will thank you for this, the more your mind will be clear and relaxed, the more your body will be healthy (en bonne santé).
Virus (Viruses) can live on the surface of many objects for hours so regular hand washing is the simplest way to avoid carrying and ingesting these viruses. In case you spend more time outdoors, use antibacterial hand gel (gel antibactérien) that you can carry in your bag or slip in your pocket.
Add a few drops (gouttes) of sunflower oil (huile de tournesol) to your homemade smoothie or to a glass of water each morning. Sunflower oil contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. The health benefits are various: Cardiovascular benefits, Anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatoire), Prevent Arthritis, Prevention of Asthma and types of cancer, Lowers Cholesterol, Fight free radicals, Repairs the body, Skin and hair benefits…
For fruit and vegetable, you can go to many places. We can suggest you some amazing product at:
Primeur du Marais : 61 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Vergers Saint Paul : 97 Rue Saint-Antoine
Le Comptoir des Mers : 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris
Fromagerie Laurent Dubois : 97-99 Rue Saint-Antoine
Organic products – included sun flower oil
Naturalia : 59 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Bio C’ Bon : 103 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
Au vieux Campeur : 48 Rue des Ecoles, 75005
Massage and Spa
Bulle de Plaisir : 66 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004
Ban Thai Spa : 12 Rue Lesdiguieres, 75004
Let us know in the comments below what are your tips to fight Winter …
Being one of the most romantic cities of the world, Paris is covered in breathless and charming places for any lovebirds (des tourtereaux). It is also the Capital where Love happens…
Friday – 6:35pm at sunset (le coucher du soleil), after a real-life situation French lesson (Leçon de Français en extérieur) in Le Centre – Georges Pompidou, Si gently escorted his French teacher back to her bike. Both living in the same area Ile Saint Louis, they ended up walking back home together…
This was the beginning of a love story (une histoire d’amour).
Si, a British man from the Hampshire moved to Paris for Professional purposes. Like many foreigners, he was motivated to enhance his oral skills in French in order to feel more confident within his company or in his personal life (vie personnelle). He requested information from 3 language school which were offering interesting French learning program, however what he appreciate from French As You Like It was the personal approach (une approche personnelle). Agnès contacted Si by phone and she organized an appointment with him at his office the next day to talk about his different goals and expectations.
“She made a good impression” (une bonne impression) Si says. She was confident (confiante) and he was really impressed to see how determined she looked. She perfectly knew what she was talking about and we could notice she was passionate (passionnée) about her job. He then signed up for French one-on-one lessons every week at his office or out and about. It’s important to link theory to real-life situations when learning (apprendre) a new language.
Si is convinced that you always build a kind of relationship (une relation) with your private teacher. You end up by sharing (partager) some personal aspects of your life. It might look bizarre but when you cancel a lesson for instance, you want to let your teacher know about the reasons. However he admits, Agnès being a charming (charmante) and really attractive (attirante) woman. Looking always smart, she always released la “joie de vivre”. She is a woman with personality, adventurous and really genuine, the type of woman Si can’t resist.
A couple of month later, Agnès and Si walked back home and finally had their first dinner (un diner) in a Canadian pub where he treated her with the well-known Poutine: chips with cheese and gravy. Si remembers, they had two official dates (rendez-vous amoureux): one in the Hameau de la Reine, the hamlet in the middle of the parc of the Chateau of Versailles and the other one on the night of Halloween. Agnès was all dressed up and they both ended up getting some Chinese food for dinner at La Muraille du Phénix.
We wondered what was the most important thing they have learnt being together (ensemble) and we understand the diversity (diversité) and the differences of culture (la difference des cultures) had made them a powerful couple. They share permanently and they both love discovering new aspect of each other every day. It is the advantage of being a mixed couple.
We asked Si if he kept something as a Symbol (un Symbole) of their Love story and here is his answer:
At this period, Kenzo promoted its famous perfume Flower By Kenzo. As part of the promotion, they hitched (accrocher) handicraft (artisanal) poppies (coquelicot) to bicycles. Agnès found one on hers that day, came into his office with the poppy in her hand and handed it (tendre à qqun qqch) to him. He thought she was exactly like the description of the perfume: unpredictable (imprévisible), strong (forte) and beautiful (belle). The only embarrassing point was the arrival of his CEO at the same moment.
We asked Si to tell us a final word about his story with our amazing Agnès: “We’ve been together for a few years now and I think she is the best choice I have ever made, thank you for being part of my life Agnès”.
We also asked Agnès to list us places she has been with Si, she said there is so much to remember but gave us a few of them:
Where to eat?
Le Café Français
Brasserie du Printemps
Le Petit Palais
Le temps des Cerises
Where to go?
Centre Georges Pompidou
Cimetière Père Lachaise
Les Berges – Quai de la Seine
L’Ile Saint Louis
Where to stay?”
The Marais Swamp is one of the most inescapable quartier neighborhood of Paris. Its exceptional architectural patrimoine cultural heritage reflects the history of the capital until la chute fall of Louis XVI. In XX century this place is occupied by huge land of Marsh. Asséchés drained and cultured, these terrains lands are then turned into gardens. The origin name of the district comes from these terres maraîchères produce market-garden. In early XV11 century, Le Marais became the centre of elegance and culture. There are many old buildings in stone and coloured bricks that constitute one of the major attraits highlight of the area. Most of them are now museums: Musée Carnavalet, Hôtel des Sens, Hôtel de Rohan. In 1965, the Marais became a “secteur sauvegardé” protected sector.
You will be surprised and enchanted by Rue du Temple and Rue des Archives that are two very popular shopping streets. Cafes, restaurants, boulangeries bakeries and bars are easy to find and there is one for every taste. There is a huge cultural diversity in Le Marais that you can’t miss; you will discover les cuisines du monde, as well as typical Parisian bars.
Le quartier juif: “ Le Pletzl”
La Rue des Rosiers and the surrounding streets form Le quartier juif jewish district of Paris, picturesque for tourists and nostalgic for many Jews and Non-Jews. Le Marais concentrate the history of Jewish Emigrants diaspora in Paris.
If you are looking for a specific and oddball accommodation in the area, you will be able to find special offers and deals following your needs. You will find a wide range of amazing hotels very well located in the centre of Paris. Depending on the area or the type of services you are looking for.
We have selected four of them to give you a glimpse of our favourite quartier de Paris:
Le Pavillon de la Reine Paris – 28 Place des Vosges, 75003 Paris
Hôtel de la Place des Vosges – 12 Rue de Birague, 75004 Paris
Villa Mazarin – 6 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris
Le Mije – Le Fauconniers – 11 Rue du Fauconnier, 75004 Paris
It’s September. A time for fresh start. A different season. And new people.
Every year at this time, Paris is hit with a huge wave of new expats. We know that right now there are thousands of you out there – students, families, professionals and a lucky few just hanging out – trying to get settled into your new life here.
Of the many items on the new expat to-do list, opening a French bank account is one of the most important…and one of the most puzzling if you don’t understand the relevant vocabulary.
Let’s rectify that, shall we?
Un justificatif de domicile = a proof of address
You’ll need this critical piece for most administrative procedures. They can be: electricity bill (facture d’électricité), a receipt of the payment of your rent (quittance de loyer), income tax receipt (avis d’imposition sur le revenu), tenant insurance receipt (certificat d’assurance locative). Usually, the bill must be less than three months old. Note: phone bill are in general not accepted.
Un compte bancaire = a bank account.
This general term covers a variety of accounts, including checking/current accounts (compte à vue/ compte courante), savings accounts (compte d’épargne), and fixed term saving accounts (compte d’ terme).
Un compte joint = a joint bank account.
With this type of account, a couple may have equal access to the bank account. But when signing up, pay particular attention to whether the account is for X “ou” Y, or X “et” Y. With an “ou” account, either partner may sign legally check. If it’s an “et” account, both partners must sign each check for it to be valid.
Un compte sur livret = a government-regulated savings account.
Unlike other savings accounts, livret accounts usually have a deposit maximum, but the interest rates may be slightly higher. Most livret accounts are tax-free.
Une carte bancaire = A bank card. Upon opening your account, you will receive your carte bancaire. This card is used to withdraw money from the bank from a distributeur automatique (ATM). It also serves as a debit card, with payments either being withdrawn from your account immediately, or in a lump sum at specific date.
Les frais bancaires = Bank Charges/Fees.
When signing up for your account, be careful. Most French banks will hit you with a dazzling array of frais bancaires. This may include account administration fees, direct deposit fees, and foreign currency transfer fees. At most banks there’s even a charge for having a carte bancaire! Be sure to about fees and charges associated with your account in advance. Fees pile up if you accept a bank’s “package” even if the basic checking account is free.
Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB) = Bank account details. This is a handy slip of paper that contains your – surprise, surprise – relevant bank account details, such as your bank number, branch code and account number. RIBs are used for prélèvements (direct debits) from your account or virements (transfers) to your account. You’ll be asked for a RIB to set up automatic bill payment deductions for gas, electric, telephone, etc., or if your employer wants to make direct deposits into your account. RIBs are usually found at the back of your checkbook, but some banks allow you to print them at ATM machines or print them online.
• I would like to open a checking account
Je voudrais ouvrir un compte.
• What are the charges and fees for this account?
Quels sont les frais et charges pour ce compte ?
• How much must I deposit to open an account?
Combien dois-je déposer pour ouvrir un compte?
• How long will it take to receive my checkbook ?
Combien de temps faut-il pour recevoir mon chéquier (carnet de chèques)?
• Puis-je avoir une pièce d’identité ?
May I have your identity card /proof of identity ?
• J’ai besoin d’une facture d’EDF ou gaz….
I need (to see) an electricity or gas bill…
• Vous devez remplir ces formulaires.
You must fill out these forms.
• Combien voulez-vous déposer pour commencer ?
How much do you want to deposit to start ?
If you need help with French bank account vocabulary or speaking with your banker, contact us! We can help you practice the specific conversations you need to know to settle into your life in France!
by Marie Vicarini
In this last week of August, as the summer heat begins to release its grip, the shops fill with back-to-school items, and the leaves on the trees turn orange-yellow, our thoughts cannot help but turn to le changement des saisons (the change of the seasons).
L’automne (autumn) is one of the most pleasant seasons in Paris. Le temps est un peu frais mais beau (The weather is a little cool, but beautiful), en septembre et octobre, il n’y a pas beaucoup de pluie (in September and October there isn’t much rain) and les musées (the museums) aren’t as crowded as in summertime.
If you’re in France this fall, you’ll find that certain French autumn vocabulary words pop up again and again. Don’t be left out of the conversation! Learn the following 7 French autumn words and understand their place in French culture.
In France, August is the time of vacation. Many pharmacies, boulangeries and other shops completely shut down; large cities are drained of nearly everyone except tourists; the métros and buses are empty, while French beaches heave with glistening bodies.
In early September, the situation reverses. People return to the cities, tanned and rejuvenated. Shops fling open their doors, children return to school, the streets fill with people, and real life begins again. This is la rentrée.
During période de rentrée, which is more or less the first three weeks of September, it’s common to hear phrases like:
“Bonne rentrée!” (Enjoy your return to school!)
“Je suis trop chargée en ce moment. On se voit après la rentrée.” (I’ve too much on my plate at the moment. Let’s see each other after the return)
Who doesn’t know that wine is a fundamental part of the French identity? No one. But many people don’t realize that in France celebration of wine begins long before that first delectable glass is poured. In September and October, les vendanges – the grape harvest –is celebrated in various ways all throughout France. One of the most famous festival, La Feria des Vendanges takes place in Nîmes in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France.
But Paris has it’s own celebration as well with the Fêtes des Vendanges de Montmartre, which will occur this year from 7 – 11 octobre. The hilly, picturesque neighborhood of Montmartre has a small vineyard that produces about 1500 bottles of wine each year. It’s a modest amount, but the joy of its making is big.
So, if you want to practice your wine vocabulary, indulge in a little wine tasting, or just soak up the lively atmosphere of a wine-themed street fair, head over to Montmartre on these dates and check it out.
Starting in late summer, these delectable little green plums make their annual appearance in market stalls throughout France. With their green peau (skin) and golden flesh, les reine-claudes look as if they’re bursting with the last bit of summer sunshine. And they taste like it, too. Invariably sweet and juicy, you’ll enjoy them by the kilo. If you want the pleasure to last, consider that they make an excellent confiture (jam.)
As we mentioned, l’automne is the perfect time to go on long promenades in the French countryside. Not only is the weather pleasantly fraiche (cool), but the feuillage d’automne can be lovely.
If you’re in Paris, a little walk through the crackling, leaf-strewn lanes of the Jardin de Tuileries an give you a cozy autumnal feeling. But if you feel the need to be completely surrounded by nature, there’s nothing like a stroll in the forêt de Fontainebleau , the woodlands of the famous château, to make you feel far, far away from city life.
In l’automne, the French go crazy for wild mushrooms, whether eating them or picking them (la chasse aux champignons) or debating the merits of their favorites. At the marché, you’re spoiled for choice for champignons sauvages.
Among many others expect to find an abundance of fat-bottomed cèpes (porcini); golden, crinkly-topped girolles (chantarelles); and the darkly shriveled but oh-so-delicious morilles (morels). In November, la saison des truffes (truffle season) begins. If you can cough up the money for this extraordinary-tasting fungus (truffles cost upward of $2,000 per kilo), it’s a must-try.
If you’re a student in France, you’ve probably become quickly familiar with the term “nuit blanche,” which means you’ve stayed up all night or pulled an “all-nighter.” (Studying, no doubt!) But in Paris in autumn, Nuit Blanche has a greater meaning.
In mid-September, signs go up everywhere reminding people that the annual “Nuit Blanche” is approaching. This refers to a night in early October where Paris turns into an all-night arts festival. Scores of museums, galleries, theaters and public spaces remain open all night, giving people a unique view of the city at night and opportunity to interact with Parisian spaces differently.
Nuit Blanche 2015 takes place on samedi 3 octobre.
In mid-November, you’ll likely see these words written in large swooping letters in the windows of numerous wine shops and cafés throughout Paris. Who’s here? The annual arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau, of course.
Every year, on the third Thursday of November at precisely one minute after midnight, the nationwide celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau wine begins. Beaujolais Nouveau is a very young wine, only six or seven weeks old, made of Gamay grapes. Traditionally, it was a vin ordinaire (a simple table wine) drank in Beaujolais to celebrate the end of les vendanges. Since the 1970’s, however, it has become a commercial and marketing sensation. Wine-lovers now celebrate this first wine of the season all around the world.
What are some of your favorite French autumn words and phrases? Share with us below!
These days in Paris, we’re experiencing une canicule (a heatwave). If you weren’t already thinking of heading à la plage (to the beach) for a refreshing getaway, you probably are now!
France has thousands of lovely beaches, from the sweeping golden shores found on the Atlantic Coast in places such as Bretagne (Brittany), Normandie (Normandy) and Biarritz, to the hidden coves and sparkling turquoise waters of la Mediterranée (the Mediterranean) in the South of France. The stunning island of Corse (Corsica) also offers extraordinary white sand beaches, and you’ll find amazing, plages sauvages (wild/unspoiled beaches) in the Poitou-Charente region.
If you’re really desperate for some sand-time but can’t leave Paris, there’s always Paris plage, an artificial beach created for one month every summer in the city center. This beach, which runs along the Seine, has several tons of imported sable (sand), chaises longues (beach chairs) and palmiers (palm trees), ice-cream stands, live music, and plenty of other activities. Although you’re not going to think yourself swept away to a beach in Cannes, it’s definitely worth a visit.
French Beach Attire
If you’re going to French beach for the first time, you should there are a few things you should know – mainly about attire. Depending on where you are from, it may surprise you to see men of every age wearing tiny Speedos, and women of every age wearing tiny bikinis, and small children wearing nothing at all. In France, the body isn’t something to be hidden away in shame. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear as little as possible.
Which brings me to plages naturistes (nude beaches). You may have heard about France’s nude beaches, and it’s true that they are plentiful here. But that doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable for adults to run around tout nu (fully naked) any beach they choose. If you want to get naked on a beach, here a few tips:
French Beach Vocabulary
And now, here are some beach words that may come in handy during your vacances balnéaires (beach vacation).
La sable – the sand
Les lunettes de soleil – the sunglasses
La serviette de plage – the beach towel
Le parasol –beach umbrella
La crème solaire – the sunscreen
Le maillot de bain – the swimsuit
Coup de soleil – sunburn
Le château de sable – the sandcastle
La pelle – the shovel
Le râteau – the rake
Le seau – the bucket
L’eau – the water
La vague – the wave
Le courant – the current
La marée haute –high tide
La marée basse –low tide
Un poisson – a fish
Une étoile de mer – a starfish
Une algue – algae
Un coquillage – a seashell
Une mouette (a seagulls)
A few useful verbs
Nager – to swim
Plonger – to dive
Prendre un bain de soleil – to sunbathe
Faire un pique-nique – to have a picnic
Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle
Will you be going to a French beach this summer? Where will you go? Share with us below!
How quickly the year is passing! Another July 14th is just around the corner. You may know it as Bastille Day, but here in France, it’s called “La Fête Nationale” or “le quatorze juillet.”
What’s it all about? Simply put, it’s the date that marks the start of la Révolution française (the French Revolution) and represents the day on which France won her independence from the unchecked and absolute power of the monarchy.
In the 1700s, France was divided into three social classes, known as “États” (estates): the first estate was le clergé (the clergy); the second estate was la noblesse (the nobility), and the Third Estate was everybody else. While the third estate did consist partially of the bourgeoisie (middle class), its largest component was the poorest of society, known sometimes as sans-culottes (without britches).
Although the first two estates made up about 3% of the entire population, they were disproportionally wealthy, privileged and powerful, and subjected the vulnerable people of the Tiers État (Third Estate) to harsh and arbitrary laws.
By 1789, the country was mired in a severe crise économique (economic crisis) and many among Third Estate were fighting starvation, while the other two estates thrived. Ras-le-bol (fed up), the leaders of the Tiers État created a new assembly to write a constitution, very much against the wishes of King Louis XVI.
On 14 juillet 1789, a mob in Paris, spurred by rumors that Louis XVI planned to use force to destabilize the new assembly, stormed the immense stone prison la Bastille, killing numerous guards and releasing the seven prisonniers politiques (political prisoners) it held. The storming of Bastille gave heart to the masses as the Bastille was viewed as the ultimate symbol of the monarchy’s absolute power. That very night hundreds of people began to tear down the Bastille, stone by stone.
Just over a month later, on 26 août 1789, the new assembly voted for the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens), a constitution that set out the individual and collective rights of all French people, regardless of social class.
And so la République française was born.
Le quatorze juillet has been a jour férié (national holiday) since 1790. And in Paris it brings quite the doozy of a celebration.
In the morning, an enormous défilé militaire (military parade) struts down the Champs-Elysées to salute le Président de la République (President of the Republic) and other high-ranking French politicians who greet the procession at the Place de la Concorde. Low-flying military jets roar overhead in a spectacular flyby, the tri-colors of the le drapeau français (the French flag) trailing behind them in clouds of smoke. Of course, everyone sings l’hymne national (the national anthem), la Marseillaise.
When night falls, thousands of people swarm toward the beautifully-lit Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) to watch the feu d’artifice (fireworks), which burst into life just behind the legendary tower. Those not at the Eiffel Tower might be dancing the night away at the exhilarating bal des pompiers (Firemen’s Ball). These balls – hardly formal events – take place in firehouses all over Paris and are open to the public, usually with just a suggested donation.
Sounds good, non? Come to Paris and celebrate with us! Bonne fête!
Will you be in Paris for le 14 juillet? How will you celebrate? Share with us (in French, if you like) below!
The French – Parisians, in particular – have a reputation for being rude. But the behavior that foreigners perceive as rudeness is often the result of a cultural misunderstanding. France has its own standards of politeness and these may differ from those of your home country. In fact, when a Parisian seems rude, he or she might actually be reacting to a perceived rudeness on your part, even though in your eyes you’ve acted perfectly normally.
To avoid any such misunderstandings – and experience the best side of Parisians – learn the following 7 French phrases before visiting Paris. These phrases will show that you’re polite, respectful and have some understanding of French culture. In return, we think you’ll come to see that Parisians are much more friendly than they’re reputed to be!
Seems obvious, right? But many people don’t realize that “bonjour” is probably the most important phrase in the French language. In France, you should say bonjour to whenever you enter a store, restaurant, elevator, or bus (to the driver; whenever you start a conversation with a stranger (i.e., asking for direction, asking for help at a store), or when you encounter a neighbor or hotel staff. For extra points, you can say: Bonjour Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle.
Pronunciation: Ex-kue-zay / mwa /duh /voo /dey-rahn-zhay
If you’re asking a question or making a request of a stranger, preface your request with this phrase. Use especially if the person is engaged in another activity at the time of your request, such as talking to someone, reading, etc. You would not use this phrase with waitstaff or a salesperson at a store. In those cases you would simply say: “Excusez-moi…”
Pronunciation: Say /trehay / zhawn-tee / mare-si
Use this phrase when someone does something especially nice for you. This may include giving you directions on the street, helping you (or offering to help) in some way, or giving you a compliment.
Pronunciation: Pahr-lay /voo / anhn-glay?
Want to get on a Parisian’s bad side? Start yammering away in English before asking whether or not he or she speaks the language. You’re in France. The national language is French. It’s what’s taught in schools. It’s what spoken at home. Many Parisians do speak English, but not everyone does. And of those that do speak English, not everyone speaks it very well. So, even if you feel in your bones that the person speaks English, just be polite and ask first. If you show this courtesy, you’re likely to get a warmer, more thoughtful response to your query.
Pronunciation: Deh-zo-ley / zhe /nuh /pahrl /pa/ frahn-say /(treh bee-ahn).
Another way of getting into a Parisian’s good graces is by apologizing for not being able to speak French very well. The French do not expect the entire world to speak the language. Still, it’s nice to hear someone making the effort to speak it and apologizing for not being able to do more.
Pronunciation: Poo-vey /voo /muh /dear /oo /ay…
If you need help in a store or on the street, this phrase will certainly come in handy. Of course, you’ll need to fill in the blank with the name of the place or street you’re looking for. And it’s almost always a good idea to preface the phrase with “Excusez-moi…”.
Pronunciation: Say /et-tay /treh /bohn.
Get that Parisian waiter to smile by complimenting the fine meal you’ve had (if it’s deserving, of course!). Often after you’ve eaten, your server might say: “Ça a été?” meaning “How was it?” If you liked it, deliver your compliments in French and with a smile. Remember that “bon” is always used for food, never “bien”.
Is there a French phrase you’d like to use during your trip to France, but don’t know how to express it? Ask us in the comments below and we’ll get back to you!
Looking for a job in France? If so, it’s never too early to start preparing for the job interview.
In France, as in most countries, the job interview (entretien d’embauche) is a critical opportunity to showcase your strengths and it is often the deciding factor as to whether you will win the position.
Creating a Good Impression in a French Job Interview
When it comes to making a good impression, certain things are universal. In France, just as elsewhere, it is of utmost importance that you arrive on time, that you are well-groomed and appropriately dressed, and that you’re are adequately prepared to discuss your qualifications.
That said, certain cultural issues and sensitivities can arise in the French interview context that non-French job seekers may not be aware of. Anyone applying for a job in France should get familiar with these cultural quirks before the interview or risk sending a career-killing message to potential employer.
French Job Interview Language
No matter your industry, there are several phrases that you can reasonably anticipate hearing in a French job interview. Get familiar with these 12 phrases and prepare your responses accordingly.
• Parlez-moi de vous.
(Tell me about yourself).
(Why are you interested in this position?)
• Pourquoi voulez-vous travailler dans notre entreprise?
(Why do you want to work for our company?)
• Que savez-vous de notre société?
(What do you know of our company?)
• Quelle est votre parcours professionelle?
(What is your work history?)
• Quelle expérience avez-vous dans ce domaine?
(What is your experience in this field?)
• Pourquoi pensez-vous que nous devrions vous embaucher?
(Why do you think we should we hire you?)
• Quelles langues parlez-vous?
(What languages do you speak?)
• Quel est votre niveau d’aisance en anglais ou allemand?
(What is your fluency level in English or German?)
• Quels sont vos objectifs de carrière?
(What are your career objectives?)
• A combien s’élevait votre ancien salaire?
(What was your former salary?)
• Quelles sont vos prétentions salariales?
(What do you expect your new salary to be?)
• Quand êtes-vous disponsible pour commencer?
(When are you available to start?)
Would you like to have a private French lesson in Paris to help you prepare for a French job interview? Contact us! We will design a special course tailored to your needs and industry.