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Bastille Day: Background & Vocabulary

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.

7 Polite French Phrases to Learn before Visiting Paris

The French – Parisians, in particular – have a reputation for being rude. But the behavior that foreigners perceive as rudeness is often the result of cultural misunderstandings. To avoid any such misunderstandings, learn the following 7 French phrases before visiting Paris. With these phrases at the ready, we think you’ll see that Parisians are much more friendly than they’re reputed to be!

Café Talk: 12 French Phrases for Hanging Out in a Parisian Café

Ah, il fait si beau! This spring Paris is flirting with all of us by offering days of golden sun, bright blue skies and breezes as gentle as a caress. This is perfect weather to sit at a café terrace with a glass of rosé and watch the world go by. If you plan on spending time in a Parisian café, here are some handy words, phrases and other tips to make this classic Parisian pastime even more enjoyable!

It’s La Chandeleur: Serve up the crêpes!

Crêpe-lovers rejoice! Today is La Chandeleur (Candlemas), which means crêpes!  Many French families will have a massive crêpe-making session tonight, school cafeterias will serve these thin pancakes to children, and while strolling through the market, you may suddenly find a warm, freshly-made crêpe thrust into your hand – for free! Keep reading to find out …

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Galette des Rois: A Sweet French Tradition

You thought the French food fest was over now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve was behind us? Think again. With the arrival of January comes a national obsession with the galette des rois – the “king cake.” If you’re in France, you’ve probably noticed this scrumptious-looking cake, usually topped with a golden paper crown, …

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Holiday Gift-Giving Etiquette in France: Les Étrennes

Do you find French gift-giving etiquette confusing?  You’re not alone. When you’re new to France  – or even if you’ve been here awhile –  it can be hard to figure out whom to gift and what’s appropriate to give. You’ve got your concierge or gardienne to think about… your kid’s school teachers…the nounou… and what …

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