Success! How FAYLI Made A Difference in This Expat's Life

 

We are excited to share the French language success story of one of our students, James. James, who hails from Australia, arrived in Paris in 2014, unable to handle basic transactions in French or hold a conversation. But thanks to FAYLI that has changed…

 

My wife Lily and I moved to Paris from New York City in August 2014 after my wife received a job transfer.   Lily is Parisian and her family is here, so it felt like a good move for us…except that I spoke hardly any French.

Why I chose French Lessons with French As You Like It

As part of my wife’s transfer, I was entitled to have a year’s worth of French lessons. So, when we arrived, I started Googling “private French lessons in Paris” and came up with FAYLI. The structure of the classes and flexibility appealed to me, so I signed up for trial lesson to see what it was like. And I thought it was great!

After my trial lesson, I learned that my wife’s company only paid for lessons with one specific French language school, not FAYLI.   But I enjoyed my trial lesson with FAYLI so much – and the teacher that I had worked with, Blandine – that I decided to go ahead and continue taking lessons with them. Now I study both with FAYLI and the other organization, even though I pay for FAYLI lessons on my own.

What I Like Best About My FAYLI Lessons

My lessons with Blandine are mainly conversational, which is perfect for me. We spend a good chunk of the lesson talking about our respective weeks. This is probably my favorite part of the lesson, as one of my main goals is to improve my conversational skills. She’s extremely patient with me, which I appreciate since I don’t have a lot of time to study outside of class and forget some of the things we discuss.

I also like that Blandine writes down any concepts or words I’m having trouble with during the lesson on a separate sheet of paper. It’s helpful because I can file these papers and use them for revision. That was one thing that made me decide that I wanted to pay for lessons with her even though I had the free ones.

How I’ve benefited from lessons with FAYLI

Thanks to my lessons with FAYLI, I’m definitely progressing, although only now am I beginning to get any real speed in my learning. That’s because when I first started my lessons, I was overwhelmed with the move, having a new job and living in a new country. But I see myself reaching my goal to be conversant within the next year or two.

Already, I’ve been happy to engage in some decent conversations in French at parties with my wife’s friends. And now I can handle myself around in Paris so much better!

For example, when we first arrived, my poor wife had to handle all the red tape and administration of the move to Paris. I couldn’t help at all. But recently, we had some important things we needed to send by post and I was able to communicate fully in French all the things we needed to the post office workers. I was so proud to successfully navigate that transaction. I couldn’t have done that last year. I’ve definitely got more confidence speaking in public because of my lessons with FAYLI.

Why I recommend lessons with FAYLI
French As You Like It is a great class, especially if you want something tailored to your needs and schedule. Out of all the places I investigated, French As You Like It seemed the most willing to suit your timetable. They’ll even go to your apartment. I definitely recommend it for someone who needs flexibility with work or family life.

Also, it’s more personal than other schools. With FAYLI, I always work with Blandine. I can tell her my needs and she can monitor my progress. It’s all tailored for me. 

I really like that.

Want to take a private French class tailored just for you?  Contact us today!

 

 

 


Success Story! Former Student Liam Connell Shares His Tale

 

We are delighted to share the success story of one of our former students, Liam Connell. Liam, a retired trader living in Chicago, took private French lessons in Paris twice a week with French As You Like It at the beginning of 2013.  It thrills us that he found his lessons so enjoyable and beneficial, and that, as he says: “Thanks to French As You Like It, I felt like a Parisian instead of a tourist.”   Here’s Liam’s story! 

At the beginning of 2013, I spent three months in Paris with my wife and 18-year old daughter. I was excited about to this trip for many reasons but in particular, I was looking forward to learning to speak French.  I’d learned French in school some 34 years before and could read and write in French proficiently, but I couldn’t really converse in it.

Why I Chose Lessons with French As You Like It

As soon as I arrived in the city, I started researching French tutoring programs in Paris. I called numerous schools and programs but I was by far most impressed with Marguerite and French As You Like It.  During our initial phone call, Marguerite and I had a really intelligent conversation – in French – about what I wanted out of the lessons. She demonstrated a genuine interest in my goals and commitment to achieving them that I just didn’t sense in the other schools I’d spoken with.  I knew then that I wanted to take lessons with FAYLI.

What My Lessons Were Like

Shortly after that conversation, I began taking lessons twice a week with both Marguerite and Marion. Marguerite knew that I didn’t want lessons in grammar, as I already had a grasp of that. What I wanted was to practice having conversations in French about French politics and culture, which is just what we did and I greatly enjoyed.

Marguerite was good at ensuring I was not lazy in my pronunciation, and even made me translate my verbal tics into French ones. (I would say “so….” and she would correct me with “donc…”!) It was quite amusing in the way she would keep me focused – sometimes by tapping me lightly on the head with her pencil every time I made a repeated mistake!

I was also interested in learning common phrases and sayings that a French person would say, and Marion spent a lot of time working with me on those. Learning these phrases helped me to sound more Parisian and gain confidence when in French conversations.

How I Benefited From French As You Like It

It was really important to me to feel that I fit into Paris. Thanks to FAYLI, I felt like a Parisian instead of a tourist. My teachers made me feel more confident and relaxed.  I had great and funny conversations with shopkeepers, taxi drivers and people I met in cafés and on the public tennis courts. I also was able to understand the current affair TV programs that were on every TV channel every night. I became part of the community that endlessly analyzed the French malaise! 

Why I Recommend French Lessons with FAYLI

Learning another language is a major commitment. Use every resource to immerse yourself in the French language. There are many resources, particularly online, to help you do that. But nothing can replace the need to practice speaking, listening and understanding French. FAYLI is the best resource I know for helping in this regard.

If you’re interested in taking French lessons with FAYLI, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help you achieve your dreams of speaking French!


How to have fun and learn French in Paris this summer

Empty Parisian cafés. No queues at the bakers. An unusual sense of calm.

This can only mean one thing. It’s summer in Paris!

Image of Paris Plage

If you’re living in Paris or just visiting, this means peace, quiet and sunshine (hopefully) from mid-July to the end of August, more or less in line with the French school holidays.

Rather than joining the fleeing Parisians in search of golden beaches, shady mountains and a change of scene, we highly recommend sticking around for summer in Paris. It’s the perfect opportunity to improve your language skills with al fresco French lessons whilst sunbathing, drinking apéros or watching a film!

1.)    FRENCH LESSONS AT PARIS PLAGE

Where: Along the Seine near Hotel de Ville and at the Bassin de la Villette

When: 20th July to 18th August

The cars and lorries are replaced by sand, deck chairs and sprinklers, and at La Villette there are even pedalos and pétanque – a southern French version of bowling that is often accompanied by generous doses of Pastis (aniseed liquor) or rosé wine. It’s the perfect place to have fun and learn French in the sun with your French friends, or why not strike up conversation with a neighbouring sunbather?

Useful beach vocabulary:

Beach: la plage

Beach umbrella: parasol

Deckchair: un transat

Sand: le sable

Go for a swim: se baigner

Is this deckchair free? Ce transat, il est disponible?

Where are you going on holiday this summer? Vous partez où en vacances cet été?

The weather is lovely isn’t it? Il fait un temps magnifique, non?

 

Image of the Parc de la Villette

 

2.)    FRENCH LESSONS AT THE OPEN AIR CINEMA

Where: La Villette,metro Porte de Pantin

When: Wednesday to Sunday, 23rd July to 24th August 2014

Come summer, cinema spills out into the streets. Yes, that’s right, Parisians put up temporary cinemas in public squares and parks. La Villette sets up screen for a month of movies from all over the world. Films are showed from Wednesday to Sunday and deck chairs can be hired. It’s a perfect way to spend a sunny summer evening with a pre-film picnic, before practising your French listening skills.

Useful cinema vocabulary:

Cinema: le cinema (le ciné)

Screen: l’écran

A screenplay: scénario

Filmaker: réalisateur

Main actor: l’acteur principal

Horror film: film d’horreur

A thriller: un film policier, un polard (familiar)

Comedy film: une comédie

Action film: un film d’action

What did you think of the film? Qu’est-ce que tu as pensé du film?

What time does the film start? A quelle heure commence le film?

3.)    FRENCH LESSONS ON ILE SAINT LOUIS AND ITS FAMOUS ICE CREAM

There’s nothing like an idle stroll along the Seine to the Ile Saint Louis. This island is full of beautiful mansions, chic shops and mostly importantly the famous Berthillon ice cream makers. Here’s how to make sure you get the glace you want!

Useful ice cream vocab:

Icecream: la glace

Flavour: un parfum

Cone: un cornet

Scoop: une boule

I’d like two scoops of strawberry ice cream in a cone, please

J’aimerais deux boules de glace aux fraises en cornet, s’il vous plait

Hopefully you’ve found plenty of inspiration to learn French in Paris this summer? Why not test out our tailored French courses to give yourself boost?

Have a great summer!


A French Lesson over Tea at the Grand Mosque of Paris

Grand Mosque of Paris2The largest mosque in France and the third largest in Europe, the Grand Mosque de Paris is located in the 5th arrondissement just around the corner from Le Jardin des Plantes. The beautiful pink marble mosque was built between 1922 and 1926 to honor the soldiers from the French colonies who had helped France during WWI. During WWII, the mosque was a secret refuge for Jews and escaped prisoners of war. Originally sponsored by the king of Morocco, today it is a place of worship for France’s Algerian-dominated Muslim population.

Location: 2, bis place du puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris
Transportation:  metros lines 7 and 10 at station Jussieu and line 7 at Place Monge
Hours: Open Mon, Wed-Thu, and Sat from 10 am – 9 pm and Fri 2 pm – 9 pm; the café is open 12pm to 3pm and for dinner 7pm to 10:30pm
Website: www.mosquee-de-paris.org

teaThe Grand Mosque of Paris is known for having a beautiful hamman, where Parisian women of all shapes, ages, and colors are scrubbed and messaged.  It is also famous for its traditional North African cafe and tearoom, which may be a better setting for our French class. With cedar wood from Algeria, green tiles from Morocco earthenware from Tunisia, lots of cushions around to sit on, and wonderful traditional pastries and mint teas, the café is a popular gathering place for students.

Here is a short text in French to get you started for your lesson. Why not start by hearing it read to you? Click below to listen!

 La Grande Mosquée de Paris a été édifiée pour rendre hommage aux dizaines de milliers de soldats musulmans morts pour la France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Elle a été inaugurée en 1926.

Construite aux frais de l’État, elle est financée actuellement en grande partie par l’Algérie.

Les musulmans :

Avec environ 5 millions de musulmans, l’islam est la deuxième religion en France, après le catholicisme qui compte environ 40 millions de fidèles.

La première génération de musulmans, aujourd’hui retraitée, a gardé de forts liens avec son pays, où sa famille est souvent restée vivre. En 1974, le gouvernement s’est prononcé en faveur du regroupement familial, et les enfants et les femmes ont pu venir vivre en France. Beaucoup d’entre eux ont demandé la nationalité française à cette époque.

La situation est différente pour la seconde génération, constituée de musulmans nés en France, et donc citoyens français par le droit du sol. Certains ont peu d’intérêt à connaître leur pays d’origine, avec lequel ils ont conservé peu d’attaches. Ils se sentent souvent comme des immigrants, alors qu’ils n’ont qu’une connaissance très vague du pays de leurs ancêtres et sont de nationalité française.

(aux frais de l’état : at the governement’s expenses; retraité : retired ; prononcé en faveur de : to be favorable to ; une attache : a bound)

Interested in starting French lessons? Call +33 (0)6 66 10 53 64 or contact us at info@frenchasyoulikeit.com.

Photos by Gérard Ducher and the blog opistachio.


Private French Classes at the Jardin des Tuileries

Paris is our classroom! Call or contact us to organize lessons at the Jardin des Tuileries and other parks around Paris.

Jardin des Tuileries ChairAutumn arrived early in Paris this year. The leaves on the trees are already changing colors, the days are getting shorter, and the weather has already started to cool.   Before winter arrives and our French lessons have to move indoors, why not spend a few classes exploring the beautiful parks of Paris.

The Jardin des Tuileries is a centrally located, beautiful garden, and it is a great place to start a tour of Parisian parks. The classic green chairs scattered around the ponds and alleyways are ideal for a casual conversation in French with your teacher and a table at one of the four cafes within the park is perfect for more intense review of French conjugation and grammar.

For history buffs, this park has plenty of stories to build a lesson around. Did you know the park was created in 1564 by Catherine de Medicis and modeled after the gardens in her native Florence? The Jardin des Tuileries is also the first public park in Paris. At the request of Charles Perrault, the author of Sleeping Beauty and other famous fairy tales, King Louis XIV opened the park to everyone, except beggars, vagabonds, and soldiers in 1667. During the French Revolution, a portion of the park was given to Marie Antoinette for her private use.  Later during the liberation of Paris in 1944, there was considerable fighting in the park. Really, this park has played a part in French history for over 450 years.

Jardin des Tuileries1For art lovers, the park has been the setting for many paintings and houses numerous famous sculptures. In the late 1800s, French Impressionist painters, such as Edward Manet and Camille Pissarro, would often be found painting in the park.

Along with the 18th or 19th century classical sculptures, the park is full of contemporary works by Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Louise Bourgeois, and Roy Lichtenstein. The hardest part of your French lesson might be which sculpture to chose to sit by and discuss during your class!

For architecture enthusiasts, there is the musée du Louvre at the far end of the park to discuss. To get you started, here is a short text in French about the building:

Le musée du Louvre est l’un des plus anciens musées, le troisième plus grand au monde et le plus grand musée parisien de par sa surface. Le bâtiment est un ancien palais royal.

Le Louvre possède une longue histoire de conservation artistique et historique de la France. À l’origine du Louvre il y a un château fort, la Grosse tour du Louvre, érigé par le roi Philippe Auguste, en 1190. L’une de ses principales missions est la surveillance de  la Seine, qui constitue l’une des voies traditionnelles des invasions.

La Grosse tour est détruite en 1528 quand François Ier commence la longue transformation de la forteresse en résidence royale luxueuse. Ceci est interrompu lorsque Louis XIV choisit Versailles comme centre du pouvoir et résidence royale en 1678. Le Louvre reste alors longtemps tel quel.

L’idée de transformer le Louvre en musée prend naissance sous Louis XV. Elle aboutira pendant la Révolution.  Le 10 août 1793 a lieu l’inauguration du nouveau musée. Sous l’Empire, le Louvre prend le nom de musée Napoléon.

Mais en 1871 le musée est incendié lors de la Commune, et l’architecte Hector-Martin Lefuel doit reconstruire une partie des bâtiments. Les Tuileries ne seront jamais reconstruites.

(un château fort : fortified castle ;  ériger : to erect; une surveillance: look out ; une forteresse :  fortress ; tel quel : as such ; avoir lieu : to take place )

Location: Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
Transportation:  metros lines 1, 8, and 12 at Concorde and metro line 1 at Tuileries
Hours: 7am to 9pm in April, May, and Sept; 7:30am to 7:30pm October through March; 7am to 11pm in June, July and August.
Admission fees: free

Photo of chair in the Jardin des Tuileries is by Daxis

 


A French Lesson on the Little Mouse

mouse2You have probably already heard that flying bells bring chocolate to small children at Easter. Here’s another French myth that may surprise you. There is no tooth fairy in France. Instead, it is a small mouse (la petite souris) that sneaks into children’s bedrooms when they lose their baby teeth. Eck!

A small mouse is believed to quietly enter your house while you sleep, rolling a coin (or perhaps carries a bill for extra lucky children) as she goes. Eventually she will reach your bed, get herself under your pillow, and leave the money in exchange for your tooth. While Spanish speakers may not find this story much different from their own little mouse, Ratoncito Pérez, for Anglophones it can be a little hard to believe. Go ahead and ask your French friends… Where you scared to have a mouse get into your bed? Did you worry about your cat eating la petite souris? Did you remove your mousetraps the night you lost a tooth? But don’t be surprised when they laugh and shrug.

MouseNo one knows exactly where the myth of la petite souris originated, but it is believed that she may come from a 17th century French fairy tale by Baroness d’Aulnoy. The story is called, The Good Little Mouse (La Bonne Petite Souris) and is about a fairy who turns into a mouse to helps a queen defeat an evil king. The fairy mouse hides under the kings pillow and takes all his teeth while he sleeps.

Cick here to read the entire story in French.

We often provide cultural coaching along with language lessons to our students. Together we can discuss and explain the little differences between Anglophone and French culture and make everyday life a little easier.

Interested in learning more about French culture and traditions while improving your language skills? Call or contact us here to organize private French lessons in Paris.

Illustration by Delphine Doreau and drawing from the “La bonne petite souris.”


The Perfect Picnic Starts at L'Epicerie du Bon Marché

picnicSummertime is a beautiful time of the year for a picnic in Paris. Whether it is a romantic dinner along the Seine or a family lunch on the Champ de Mars, picnicking in Paris is an easy and relaxing way to enjoy the city. For the picnic food, check out L’Epicerie du Bon Marché. It is directly across the street from Le Bon Marché, where we had our last lesson.

Location: 38 rue de Sèvres, 75007
Transportation:  metros lines 10 and 12 at Sèvres-Babylone
Hours: Open 8:30am to 9pm Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday
Website: www.lagrandeepicerie.com

EBM3

From prepared gourmet sandwiches to rainbow-colored piles of macaroons, L’Epicerie du Bon Marché is a super market like no other. Here’s the place to come to organize a sophisticated and chic meal or for ex-pats missing home, it is the place to find popular foods from all over the world that are impossible to find everywhere else in Paris. (Pop-tarts anyone?) Be prepared to lose yourself for hour gazing at all the spices, fresh vegetables, honeys, cheeses, fish, chocolates, jams…

It is a great place for a French lesson too since all these items come in different flavors and colors and have different ways of being prepared. To get you started here is a short text in French:EBM5

 Voyagez ! L’Epicerie du Bon Marché propose plus de 30,000 produits différents, sélectionnés aux quatre coins du monde.

Une bouteille introuvable d’eau minérale du pays de Galles, les confitures d’un artisan français, l’exquise sauce tomate d’un petit fabricant napolitain ! Près de 2000 flacons, un choix inégalé de Bordeaux et une ouverture sur les vins du monde.

 Au cœur du magasin se trouve un véritable marché de produits frais. Il est alimenté quotidiennement avec les meilleurs fruits et légumes. On y trouve plus de 200 fromages en provenance de France et de l’étranger.

 (un fournisseur : supplier; un libre accès : unrestricted access ; rivaliser : to compete; se démocratiser : to become more accessible;introuvable : unobtainable; un produit frais : dairy product ; en provenance de : coming from )

 Ready to start improving your French by learning all the flavors of those macaroons or the names of each of the fish? Contact is now and we’d be happy to get started!

Photos from Caroline Plyler and L’Epicerie du Bon Marché.


French Lesson at Hôtel de Ville in the Paris 4th

HotelVilleParis

SpeakerIcon

Click to listen to the French lesson on the Hôtel de Ville.

Location: 29 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris, France

Transportation:  metros lines 1 and 11 at Hôtel de Ville

Hours: Open 8:30am to 5pm Mon, Tues, Wed, and Fri; 8am to 7:30pm Thurs; 8:30 to 5pm Sat and closed Sun (reservations required one week in advance)

Admission fees: free

After your class at the BHV, continue exploring the nearby neighborhood with a French lesson at the Hôtel de Ville, the Town Hall for the City of Paris since 1357.

The maison aux piliers or house of pillars was erected on the site in 1357 as the city’s administrative headquarters. In 1533, King Francis I had the structure torn down and commissioned a larger, more elaborate building in the style of the Renaissance. This building was destroyed by fire during the Paris Commune or Fourth French Revolution. The current building, which you see today, was built between 1873 and 1892 and incorporates the original stone shell that survived the fire. The Hôtel de Ville’s façade is decorated with 108 statues, representing famous Parisians and thirty statues represent French cities.

Today the Hôtel de Ville houses the offices of the Mayor and city council of Paris. In addition to its administrative functions, it also offers regular art exhibits free to the public.

To help you prepare for your visit to the Hôtel de Ville, here is a short French text and vocabulary list:

Étienne Marcel fait l’acquisition de la « maison des piliers » au nom de la municipalité en juillet 1357. C’est là que, depuis lors, se dresse le centre des institutions municipales de Paris.

Hotel_de_Ville_Paris_Hoffbauer_1583La « maison des piliers » est remplacée au XVIe siècle par un véritable palais style renaissance dessiné par l’architecte italien Boccador. Sa construction, interrompue par les guerres de religion, débute en 1533 et s’achève en 1628.

L’incendie allumé par les Communards en mai 1871 réduit le palais en cendres. Le bâtiment est reconstruit entre 1874 et 1882. La façade, de style renaissance, s’inspire largement de celle du bâtiment disparu.

La place de Grève, rebaptisée place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville 1803, a souvent été le point de ralliement d’émeutiers, insurgés et révolutionnaires : La place de Grève sous la Révolution où est utilisée pour la première fois la guillotine.

Les ouvriers sans travail vont prendre l’habitude de s’y regrouper à l’aube à la recherche d’un employeur. Il s’agissait d’une main-d’œuvre sous-qualifiée et instable qui échappait au système des métiers réglés. Ainsi, la place de Grève est à l’origine du mot “gréviste”.

 (un pilier : a pillar ; municipal : local ; achever : to end; une cendre : ash ; un émeutier : rioter ; une guillotine : guillotine ; une aube : dawn ; s’agir : to be about ; une main d’œuvre : work force)

Interested in private French lessons in Paris? Call or contact us to organize a lesson at the Hôtel de Ville or at another site “off the beaten path.”


Private French Lesson at the BHV in Paris

Paris-Perfect-Montmartre-Vacation-Rental-Living-Room
Photograph by Paris Perfect, luxury Paris apartment rentals.

We’ve helped you buy a refrigerator for your dream Parisian pied-à-terre. Now suppose next you want to hang a picture or add a bookcase to one of the walls, you are going to feel rather silly pantomiming screwdriver (un tournevis) at your neighborhood hardware store. A French lesson at the Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville or the BHV, as Parisians call it, can help you avoid this embarrassment!

The second oldest of the grands magasins, the BHV has an extensive hardware and home improvement section in the basement.

Location: 52-64, rue de Rivoli, 75001

Transportation:  metros lines 1 and 11 at Hôtel de Ville

Hours: Open 9:30am to 7:00pm and Wednesdays until 10:00pm

Website: http://www.bhv.fr/

BHVTo get you ready for your trip to the BHV, here is a history of the department store in French:

C’est en 1852 que Xavier Ruel, quincaillier entreprenant, vient tenter sa chance à Paris et s’installe dans le quartier de l’Hôtel de Ville. Il rachète un stock de sous-vêtements et ouvre un magasin rue de Rivoli.

En 1901, le Bazar commence à vendre de la Mode mais reste fidèle aux comptoirs à prix fixe qui ont fait sa réussite. Le personnel bénéficie d’un jour de congé tous les dix jours.

Le développement du BHV ne s’exprime pas seulement en termes de surface de vente. L’offre de la Nouveauté va être considérablement élargie et va se développer dans tous les magasins : à partir des années 70, le BHV va orienter sa stratégie en fonction des nouveaux besoins des clients : des magasins spécialisés dans le bricolage et la décoration voient le jour.

Click here to listen to the text and vocabulary list read in French. SpeakerIcon

un quincaillier : hardware store owner ;tenter sa chance :  take a chance ; un sous vêtement : underwear ;  fidèle : faithful ; un service clientèle : a customer service; le bricolage : handy work )

For your shelf (étagère) project, here is a list of vocabulary words to get you started and to review with your French tutor:

une perceuse – drill; un  fôret – drill bit; une cheville – expanding wall lug or anchor; une vis – screw; un niveau – level; un tournevis – screwdriver; un mur – wall; le béton – concrete; le plâtre – plaster; la brique – brick; la pierre – stone; un escabeau – step ladder; une échelle – ladder.

Ready to make that pied-à-terre in Paris happen? Start by booking a series of lessons to learn how to speak about and purchase French appliances, furniture, homeware, house plants, and hardware. Call +33 (0)6 66 10 53 64 or contact us at info@frenchasyoulikeit.com.


Learning French at L'Eglise de la Madeleine in the Paris 8th

French lesson at Madeleine_ParisAfter your shopping lesson at Darty, explore the nearby neighborhood with a French lesson at the Eglise de la Madeleine.

SpeakerIconClick to listen to the French lesson!

Location: Place de la Madeleine

Transportation:  metros lines 8, 12, and 14 at Madeleine

Hours: Open 8:30am to 6pm

Admission fees: free

Website: http://www.eglise-lamadeleine.com/

The location has been a site of worship for centuries. The first Catholic Church was built here in 1182 when a French bishop seized the existing synagogue and consecrated a church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. The current structure was designed as a temple to the glory of Napoleon’s army and after many false starts and disputes it was finally completed in 1842.

The church is built in a Neo-Classical style inspired by Roman temples. Fifty-two 20-meter or 66-foot Corinthian columns surround the building. Along with a pediment depicting the Last Judgment. The inside, the church has a single nave and three domes. Behind the altar is an imposing statue depicting the ascension of Mary Magdalene.

French lesson La_madeleine_paris_interiorThough this impressive structure attracts around 600,000 visitors every year, it is much quieter than the more popular tourists sites in Paris and is an excellent location for an individual French lesson. In a quiet voice, you can practice your French and discuss the site’s architecture, history, and religious art without worrying about bumping into or bothering others.

To get you ready for your visit, here is a short text and vocabulary about the church:

L’Eglise de La Madeleine a été un des éléments du projet d’extension de la capitale vers l’ouest au milieu du XVIIIe siècle. Elle est située à deux pas de la Place de la Concorde, dans un quartier commerçant de haut standing. L’église de la Madeleine est également située à proximité de la rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré qui est une des rues les plus « glamour » de Paris. Sa construction a débuté en 1794 par Contant d’Ivry. Même si à cause de la révolution les travaux ont été interrompus jusqu’en 1805, l’église de la Madeleine s’est transformée en temple d’hommages à la grande armée.

Selon les voeux de Napoléon, son architecture extérieure tient davantage du temple grec que du style religieux traditionnel, ce qui explique qu’elle soit totalement dépourvue de clocher, de croix et d’une orientation Nord-Sud. L’édifice ne sera affecté au culte qu’en 1842. L’Arc de Triomphe achevé, il devient le monument qui rend hommage aux armées. Depuis 1842, l’Eglise de la Madeleine est une église catholique. C’est surprenant pour les touristes de découvrir une église à l’intérieur de ce temple grec. Il y a souvent des concerts de musique classique. La conception intérieure de La Madeleine rappelle les volumes intérieurs des édifices antiques, notamment ceux des salles des thermes romains ; La vue lorsqu’on monte sur les marches en regardant la rue Royale, la place de la Concorde avec son obélisque, le palais Bourbon est mémorable. C’est un lieu d’accueil international.

(jusque = until ; rendre hommage à = to pay tribute to ;un vœu = a wish ; davantage = more; dépourvu de = void of; un clocher = a bell tower ; des thermes = thermal baths)

Interested in private French lessons in Paris? Call or contact us to organize a lesson here or at another site “off the beaten path.”