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Surviving French Culture!

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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When Parisians Won’t Speak French to You – How to Handle It

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when this happens? Scenario #1: You’ve just settled in at a table in a cozy Parisian bistro. In your very best French, you say to a waiter: “Puis-je avoir la carte, s’il vous plaît?”* He nods and immediately hands you an English menu. Scenario #2: You’re at the fromagerie**, preparing to …

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