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FAYLI

Cultural Coaching

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!

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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Top tips to learn French at markets in Paris

Paris is a haven for bon vivants. Although there are numerous supermarkets, chain shops and fast food restaurants, markets in Paris are still very much alive, kicking and full of fresh fruit & veg. While in Paris, whether on holiday or staying for longer, we suggest making like the locals and heading over to your …

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Searching for the Best Croissant in French

France’s motto may be “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity), but trust us that égalité does not apply to croissants. That perfect croissant is both butter and flaky without being too greasy and definitely not stale. This perfection can be extremely hard to find, but worth the search. Ask any Parisian about their neighborhood and …

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Happy Friday! Here’s what we’ve been reading this week…

Great places to take teens visiting Paris! We’re sure even the most sulky teenager would have fun practicing French while “breathing in chocolate.” Here’s a few addresses to save for visiting Paris with a teenager. Have you heard about these prepaid SIM cards specifically for non-French speaking tourists? Now you have no excuse for not …

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French Health Emergencies Numbers and Key Phrases

You plan the perfect vacation to Paris and then on the second afternoon you twist your ankle getting off the bus. Or you’ve just relocated to Paris, barely know a soul, and your child wakes up with a high fever. What do you do? Don’t panic. Just make sure you know where to find a list of French emergency …

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Ten Things that Make Different Noises in French

Hear the sounds in French (opens with QuickTime Player and Windows Media Player) You may already know that some animals make different noises in French (frogs go: côa côa;  duck go: coin coin), but do you know that objects also make different sounds in French? Even you make different noises in French. Rather than going …

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Eight Tips for Surviving the French Cheese Course

  Improve your French: Listen and start learning the French Cheese Vocabulary (opens with QuickTime Player and Windows Media Player). Over 400 different kinds of cheeses are made in France and cheese is a very important part of French culture. Traditionally during a French dinner, cheese is served after the main course and before the dessert. …

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