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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!

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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!

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French Easter Traditions, Vocabulary and Ideas for Celebrating in Paris

Joyeuse Pâques! Bonnes Pâques! Bonnes fêtes des Pâques! You will hear these phrases everywhere in France starting from Easter Sunday (or sometimes a day or so before), and lasting the whole week. Of course, these phrases are different ways of wishing someone a Happy Easter.

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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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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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Buying Plants (& Chickens) in French at the Marché aux Fleurs

Everyone knows that a French apartment isn’t complete without geranium gushing from the windows boxes. Your French tutor has held your hand as you’ve bought new appliances for and hung pictures in your dream French apartment. Let us now take a stroll through the Marché aux Fleurs to purchase some houseplants and the great thing

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

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

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Creative Gardening in French

Click to hear the French garden vocabulary! Gardening and The Grand Palais We’re pleased to welcome Clémence Dangles from the Paris Creators Studio as a guest blogger. The Paris Creators Studio offers a selection of unusual and inventive classes for English speaking Parisians and English speaking tourists.   It’s spring time (not joking…) and what most

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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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