Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter in Paris: A Cool Time To Go Local

By Rick Steves, Tribune Media Services

The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees), but if you dress in layers, you'll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.

Slow down and savor your favorite museums and monuments -- spending one-on-one time with Mona and Venus is worth the extra clothes you had to pack. Attend a cooking demonstration, take a short course in art or architecture, or dabble in a wine-tasting class. Duck into cafes to warm up and enjoy a break from sightseeing or shopping. Get on a first-name basis with the waiter at your corner cafe -- just because now you can.

One of Europe's greatest treats is strolling down the glowing Champs-Elysees in winter. From late November through mid-January, holiday lights adorn city streets, buildings, and monuments, and the Champs-Elysees beams with a dazzling display of lights on the trees that line the long boulevard. The city springs for 1,000 fresh-cut fir trees to put up and decorate around town, 300 of which ring the Rond-Point traffic circle at the lower end of the Champs-Elysees.

Parisians live to window-shop ("faire du leche vitrines" -- literally "window-licking"). Do some licking of your own along the boulevards and view the wild window displays at the grand department stores such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. The seasonal displays in neighborhood boutiques around Sevres-Babylone and in the Marais neighborhood (among other areas) are more intimate and offer a good contrast to the shows of glitz around the department stores.

If the weather is bad, scurry for cover to the shopping arcades called "passages." More than 200 of these covered shopping streets once crisscrossed Paris, providing much-needed shelter from the rain. Galerie Vivienne, a few blocks from the Louvre, is the most refined, and accessible. Passage Choiseul and Passage Ste. Anne, four blocks west of Galerie Vivienne, are fine examples of most Parisian passages, selling used books, paper products, trinkets, and snacks.

It's fun to browse through one of Paris' many English-language bookstores, where you can pick up fiction and nonfiction. My favorite is the friendly Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore in the Marais neighborhood at 22 rue St. Paul. Another is Shakespeare and Company, once a hangout for Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, at 37 rue de la Bucherie, across the river from Notre-Dame.

In winter, several ice-skating rinks open up in festive locations: in front of the Hotel de Ville (look also for a small sled run), at the base of the Montparnasse skyscraper, and in some winters, most spectacular of all -- 200 feet in the air on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. The rinks are free to use (around $7 to rent skates, open from December to March from noon into the evening), though for the Eiffel Tower rink, you have to pay the tower admission, of course.

After ice-skating, why not go for a swim? Aquaboulevard, Paris' best indoor pool/waterslide complex, is easy to reach and a timely escape from the winter scene. It's pricey and steamy, but a fun opportunity to see soaked Parisians at play.

Once you've worked up your appetite, remember that winter is the season for the hunt. In Paris you'll find game birds and venison on restaurant menus. On street corners you'll hear shouts of "Chaud les marrons!" from vendors selling chestnuts roasting on coals. Chocolatiers (including La Maison du Chocolat's five stores) and pastry shops everywhere do a bang-up business during the winter, serving traditional treats such as Epiphany cakes (flaky marzipan cakes called "galette des rois").

One of Paris' great wintertime pleasures is watching the city bustle by while you linger at an outdoor table with a "cafe creme," a "vin chaud" (hot wine), or best, a hot chocolate (simply called "chocolat" and tres popular in winter). Most cafes fire up the braziers to keep things toasty outside. Or head inside. With the new smoking laws, cafe and restaurant interiors are wonderfully free of smoke.

Paris in winter offers so much to do indoors -- museums, restaurants, and stores stay open as usual; the concert and arts season is in full bloom; and Paris belongs to the Parisians. So go local, save money, and skip the museum lines that confront peak-season travelers. There are worse ways to spend a wintry day than enjoying world-class art, architecture, and shopping during the day and lingering over a fine dinner at a cozy corner bistro in the evening. As Cole Porter put it: "I love Paris in the winter, when it drizzles."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

French Disney Moment

Pour tous les enfants (poor too layz ahn fahnt) -For all the children

Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - Her Parents Are Hippies

Ses parents sont baba cools (say pah rohnt sohn bah bah kool) -Her parents are hippies

Repeat this phrase all day long till you know it by heart.

Vocabulary breakdown:
ses parents (say pah rohnt) -her parents
sont (sohn) -are
baba cools (bah bah kool) -hippies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Favorite Johnny Hallyday Song

J'aime cette chanson (zehm seht shahn ohn) -I love this song
Ok I've posted this song a long time ago, so it's time to bring it out of the archives. For those not familiar, this is a reeeaaaallly romantic song. Enjoy

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime
du bout du coeur mais le dire quand meme
un simple mot et l`aveu d`une larme aux bords tes yeux
feront de moi un homme heureux

un jour viendra tu saura toutes ces choses
qui ont fait ma vie bien plus noire que rose
tu comprendra mes pudeurs et tous ces mots qui me font peurs
que j`ai cach come un voleur

toi, c`est le ciel qui t`a envoy
vers moi pour me rapprendre aimer
et attends, et laisse faire les jours
laisse le temps au temps et a l`amour

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et j`aimerai

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime
du bout des yeux mais le dire quand meme
dans le ciel de ton regard lire ton regard est ma victoire
un jour viendra tu m`aimera

toi, c`est la vie qui t`as envoy
vers moi qui n`ai jamais fait que passer
a cot des choses essentiels
par defit pour bruler mes ailes

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et j`aimerai

attend, laisse faire les jours
laisse le temps au temps et l`amour

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et je t`aimerai
je t`aimerai
je t`aimerai...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Le Croissant

Ok, so I'm a little hungry right now(J'ai faim un peu, maintenant-zhay fah uhn puh, mahn teh noe), & one of my favorite desserts (?) is a croissant.

Croissants are made of a leavened variant of puff pastry by layering yeast dough with butter and rolling and folding a few times in succession, then rolling. Making croissants by hand requires skill and patience; a batch of croissants can take several days to complete. However, the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed but unbaked dough has made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor. Indeed, the croissanterie was explicitly a French response to American-style fast food. This innovation, along with the croissant's versatility and distinctive shape, has made it the best-known type of French pastry in much of the world.

I am dying to see if the French croissants are (hopefully) even better than the good ones I've had here in the states.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Of The Best Places For Retirees

© Digital Vision/Getty Images

According to


Surprise: Along with the terrific food and urbane culture, France offers perhaps the friendliest of policies toward American retirees of any European Union nation. Considered most affordable quality health care in the world, plus low taxes for American ex-pats. Paris for wealthy, but Brittany, Normandy and the Dordogne, a short train ride away, are more affordable. Also look at Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Lyon.

Downside: bureaucracy. Getting Internet connection can take weeks.

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut - French Pirate

(this article contains french words, in bold face type, that we have previously learned in other lessons- If you can not remember them, the translations are at the end of this article)

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut also called Marie-Anne or Marianne (born ca 1650) was a French Pirate, a so called Buccaneer, and together with Jaquotte Delahaye one of very few female ones. Her nom means "Anne Gods-wants-it"; as she had a will so strong, that if she wanted quelque chose, it was as if God wanted it.

She was originally one of the women called "Filles de Roi" sent by the French government to Tortuga in Haiti to become wives to the local male colonists, as was a French policy in many other French colonies, such as Louisiana and Quebec, and she is believed to have been a criminal deported from France in this manner, as were many of those women. Her deportation to Tortuga was said to have taken place during the reign of governor Betrand d'Ogeron de la Bouere, which means it must have been in 1665-1668 or 1669-1675. In Tortuga she was married to the buccaneer Pierre Length.

In 1683, Anne's mari was killed in a bar fight by the famous buccaneer Laurens de Graff. She challenged Laurens to a duel to avenge her husbands death (other sources claims she heard him insult her), and while Laurens drew his sword, Anne drew her gun. Laurens then succumbed saying he would not fight a woman; he then proposed to her on the spot in admiration of her courage, and she accepted. In reality, the deux were actually not married, as Laurens already had a femme he had abandoned many years ago, mais they were from this point seen as homme and wife. Others claim this event happened in 1693.

Anne is called a pirate because she accompanied parce que Laurens on his ship and fought on his side during acts of piracy, sharing his work and the command on his ship in the same fashion as Anne Bonny did avec Calico Jack. Unlike Anne Bonny, she did not disguise her sex, and her acts therefore aroused much attention and fascination. She was talked about as brave, stern and ruthless, and it was in ces années that her nom "Anne God-Wants" became known. Usually, it was considered bad luck to have a woman onboard a ship, mais Anne was instead regarded as the bringer of bonne chance.

In 1693, her mari raided Jamaica, and was as a thanks rewarded with the noble title of Chevalier, the position of Major Lieutenant and the commission of Ile-a-Vache, mais the year after, the English took their revenge on Tortuga, and Anne and her deux filles were taken prisoner by the English and kept as hostages for three years. She was said to have been treated with great respect. In 1698 they were reunited with Laurens.

After this, their fates become blurred; some say they became colonists in Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana, others that they continued their piracy, or at least privateering.

nom (nahm) -name quelque chose (kell kuh showz) -something

mari (mah ree) -husband ces années (sayz ah nay) -these years

deux (doo) -two

femme (fehm) -wife

mais (may) -but

homme (ohm) -man

parce que (parce kuh) -because

avec (ah vehk) -with

bonne chance (bohn shance) -good luck

filles (feel) -daughters

Sunday, January 24, 2010

French Film For People Who Hate Subtitles -Cheri

Cheri is a 2009 French/British/German drama film directed by Stephen Frears. Avec Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend, it is an adaptation of the roman by French author Colette. The film premiered at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. Set in 1900s Belle Époque Paris, Cheri tells the story of la fin of a six-year affair between an aging retired courtesan, Léa, and a flamboyant young man, Fred, nicknamed "Chéri" ("Dear"). Turning stereotypes upside-down, it is Chéri qui wears silk pyjamas and Léa's pearls, and qui is the object of gaze. The two believe their relationship is casual until they are separated by Chéri's marriage, at which point they realize they are in love. They spend a miserable neuf mois apart, at which point Chéri appears at Léa's home. They spend la nuit together and Léa begins to plan their new life together. However, when she learns that Chéri had returned for the moral strength to be a mari, she releases him to return home. The final scene shows Chéri leaving Léa's home to walk down la rue towards his home. Léa returns to her vanity table to gaze at herself in the miroir. The narrator cuts in that after many years Chéri will realize that Léa was the only femme he could ever love, but she was too old for him. Chéri will kill himself after this realization.

(ah vehk) -with roman (roh mahn) -novel la fin (lah feen) -the end
qui (kee) -who neuf mois (nuhf mwah) -9 months la nuit (la nuit) -the night
mari (mah ree) -husband la rue (lah roo) -the street table (tah bluh) -table
miroir (meer wah) -mirror femme (fehm) -woman

Friday, January 22, 2010

Notice to Spammers

Recently there have been comments from people who have been posting nothing but advertising on this site. As a result I've had to adjust my settings here to approve comments before they're published. When I started this blog I had advertising on it, but took it off as I didn't want this to be a site for making money, only a site for learning. If you are looking to post random advertising, be forewarned, I will not allow it. This blog is for fun and learning only.

The Euro - Monetary Info

On January 1, 2002, the Euro became the official currency for 300 million Europeans, in use in 12 countries of the European Union.

Paper notes are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, & 5 Euros.
Coins are 2 Euros, 1 Euro, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents, & 1 cent.
The Euro is made up of 100 cents.

U.S. dollars are not accepted in most establishments, though some hotels, shops, and restaurants may accept U.S. dollars at an agreed upon exchange rate.

Currency exchange can be made in most banks and post offices as well as in some large stores, train stations, airports and exchange offices near major tourist sites. Look for a sign indicating "Change". Remember that even though exchange rates are fixed, agent commissions vary: they must be clearly displayed. Exchange rates vary from bank to bank in the U.S. and France. Large cities in the U.S. generally have banks specialized in foreign exchange with lower exchange rates. The same applies in France. In general, it is best to find a larger bank or exchange office in the center of town or in a financial area. If only a small amount of money is being exchanged, the hotel's money exchange rate may be adequate. Traveler's checks in U.S. dollars should be exchanged in banks or exchange offices because very few businesses will accept them. Traveler's checks in Euros can be purchased in the U.S. from specialized banks or in any major bank in France. They offer a safe means of traveling with cash.

As of today the it would take $1.41 in U.S. Dollars to get 1 Euro.

Children's Word of the Day -Ocean

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dato Shake -French Singer

Dato Shake is a French singer of Malay descent. When he was a small garçon, Shake dreamed of making musique on distant shores. His disciplinarian famille first tried to dissuade him, soon surrendered to the talent and desire so evident. European artists who had discovered the lushness of Malaysia and heard the underage singer encouraged him to try this luck in Europe.

He bid goodbye to his famille and headed to London where he studied vocal class for un année. Then he was offered aller to Paris, France, within months, he had secured a label and his first single was released, entitled, "Tu sais je t'aime" (You know I love you). Plus, he did indeed shake up the music scene et became the first Asian singer who sang en français. The single sprinted up the charts, followed by half a dozen other gold and platinum singles and albums. Concert appearances and television specials followed swiftly as Shake quickly became the toast of Europe. He became popular in all the countries where French is spoken - he was for instance, quinze semaines at the top of the charts in Canada: he became enormously popular in North African countries and the cosmopolitan areas of Africa - such as the Ivory Coast and Senegal. Naturally all of the Pacific Islands embraced one on their own.

garçon (gahr sohn) -boy musique (mew zeek) -music famille (fah meel) -family

un année (uhn ah nay) -a year aller (ah lay) -to go et (ay) -and

en français (ahn frahn say) -in French quinze semaines (kahnz seh mahn) -15 weeks

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guess Who

Le Jeu De Boules - The Game Of Boules

Le jeu de Boules (leh zhoo deh bool)

One of the most popular games played by more than 17 million people in France. Similar to Italian Bocce, I first found out about this version when I was watching the PBS version of "A Year In Provence", where an episode centered around a local match. As a competative game player, I would definately like to try this when I go to France.

Pétanque (pay tahnk) is the current form of boules played in France right now, where the goal is, while standing with the feet together in a small circle, to throw metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (jack). The game is normally played on hard dirt or gravel, but can also be played on grass or other surfaces. Sandy beaches are not suitable.

The current form of the game originated in 1907 in La Ciotat, in Provence, in southern France. The name comes from Les Ped Tanco in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, meaning "feet together."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Edgar Degas - French Artist

Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917), born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A superb draughtsman, he is especially identified with the subject of the dance, and over half his works depict dancers. These display his mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his race course subjects and female nudes. His portraits are considered to be among the finest in the history of art.

Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lesson # 135 - I Have To...

Phrases using Je dois... (zhuh dwah) -I must, I have to...

je dois cacher l'argent (zhuh dwah kah shay lahr zhahn) -I have to hide the money
je dois préparer le déjeuner (zhuh dwah pray pah ray leh day zhuh nay) -I have to make lunch
je dois aller au supermarché (zhuh dwah ah lay oh soo pehr mahr shay) - I must go to the supermarket
je dois acheter du pain (zhuh dwah ah shah tay doo pahn) -I must buy some bread
je dois rentrer tout de suite (zhuh dwah rahn tray toot sweet) -I must return immediately

Saïd Taghmaoui - French Actor

Saïd Taghmaoui (born July 19, 1973) is a French/Moroccan actor and screenwriter. Taghmaoui is best known for his role as Said in the French film La Haine directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, and as the U.S.-trained philosophical Iraqi interrogator Captain 'My Main Man' Saïd in Three Kings. More recently as "Omar" Don Cheadle's (Samir) close radical Islamic associate in the 2008 film Traitor.

Taghmaoui was born in the Parisian suburb of Villepinte, into a large family of nine siblings. He grew up in Aulnay-sous-Bois, in the quartier Rose des Vents. He dropped out of school to become a boxer and rose as high as number 2 in his weight class in France.

Later he met Mathieu Kassovitz and together, they co-wrote the script for the award winning film La Haine (about race and violence in the suburban ghettos of Paris). Taghmaoui also played one of the main characters in the film and was nominated for a César Award in 1996 (Most Promising Actor) for his performance. He has performed in many films since then. He speaks five languages and he has pursued an international career, making films in Italy, Germany, Morocco and the United States. He divides his time between Los Angeles, France and Morocco.

Saïd recently starred in the 2008 film Vantage Point playing the leader of a terrorist group that plotted to kidnap the U.S. president. Saïd is again working with Matthew Fox as a guest star in the ABC TV show Lost. In Morocco he is making a film about the Algerian War alongside Thierry Fremont.

Children's Word of the Day -Baseball Cap

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968 was a French/American artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period.[1]

A playful man, Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions such as dubbing a urinal "art" and naming it Fountain. He produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Famous French Lover

Pepé Le Pew is an Academy Award-winning fictional character in the Warner Bros.Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. A French anthropomorphic skunk that always strolls around in Paris in the springtime, when everyone's thoughts are of love, Pepé is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own. However, he has three huge turnoffs to any prospective mates: his malodorous scent, the fact that he comes on too aggressively or with too much passion, to both of which he is cheerfully oblivious, and the fact that he can't take 'no' for an answer thinking that the girl is flirting with him.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge (moo lahn roozh)(French for Red Windmill) is a cabaret built in 1889 by Josep Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the facsimile of a red windmill on its roof.

The Moulin Rouge is a tourist destination, offering musical dance entertainment for adult visitors from around the world. Much of the romance of turn-of-the-century France is still present in the club's decor.

Notable performers at the Moulin Rouge have included La Goulue, Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra,Yvette Guilbert, Jane Avril, Mistinguett, Le Pétomane, Édith Piaf and others. The Moulin Rouge is also the subject of paintings by post-impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec.

Children's Word of the Day -French Fries

Friday, January 8, 2010


Different ways to say ""What did you say??" or "Huh?":

Vous dites...? (voo deet) -What did you say?
Pardon? (pahr dohn) -Pardon, What did you say?
Que voulez-vous dire? (keh voo lay voo deer) -What do you mean? What do you want to say?
Voulez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît (voo lay voo ray pay tay seel voo play) -Would you repeat that, please

Children's Word of the Day - Lunch

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dany Boon -French Actor

Dany Boon, born to an French Kabyle père and a French Flemish mère, first started his career dubbing cartoons and performing as a mime dans la rue. In 1992, he was given his first chance as a comedian by French television personality Patrick Sébastien, who invited him on his show. From then on Boon began to achieve notoriety with his sketches and his one-man shows.

He was then offered several roles in films, notably in the film Joyeux Noël that made it on the international scene in 2005.

Boon is deeply attached to his native region, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. In 2003, he made a whole show in the local dialect of ch'ti, also known as Picard. Despite the use of dialectal language, 600,000 copies of the DVD (which included French subtitles) were sold. No previous DVD featuring a one-man show had sold as well in France. In February 2008, he released un film called Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, a comedy based on prejudices held about the region, which went on to break French box-office records. Deux semaines after its release the film had deja been seen by cinq million people. After its fourth week this figure had risen to 15 million, and by 11 April, the film had surpassed the viewing audience of La Grande Vadrouille, having being watched by more than 17.4 million people. To date, only the worldwide blockbuster Titanic has been seen by more people in French cinemas.

Dany Boon married and later divorced Judith Godrèche, with whom he has a son named Noé. Dany is currently married to Yael Harris and converted to Judaism in 2002.

In the year 2008, Dany Boon was the best-paid actor in European film history, netting 26 million Euro (c. 33 million dollars)

mère et père (mehr ay pehr) -mother & father

dans la rue (dahn lah roo) -in the street

films (feelm) -films, movies

un film (uhn feelm) -a movie

deux semaines (doo seh mahn) -two weeks

deja (day zhah) -already

cinq (sahnk) -five

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

French News

AFP - Around 30 paintings, including works by Picasso and Rousseau, valued at around a million euros (1.4 million dollars), have been stolen from a private villa in the south of France, police said Saturday. But a Modigliani initially believed to be part of the haul has since been found, police in Toulon said. The villa's French owner was holidaying in Sweden at the time of the break-in, which was discovered by the caretaker on Thursday afternoon. Police said the owner had returned home to carry out an inventory of his collection to establish the exact loss.

The reported burglary in La Cadiere d'Azur comes after a pastel by Degas disappeared from the Cantini museum in Marseille on New Year's Eve. The 1877 pastel worth 800,000 euros had been lent for an exhibition by Paris' Orsay museum.

The painting had been unscrewed from the wall and there was no evidence of a break-in, police said, indicating the thief or thieves knew how to get round the museum's security system.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Must see French Film -Le Feu Follet

The Fire Within (French: Le feu follet) is a 1963 French film directed by Louis Malle. It is based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. The film stars Maurice Ronet as Alain Leroy, a recovering alcoholic at a rehabilitation clinic in Versailles who has depression. He decides to end his life, but first decides to visit his friends in Paris one last time, in an attempt at finding a reason to continue living. The movie also stars Jeanne Moreau—who had previously worked with Ronet and Malle in Elevator to the Gallows—as well as Alexandra Stewart, Bernard Noel, Lena Skerla, Hubert Deschamps and Yvonne Clech. The score features the music of Erik Satie.

In his 2006 Movie Guide, Leonard Maltin gives the film 3.5 stars (out of four) and calls it "probably Malle's best early film.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Le Café Qui Parle -French Restaurant

I'm looking at a French Restaurant site and the Restaurant is called "Le CaféQui Parle" and they show this photo on their page:
They question is would they get 5 stars instead of 4 if they weren't cooking little children? (kidding)

"Le Café Qui Parle" (leh kah fay kee pahrl) -The Cafe That Speaks

Children's Word of the Day - Doctor

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! To All

Hope everyone had a great Holiday. To all the newcomers Bienvenue (bee yehn veh noo) Welcome.
The whole purpose of this blog is to help me (all those who want to join me) to keep learning the basic phrases and words needed should we go to France. What you will not learn here is phrases that will not be needed such as "How much 3/4" pipe will I need" or "there's a zebra" etc. We will only study phrases & words that will come up if you are on vacation in France. "Where can I get change?" "How much is that?" Where can I find...?". Things like that. My purpose is to learn enough French so that I won't be an obnoxious American running around Paris yelling "Doesn't anyone here speak English??? You won't learn fluent French here but you will learn how to converse & be polite to the locals when you get there. When people from foreign countries come into where I work, they do not speak perfect English, but I can understand what they are trying to say. That is our purpose here. To be able to wander around France & be somewhat understandable to the wonderful French locals.
This is meant to be a very easy & laid back learning tool for you. Study as much as you want, study as little as you want. The way I use it is every lesson that I post I write down on a piece of paper and carry it with me where ever I go. You can either write them down or print out thie lesson. I usually post them every 4th or 5th day, So I have that much time to go over only those phrase, words for 3 or 4 days so I know them by heart. Keep looking at the paper all day long, keep repeating the phrases in your head and to yourself. Don't worry if people think you are crazy talking to yourself, you are learning French! I also write and doodle the phrases over and over when I can. The thing is to SLOWLY learn as much French as you can or want to do. The other days when I do not post lessons, I post just 1 simple phrase and vocabulary words. Each day I post these, I write them done too and repeat that 1 phrase to myself all day long. These may not sound like a lot, but after 365 you will know a lot more French then at the start. Remember, this is supposed to be FUN! Don't stress, take your time. There are no end term exams like back in High School. Now I have been doing this blog since August 2008, and I realize my French has been getting better, but nowhere close to be fluent. But it has helped & I can understand & read the language much better than a year & a half ago. So this does help. So have fun with me as I try to keep learning French let me know from time to time if it helping && how you are getting along too.

Passe une très bonne semaine (pahss oon tray bohn seh mahn) -Have a great week!
ton ami- Roy