La Parisienne: A lighthearted take on the 1O golden rules to behave like a Parisienne and French vocabulary related to character
I might be in trouble writing this post! I am a Parisienne (OK not 100% as I only have been living here for 20 years) spending half of my time with foreigners. After all, I am a French tutor. With my hybrid status, let’s say I am a “sort of Parisienne” and not thoroughbred! I’ve lived in Paris long enough to list 10 golden rules to behave as a Parisienne woman. In this week’s post, I’ll give you an overview in terms of style, attitude, culture, behaviour of what it really means to be a true Parisienne. I also introduce French expressions and vocabulary related to the character of “La Parisienne. “Read More
A stroll in Saint-Germain-des-Près and French vocabulary related to this neighbourhood
There is no better way to improve your conversational French than walking around and immersing yourself in Paris. This morning, I meet up with one my Australian students Kerry in Saint-Germain-des-Près. Located on the left bank of La Seine river, it is a picturesque setting characterised by gorgeous centuries-old churches, high fashion boutiques and art galleries. In today’s blog, I will share with you French vocabulary and expressions related to this mythical neighbourhood. Also, at the same time I’ll help you discover the hidden gems of this legendary district. Read more and enjoy!Read More
French Immersion in Paris: foodie related vocabulary and the top 4 food markets
Paris is a city that has a food market for everybody. Experience quintessential French food, as well as fragrant spices of a diverse cultural blend of countries. Paris counts more than 90 Food Markets. In this week’s blog, we share with you some useful expressions relating to all things food. We’ll share what we believe are the top 4 food markets to visit, and how much fun an immersive two-hour tour can be with a dedicated and experienced private French tutor in Paris.Read More
Are you a chocolate and pastry fanatic? If not, after visiting Paris, you are pretty much guaranteed to join the Pastry and Chocolate fan club! If you are soon travelling to France are you planning to enjoy delicious chocolates and pastries? Why not try out some French with our handy pastry and chocolate vocabulary.Read More
Paris 5 best bakeries and bread related French vocabulary .
In Paris where the official “pain” is definitely the Baguette, this iconic bread is part of most Parisians’ daily routine. Have you sampled some cheap baguettes in Paris yet? When it comes to delicious, freshly baked bread, there is a wide range of other types of baguettes including slow-rise, gluten free. Not to mention the plethora of different types of Baguettes! You may be used to just asking in French for “une baguette” simply because it is the only one sort of bread that that you know in France. In today’s blog, I will share with you in useful French vocabulary and expressions related to the boulangerie (bakery). Also, at the same time I’ll share with you the 5 best boulangeries in Paris. Read more and enjoy!Read More
If you learn French in Paris, I will help you to discover a selection of nice Parisian covered markets, whose popularity began in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this French lesson through Paris, we will explore some of the 1st, 2d and 10th arrondissements’ notorious covered markets *.
10 am, I meet up with Anni, one of my Australian students who learn French in Paris with me at the entrance of the Galerie Véro-Dodat, on Paris’ right bank, only a few hundred meters only from the Louvre. The covered markets’ retro atmosphere carries both historical magnificence and a nostalgia that I love.
The covered markets En vogue
The gallery Véro-Dodat, as well as the 150 other covered passages and arcades were considered to be the first malls. They were en vogue during the first half of the nineteenth century until the Haussman’s urbanisation programme started in 1853. Covered markets were established close to social life centres of attraction: Palais-Royal, the Bourse, the Opera and later on the grands Boulevards theatres in the 2nd arrondissement. As such, they announced the important department stores to come: Le Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV) or le Bon Marché, founded in 1852.
Trade and leisure development in nineteenth century Paris
Theses resulted from the combination of several factors: one of them was the rising of private speculation controlled by private funds. These were combined with commercial activities and the bourgeois taste for flânerie, a word translated as “strolling”. For the French writer Gustave Flaubert, they reflected the very essence of time of « selling and buying, the aim of life ».
Parisians loved these elegant en vogue boutiques, bookshops, theatres and various sources of pleasure. They would stroll under their arcades, swagger during the week-ends and enjoy the entertainment they provided. In the evening, they’d gather there to dance in the ball rooms.
The latest technological innovations
This was a way for Parisians to escape the streets’ filth, mud and dust because at that time, sidewalks didn’t exist. The covered passages served as a shelter offering the latest technological innovations: the comfort of the first heated floor appeared Passage des Panoramas, in 1846.
The first glass roofs, their first wooden then metal structures, enabled everyone to better appreciate natural light. Whereas artificial lightening was spread by elegant streetlights.
Anni is charmed by this 1826 gallery and the richness it exudes: its wooden panels, its black and white tiles, its landscape paintings and elegant streetlights. In the entrance of the Gallery Dodat, we discover André Louboutin’s « haute couture » shoe store. My student lingers over the windows’ display, fascinated by the worldwide famous red sole specialist’s luxurious shop.
Gallery Vivienne was founded in 1826. When coming in, Anni is immediately attracted by the splendid Roman-inspired mosaics. The setting is splendid: painted ceilings and sculptures pay tribute to ancient trading activities.
A little further, in the middle of the gallery under the central dome, follow my advice: stop in front of the wine merchant Caves Legrand Filles et Fils, one of Paris’ oldest wine shops. The place is unique. Anni decides to make a stop and taste a few local specialties, but no wine of course! Wine tasting would be off-topic for our lesson!
This passage is more modest than other ones, and the alleys’ arcades are also narrower. Passage Jouffroy is famous for its fake ornamented clock and curious little Chopin hotel. We take another short break at Le Valentin – excellent pastry shop! – where my student admires local specialties and gives in a delicious Mille feuilles.
You wish to learn French in Paris in the Covered markets? Try our guided walks in Paris
If you learn French in Paris and would like to immerse yourself in Paris while practising your French speaking skills, in addition to personalized private French lessons on a one to one basis, French à La Carte offers guided walks in different Parisian districts. Try our lessons off the beaten tracks and feel like a true Parisian for a few hours!
• Cosmopolitan Paris: The picturesque and popular districts of Belleville and Menilmontant.
• Timeless Paris: The little-known Latin Quarter.
• Mythical Paris: The Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris’ artists, an iconic neighbourhood from the early 20th century onwards.
• Paris Village: The hidden places of Montmartre.
• Trendy Paris: Le Marais off the beaten tracks.
• 19th Century Paris: The arcades and covered passages of the Grands Boulevards.
The covered markets: the malls’ ancestorsRead More
Ah, Paris….and Parisians ! Stereotypes about Parisians have feed the imagination of numerous writers and filmmakers. they have long used the French capital as fodder, with the glittering Eiffel Tower serving as a metaphor for all that is supposedly romantic, sophisticated and glorious. (more…)Read More
A French lesson in Saint- Germain-des-Près walking along the charming and narrow streets can be a very effective way to practise your speaking skills. learning French while visiting the galleries and hidden museums of St Germain with your private French tutor will benefit you immensely. (more…)Read More
A French lesson in Le Marais : a perfect setting for discovering Paris in immersion
During a French lesson in Le Marais, you will walk through the narrow streets of the historical Marais and you will stumble upon centuries past. Spread over the 3rd and 4th districts, the narrow streets of historic heart of Paris are rich with a contrasting trendy and traditional population, while the wonderful patina of the 16th and 17th-century buildings is sharply enhanced by the designs and colors of as many boutiques. The 4e arrondissement, the Marais’s glitzier section, stretches between the Place des Vosges, one the city’s oldest and most romantic squares, and the provocatively multi-colored Pompidou Center, the sprawling modern art gallery towering over the centuries-old mansions of the area.
The rue des Rosiers is still a major centre of the Paris Jewish community where delis and bakeries sell kosher food and falafels. Our visit of the neighborhood include the wonderfully-restored Musée Cognaq-Jay, the Musée Carnavalet. During your French lesson in le Marais, you will discover the garden of the magnificent Hôtel de Sully . The northern half of Le Marais in the 3e arrondissement houses art galleries, trendy boutiques, and funky cafés and bars off the tourist track.
Improve your speaking skills in French while strolling in Paris
One of the best ways to discover Paris is on foot. Even better, let your French tutor show you around and teach you French at the same time.With our french lesson in Le Marais, you will discover Paris of the beaten tracks. A private French course is not necessarily held all the time in a classroom and in addition to one-to-one formal lessons, Paris can become your classroom. To practise your conversational skills and gain confidence while speaking French, try a guided tour in French with French à La Carte and discover Paris off the beaten tracks.
- Find out about the history of Paris across the centuries, and at the same time, Parisian culture. The itineraries we offer will reveal the multifaceted nature of Paris.
- Practice your language skills: vocabulary, understanding, speaking, accuracy. While strolling through Paris with your tutor, you will be corrected and encouraged: the best way to improve your level of French.
Feedback from Students
Anna Lucia Aidar, Work supervisor, Brazil:
Vanessa Bellendir was the best part of my trip while I was in Paris. Staying in Paris is already great, but having you as a private French teacher and a guide through places that any tourist would never go to was terrific. I really had so much fun with our classes that I did not see my month passing by this summer. After going to Paris so many times, now I really can say that I know the city from a “Parisian” point of view. So, I really hope to be able to take your walking classes very soon again. Thank you for that great summer! (July 2015)
Why everything is closed in Paris in August ?
Paris in August is a ghost town. The Parisians have left and the tourists have taken the city over. On the first day of August, Paris starts to empty out as everyone takes a month off for les grandes vacances.
Passing in front of several family-owned shops you will find signs in the stores’ windows such as “en Vacances…Retour en Septembre, etc.” Paris in August can be a real struggle for tourists. Nothing serious is possible before September and la rentrée. One must know this and plan accordingly.
Many restaurants have stacked their chairs and put down the blinds. Except in the highly touristic places, bistros are closed, museums change their hours, and the best-laid plans can be foiled. Although it can be slightly annoying to find your local boulangerie closed, it’s nice to discover another side of Paris, less congested. Stroll in the desert streets of Paris on a sunny morning or have an early morning walk in Le Jardin du Luxembourg and you will be totally won over. Take a walk at night in a pittoresque parisian area far from the crowd, and enjoy the fact that you won’t be disturbed by the noisy atmosphere of cars, pollution, … Of course, it’s not as if Paris is completely abandoned by Parisians but you will make this experience unique as long as you decide to escape from the touristic spots and accept the fact your expectations in terms of service might not be entirely satisfied.
Learn more about French culture while improving your French
French “à la carte” offers customized one to one French lessons to meet your needs, your learning style and your scedule. If you are interested in learning more about French culture and traditions while improving your language skills, call or contact us here to organise private French lessons in Paris with a French tutor in Paris.