Learn some commonly used French idioms to help avoid confusion!
For example, if someone says to you “Ce ne sont pas tes/vos oignons“, they are not telling you “those are not your onions.” They are saying “it is none of your business!”
FluentU goes even further by giving you sample conversations and contextual advice.
Je dis ça, je dis rien.
Je dis ça, je dis rien literally means “I say that, I say nothing.” Its English counterpart is “just saying.” You would use this expression when giving your opinion but wanting to soften the blow a bit, or not assume total responsibility for it. It also has its own Twitter hashtag: #JDCJDR! Use with caution, since it’s rather passive-aggressive. Here’s an example:
Si on ne part pas maintenant, on n’arrivera pas au spectacle à l’heure. Enfin, je dis ça, je dis rien.
If we don’t leave now, we won’t get to the show on time. Just saying…
Use these in a conversation and you just might sound like a native speaker!read more
Use it to help with your pronunciation. It is as simple as clicking on a phrase to hear it, then repeating the phrase out loud. Voila!
“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
- Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
There is more to being French than eating a baguette on a daily basis. In France, movies are still regarded as an art form, making it a useful tool for for visitors to learn about the country’s culture and language.
Paris, je t’aime is an excellent film for immersing yourself all that makes Paris special. Twenty famous filmmakers have five minutes each, weaving together a single narrative out of twenty moments. There’s a reappearing mysterious character who is a witness to the Parisian life and a common theme of Paris and love fuses all.
The Le Marais segment, directed by Gus Van Sant, is just down the street from CobbleStay #41 – Picasso Museum Marais.
The Bastille segment, directed by Isabelle Coixet is around the corner from CobbleStay #15 – Bastille River View.
The Place des Victoires segment, directed by Nobuhiro Suwa, is around the corner from CobbleStay #16 – Madeleine Balcony Studio.
The Tour Eiffel segment, directed by Sylvain Chomet, is close to CobbleStay #20 – Eiffel Tower Park.
CobbleStay #24 – Marais Magic is right by the cafe where characters meet in the Quartier des Enfants Rouge segment, directed by Olivier Assayas and Frederic Auburtin.
CobbleStay #18 – Left Bank Penthouse is around the corner from where the Quartier Latin segment was filmed, directed by Gerard Depardieu, as well as CobbleStay #14 – Best of Notre Dame Apartments in Paris.
The Parc Monceau segment, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, is near our newest property (coming online soon!).
If you really want to know what all the best French films are, check out this top 100 list compiled by French film industry experts.
Amuse-toi bien!read more
Guest Post by Daniella Carrese
La Ville-Lumière. The City of Light, Paris got its nickname from all the lights that illuminate the night sky. During the evening in Paris, the streets light up with the lamp posts and lights from around. All the lights make the city seem as if it is always awake. Along the Seine, there are beautiful lights that seem as though they have been there forever. Due to the lights, you can take a nice stroll along the river at night. Looking down from the Eiffel Tower in the evening is magical. The streets are light up beautifully. Along the Champs Elyseès the trees are strung with lights that make the night seem as if it day. Although you cannot see the stars in Paris, due to all the light pollution, the sky is normally covered with a navy blue blanket. The city dies down a bit, but there are still a number of things to do during the evening.
You can take a tour of the Seine and explore all of its canals at night. You can visit the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret and music hall, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller this building has seen many stars including Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra. Today it is still used, there is a nighttime cabaret show. You can see shows at this historic concert hall at most times of the day. Le Procope is Paris’ oldest cafe that was established in 1686. Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Hemingway and Picasso were some of the few who regularly ate at this establishment. Closing at 11:30, this cafe is a great place to hangout for the night. Walking around the streets near your Paris vacation rental is a great way to get a feel of the city and what it is actually like all the time.
To read more from Daniella, click “here“
For even more tips and tricks to make Paris travel easier, ask for our “Insider’s Guide to Paris”!
We love passing on great tips from Paris Insiders! Meet Stephanie Frasco. Stephanie is a Social Media Consultant and as the Community Manager for Dashlane, she just returned from living in Paris for the winter. She recommends:
Book a massage for the day you get in. It helps to rid your jet lag. Not only will it melt your airplane kinks away but you will leave feeling fresh and ready to walk your heart out!
I recommend Institut Thai Rachawadee - in the 5th thai-rachawadee.fr
It should come as no surprise that eating your way through Paris can be worth the trip itself. Of course the French food is spectacular, but Paris is filled with ethnic restaurants that might surprise you. Eat everything that calls your name! You will be happy you did. Some of my favorite restaurants in Paris (ethnic and French)
L’Office – (contemporary) - http://hungryforparis.
Dans les Landes (small plates) - http://hungryforparis.
3. Flea markets and food markets -
Paris is filled with Flea markets and food markets selling everything from fresh cheeses at the food markets to vintage Chanel bags and Victorian Era furniture at the antique markets. Hopping from stall to stall and market to market is a great way to spend an afternoon. If you find yourself in Paris during the warmer months, make sure you take your bounty (from the food stalls) and head to one of the many public parks for an enjoyable picnic. If you happen to be in Paris in the winter don’t forget to check out the Christmas Markets.
Favorites: Rue Monge market & Christmas Market at La Défense
For more about Stephanie, you can go to her website: http://www.stephaniefrasco.
You can also follow her on Twitter @StephanieFrasco
Photo Credit: Vistes-Guidees.net
As February comes to a close, I have been thinking of all of the things that made me miss Paris this month. I am lucky that I get to talk about it everyday but I often stumble upon pictures, books and articles that tug at my heartstrings and make me realize how much I love this city. I found the photo above on Pinterest (as you know, I am addicted!). It reminded me of taking my 10 year old daughter to the Jardin du Luxembourg and watching her push her boat around in the water. It was so innocent, so “unplugged” and so peaceful. A rare moment in this American girl’s life.
And, then I found this on Twitter! Paris Chanson is an online, French radio station that plays nothing but classic Paris songs. Cheesy? Not really! I turned it on last Sunday while cooking my homemade pain au chocolat and it made a fun atmosphere that I wouldn’t have going on everyday but once in a while??? ABSOLUMENT!
Photo Credit: Amazon
I read A LOT about Paris! So many people were talking about this book. I had to search it out. It is an illustrated comparison between Paris and New York and it is very cute. It is a little snarky, a little campy and a whole lot of fun. It made a great addition to my Paris bookshelf.
Yes, these are the things that made me miss Paris this month. As if talking about Paris vacation rentals weren’t enough, right?
Paris is likely on the bucket list of any world traveler or adventurer. There’s a reason — probably more like a million reasons — it is the most visited city in the entire world. If you’re looking for a great city you’d be hard pressed to find one better than Paris. That said, many people who travel to France don’t get to experience the full luxury that Paris has to offer.
The first luxury comes before you’ve even made it into the city. When you’re traveling to the greatest city on earth you might as well travel in the greatest style. Taking an air charter is surely the best way to fly. It starts when you get to the airport and don’t have to go through all the ridiculous security and it ends with a crew that has only you to take care of. What could be better?
When you land for your first evening in Paris you should consider taking your dinner on a private boat tour of the Seine. Hire a river limousine (yes, it’s that luxurious) and your own private chef and you’ll have the best dinner you can imagine. If a run down the Seine sounds amazing and dinner from a private chef is your idea of a dream meal, consider this the indulgent experience of a lifetime. The fun is just getting started, however.
You’ll need a place to sleep after your dinner, so why not rent out your own luxury Paris apartment? You could stay in a cramped hotel room or hostel, but if you’re going all out then you need to have the best accommodations as well. You can bring the chef back to cook in your spacious kitchen, or you can go just down the street for more choices. Either way, your apartment will feel just like home.
If there’s one “regular” spot in Paris you need to visit, it’s the Eiffel Tower. You don’t need to make it a typical day, however. Instead, go for a champagne lunch at the Eiffel Tower in the Altitude 58 Restaurant. You’ll have an amazing view of the city while you enjoy your fine dining meal. If you want an even better look, you can head up to the second level after your meal.
Last, but definitely not least, take some time to find your own luxury. Paris is a place where you can walk down one street and find a shop or café, and when you turn the corner you find one just as good or better. Take some time for yourself to discover the luxury that most tourists won’t have time to see.
Logan is a writer who spends his time planning the next trip when he isn’t stringing words together. You can find out more about Logan and his company Jet Charters here: http://www.jetcharters.com/read more
Photo Credit: Brandon A. Smith
I’ve been to Paris a number of times. There are so many destinations that I could choose from, that I’d love to climb aboard a plane and be whisked to, yet each time I find myself ready for some time to bask, a vacation of sorts, my heart is tugged in the direction of that ever changing City of Lights. “Certainly”, others begin, “you’d be better off expanding your horizons”. I’d be better off, in the words of my friends, trying new places, experiencing yet another culture, playing resident in a new city. Yet even with that sage advice, I open my passport and collect another stamp from an ever-familiar country.
You see, for me, Paris has never been a stagnate city. A city that after spending time under its moon and in the arms of its streets, you feel you’ve seen it all. A locale that continues along the same never changing path of modernization and politicalization. Is that a word? In some cities it must be. For me, Paris is an onion begging to be peeled. Every corner, a city anew. To walk an arrondissement is to dive head first into the deep end of an ever growing puzzle.
I don’t carry a map with me when I’m in Paris. Maps are too stifling. Too directive. Too distracting. Certainly it is against second nature to leave the plat of the city behind in one’s hotel but to do so ensures a simple stroll will unfold to become an adventure. I’ve seen the Louvre. I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower. Montmartre is a promise of a beautiful view. But to experience these monuments to Parisian culture is to peel away only the first of its layers.
To leave the map behind. To promenade the rues de la ville. To turn corners at will with no final objective. That is to experience the city that is Paris. I’ve found odd shops where a single word of English is not uttered. Stumbled upon a bistro with a delicious, authentic steak frites. Discovered the oldest magasin de chocolat. Decadent discoveries are bound to be made by simply turning the corner. Experiencing les coins. Paris makes no promises but never fails to excite. Though a warning, once found, there is the possibility of never finding these places again.
But that, however, is what makes Paris so intriguing. The excitement that is the corner.
Brandon Smith is the founder/principal/therapist of d.coop, a boutique spatial design and development firm in San Diego, California. You can read more from him on his blog, d.coop and Tweet with him @dcoopsd.read more
My friends and I talk a lot about cooking. The majority feel that French cooking is time consuming and difficult. I think it is the opposite. Walk into many Paris kitchens and you will find basic ingredients that are combined easily to make simple yet fabulously tasting dishes. The key is to use high quality ingredients and not to try to cut calories using low fat replacements. Often, when something tastes magnificent, you tend to eat less.
I love this recipe from Julia Child’s book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”. I use thick cut, apple-smoked bacon that I buy at Bristol Farms and I use real butter, cream and farm fresh eggs. No skimping allowed! Okay, one confession…to save a bit of time on a weeknight, I will use a ready made pie crust from Trader Joe’s. I serve the quiche with a simple salad of baby greens and an oil and vinegar dressing. The whole family loves it!
Quiche Lorraine On A Weeknight
6 strips of crispy cooked bacon
3 large eggs
About 1 cup of cream
Salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg
One ready made pie crust in a tin or pie plate (9 inch)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Break bacon into smallish pieces and spread out over pie crust. Blend the eggs and cream and whisk in spices. Pour into pie crust. Bake in oven 30 to 35 minutes until it is puffy and golden brown. (I give the pie plate a little shake and the center should jiggle a bit but not look liquid-y) Let the quiche cool and serve at room temperature with a simple green salad.read more