“Let’s get a table in the front part of the restaurant. We can watch television and look at the menu while we wait for my cousin.”
Table, part, restaurant, television, menu, and cousin — those are all French words, even spelled the same way as in French. And if you order salad and onion soup, that’s three more (salade, oignon, soupe). You’re speaking French!
As much as half of the English language comes from French. Even Queen Elizabeth’s royal coat of arms is in French! Read all about it at Frenchly.
The French Waiting Room Protocol
France is a country with a lot of social rules. You say “bonjour”when you enter a store. You have salad at the end of a meal rather than the beginning. You kiss your friends rather than hugging them. And then, there’s French waiting room protocol; it’s very serious business in France.
Learn all about it at My French Life.
Americans can call their children practically anything they want. Beyoncé’s daughter is named Blue Ivy. Frank Zappa’s kids are Moon Unit and Dweezil. And unusual names are not just for the offspring of celebrities—people have actually named their kids Cheese, Fairy, and Jag.
This is not the case in France, where courts can reject a name if it is not in the best interest of the child. So can a French couple call their child Manhattan? How about Mini Cooper? Or Nutella? Non, non, and non. French courts have rejected those names and more.
Read all about the long history of French baby-naming laws at Frenchly.
Which politician would you like to have a beer with? It’s a typical survey question. And as you would expect, a recent French poll named president Emmanuel Macron the winner.
Less typical was when French pollsters asked, Which politician would you like to have a summer fling with? French women responded with enthusiasm. (If they asked that same question here, American women would take one look at our politicians and immediately book a flight to France.)
The French love their polls and they cover every subject imaginable. Sure, there are the usual questions about political parties, potential legislation, and the state of the economy. But then there are the fun ones…
Read all about it at Frenchly.
There are lots of ways to learn French, like taking classes, using language learning software and watching movies. But once you get past the basics, what you really need to do is talk. And there’s nothing like talking to a native French speaker. So why not find yourself a language partner?
Find out how at My French Life.
Despite having deep Catholic roots, France has the third-largest Jewish population in the world, after Israel and the United States. Jewish communities have existed in the country since the first century and it has long been a center of Jewish learning.
You might think that Paris, with its famous Marais neighborhood, is the center of French Jewish life. And while that is true today, it hasn’t always been. For centuries, it was Provence.
Read more about Jewish history in Provence at Frenchly.
Provence shares Christmas traditions with the rest of France, like sapins de Noël (Christmas trees) and Père Noël (Father Christmas.) But they also have unique ones of their own. Thirteen desserts? Little dolls that fooled the zealots of French Revolution?
Read all about it at The Good Life France.
San Francisco was known in its early days as the Paris of the Pacific. You might think this was because it was beautiful and sophisticated, like the City of Light, and you would be right. But it was more than that. It was also due to the city’s large French community.
Read about France’s outsized influence on early San Francisco at My French Life.
Imagine a chic Française sitting at a Paris café with her chic chien. Now imagine yourself there with your own dog. Impossible? Non!
As the world’s most dog-friendly country, France is full of dogs in restaurants, hotels, boulangeries, on hiking trails, the Métro — you name it. So how American dog-friendly are they?
Learn the secret of taking your dog to France at Frenchly.
The French road system is excellent. The country is covered by a comprehensive network of autoroutes – similar to our Interstate Highway System – along with plenty of secondary roads. They are in uniformly good condition and are well-marked so you can find your way. If there is any downside to the French road system it would have to be…French drivers.
Find out why French drivers are NOT one of the glories of France at My French Life.