Category Archives: French Culture

50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors, Episode 161

50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors


50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors

Introduction

There are two things you need to do before coming to France:

  1. Get familiar with these sentences that are so often used by French waiters.
  2. Go on a diet before the trip because the food is going to be so good, you’ll want to eat a lot of it!

Listen to this episode a few times and get comfortable with French restaurant lingo. Once it’s de-mystified, you’ll start understanding a lot of what they’re saying to you, and you’ll get amazing food in France. Bon appétit !

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

What You Will Learn About in this Episode with Timestamps

[00:00] This is join us in France episode 161

[00:37] Bonjour, I’m Annie and join us in France is the only travel show exclusively dedicated to helping you prepare your big trip to France. I was born and raised in France but I went to the UK and the US for college and then I lived in the US for 20 years of my life I have been back living in France for over a decade now. I didn’t work in the travel industry this podcast is something I created because I’m a bit of a geek and having lived far away from France for so long I was eager to rediscover my own country and it turns out that I also love to talk about France with other people!

[01:19] My occasional co-host and good friend Elyse has had the opposite life experience: she was born and raised in the US moved to France to complete colleg–she is an art historian–and she has been living in France and working in the travel industry for a long time.

Because Elyse is a professional tour guide we decided to organize a small group tours a few times a year I created a small business called Addicted to France, and you can read reviews about Addicted to France on Trip Advisor. To see what tours are available on what dates go to Addicted to France.

[02:00] On show you will also hear from different listeners who visited France and want to share how it went what they learned. They want to give you specific recommendations. They want people who are going after them to learn from their experience. I call those trip reports, but I could also have called them Travel Tips or Listener Insider Tips or Listener Trip Reviews. The point is you will get to hear candid reviews of other people’s vacation. You know they are not fake reviews because you can hear it straight from their mouth and we all help one another have a better vacation experience in France.

At the end of the show you will hear how you can contact me if that’s something you’d like to do. I’m not just looking for glowing reviews. I do ask people to bring up things that didn’t go as well as they had hoped.

[02:50] I’m adding a bonus episode this month because I messed up and released episode 160 early. I thought I was being so efficient by getting the episode ready early, and then it went out three days too soon because the scheduling on Libsyn, which I never use normally, is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. So I decided to add this short and fun episode so I don’t leave 10 days go by without a new show.

This one is like an extended French tip of the week episode where I’ll share with you 50 sentences that I think you’ll need at a French restaurants. You don’t need to memorize them, but at least if you can understand when people tell you these things, I think you’ll do much better. A lot of this is going to be in French and I’ll put some of these in the show notes, but the full printable list is going to be sent out as an extra to the email subscribers.

And, unless I messed up the schedule for that as well, this extra should go out next Wednesday.

If you’re interested in this episode you should also check out my list of best value restaurants in Paris on Join Us in France you will find it under http://joinusinfrance.com/ resource/restaurants

[04:13] Stay tuned after the interview to hear my thanks to listeners who support the show on https://Patrion.com/joinus, my personal updates, what’s happening around me, how to connect with me, and any news concerning the show. And now here’s the interview!

[04:30] So, now, here’s my 50 French restaurant phrases for a hungry visitors! Let’s face it one of the biggest reasons why people come to France is for the food, right? We will serve up some delicious canard. You have the most beautiful menus and prix fixe you’ve ever dreamed of. The pâtisserie will make your mouth water, and even at the end of that full meal you want the desert because it’s so delicious and so beautiful. And, well, the wine, you know if you’re not tipsy at some point in France that would be a little bit surprising. Anyway, I’m not saying you should memorize all the sentences to eat wonderfully well at French restaurants, but just the fact that you are willing to try some French will charm your waiter and will make them want to help you and also it will help you understand better. So, here you go:

Get the printable version of this list  by signing up for the Extras

  1. [05:28] Voulez-vous manger en terrasse ou à l’intérieur ? Do you want to eat on the terrace or inside?
  2. [05:41] Est-ce que vous voulez quelque chose à boire pour commencer ? Would you like to order some drinks to start with?
  3. [05:53] Est-ce que vous avez choisi ? Have you chosen already?
  4. [06 :02] Que souhaitez-vous commander ? What would you like to order?
  5. [06’11] Voulez-vous un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
  6. [06 :18] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
  7. [06 :47] Est-ce que vous voulez commander ? Would you like to order?
  8. [06 :54] Est-ce que vous voulez voir la carte ? Do you want to see the menu?
  9. [07 :08] Voici la formule du jour. Here are the daily specials.
  10. [07 :27] Le menu d’aujourd’hui est écrit ici. The daily specials are written here.
  11. [07 :41] Souhaitez-vous un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
  12. [04 :49] Voulez-vous un café ? Would you like some coffee?
  13. [07 :57] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un café ? Would you like some coffee?
  14. [08 :10] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
  15. [08 :15] Un moment, s’il vous plaît. One moment, please.
  16. [08 :24] Je ne sais pas encore. I don’t know yet.
  17. [08 :33] Une grande carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît. A big pitcher of water please (this implies tap water).
  18. [09:00] Une grande bouteille d’eau minérale s’il vous plaît. A large bottle of mineral water please.
  19. [09 :19] Pouvons-nous commander s’il vous plaît ? Can we order please?
  20. [09:20] L’addition s’il vous plaît ! The bill please.
  21. [09 :28] Payez à la caisse s’il vous plaît. Pay at the cash register please.
  22. [10:00] Qu’est ce que vous me recommandez ? What can you recommend?
  23. [10:08] C’est quoi ça ? What is this?
  24. [10:33] Je ne comprends pas ceci, pouvez-vous expliquer s’il vous plait ? I don’t understand this, can you explain please ?
  25. [10:49] Avez-vous un menu enfant ? Do you have a children’s menu?
  26. [11:16] Je ne prendrai que le plat principal. I only want the main course.
  27. [12:44] Je suis végétarien, je ne mange ni viande ni poisson. I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat or fish.
  28. [13:11] Nous voulons payer séparément s’il vous plaît. We want to split the bill please.
  29. [13:38] Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux personnes pour demain soir s’il vous plaît. I’d like to reserve a table for two people tomorrow night please.
  30. [14:13] Vous commencez le service du soir à quelle heure ? What time do you start to serve in the evening?
  31. [14:23] Vous arrêtez de servir à quelle heure ? What time do you stop service?
  32. [14:47] Vous ouvrez à quelle heure s’il vous plaît ? What time do you open please?
  33. [14:54] Je vais prendre le menu à 18 euros. I will have the 18 euro menu special.
  34. [15:05] Comme entrée, je choisis For my starter I would like
  35. [15:14] Comme plat principal, je voudrais For the main course I would like
  36. [15:19] Comme dessert je voudrais For dessert I would like
  37. [15:27] Pour votre viande, vous souhaitez quelle cuisson ? How would you like your meat done?
  38. [15:42] Bleue s’il vous plaît. Very rare please.
  39. [15:53] Saignante s’il vous plaît. Rare please.
  40. [16:00] À point s’il vous plaît. Medium please.
  41. [16:11] Bien cuite s’il vous plaît. Well done please.
  42. [16:24] J’aime la viande bien cuite s’il vous plaît, je n’aime pas qu’il reste du rouge. I like my meat well done. I don’t like to see any pink.
  43. [17:06] Où sont les toilettes s’il vous plaît ? Where are the bathrooms please?
  44. [17:13]Pouvez-vous répéter plus lentement s’il vous plaît ? Could you repeat more slowly please?
  45. [17:24] Pouvez-vous expliquer en anglais s’il vous plaît ? Could you explain in English please?
  46. [17:36] Avez-vous un vin de la maison ? Do you have a house wine?
  47. [17:45] Vous avez des pichets de vin s’il vous plaît ? Do you serve wine pitchers please?
  48. [18:26] J’ai des allergies alimentaires. I have food allergies.
  49. [18:56]Un peu plus de pain s’il vous plaît ! Some more bread please.
  50. [19:17] S’il vous plaaaaaaaaaaît !!! Come-on, get over here!

Conclusion

Be your nice friendly selves and try a little French, those are the secrets to a great time of eating in France.

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An Exploration of French Wines, Episode 158

An Exploration of French Wines, Episode 158


An Exploration of French Wines, Dave Walsh and his family

Introduction

Let me tell you a secret, folks. When you come to France and you go buy some wine, you are going to be surprised! Let’s say you step into a supermarket in Paris on your way back to your hotel one night. You will not find a section for Merlot and a section for Pinot Noir. Nope, what you will see is words like Corbière and Bordeaux and Loire. But what’s in those wines? If you love Cabernet and hate Merlot, how do know which one to avoid in France?

In comes today’s guest: French wine scholar Dave Walsh. “French Wine Scholar” is a certification that he took and it’s pretty clear he is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. Dave is better than a sommelier because he’s not trying to sell you anything. He is simply trying to help you make sense of it all.

We chat about things like what’s a “terroir”? What does history have to do with wine-making? What are the basics you need to understand? How do you know what wine to pick to match your taste?  And, of course, we chat about the varieties of wines each French region uses.

Also note that below the fold, you will find a table that shows grape varieties used in various French wine regions. Make this your own cheat sheet that shows what French wines you’ll enjoy best.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 If you like this episode, you should also check out: Wine Touring in Beaune, Burgundy, the Wine Museum in Paris, French Wine Regions and Loire Valley Wines

What You Will Learn About in this Episode

 

  • 2’30 Guiguettes in Paris this summer.
  • 6′ New cultural center at Boulogne Billancourt
  • 7’30 Wine Scholar Program, why is France such a unique wine country?
  • 11’30 The Wine Scholar Program explains the history of French wines.
  • 14’35 French wine, much like the rest of France, are full of exceptions.
  • 15’30 Wine Folly
  • 16’30 The Champagne Region: labels should say “méthode traditionelle” instead of “méthode champenoise”
  • 19′ The color of the wine comes from leaving the juice in contact with the skin for more or less time.
  • 21′ The sweetness of champagne goes from “brut” (dry) all the way to “doux” (sweet).
  • 22’30 The acidity of the wine balances the sugar. A wine with more acid can have more sugar in it, but you don’t taste it, it won’t taste sugary at all.
  • 24′ Burgundy: high priced wines, renowned wineries. Aligoté.
  • 26′ What the word “terroir” means in French. It’s the growing environment which includes the type of soil, rocky or not, windy or not, dry, wet, etc.
  • 31′ In Burgundy they don’t blend wines like they do in the rest of France.
  • 33′ Movie “Ce qui nous lie
  • 33’30 Bordeaux wines: the history of Bordeaux wines has been tumultuous because Chinese buyers love wines from this region.
  • 36′ Wine blending, why they do it.
  • 38′ South-West wines such as Fronton that most folks don’t know about.
  • 39’30 Annie hates non blended Negrette wines, Elyse doesn’t mind them, but she also thinks Montmartre wine is OK.
  • 41′ Cahors wines are mostly Malbec, Madiran is also a popular grape in the South-West. Corbières wines are also lovely.
  • 42’30 Loire Valley wines.
  • 45’30 Rhone Valley wines; Côtes du Rhône wines are a great value.
  • 48’10 Languedoc-Roussillon makes the most wine by volume.
  • 48’30 The relationship between climate and wine characteristics: in areas that get a lot of sun, grapes tend to thicken their skin when the sun hits them. If the skin is thicker, you will get more color, more tanins, more of certain aromatics. Areas that get less sun have wines with less vibrant colors, and the wine is more delicate. That’s why warmer regions produce beefier, heavier wines.
  • 50′ With its long history with wine-making, France has had the time to stipulate which grapes are grown in specific areas. There were also political considerations. Burgundy was not part of France for a long time and when the French King (Charles the Bald) finally took over, he decreed that they were not to have any Gamay and use Pinot Noir instead.
  • 51’40 The rules pertaining to which grapes are grown in which region are old, but they are also ever-changing. Changes will need to be made to take climate change into account.
  • 52’15 Wines from the Alsace region. This area has a unique history and they also produce a wide variety of (mostly) white wines. 80% of Alsace  wines are not blended.
  • 53’15 Languedoc-Roussillon is a massive wine-growing region that makes 5% of wine production world-wide and 1/3 of France’s production.
  • 54’56 A lot of organic wine is produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon because the wind makes it so they don’t have to spray so much.
  • 55’31 When is it OK to stop by a vineyard and when is it not? Don’t do it in Burgundy, it will only work half of the time in the Bordeaux are, but you can totally stop by unannounced in the Languedoc-Roussillon area.
  • 56’30 Tastings in Napa vs. in France. Depending on the time of year, you may stop in at a very busy time of year. Check the websites. But in the Languedoc-Roussillon, they are casual about visitors.
  • 58’15 Beaume-de-Venise is an example of how wine regions don’t always overlap 100% with geographical regions.
  • 60′ French people do drink a lot of rosé as soon as the weather warms up. We drink more rosé than whites. Not many wines.
  • 61′ Rosé Piscine is very popular in the summer, so are rosé wines mixed with a little grapefruit juice.
  • 65′ Do French people think of wine as a food? Yes, the wine is part of the meal, it’s almost like one block that goes together.
  • 68′ I don’t know if the average Americans drink more than French overall because we don’t binge.
  • 70′ The health message people shouldn’t drink alcohol every day but rather take days off is starting to percolate through to French people. French people are also moving towards higher quality wines.
  • 86′ Feedback from Nancy Caulkins about the Canal Saint-Martin.

Support the show on Patreon.


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Conclusion

French wines are not rocket science, but they are certainly different from what people are used to in most of the world. I’ve heard people say that soon enough French wine makers will all list varietals on their labels. Really? I’m not seeing that very much. I’ve also heard that American wine makers are trying to brand more by region. Yes, I do think that’s happening actually! I cannot predict the future, but I can tell you that if you remember some of the things Dave shared on today’s episode, the wine section at the French grocery store will now make a lot more sense than it did before!

Continue reading An Exploration of French Wines, Episode 158

Seeing Doctors in France, Episode 133

Seeing Doctors in France, How Does It Work?


SAMU ambulance in France, doctors in FranceNobody wants to get sick on vacation, and folks who visit France certainly don’t want to be in an accident, but if it happens, you’ll find out first-hand what it’s like seeing doctors in France. I suggest you get acquainted with the way medicine works in France just in case. A lot of things are going to surprise you!

If you like this episode, you should also listen to Episode 131`

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Episode Highlights

  • What happens if you’re in an accident in France?
  • What if you’re unwell, but it’s not urgent?
  • How to find a doctor in France
  • 13 things you need to know about the French health care system
  • In France the insurance is socialized, doctors are in private practice
  • French doctors still make house calls
  • Answering service
  • You can choose any doctor you like
  • Most French doctors do not have staff
  • How the Carte Vitale works
  • How much will you pay?
  • French doctor’s office are plain-looking
  • French hospitals are plain-looking
  • Public hospitals vs. Clinics in France
  • Doctors who teach at medical schools
  • 50% of doctors in France are women
  • Medical tourism is not common in France

Support the show on Patreon.


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