Whether they're from Nepal, Sudan, Slovakia or Canada, high school students or young bohemians, they've all just arrived in Paris and want to know more. What are the best neighbourhoods to hang out in? How to master the subway without getting lost, trampled or pick-pocketed? Why are the French so keen on lunch?
Learn French with Daniel, a Franco-Chinese 15-year-old who is sport-mad. He would love to do skateboarding or rollerskating, but his mother will not allow him - says it’s too dangerous. We are now at the Skatepark in Paris with Nassaire, an instructor who is going to tell us about safety measures.
Learn French with Daniel, a Franco-Chinese high school student who is keen on sport. He plays basketball and football, and practises rock-climbing. But he would like to try out rollerskating or skateboarding. We asked him to meet us at the Skatepark, in the 18th arrondissement.
Learn French with Iker and Aida, both from Spain, who have been in Paris for just five months. They both love opera, films, concerts… and Paris is just the ticket! But they would like to know how to get cheap tickets. We are at the "Kiosk" near Place de la Madeleine with Claire Hazan, a journalist specialising in arts events.
Learn French with Iker and Aida, who both come from the Spanish Basque Country. They have been in Paris for five months and would like to make the most of what the French capital has to offer in terms of shows but they are a bit confused, as there is so much to choose from. We are to meet Claire Hazan near the Opera Garnier. She is the entertainments editor for Première, an online events listings.
Learn French with Sarah, a young American mum, who would like to know how women in France cope with their toddlers when they resume work. We are at Café Grenadine, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, with Marianne Dorell, the managing editor of What mums say magazine.
Learn French with Sarah, who hails from the USA and has a two-year-old boy, Oscar. Sarah is looking for places where she can meet other mums with young children. We are going to Julie’s Café Grenadine in the capital’s 14th arrondissement (district).
Learn French with Jing, a high school student from China. Jing finds the French way of life is different from China’s: here one must book an appointment for everything, and even with an appointment, one needs to queue. We are in the office of Nathalie Serfaty, who runs the agency VAP (the initials stand for Your Personal Assistant in French).
Learn French with Jing, an 18-year-old high school student. She arrived in France a year ago and she wonders why in France one has to make an appointment everywhere: at the doctor’s, at the Post Office, at the bank… We are going to meet Nathalie Serfaty, who runs VAP, an agency that recruits personal assistants.
Learn French with Caroline, who hails from Quebec. She is in Paris for a few months. We are taking a walk round Père-Lachaise Cemetery with guide Thierry Leroy who is showing us its most famous graves.
Learn French with Caroline, a 26-year-old from Quebec who is doing a stint at the Franco-Quebec Youth Office. We are going to visit the best-known cemetery in the capital with our guide Thierry Leroy and find out which famous people are buried there.
Learn French with Aida, a young Spanish journalist who has been in Paris for the last five months. Her dream is to work as a fashion journalist. We are in Galeries Lafayette with Charlotte Rosier, a fashion coach, who explains to us what makes the fashion industry tick.
Learn French with Aïda, a 32-year-old from Spain who has a keen interest in the world of fashion. She would like to know what to wear to best set off her figure while being fashionable. We are now going to Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann to meet Charlotte Rosier, a fashion coach.
Learn French with David, an English teacher from South Sudan. David is also a musician but is keen on architecture in Paris, and particularly on church architecture. We are taking him on a tour of Saint Eustache, a church in the centre of Paris.
Learn French with Francisca, a Romanian high school student who has lived in France for one year. She doesn't know how to talk about her health problems to a French doctor who might not understand her. Professor Bouchaud, head of the infectious diseases department at Avicenne hospital in northern Paris, has this advice for her.
Learn French with Luis, a young student from Chile. He adores Paris, but finds it hard to feel part of the Paris scene. We are in the Odeon district of Paris with Claude Tharreau, who lives in the 6th arrondissement and is taking us round his home patch.
Learn French with Luis, a student from Chile who is to spend two years in Paris. Luis thinks that Parisians are not particularly friendly. He would like to get to know them better. We are in the 6th arrondissement where we will meet someone who lives there.
Learn French with Parimal, a Nepalese student who is keen to learn about French cheeses. He would like to find out more about how to eat cheese – how to cut it, in what order to sample different types of cheese… We are at Bertrand’s cheese shop in Rue Mouffetard for a master class.
Learn French with Parimal, a communications student at Sciences Po from Nepal. He would like to know more about the different types of French cheeses. We are now going to a cheese shop in rue Mouffetard in the capital’s fifth arrondissement.
Learn French with Roja, a 16-year-old high school student from Iran who has lived in Paris for 18 months now. She would like to know more about taxi drivers and their work. We are in Marc Rouquet’s cab on our way to Place Charles-de-Gaulle.
Learn French with Roja, a 16-year-old high school student from Iran. Roja lives in the suburbs and when she spends an evening in Paris she finds getting back home difficult. She wonders why Parisian taxis are so expensive and why no taxi seems to be available in the evenings. We are taking her on a taxi ride round Paris with driver Marc Rouquet.
Learn French with Kevin, a 17-year-old high-school student from Colombia. He is interested in the capital’s underground quarries. He would like to know why some areas are open to the public while others are not. Let’s meet Gaspard Duval, a “cataphile” who knows all underground passages in Paris like the back of his hand.
Learn French with Kevin, a 17-year-old Colombian who has lived in Paris for six months. He would like to know how long the Catacombs have existed and how bones were taken there. We will go underground and take a tour of this unusual site with curator Rose-Marie Mousseaux.
Learn French with Sarah, a young American mum. Sarah is forever looking for places to visit with Oscar, her two-year-old son. We are now with Caroline Panot, who works at Kids City. She is taking us round the various areas of the museum devised for toddlers.
Learn French with Sarah, who hails from the USA and came to Paris for her work. She ended up staying as she met the love of her life. Her little boy is called Oscar. She is keen to find children’s activities her son can take part in. We are at the Cité des enfants, Kids City, in the north east of Paris.
Learn French with Caroline, a young Quebec woman from Montreal. We are now with Kris, a wine merchant in the third arrondissement of Paris. Kris is going to take Caroline through the various stages of wine tasting.
Learn French with Caroline, a 26-year-old from Quebec who is doing an internship at the Franco-Quebec Youth Office in Paris. She knows that France is famous for its wines but she does not know how to choose a good wine. We are now at the Cave du Barav, a wine merchant’s shop close to Place de la République.
Learn French with Parimal, a young Nepalese who is studying at the political sciences institute Sciences Po. In Paris, he has come to enjoy sitting at the "terrasse" of a café to watch passers-by. We are at the "terrasse" of a café at the Place de la Contrescarpe where we meet Axelle Carlier, who writes a blog for Paris Zigzag. She is going to tell us why Parisians enjoy "terrasse" life and what their favourite "terrasses" are.
Learn French with Parimal, a student from Nepal who has been in Paris for three months. He is wondering why all the chairs at the "terrasses" of Paris’s cafés face towards the road. Is it to watch the passers-by? We are sitting at the "terrasse" of the Contrescarpe café at the top of Rue Mouffetard.
Learn French with Luis, a 32-year-old International Relations post-graduate student from Chile. Back home, all administrative procedures are carried out via the internet. We are now in a Post Office in the 7th arrondissement in Paris, and postal worker Eric Monot shows him what different types of mail services are on offer.
Learn French with Luis, a Chilean student who has lived in Paris for the last two years. He thinks that there is a lot of red tape in France, whether you are at the Post Office or the bank…. Luis wonders why the French seem so reluctant to move into the modern age. We meet with Yamina Chenoun, the woman in charge of the main post office in the 7th arrondissement in the French capital. She will introduce Luis to the range of services on offer at the Post Office.
Learn French with Ada, a Russian pianist from Moscow. We are at Marché Vernaison, part of the Paris Flea Market. Ada is keen to learn how to haggle over prices. And indeed the Flea Market is one of the few places in Paris where it is possible to haggle. However it is crucial to know what things are worth in the first place.
Learn French with Ada, a 26-year-old pianist from Russia. Ada would like to visit the Flea Market, because there is no such thing in her country. So we are touring Marché Biron which specialises in antiques under the guidance of its chairperson Frédérique Morel.
Learn French with Nabil, who is from Morocco and has lived in Paris for a year and a half. Back home, he lived close to the sea. So here in Paris he is fond of taking walks along the Seine because it reminds him a bit of his native land. He would like to find out about what goes on on the banks of the river. Our guide, Axelle Carlier, who publishes a blog dedicated to the French capital called Paris Zigzag, takes Nabil to the Tino Rossi Gardens on the Quai Saint-Bernard.
Learn French with Nabil, a 32-year-old from Morocco. Since he has been in Paris he has been fond of walks along the Seine but he has not yet been on a boat to see the capital from the river. So we decided to take a trip on board a Batobus tourist cruise boat with tourist guide Axelle Carlier, who tells Nabil about the Seine’s historical, commercial and geographical importance.
Learn French with Alexandra, a 28-year-old student from Slovakia. She has been living in Paris for a year and is interested in the Haussmann-era buildings that are so typical of the French capital’s architectural landscape. But she never had the chance to visit one. We are meeting with estate agent Amaury Vercken, who is to show us round a Haussmann-era apartment.
Learn French with Alexandra, a management and marketing student from Slovakia. She has been living in Paris for a year and has noticed there is one type of building one often comes across in different parts of the French capital – the so-called Haussmann building. Alexandra would like to know more about it and its features. Architect Gilles Fiant is going to give her all the relevant information.
Romak is an 18-year-old high school student from Iran. He is fond of pastries and would like to know how French pastries are prepared and what ingredients are used. He wonders whether anyone can bake his own pastries. After sampling a few at the Pâtisserie de l’Eglise, we are invited into the pâtissier’s "laboratory" to witness how they are prepared.
Learn French with Romak, an 18-year-old high school student from Iran who wants to study medicine. Romak has been in Paris for a year and a half. He is particularly fond of pastries. He is keen on sampling French pastries but does not know how to go about buying any as he does not know their names. To help him taste some of the best known pastries we went to meet Monsieur Demoncy, one of the best pâtissiers in Paris, at Pâtisserie de l’Eglise, in the 20th arrondissement.
Team up with Nataly, a 17-year-old from Syria, who has lived in Paris for the last two years. Nataly is wondering when working Parisians find time to do their shopping as shops tend to be closed when they leave work. We are now in Rue Saint-Antoine, a bustling shopping street in the tourist Marais district, accompanied by Guy Scemama, the man in charge of the local shopkeepers’ association. We will continue with our inquiries and visit a few of the shops.
Team up with Nataly, a 17-year -old from Syria, who has lived in Paris for the last two years. Nataly is fond of shopping. She asks herself when working Parisians find time to do their shopping as shops open late and close early. Unlike in Syria, where shops stay open until late in the evening. So we decided to investigate and checked out Rue Saint-Antoine, a bustling shopping street, accompanied by Guy Scemama, the man in charge of the local shopkeepers’ association.
Learn French with Ada, a Russian student at the National Music College in Paris. Ada enjoys taking walks in the Buttes-Chaumont park. She comes from Moscow, where one does not find this type of landscaped park of the Romantic style. During our tour we come across Jean-Bernard Dero, one of the gardeners, who explains to Ada who comes to the park and tells her what happens on a typical day at Buttes-Chaumont.
Learn French with Ada, a Russian pianist, who arrived in Paris from Moscow three months ago. She is studying at the National Music College near the Buttes-Chaumont park where she enjoys taking walks. That’s why she would like to know more about the park, its history and spots of interest. So we are going to go on a tour with the head of the park’s workshop, Claude Rouanet. She has all the facts at her fingertips.
Learn French with Alexandra, from Slovakia, who came to Paris last year. Right away she noticed that food was an important part of French life. But like many foreigners in Paris, she felt a bit lost when consulting the menus of Parisian restaurants. That’s why we went together to the famous Brasserie Mollard, where the manager explained the menu.
Join Alexandra, from Slovakia, to learn about why lunch is so important to Parisians. Alexandra is 28 years old and came to Paris a year ago. She noticed that Parisian restaurants are all full at lunchtime and offices are empty between noon and 2.00pm. To understand the tradition we brought her to the famous Brasserie Mollard near the Saint Lazare railway station, where the manager, Mr Malchow, answered our questions.
Learn French with today’s guest, Anja. She comes from Serbia and and is not used to the metro in Paris. She would like to have a better knowledge of the different lines and passengers’ behaviour. The metro is full at certain times and one must be aware of what to do to avoid being pushed about. Patrick Ung, who devised the Paris-ci la sortie du metro app (a pun on Par ici la sortie du métro – This way out), is going to give her tips on how to survive in the metro.
Learn French with 18 year old Anja from Serbia. She arrived in Paris three years ago. She wants to study languages, tourism or journalism. Anja finds it difficult to get around Paris on the metro and she would like to know how to make things easier. To help her, we turned to Patrick Ung, who devised the Paris-ci la sortie du metro app (a pun on Par ici la sortie du métro – This way out) to help passengers pick the best routes when using the underground system. He has a lot of advice to give her.
Learn French with Nabil. Our guest, who is from Morocco, is familiar with business people who book into top-of-the-range hotels because it was his job to look after them. Now he lives in Paris and would like to know what types of hotel are sought by individual tourists who visit Paris during their holidays. As it happens, it is this group of client Delphine Darteyre, staff member at the Paris Tourist Information Office, deals with. She is used to finding ways to meet their increasingly varied requests.
Learn French with Nabil. He is 32, and has lived in Paris for the last 18 months. He comes from Morocco where he worked in top-of-the-range hotels, where guests were mostly business people. He knows little of what accommodation is available to tourists in Paris, and he is keen to find out what types of hotel are on offer. So we took him to the Tourist Information Office in Paris where staff member Delphine Darteyre is ready to answer Nabil’s questions.
Learn French with David who moved to Paris from South Sudan four years ago. He's used to grid cities, so the French capital still seems like a labyrinth sometimes. Art historian and tour guide Régis Labourdette, member of the Promenades urbaines organisation, gives him tips on the city's layout and explains the major roads in the capital.
Learn French with David, a 34-year-old English teacher and musician from South Sudan. He came to live in Paris four years ago but he's never been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and wants to know the story behind the capital's most iconic building. Art historian and tour guide Régis Labourdette, a member of the Promenades urbaines organisation, answers his questions.