Yabla is a great online French learning magazine. While it may be a little advanced for some folks, it has all the functions I wanted. You listen and watch native speakers present on interesting topic about life, culture, art, fashion and events, etc. in a simple video format that has the added advantages of spelling out in French and English for each sentence below the videos, which you can use tabs to slow down, pause, go back or skip forward, and it has a dictionary you can use at the same time on the side of the screen by simply clicking on the desired word, and a word fill-in game, all at the same time. Really a great resource. http://french.yabla.com/
Pimsleur - 30 minute lessons
Download for your audio player or listen here. Please allow a moment for the file to load in your browser or mp3 audio plugin. Right-Click on link and "Save Link As" to your French Language Files.
How To Make French Sound Right 16:30 (sixteen minutes, thirty seconds long) This MP3 file was a free download with the "Essential French Vocabulary" book Anet showed in class. It explains how to shape the sounds and capture the music of French.
Download these ZIP files to your music folder and UNZIP to get the MP3s.
From Sheila Albert:
Christine Piccin invites you to "Why We Love Paris" taught every Spring and Fall through SRJC Community Ed. Christine has gathered over years of traveling to Paris are helpful. These tips will make your Paris travel much simpler. Bon voyage!
Paris Délices.pdf for lovers of French food
Credit and bank cards: I’ve never encountered a problem using my American credit card in restaurants or stores, or my American ATM card at bank ATM machines (though your pin number should be four digits only).
American credit cards and ATM cards (without a microchip on the front like French cards have) don’t work in many of the freestanding electronic machines, though -- think payphones, metro and train station ticket machines, street parking ticket machines, and freeway toll stations. You have to go to a staffed toll booth, counter or window to use your credit card, where there will be no problem.
Do let your bank know you’ll be traveling so you don’t trigger credit card security, which scans for unusual card usage and may put a hold on your card if you travel outside your home area. I take my bank card’s international toll-free number with me just in case a hold is placed on my card—I write it on the photocopy of my passport that I keep in my luggage. I take a second credit card with me in case a hold is placed on the first card and I’m unable to deal with it expeditiously.
Driving in Paris? Parking machines for street parking in Paris require “parking cards” which are available at all “tabacs” (newspaper/cigarette shops) in €10 or €30 increments. (Parking machines do not accept money or regular credit cards.) Parking is paid Monday-Saturday, 9 am-7 pm. Overnight and on Sundays street parking is free. It’s also free on public holidays, and in August. Your hotel will charge for parking—unless, it’s August, it’s usually worth it!
Metro savoir-faire: Individual metro tickets are €1.60. If you think you’ll take the metro fewer than 6 times a day, a carnet (a pack of ten tickets) is your best bet (11.40€).
You can buy unlimited-use metro cards (called Carte Orange or Navigo Découverte cards) for around 22€ per week at ticket windows of main metro stations. The weekly pass is good Monday-Sunday and is the best value if you’re staying a week. They’re also available by month. You’ll need a passport-style photo 3cm high x 2.5 cm wide. Bring one that you’ve cut to size at home, or have one taken in the photo booth in one of the larger metro stations.
Another metro alternative is a Paris Visite card, which is good for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days, the timing beginning with the first time you use it. That would make more sense if you arrive in Paris midweek and are planning to use the metro a lot. The cards run €8-28, an average of €7-8 per day for unlimited use.
Note: some smaller metro stations don’t have staffed ticket windows, only those automatic ticket machines. The machines accept Euros, or credit cards with microchips on them. You cannot use American credit cards in those machines so plan to have Euros, or go to a ticket window in larger metro stations if you want to use your credit card.
You can buy Paris museum passes online, at the airport, or at the museums themselves. 2-day, 4-day and 6-day passes are 35, 50, and 65 € respectively — good for unlimited visits to around 60 Paris museums; no waiting in lines, either. When you get to the museum, locate the entrance reserved for pass-holders and zip past the unprepared! Just that benefit makes it worthwhile. (P.S. 10 of Paris’ smaller municipal museums are free, including the Carnavalet and the Petit Palais.)
Try Paris museums by night: d’Orsay is open Thursday nights and the Louvre on Wednesdays and Fridays. During the summer, Sainte Chappelle is open on Wednesday nights, too and a couple times during the year, some museums are open all night long! It’s a great way to avoid crowds and the museums are exceptionally peaceful. Make your dinner reservation for afterward!
Anet's May 2012 Paris
Jeff Danner April 2012 Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo
Pam Long's July 2012 Loire and Bourgogne
Pam Long's July 2012 More Loire and Bourgogne
Anet's Sept 2010 Cruise Montreal to Quebec
Anet's Sept 2010 Quebec - Like France With Half The Hassle
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