Parisians may seem aloof and cold but you as long as you know how to approach them they'll be happy to converse with you. The French can be very friendly but you must try to speak their language as they are very proud of it. Here's some tips for making friends in Paris or anywhere in France:
- Learn a little French before you take your trip, even if it's just the basics. Practice saying the phrases into a mirror. Even making a fool of yourself is an ice-breaker, so don't take yourself too seriously.
- When engaging a Parisian, always speak French first. Simply ask them something about their city or for a good recommendation for a bakery.
- If you don't know hardly any French try either of the following:
- "Desolee je ne parle pas francais" is a great searching phrase. It means "Sorry, I do not speak French", but it at least shows you are sensitive enough to announce it.
- "Bonjour, Mon français est très mauvais. Parlez vous Anglais?" Hello. My French is very bad. Do you speak English?
Learn French!As you noticed above, being friendly with the French means learning their language. Luckily there are some great free resources online to help you learn French and get a basic fluency level rather quickly.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french - I love the BBC language website as they have portals for many different languages. Their French page is particularly well done.
- http://archive.org/details/Fsi-FrenchBasicCourserevised-Volume1 - You can download these mp3 files and listen to these lessons on the go.
- http://radiolingua.com/shows/french/coffee-break-french - The very useful Coffee Break French podcast from Radio Lingua.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/mafrance/podcast - The BBC also offers a video Podcast.