Real insight on French culture from a French native point of view.
Mostly run by Em, 26, living in Paris.
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Liberté, Egalité, Croque au Comté
Do you share the perception that France is more suportive of its intelligentsia than, say, America and Great Britain (Where maybe pragmatism, and "make do", push towards "anti-intellectualism")?


France pushes kids into scientific fields despite all free will. Literary fields, languages, are more and more frowned upon as the “system” tends to teach that mastering these will lead you nowhere. It teaches that only sciences will provide a job and money, that Literary fields will only lead you to being a teacher (which is great though!). There are however so many other jobs linked to the Literary worlds that no one speak about anymore and hence aren’t not supported at all. So now, we’re nurturing this new generation of over qualified scientifics that end up working as cashiers because there aren’t enough jobs for them in France. The luckiest can travel abroad and find jobs there, but France doesn’t always provide what has been promised to them. 

And on the other hand, despite all their scientific knowledge, most of them are incapable of speaking anything more than their mother tongue, which they hardly speak correctly. And as a recruiter in cultural fields, I can solemnly testify that art history students for example barely can do anything else than reading books. The cultural and by extension literary fields are completely disconnected from the real world and nobody teaches them how to work. Thinking properly is one thing, making yourself paid for it is another one and both cannot exist without the other. So, personally, I stopped recruiting students from Literary fields, I’m recruiting in the Economics field, and I teach them art history myself afterwards. Sincerely, the students I meet on a daily basis are incapable of taking initiatives or risks, they mostly are bookworms who know tons about everything but nobody teaches them how to produce thanks to this knowledge. 

So now, it all depends on what you mean by “supporting the intelligentsia”. If you consider it as keeping the knowledge alive, yes it does. If you consider is as making it progress, from my point of view, I have doubts regarding some fields. I feel like it’s glued into archaic conceptions of what culture is and should be, and the system refuses to teach that mastering languages, philosophy, art can actually generate loads of money. As the #1st cultural destination, let me tell you how of a shame it is. But yeah, it supports science.. 

I'm going to be in Paris for three to four days, how much money should I budget per day for food and such?

It all depends on what you intend to do! 

Metro/bus tickets cost between 1.50€ and 2€. Quality restaurants ( meaning which won’t serve you frozen industrial food…) cost around 25€ for a menu without drinks, sandwich+cookie+a soda costs between 7 and 12€. Breakfasts in cafés cost around 8€ I think. Museums/touristic places entrance tickets are usually 10-20-ish depending in your age/living location/the museum itself. 

Now it all depends on where you’ll stay (will you be able to cook food there or is it an hotel..) and what you’ll choose to do. Calculate on your own now :) 

Comment dit-on "I am hungover"? In google translate I got "je suis la gueule de bois" but looking up individual words translates directly to "I am wood mouth" haha. Should it be j'ai instead of je suis? Anyway, if that is correct could you explain the idiom?

*J’ai la gueule de bois. 

It indeed means “wooden mouth”. It comes from an old saying that was meaning your mouth is as dry as wood the next morning. It evolved and became gueule de bois. Also, you generally use “avoir” to speak about symptoms or diseases > j’ai la gueule de bois, j’ai un mal de crâne, j’ai un rhume, j’ai la grippe… Using être mostly refers to deeper situations, which being hungover isn’t ;) 

I'm in Paris by myself for a few days. How can I best spend my time here while still being safe?


Don’t show off your valuable items, try to stick to populated areas past 1am and you’ll be fine. 

I’m thinking about releasing a new penpal service but I need help. I just need someone who could help me design it and maybe help me run it? Anybody interested? You don’t need to be fluent in French at all, but I guess you should be able to read basic French? Let me know !

do you know some people i can skype ,some people to practice my french with?

Check the penpal tag, it’s right on my blog’s bar. 

Hi, I'm trying to translate this sentence 'How you made me is amazing and wonderful.' and I got 'le façon dont tu m'as fait est incroyable et merveilleux' is this okay or is there a better, more natural way of expressing this? Thank you so much x


Comme tu m’as fait(e) est incroyable et merveilleux.

quel est le sens de "la la lère" j'ai cherché sur voutre blog, mais je n'ai trouvé rien.

*votre blog :p

It’s a childish onomatopeia, like when children stick out their tongue at you, they say la la la lère. Sort of like “got you”, I guess?

ça quoi selon toi la best traduction pour «dévergondé» en anglais. question random sorryyyyyyy, love your blog btw <3


I don’t know… Can someone find a great equivalent? Dévergondé means free in a sexual way, someone who couldn’t care less about others’ opinion, and from an “traditional” point of view, it means someone sort of libertine, slightly sexually perverted. Does anyone have an idea?

Is it true that the French can take hours to eat one meal?


Not everyday but that can happen, yeah. Especially if you celebrate something.

Street art from illustrator Akiza

Street art from illustrator Akiza


is 'Je suis de mauvais poil' correct?


Sure. (It means to be in a bad mood for those who don’t know.)

What does "guéguerre" mean?


A childish fight/argument. 

If it's not too personal, can I ask why you want to move to the US?


A bit of the American dream, a lot of pragmatism : as a lesbian, I can get married and legally have kids there without travelling abroad to get inseminated. Also, as an art gallerist, GREAT companies are there like Sotheby’s, Christies, tons of amazing international galleries, I wish I could gravitate around them more often. Private Art business is kinda dead in France. 

I’m thinking about moving to Canada though!

hi em! if i wanted to say 'i think it will be too sad' is 'je pense que il soit trop triste' a good translation? thank you soo much in advance for your help! :)


Je pense que ça sera trop triste.