Paris preview

France

The single official language of France is French, one of the few European countries that has one official language. And while it is entirely possible to limit yourself to the "Anglophone" side of Paris, the smallest effort towards learning the language will enhance your experience. In the touristy areas, almost everyone speaks English, as do many of the younger generation. In fact, you may be discouraged when trying to practice your new language skills and you find that the other person keeps reverting to English. It is not any indication of your ability...often times, the French just want to practice their English.

That said, there is still a large portion of the population who do not speak English and is obstinate about trying to understand it, much less learn. Often, these are the people with whom you need to communicate the most, i.e. the employees of the Prefecture, the TV repairman or the guardien(ne) of your building. Learning the local language gives you a greater opportunity to understand its culture, make friends and shake your o…