Asterix, an inspiring character in French culture

Asterix is a fictional French character who is famous for protecting his village from all invasions. It’s difficult not to think of the current situation in France where the French are fighting hard to protect their social benefits.  Can we make a parallel between Asterix called the “irreducible Gaul” and the French who have been going on strike and demonstrating since the end of January 2023? 

You may not have heard of Asterix but French people, young and old, have known him since childhood and feel a certain tenderness for this Gaul who tends to become more and more a symbol of the French. 

Asterix is a skinny blond-haired Gaul, who wears a helmet with wings. He is smart, brave and can be very strong physically when he takes the magic potion prepared by Panoramix, the druid of the village. His best friend is Obelix. The latter is tall, fat and has red braided hair. Obelix does not need to take the magic potion to be strong, he fell into it when he was little, consequently, he is always physically strong. He is friendly, funny and sweet with his little dog: Idefix. Asterix and Obelix both have a mustache. 

Tiffany Amrein, student in political sciences at Strasbourg University, says that Asterix is one of the reasons to be “proud of being French because like in the Asterix comic books, the French are portrayed as smarter (…) They are always the exception”.

In 2023, many  French people are angry about  the increased age of retirement: 64 years old, from 62. During the demonstrations against pension reform, some people acknowledged the comparison with the “irreducible Gaul” by being dressed up as Asterix but they clearly understand the difference between fiction and reality. Pension reform will directly impact their future and finances. Fighting for their social benefits is second nature for the French and going on strike has been a constitutional right since 1946.

The popularity of the character has been proven once more on February 1, 2023, when French director Guillaume Canet’s latest movie: Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, was released in France. The opening was the most successful for a French-speaking movie in French movie theaters in 10 years: 466,703 people saw the movie the first day it was released, according to Le Monde.  Yann Tholoniat, Professor of literature at Université de Lorraine in Metz and demonstrator, says “the directors who make Asterix movies know that the French-speaking audience is captivated by this character.”

Asterix was created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo in 1959. Since then, the popularity of this character has become very important in French culture, in French-speaking countries and in many other countries all over the world. Nowadays, Asterix comic albums have been translated into 116 languages and regional dialects.

In 2023, Netflix will release a five-episode Asterix TV show, produced by Alain Chabat, the same producer as Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, released in 2002. At that time, it was a major box office success: $128 million. 

The “irreducible Gaul” is the main character of 39 comic books. Conrad and FabCaro, the current illustrators of Asterix, who are continuing the work of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, are working on the 40th one. The first one was called Asterix the Gaul; it was released in 1961. 

Asterix also became the main character of animated movies. The first, was an adaptation of the first comic book. It was released in 1967. A little more than 20 years later, in 1989, he became the main theme of an amusement park near Paris: Le Parc Astérix, a competitor of Disneyland Paris. Ten  years later, in 1999, the first live-action movie was released. Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu were the main actors in  this first cinematographic adaptation of the comic book. Other live-action movies were released later:  Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002) and Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (2023), for instance.

Parc Asterix had 2.6 M visitors in 2022, a record for the park. Sebastien Finet, radio speaker for RFM Rhône Alpes, remembers the date of the opening of the park very well. It was on April 30, 1989. It was one of the first theme parks in France. He remembers having been amazed by the world of Asterix: “I was immediately hooked on this universe … To see the world of Asterix in the comics and to see it in real life with the village and the different countries found in the albums.”  

Asterix has become more and more popular over the years. He is even mentioned in rap songs! Booba and Jul, two rap artists, have mentioned Asterix and his magical potion to become even stronger to fight against enemies. 

Since the 1970’s, some French presidents have referred to Asterix by quoting some of expressions that appear in the comic strips. 

In August 2018, during a speech delivered in Denmark, President Macron compared the French population to “Gaulois réfractaires aux changements”, that is to say “Gauls who are resistant to change”. This definition created a scandal among the French population. Some French people thought that it was condescending. President Macron had to justify his words in another speech the same week: “It’s necessary to take a little distance from the social platforms. I love France and the French, whether you want to hear it or not, and I love it in all its components. I love them, those Gallic tribes. I love what we are”.  

Many in France are frequently demonstrating or going on strike because of pension reform. Asterix is a fictional character who is famous to be an “irreducible Gaul”. But according to Yann Tholoniat, “one could say that to a certain extent, of course, demonstrators are irreducible Gauls as they are described in the albums by Uderzo and Goscinny. Afterwards, one must think of the term “irreducible”, that is to say that they can’t be stopped. It happens that, in any case, Macron’s government uses everything it can to stop them”.

In the beginning, France was populated by Gauls but the comparison with “nos ancêtres, les Gaulois” (our ancestors, the Gauls) and Asterix has limits for the French. The Gauls that the French people know today are the Gauls from the Asterix stories, while the ancient Gauls who populated what is now France had different characteristics. According to the Franco-American Centre, which promotes French language, culture and heritage through educational programs, cultural activities and social events, the ancient Gauls were often farmers and knew the craft of metal-working.

The fictional Gauls are strong, funny and love enjoying life by eating a lot and partying, but they are also stubborn, disorganized, not subtle, not graceful and not always very smart.

Brett Lipshutz, an American Francophile and psychotherapist-in-training thinks that Asterix and his gang are “ a symbol of the old France”. Asterix is “typically French in the stereotypical sense of French”. Asterix may mean so much for the French because the France of the past is disappearing and they do not want that. Everybody speaks about Asterix with nostalgia, exactly like they speak about “the good old times”. 

The French are seeing their privileges disappear, they do not know what is in store for them in the future. Some demonstrators are attached to the past because they fear the future. The current context: inflation, war in Ukraine tends to make them even more worried and angrier.  

On March 16, 2023, Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister used Article 49.3 of the Constitution to impose the pension reform without having a National Assembly vote. 

Since January 19, 2023, there have been 11 days of demonstrations and strikes which have paralyzed the country. The next day of demonstrations will take place on April 13. The number of demonstrators is going down but the ones who are still demonstrating are not ready to give up and President Macron is becoming less and less popular. According to a BVA survey, his popularity rate has decreased since the use of Article 49.3, and only 28% of the French population still has a positive opinion of the President. The lowest percentage for Macron was 23% in December 2018 during the crisis of the yellow vests. We can wonder if the French will continue to resist and will be as victorious as Asterix in this battle against the government.


Testimonies about the significance of Asterix in the life of 3 people, two French and an American. Different ages.


In this video, you will see the interview of Yann Tholoniat, professor of literature at Université de Lorraine, in France. He’s also a demonstrator. He gives his opinion about the possible connection between Asterix and the demonstrators against pension reform in France.

Sources: and


There have been 11 days of demonstrations in 2023, the next demonstration day is planned on April 13.

Source: Ministry of domestic affairs

Emmanuelle Franks

Les prépositions spatiales

dans = in
Derrière – behind
sur = on
à droite de = on the right of / à côté de = next to
devant = in front of

Les formations de Califrenchlife

Califrenchlife propose des formations pour les professionnels du FLE.

Califrenchlife peut également développer votre test de positionnement selon les critères du CECRL.

Les formations peuvent être dispensées en présentiel aux Etats-Unis ou à distance via Zoom.

En plus des différentes formations TV5MONDE, Califrenchlife propose:

  • des formations d’habilitation de correcteurs-examinateurs DELF-DALF et des formations pour améliorer l’enseignement du FLE:
  • exploiter le document iconographique en cours de langue
  • exploiter un clip musical / une chanson en cours de langue
  • produire des podcasts
  • enrichir un cours de langue quand il faut suivre une méthode
  • l’utilisation des outils numériques en cours de langue
  • les démarches pour enseigner le FOS
  • créer un climat de confiance
  • retenir des apprenants débutants
  • créer un blog pédagogique pour stimuler les apprenants
  • des conférences sur des sujets culturels et linguistiques variés, selon vos intérêts
  • des cours de grammaire sur des sujets complexes pour les enseignants non-natifs et ceux qui veulent renforcer leurs connaissances
  • les méthodologies de la dissertation, de la synthèse, du résumé et du compte-rendu
  • des ateliers d’écriture
  • enseigner en faisant des podcasts
  • L’éducation aux médias en classe de FLE
  • Utiliser les outils mutimédias en classe de FLE
  • L’interculturalité
  • Créer des podcasts avec un public enfant
  • enseigner avec des documents authentiques
  • maîtriser le CECRL …

Cette liste n’est pas exhaustive, Califrenchlife s’adapte à vos besoins.

Formations TV5MONDE:

  • Apprendre et Enseigner avec TV5MONDE
  • Enseigner la Francophonie avec TV5MONDE
  • Enseigner la francophonie des Amériques avec TV5MONDE
  • L’éducation aux médias avec TV5MONDE
  • Comment exploiter un document audiovisuel et créer une fiche pédagogique
  • Les ressources pédagogiques éducatives pour un public enfant
  • Enseigner AP French avec TV5MONDE
  • Comment intégrer le dispositif Apprendre  et l’application Apprendre dans vos cours de FLE
  • Modifier et personnaliser une fiche pédagogique existante pour la rendre entièrement accessible au profil de vos apprenants…

Toutes ces formations sont animées de manière professionnelle par Emma , formatrice TV5MONDE labellisée et formatrice de correcteurs-examinateurs DELF-DALF.

Contactez Califrenchlife pour plus d’informations:

La Fête de la musique californienne 2020

The Alliance Française de Pasadena, the Alianza Francesa de Mexicali and the Alliance Française de San Diego are excited to bring you the first “Fête de la Musique Californienne” where musicians from all around the world will share their music with you across the screen! Each musician will play 2-3 songs or medleys of their choice. Let’s discover the artists who will perform on June 20 from 5pm to 8pm on Facebook Live on the page of one of these Alliances!

Saori Jo

She is a French artist who lives in Eastern France. Her singing style navigates between Paloma Faith and Kate Bush. While never deviating too far from the mainstream, there’s an enchanting quirkiness about her album as it moves from Bush/Amos piano territory to dabbling in elements of European folk, blues and jazz. For the Fête de la Musique Californienne, she will be accompanied on the guitar by Miguel Ruiz and on the bass guitar by Franck Schmidt. 

She is currently popular because she made a parody of two songs from Frozen about the confinement and the end of the stay-at-home order in France. She denounces the fact that many people are carefree and want to waste their money on frivolous things despite the hardship they recently lived during the confinement due to COVID-19. She sings in French and in English.

To know more about Saori Jo:  



Discover Some Chocolat

Listen to COVID19 Le Déconfinement, one of the parodies inspired by Frozen.

The Razzmatazz

As La Fête de la Musique Californienne also includes Baja California, in Mexico, you will also have the possibility to discover Spanish-speaking artists from Mexico such as The Razzmatazz.

Discover their song Nueva Era:

Kumbia Katrina

Let’s dance to this song of Kumbia Katrina: Esa Morena

Big Boss Bubeleh

This band from San Diego is very pleasant to listen to. Their music is nice and relaxing. Their songs are categorized in gypsy jazzy klezmer pop.

Big Boss Bubeleh is a duo guitar. Yael was born in Paris, France and Vlady in Poltava, Ukraine.
Musically they tread on the blues with R&B grooves and gypsy moves.
What they said about Fête de la musique:
“Fête de la musique unites the world in joy and art. Together we make it a ride through our Era as we sail together in the creation of musical freedom”.
Meet them here:, @BigBossBubeleh

Enjoy their song called Coffee!

Vincent Courtoy

He is a Belgian/American Rock artist To know more about Vincent Courtoy:


Other fantastic artists will be part of the Fête de la Musique Californienne:

Sacha Boutros

Véronique Forget

Los del Àtico

Don’t miss this great international event!

Read more about this event

Would you like to read more?

This article in French explains the tradition of La Fête de la Musique in France

April 2020: The program of the thematic classes online offered by the Alliance Française de Pasadena

Due to COVID-19, you’re at home and you may be happy to have the opportunity to practice your French with our AFP teachers and continue to discover the French-speaking cultures. Let us entertain you with our workshops de conversation and group thematic courses via Zoom / Skype.

Classes for adults:

Workshop de conversation: April 4th from 10 am to 12 pm


Description: Discover Tahiti, this wonderful French territory located in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

Online via Zoom.

Teacher: Valérie

Level: Intermediate / advanced (from level B1)

Duration: 1 X 2 hours

Price: $50

REGISTER (click on “Workshop de conversation” / Winter session/ B1)

Thematic course: Drawing classes in French. April 6th AND April 9th from 1 pm to 2 pm.

Description: Learn how to draw and relax. You just need an Internet connection, paper, a pencil and an eraser.

Online via Zoom.

Teacher: Valérie

Level: From beginners who know some basics in French (A2) / open to all levels.

Duration: 2 X 1 hour

Price: $50

REGISTER (click on thematic courses / Winter session / A2)

Fun Games in French on April 7th from 11 am to 12.30 pm

Description: Isolation is boring… what if you could have fun and learn French ? Cédric will host an online interactive game with YOU as a contestant and ALL IN FRENCH ! Your knowledge of the French language will be challenged through a compilation of jeopardy, trivial pursuit.. Join Cédric on this French Break during your isolation!

Teacher: Cédric

Online via Zoom

Level: Intermediate / advanced (from B1)

Duration: 1 X 1.5h

Price: $ 34.50

REGISTER (click on thematic course / Winter session / B1)

Workshop de conversation: C’est quoi le Bonheur pour vous? on April 15th from 10.30 to 12 pm

Description: Discuss in French about the documentary: C’est quoi le bonheur pour vous? By Laurent Queralt. You can find it for free:

Teacher: Corinne

ONLINE via Zoom

Level: Intermediate / advanced (from B1)

Duration: 1 X 1.5h

Price: $ 29

REGISTER (click on thematic course / Spring session / B1)

After your registration, you will be contacted by the Alliance Française de Pasadena to connect with your teacher.

Workshops for kids

Cook in French with Brigitte: La mousse au chocolat

2 dates: On April 14th from 10 to 11 am or on April 16th from 10 to 11 am

Make a delicious chocolate mousse with Brigitte.

ONLINE via Zoom

Level: From beginners who know some basics in French (A2) / open to all levels.

Duration: 1 hour

4 participants maximum. An adult must assist the child.

You will be given the list of the ingredients in advance so that you can buy them in advance.

Price: $20 / child

Please be connected 10 minutes before not to miss the beginning of the workshop due to technical problems.


Reading time in French with Brigitte: Travel around the world and time

On April 15th from 2 pm to 2.30 pm

Travel around the world, in space, and in time with Brigitte as she takes you on fantastic journeys through a French read aloud via Zoom. A link to join will be e-mailed the morning of the event. Brigitte will share a book every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

There will be a discussion in French after each story.

Join one session or join us for all sessions! Bring your friends! The text will be on the screen of your computer but each book shared will be accessible to be re-read with families through Culturethèque.

Become a member of the Alliance Française de Pasadena to ensure access to this multimedia library!

Note: 10 students maximum per session.

Level: From beginners who know some basics in French (A2) / open to all levels.

Price: 10 dollars


After your registration, you will be contacted by the Alliance Française de Pasadena to connect with your teacher.

What we call “virtual classes” at the Alliance Française de Pasadena

Due to Covid-19, since March 16th, 2020, all the teachers of the Alliance Française de Pasadena transitioned from face-to-face classes to video-conference classes for individuals and groups.

We have been teaching some students online for years. Some people may have a negative preconception of this concept but what we offer at the Alliance Française de Pasadena can convince even the most reluctant people. Let’s discover our version of teaching online! You will see that learning by videoconference can offer great advantages.

  1. Save time and study from where you wish

To learn French by videoconference, you don’t need to drive and waste your time on the roads. You can connect easily on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop from wherever you feel comfortable.

In the morning, you don’t need to get ready. You can spend more time in bed and connect wearing your pajamas drinking a cup of coffee. And, if you’re not in town, you won’t miss a class.

  • A teacher guides you as if you were in a classroom

Our teachers who are real experts of the French language and culture will be with you during the whole class interacting with each student just like in person. You will be able to see each other and interact in French as if you were in communication with a friend in Paris!

All the resources used for your class can be shared and the teacher and you have the possibility to write in the chat, which has the role of a white board.

You can listen to audio resources, watch videos, observe images, take quizzes and do all types of exercises from your book or interactive ones from specialized websites and much more…

  • Practice all the competences

During the video-conference, you can practice the 4 competences like during a face-to-face class.

  • Listening comprehension
  • Writing comprehension
  • Oral production
  • Written production

Your teacher is still able to concentrate on your strengths and weaknesses and adapt to your needs because our group classes are small.

  • Develop your social life during the Covid-19 crisis

If you’re not familiar with Skype or Zoom in your professional or private life, you will see that these communication tools are excellent today. You can have fun conversations seeing your classmates, you can reinforce relationships, and now that it’s difficult to go to a pub or a restaurant, you can have a social life and see people by joining your online class.

Having French classes online allows you to continue your learning of the French language and culture and have a social life despite the virus.

Thanks to Zoom specific functions, we can create fun interactivity and our students remain engaged during the whole class. Our teachers have experience in teaching on Zoom, you will learn as much as in a classroom and the advantage is that you can see their lips, they are not hidden by a mask and exchanging smiles is essential during a training.

Please, contact us by e-mail if you have questions:

Article written by Emma Franks

Tips and linguistic basics to travel in France



At the airport :

 When you arrive, you will have to choose the right line for costums. There is a specific line for the Europeans and another one for the other nationalities.

If you arrive in Paris, you can take a taxi to go to the city-center, but it can be very expensive. So the RER is the cheapest option.

You also have the possibilty to take specific trains such as Orlyval or CDGval.

This is a link which can be useful, if you want to choose the most suitable possibilty.

Video sur la France :



Linguistic basics :

Linguistic basics to travel in France



Bonne nuit



  • Merci
  • De rien


Comment allez-vous ? Je vais bien.

Comment vas-tu ? Je vais très bien.

Comment ça va ? Ca va bien.


Au revoir !

Bonne journée !

Bonne soirée !

Dialogue :


– Bonjour, je m’appelle Philippe. Et vous ? Comment vous appelez-vous ?

– Je m’appelle Gérard. Enchanté. Comment allez-vous ?

– Je vais bien. Merci. Et vous ?

– Je vais très bien.

– Quelle est votre nationalité ?

– Je suis américain. Et vous ?

– Je suis français.


Je parle un peu français.

Je ne parle pas français.

Au restaurant :

Bonjour/ Bonsoir.

Une table pour une personne, s’il vous plaît.

Une table pour deux/ trois/ quatre/ cinq/ six personnes, s’il vous plaît.

Pour commander / to order : Je voudrais = I would like

En entrée, je voudrais…

En plat principal, je voudrais …

En dessert, …

Je voudrais…   et ……, s’il vous plaît.


Les boissons / the beverages :


Comme boisson, je voudrais …

Une carafe d’eau = water from the tap (you’re allowed to have at least one for free in France)

De l’eau plate = still water (Evian)

De l’eau gazeuse = sparkling water  (Perrier, San Pelegrino)

Du vin rouge = red wine

Du vin blanc = white wine

Du rosé

Une bouteille de vin rouge/ blanc/ rosé.

Un verre de vin rouge/ blanc/ rosé.

Un Coca Cola

Un jus d’orange

Un jus de pomme

Une limonade…

All the drinks are served fresh, but you if you don’t ask for ice cubes, you will not receive some automatically. Des glaçons (= ice-cubes), s’il vous plaît.

You must ask for the bill, otherwise the waiter or the waitress will not give it to you.

L’addition, s’il vous plaît.


Le pourboire = tipping

In France, the tip is already included in the price indicated in the menu. So you may leave how much you want on the table : fifty cents, one euro, two euros, even more, it depends on how you appreciated the service.


Merci beaucoup.

Au revoir.

Quelques mots utiles au restaurant / useful vocabulary at the restaurant :

The vegetables / Les légumes :

Spinach Des épinards
Peas Des petits pois
Corn Du maïs
Asparagus Une asperge
Cabbage Un chou
Cauliflower Un chou-fleur
Carrot Une carotte
Garlic De l’aïl
Onion Un oignon
Potato Des pommes de terre
Beans Des haricots blancs
French beans Des haricots verts
Bellpepper Un poivron
Cucumber Un concombre
Pickle Un cornichon
Leek Un poireau


The fruits / Les fruits:

Strawberry Une fraise
Raspberry Une framboise
Grapes Des raisins
Pineapple Un ananas
Grapefruit Un pamplemouse
Apricot Un abricot
Blueberry Une myrtille
Avocado Un avocat
Apple Une pomme
Cherry Une cerise
Tomato Une tomate
Peach Une pêche
Pear Une poire


La cuisson de la viande / The cooking of the meat

Rare Saignant
Cooked Cuit
Raw Cru
Medium rare A point
Well-done Bien cuit


La viande / meat :


Beef Du boeuf
Steak Un steak
Minced beef Un steak haché
Veal Du veau
Lamb De l’agneau
Mutton Du mouton
Chicken Du poulet
Rabbit Du lapin
Frog De la grenouille


Le poisson / fish :


Coley Le colin / Lieu noir
Seafood Les fruits de mer
Salmon Saumon
Shrimp Crevette
Crab Crabe


Autres mots et expressions utiles au restaurant / other useful words and expressions in a restaurant

The bill L’addition
The waiter/ the waitress Le serveur/ La serveuse
The chef Le chef
The tip Le pourboire
The menu La carte
The wine list La carte des vins
Where’s the restroom ? Où sont les toilettes ?
Can I see the menu ? La carte, s’il vous plaît.
I’ll pay by card. Je vais payer par carte.

Un café, s’il vous plaît :

In France, when you ask for a cup of coffee, you’ll receive this :


It’s a small cup and the coffee is very strong. In general, one is enough to wake you up ! You will not find the big cups that you have in the US, except if you go to Starbucks (there are some in Paris).

If you don’t understand a word, when you read the menu, you can use the app Wordreference or

To check the pronunciation :

The restaurants are open from 11.30 to 14.00 and from 18.30 to 23.00. But the kitchen is usually open until 21.00 or 22.00.

Some restaurants are open later in big cities such as Paris.


Do you crave for a snack? 

What about a croque-monsieur ?

You can find this dish made of bread, cheese and ham in most restaurants and brasseries in France.

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You can buy delicious sandwiches in bakeries:

Le sandwich jambon-beurre:


Faire les courses / Going shopping :

You have different possibilities :

You can go shopping until 7 pm in supermarkets/ shops. Hypermarkets which are located outside the cities are open until 9 pm. Shops are closed on Sundays.


Louer une voiture/Renting a car :

You may think it’s the solution to leave big cities and discover traditional villages. But it’s important to know that there are tolls on the freeways. Moreover, the price of gas is more expensive than in the US. You can simulate the cost of your driving with this website :

In general, in companies where they rent cars, the employees speak English. You just need your driving licence and your passport. You can reserve your car before going to Europe on websites such as

It can be smart to do that, if you want to have your rental car, immediately when you arrive at the airport. It’s important to know that most of the European cars are manual. You can rent an automatic car but you will pay more because automatic cars are more comfortable and bigger than the cheapest ones.

Parking in big cities can be a problem. The spots are usually short when you find one ! You can park in the street for free from 7.00pm Otherwise you pay for street parking with meters. In Paris, you need a credit card with a chip if you want to use them. If you don’t have this type of credit card, you can go to covered parking lots which can be quite expensive per hour.

How to drive in France

Prendre le train / Taking the train :

Taking the train can be very practical in France because you directly arrive in the city-center, where you can usually walk, take the bus, the tram or the metro (depending on the cities).

You can buy and print your ticket thanks to the website of the SNCF :

Or you can buy your tickets directly at the train stations, you can use machines or you can wait in line to speak to somebody who will give you the right ticket. In general, the staff speaks English in big cities but it’s not always the case, so it’s better to say :

Bonjour, je voudrais un billet de train de Paris à Marseille, s’il vous plaît.

You have the choice between Première classe ou seconde classe (less expensive). It’s important to explain that when you buy your ticket.

It’s important to know that at the last minute, the price of the tickets can be very expensive, especially if you want to have a long journey. So it’s better to reserve your tickets on the internet early (3 months earlier to have the best prices).

If you want to travel in several countries in Europe, it’s more convenient and most of the time cheaper to take the plane. Some low-cost airline companies offer inexpensive fares to the most popular European capitals.

Prendre l’avion / Taking the plane :

Domestic flights can be expensive in France, except if you take low-cost airline companies such as Volotea or Hop (a branch of Air France).

Compare the price of the train ticket and of the plane ticket, sometimes it’s worth it.

If you want to travel in Europe, you can use other low-cost airline companies such as Volotea, Hop, Ryanair, Easy Jet…

Reserve your tickets as early as you can to have the best prices.

Traveling by plane is worth it because, you will save time and it’s the most comfortable way to travel. You can take a shuttle from the airport to go to the city center of the city that you want to visit or a taxi.

Means of transport in Paris :


You can take the taxi but it can be expensive.

The best is taking the metro. You can buy your tickets directly at the metro stations, you can use the machines (there is an English version) or you can wait in line to speak to somebody who will give you the right ticket. In general, the staff speaks English in big cities but it’s not always the case, so it’s better to say :

Bonjour, je voudrais un billet de métro pour un trajet dans le centre de Paris.

It’s also possible to buy a ticket for 1 or 3 days. Use the machines to buy them. If you don’t have a credit card with a chip, you can pay with cash. So have enough cash on you !

If you want to go to the suburb of Paris, you can take the RER. You buy the tickets in the same way at the RER station.

Be careful, RER is different from the metro. You have to go to different stations, They are all indicated by signs.

The app Google Maps will help you find the best itinary to go from one place to another.


Téléphone and wifi / Telephone and wifi :

T-Mobile for example allows you to have data and send free texts in France.

You can also go to a French provider such as Orange, SFR, Free or Bouygue (they have stores verywhere in the country) to have a SIM card to use your smartphone where you want. You will need your passport.

Wifi is not as common is the US. The public places which have wifi advertise it.

McDonald’s is a place where you can always go to have wifi for example.


L’argent / Money :


It’s better to have euros on you before leaving the airport. You can use an ATM in the airport.

You will pay fewer fees if you use ATM’s rather than if you go to a currency exchange counter. Besides, these counters have disappeared a lot since the beginning of the use of the euro in January 2002.

L’hébergement / accomodation :

It depends on the type of holiday that you want to have.

You can find hotels on websites such as or

If you want to rent a house or an apartment :

Bonjour, je voudrais réserver une chambre double du 20 juillet au 25 juillet.

Une chambre simple.

Une chambre double avec lit enfant.


Bonjour, j’ai réservé une chambre au nom de …. pour 3 nuits du 20 juillet au 25 juillet.

Formulaire :
Nom (Last name)
Prénom (First name)
Adresse (Address)
Numéro de téléphone (Phone number)
Date de naissance (Date of birth)
Vos coordonnées = Contact information
Votre adresse email/ mél  (e-mail address)

Les chiffres / The figures :

L’alphabet / the alphabet :



Les médicaments / the medicines :

If you need medicines, you can go to a pharmacy and explain your symptoms. The pharmacist will give you the best treatment. You don’t especially need a prescription to have medicines. Only a specific list of medicines requires a prescription. The pharmacists usually speak English. You can pay with cash.

Contrary to the US, not many medicines are on the shelves, you will have to speak with the pharmacist who has access to the medicines.

Emergency phone number in Europe : 112

In general, doctors understand English.

En cas d’urgence médicale

Appareils éléctriques et adaptateurs / Electrical appliances  and adaptor :

You may have problems to use your hairdryer, because in France, they use 220 volts but you may be able to use your other appliances (laptop plug if you use an adaptor). Check the voltage on the plug itself or the box of your appliance.

You should buy an adaptor before going to Europe.

A French plug:

The benefits of a podcasting class in French

The podcasting class gives you the opportunity to work all your linguistic skills in French with the help of a French-speaking teacher.



You will analyse podcasts in French to be able to make your own podcast(s)




You will research a topic related to the French-speaking culture, so you will discover new things about what is interesting for you.





You will need to write a podcast script. This class is open to all the level because you’re always able to write something. Just the level of complexity of the sentences will vary from one student to another.



After the correction of your text, you will practice your pronunciation and intonation with your French-speaking teacher.





When you’re ready, you can record your digital audio file and improve your podcast with sounds and music to illustrate the topic.



FAME (Why not ?)

If you wish, your podcast can be posted online and you can be proud of your production. You can do it !

Register to a podcasting class at the Alliance Française de Pasadena 

L’effet papillon_ correction

  • Quelle idée Bénabar veut-il faire passer ?


Chaque petite décision a une importance qu’on ne soupçonne parfois pas.


  • Quel thème n’est-il pas mentionné dans la chanson ?


  • L’environnement
  • La facture sociale
  • Le végétarisme
  • L’adultère
  • La prise de poids


Compréhension détaillée :


  • Qu’est ce que le bureau oval ? Où se trouve-t-il ? Pourquoi ce bureau a-t-il beaucoup d’importance ?


Le bureau oval est situé dans la Maison Blanche où réside le président des Etats-Unis, à Washington DC. Ce bureau a de l’importance parce qu’il est le symbole de la présidence américaine, très influente sur le reste de la planète.


  • « Quand le financier s’enrhume ce sont les ouvriers qui toussent » Pouvez-vous expliquer cette phrase ? Pourquoi l’auteur a-t-il décidé d’utiliser le champ lexical de la maladie ?


Quand les riches ont des problèmes financiers, les ouvriers en souffrent encore plus. Le champ lexical de la maladie est utilisé pour bien montrer la contagion de la petite cause sur la grande conséquence.


  • « Si on se gave au resto c’est un fait nous grossirons
    Mais ça c’est l’effet cachalot, revenons à nos moutons (à nos papillons) »

Pourquoi l’auteur a-t-il décidé d’utiliser un « cachalot » pour sa métaphore ?


Le cachalot est un animal volumineux. Donc plus on va au restaurant, plus on grossit et plus on ressemble à un cachalot.


Un cachalot

Un cachalot


  • Citez deux expressions synonymes à « l’effet papillon » mentionnées dans cette chanson.

« On l’appelle retour de flamme ou théorie des dominos ».


  • Que veut dire l’expression « revenons à nos moutons » ?


Cette expression est une invitation orale pour revenir au sujet principal de la conversation.


  • En général, où travaille un « videur » ?


Un videur est un employé qui gère les entrées devant les bars et les discothèques.


  • D’après le contexte, que veut dire « se faire choper » ?


« Se faire choper » est une expression en argot qui veut dire se faire attraper en flagrant délit/ en pleine faute (en train de faire quelque chose de mal).


  • « Un murmure devient vacarme » A partir de ces éléments, donnez une définition de « vacarme ».


Le vacarme est un bruit très fort.


  • D’après le contexte, que veut dire l’expression « battre de l’aile » ?


Quand quelque chose bat de l’aile, cela signifie qu’il y a un dysfonctionnement.

Review of the basics in French

Se présenter :



Ecoutez Delphine. Elle laisse un message sur le répondeur d’une émission de téléréalité française pour une présélection.


Bonjour. Je m’appelle Delphine Martin. J’ai 30 ans. Je suis française. J’habite à Paris. Je parle français, anglais et allemand. Je suis vendeuse dans un magasin de vêtements. J’adore sortir avec mes amis, rencontrer des gens et faire la fête. J’aime voyager. Je rêve d’aller en Australie. Je déteste regarder la télévision. Mon adresse mél : . Mon numéro de téléphone : 01 10 23 54 28. Au revoir et à bientôt, j’espère.


Et vous ?


Nom / prénom : épeler son nom



Ville de résidence

Langues parlées



Adresse e-mail

Numéro de téléphone


Some basics about French pronunciation


Quel / quelle / quels / quelles


Les verbes d’appréciation:


J’aime + infinitif / nom

J’aime danser.

J’aime le chocolat.


J’adore + infinitif / nom

J’adore faire du tennis.

J’adore les croissants.


Je n’aime pas + infinitif / nom

Je n’aime pas cuisiner.

Je n’aime pas les pistaches.


Je déteste + infinitif / nom

Je déteste lire.

Je déteste les livres.


Présentez cet homme : Inventez son identité.




Nom / prénom : épeler son nom



Ville de résidence

Langues parlées



Adresse e-mail

Numéro de téléphone


Alphabet : Comment ça s’écrit ?


Les nombres : Quel est votre numéro de téléphone ?


Les pays : Où vivez-vous ? Je vis aux Etats-Unis. / D’où venez-vous ? Je viens des Philippines.


Avoir / être : Quel âge avez-vous ?


Exercice avoir et être :


Négation :


Transformez ces phrases affirmatives en phrases négatives :


J’aime le poisson.

Je joue au piano.

Elles dansent tous les samedis.

Georges travaille tous les jours.

Nous mangeons au restaurant.

Vous voyagez en France.


Le présent des verbes régulier (-er) :


Conjuguez :








Verbes irréguliers au présent :


Conjuguez :









Mon restaurant préféré s’appelle La Marine. Il est près de la Place Dauphine, à côté du théâtre. De votre lieu de travail, tourner à gauche, continuer tout droit et tourner à droite. Le restaurant est en face du parc.


Les prépositions de lieu :


Exercice sur les prépositions de lieu :


Les directions : exercice


Provenance / destination : préposition


Poser une question:

Poser une question cours

La famille:

Prononciation: la famille

Les adjectifs possessifs:

Les adjectifs possessifs cours

Le corps humain:

Le corps humain cours

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