Monday, April 26, 2010

Learn French with Alain - Lesson 2 - Ordering at a café


How to order beverages in a café is an essential skill to possess when traveling to France, but it’s not because you’re thirsty all the time. It’s because that’s the only way to find a bathroom.

In my 2nd video, I suggest that the most common ways a waiter** will ask for your order are: ‘Vous désirez’ and ‘Qu’est-ce que vous allez prendre?’ Another one is ‘Qu’est-ce que je vous sers?’ (Loosely translated, what can I bring you?).

Most of the time however, the waiter won’t even ask the question since he knows why you are sitting there. He’ll simply say ‘Messieurs-dames’, which translates into ‘Yes, you can use the bathroom but you have to order something first’.

A word about beer. I’m not a beer drinker myself but when I lived in France, I tended bar for a short while. I must have been 8 or 9 at the time and the one thing that I never forgot was that some people like their beer on tap while others prefer it in a bottle.

The way most French people ask for a beer on tap is ‘Un demi s’il vous plait’ (ahn duhmee seel voo play), but if you’d like to have a bottle, you usually just give the brand, like ‘une Heineken s’il vous plait’.

Of course, there are many more beverages than the ones listed in the video. Here is a list of drinks with their price (in euro) from a café in the south of France. This should give you a pretty good idea of how much your trip will really cost you. Here is a simple formula:

• Planned cost of trip (Expensive)
• Real cost of trip (Expensive x 2)
• Café-going experience (add 50% to Real cost)
• Total cost of trip per person (First born + one arm and one kidney)

Boisson chaudes
• Expresso 1€
• Café décaféiné 1,20€
• Cappucino 1,50€
• café crème (petit) 1,20€
• café crème (grand) 2,20€
• chocolat (petit) 1,50€
• chocolat (grand) 2€
• thé lait ou citron 1,80€
• infusions (verveine, tilleul, tilleul menthe) 1,80€

Boissons sans alcool
• Diabolo (limonade + sirop) 1,80€
• Limonade 1,60€
• Coca Cola 2,30€
• Orangina 2,30€
• Schweppes 2,30€
• Perrier 2,30€
• Jus de fruit 2,30€
Abricot - Tomate - Orange - Ananas - Raisin - Pamplemousse

 Kronembourg le bock 1,00€
 Kronembourg le demi (25cl) 1,90€
 GRIMBERGEN le bock 1,50€
 GRIMBERGEN le demi (25cl) 2,50€
 Kronembourg AKROBAT (33cl) 2,10€
 Kronembourg 1664 (25cl) 2,40€
 Brune WILFORT (33cl) 2,60 €
 Heineken (25cl) 2,40 €

Vins blancs
• Vin blanc sec 0,90€ 8cl
• Vin rouge côte du rhone 1,00€ 8cl
• Sauvignon 1,20€ 8cl
• Alsace 2,00€ 8cl
• Chablis 2,15€ 8cl
• Sauvignon 2,20€
• Alsace 4,00€

Vins rouges/roses
• Côte du rhone 1,90 €
• Haut Médoc 3,00€
• Rosé Lamblin 0,90

Apéritifs & Digestifs
• Ricard 1,80€
• Pastis 1,80€
• Casanis 1,80€

Apéritifs & Digestifs
• Jameson 2,30€
• Imperial single cask 1993 4,20€
• Jack Daniels 2,30€
• Martini rouge 2,30€
• Porto 2,30€
• Kir 1,50€
• Champagne la coupe 4,00€
• Cognac 2,60€
• Armagnac 2,70€
• Calvados 1,80€
• Rhum 1,60€
• Vodka 1,80€
• Gin 1,60€

Petite Faim
• Sandwich 2,50€
• Hot Dog 2,50€
• Croque Monsieur 2,50€
• Offre 1 Sandwich + 1 demi kro + 1 café 5,00 €

As you can see from above, you can also get food in cafés. We’ll cover that in another video.

‘Till then, a bientot,

** There is a word for waitress in French but I’m not sure why since I’ve never seen one.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome, Bienvenue to Learn French with Alain

A couple of days ago, I posted a video called Learn French with Alain (LFWA for those of you who like acronyms), Lesson 1 (Greetings), on youtube and, to answer any questions that might come with future videos, I decided to start a blog.  Well, that's not the true reason but, close enough for now.
I hope that LFWA will turn out to be what most people are looking for when learning French: free lessons, hot babes (males and females) - see video at: - and a few useful words (in French).
So, let's get going here.  The first thing you'll have to do is take the survey, which will tell us how weird you really are for taking the survey (error margin + to - 80%), then subscribe to this blog, and finally ask questions.  I'm not going to dictate what the questions should be about (even though I could), but I suggest 50% french-related, 50% lifestyle-related, and the last 50% whatever-you-want-related. Okay, now go! Operators are standing by.