Traveling to Paris
Hello! So I'm honestly not sure if this post is exactly 'on-topic' for Duolingo but whatever, I'm gonna take a chance. My aunt has recently agreed to take me to Paris and I'm currently planning out where to go(suggestions are welcome!) but I'm wondering about a few things. Is it worth it to go to the Eiffel Tower? I honestly think it's stunning and I'd just love to take some pics, but I've heard that it's really crowded. Second of all, do a lot of the people in Paris speak English? I'm not sure if I should practice my French or just learn a few simple terms. I don't want to make the mistake of not learning the language and then appearing ignorant to everybody. So if there's anybody who lives in Paris, I'd love your feedback!
Hi AWeirdMIX ! Believe-me, you have to go to see the Eiffel Tower. And yes it's frequently stunning but that is not a problem because around the Eiffel Tower There are beautiful landscapes, garden and others great places. I should you to pratice your french and learn somes terms and expressions. It's a good occasion to do that.
Lots of Parisians speak English,especially in restaurants and other places that tourists are likely to go. However it cannot hurt to be able to speak some French. I think you get a far better reaction when you make an effort. Telling someone you don't understand and can they speak more slowly is a useful phrase to know - they will probably switch to English if they can. "Pardon, je ne comprend pas. Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement s'il vous plait?"
If you have the money spare I would buy one of the (expensive) tickets that lets you skip the longer line for the Eiffel Tower. If you do not have much time in Paris I think it is a dreadful waste to spend 3 or more hours in a queue. I do not agree with the other reply that said there are other things to see while queuing, all you can really see from the queue is the a lot of cranky people. It is a very interesting site but maybe not worth the time taken to get in. There are lots of other things to see. If you just want to see the city from a height the Tour Montparnasse (which is just a tall building) does not require nearly as much time waiting.
A tip I picked up on here I think is that the French expect you to greet them when you enter a shop. So always try to make eye contact and say bonjour to a member of staff when you first go inside a place. It seems that a lot of the complaints about rude staff are down to a misunderstanding about the social niceties and the staff think you were the rude ones for not greeting them.
Oui, la tour Eiffel vaut le détour ! mais, non, les Parisiens ne sont sûrement pas les meilleurs en Anglais, don't forget to buy a small french/english dictionary and yes, the Eiffel Tower is a great monument and the view is magnificent ! I can also recommend you to go up to Montmartre. etc...etc.. Paris is wonderful, you can see and visit lots of things on foot.
Le musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac is a fantastic collection of indigenous art from around the world, and one of my favourites. Worth a visit.
Lots of people you'll meet in Paris will speak English, but they'll be much friendlier if you make an effort to speak French. This is true all over France: the French love their language and like to hear people try to speak it. They might correct you a bit, but that's just them trying to help, and if you really start to mangle a sentence there's a good chance that they'll switch to English if they can (I know that all too well with my poor French).
Finally, hivemindx's comment about la tour Montparnasse is spot on; I'd argue that the view is better than from the Eiffel tower, mainly because you can see the Eiffel tower!
Spring, I have never been in Paris in the winter or the spring but trust me the weather is really bad there in the Winter. Rainy and only snow if you are really lucky some day. And then you should learn some french if you have that many months left, I barely got an E (We have A-F in sweden and E is the lowest acceptable) in the exam back in december when I started using duolingo and I got a B on the exam back in march in french, I couldnt speak 100% fluent but I could speak some at least and if you do 200xp per day until the spring you will defenetaly be able to speak some french