Tanguy washes the car French beginners might start with this one, because the transcript has extensive grammar notes and even explains the verb tenses with explanations like you would get in highschool.
Souvenirs de guerre. Clémence Saint-Georges interviewed her father, Jean-Noël Mathieu. He was 10 when the Second World War started and has vivid memories of the period.
La Caviste In this interview, Isabelle Gosselin tells you how to buy wine from someone like her: a wine merchant.
Apicultrice Magali has always had a passion for bees, and now she makes her own honey from wild flora in the Vercors mountain range. You’ll love her pretty voice and precise pronunciation.
Un Fromager/Affineur à Strasbourg Cyril Lorho will prepare you for that moment when your French hosts offer you a plate of cheese! He talks about some of the different types of cheeses and makes some recommendations for their enjoyment.
L’Apéritif en France If ever you are invited to a French person’s home for a meal, you will have an apéritif before eating. In this interview, Martin Venzal ask Alexis, Marie, and Laurent about this important social custom. You’ll learn why it exists and how to serve yourself, how to know when the aperitif is over and you are about to move to the table for your meal….
African Art’s influence on 20th century painting and sculpture In this interview, Mme Philippe-Devaux talks about the first apparitions of African Art in Europe. The items were brought by colonists and adventurers and considered to be representative of the “beginnings of art” produced by “primitive” cultures. This view changed slowly as artists and collectors learned more about the art itself. Gauguin was the first major artist to try seize the essence of local art in the Pacific and use it in his work. The real turning point occurred in 1906: Picasso and Matisse were among those who attended the Gauguin retrospective exhibition in Paris that year. And the next year saw the opening of an exposition of African art at the Trocadéro Museum.
La bataille de l’Atlantique – the Keroman U-boat base in Lorient During 1942 and 1943, the Allies were shipping cargo and troops to England to supply the English war effort and to prepare for the invasion of the continent; and German U-boats operating from French ports such as Brest and Lorient were targeting those ships.
Bêtises d’Enfance – Jean-Michel et Monique Mistakes, tricks, goof-ups, practical jokes; they enrich our lives and give us stories to tell around the dinner table. Stories from Jean-Michel and Monique.
Japonisme: an interview about the French Impressionists’ fascination with Japanese art Did you know that the impressionists and post-impressionists borrowed liberally from the Japanese? An interview with Geneviève Lacambre, Conservateur général au Musée d’Orsay, chargée du Musée Gustave Moreau (en 2001). – Conservateur honoraire du patrimoine (en 2005)
L’Aéropostale and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, as told by Yves Marc If you are a fan of Saint Exupéry, you will enjoy hearing about L’Aéropostale, where Saint Exupéry got so much of his inspiration. L’Aéropostale was a postal airline which started just after the first world war and, by 1930, stretched from Paris to the southern tip of Argentina. For a time, Saint-Exupéry ran one of the airports in the desert along this line. (Do you remember that “Le Petit Prince” starts out with an unplanned landing in the desert?)
L’Atelier de Cézanne à Aix From 1902 to his death in 1906, Cézanne worked every morning in this studio that he designed. Here, he produced paintings that hang in museums all over the world.
Les Chemins de Saint Jacques de Compostelle Madame Antoinette Mayol recounts the origins of the pilgrim routes to the tomb of the apostle James, in western Spain.
La Chèvre de Monsieur Seguin, as read by Fernandel In 1866, Alphonse Daudet included the story ‘La Chèvre de Monsieur Seguin’ in his collection of stories from Provence, ‘Les Lettres de mon Moulin.’ This recording is the 1954 reading by the French radio and film star Fernandel.
La Citroën 2CV The last Citroën 2CV rolled off of the assembly lines in 1991, but fan clubs across the world keep the spirit alive. Alain Finet conveys his passion for the 2CV.
Catherine Roux : conductrice de métro à Marseilles Catherine Roux is a go-getter who lives in Marseilles. She started out driving buses and worked her way up to become a conductor in the Marseilles metro. Her positive attitude lights up this interview.
Frédérike Unger : danseuse professionnelle Frédérike spoke with us about her career as a dancer. We hear about the disappointment of not being chosen for the Paris Opera at 11 years of age and about her success with a different troupe at the age of 17, when her parents agreed with her decision to drop out of high school and travel as a professional dancer. Finally, we understand that there is more than one path to a career in dance.
Une Fleuriste à Saint-Rémy-de-Provence While dining with friends, Émilie and her husband, who were working in “la grande distribution,” asked what business was needed in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The friends said “florist” and the rest is history.
Medical Simulation Training – Dr. Granry Antoine Humeau interviews Professeur Jean-Claude GRANRY, chief of anesthesia and emergency medicine of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers. Dr. Granry tells us about the state of the art of simulation training for medical personnel in France.
Booking a vacation rental in the country – Louer un gîte rural en France In this interview, Véronique Lopez interviews Chantal and Michel. They are from Normandie, but they have rented a “gîte rural” in Provence. Listening to this interview will help you learn how vacation rentals work in France.
Mimi, a member of the French Resistance movement during World War II Soon after the German invasion of France, a teacher who was newly appointed to Domène (a small town near Grenoble) visited City Hall to introduce himself to the Mayor. There, in City Hall, he met the mayor’s charming secretary, Anne-Marie (Mimi for short). The new teacher in town had good reason to strike up a friendship with Mimi, because he was looking for a contact who could produce false identity papers for a newly-formed resistance network. So the teacher made a habit of stopping in to pay his respects to Mimi each time he went to the bakery. After a few weeks of getting to know her and judging whether he might be able to trust her, he asked Mimi if she was interested in joining a new network of persons opposed to the German occupation of France. In this interview, Mimi recounts the exciting events of the next few years…
Le Palais des Papes à Avignon In this interview, Madame Renée Lefranc recounts how the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon in the 13th century. An interesting story recounted with plenty of humor.
Paris-Roller: interviews with participants Nathalie Faucher spoke with two “Paris Roller” veterans about this famous twice-weekly roller-blading event. Whether you are looking for a date or just need some exercise, make plans to participate the next time you are in Paris!
Le Pourboire en France – Tipping in France Should you leave a tip in France? Antoine Humeau interviewed the owners and staff of a number of eating establishments in Angers to find out what people are ordering and whether they are leaving tips.
Un Plumassier à Paris Eric Charles-Donatien is the artistic director at Lemarié, the top purveyor of feathers to the high-fashion industry. Interview by Nathalie Tourret.
Taxi-tandem in Paris Hop on a tandem bicycle the next time you need to get around Paris! We spoke with Marie-Noëlle, one of the drivers, and Stéphane Bouriez, the founder of Tandem-Services. (Note: we made this interview back in 2002 or so. Tandem-Services has since stopped operating. Was it simply ahead of its time?)
Le Musée de la Poupée à Paris The Doll Museum in the Marais district closed in 2017. This is the interview that the co-founder, Samy Odin, granted us in 2002.
Cécile, a member of the parents’ association “Autisme 75” Cécile says that, before the birth of her twins, she was “living on a super-highway:” straight down the road, everything humming right along, no surprises, no bumps; a supportive husband, a satisfying career… A first shock was the premature birth of her twins, Louis and Pauline. A second shock was the diagnosis of autism for Pauline. She needed to talk with other parents and joined “Autisme 75.” Our journalist spoke with her about her journey. My favorite interview on the site, because of the speaker’s energy and voice.
La Violette de Toulouse A favorite of subscribers! Back in 2002, when we first published this interview, many subscribers wrote to tell us that they loved hearing Hélène Vié, who still runs the ‘Maison de la Violette‘ in Toulouse.
M. Halloumi, Epicier à Paris Tunisian grocers are well-known in Paris for being open late into the evening and for lending a friendly ear to those in need. Our reporter wanted to interview Mister Halloumi because Mister Hallomi and his store make our reporter’s neighborhood a better place to live. After listening to this interview, you are going to want to find this nice gentleman and go shop in his store! I hope you enjoy the recording.
Laurence en Normandie Laurence lives in Lower Normandy. In this interview, she tells us how she met Jean, her future husband, in New York. This is a very short interview: only 5 minutes. It may be a bit easier than most, because Laurence speaks so clearly. I hope you enjoy it!
Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Ferdinand Cheval Ferdinand Cheval was born in 1836 and became a postman in Hauterives, a town in the Drome region of France. In 1879, while walking his delivery route, he stumbled upon a beautiful stone that started the wheels turning in his head. He spent the rest of his life building an “Ideal Palace” out of rocks collected from his postal route.
Sylvie Storme, Sculptrice Sylvie started sculpting just a few years before this interview. We spoke with her about how she came to do sculpture and how her art relates to her other profession.
Soldat inconnu vivant This is the story of a man found wandering in a Lyon train station at the end World War I. He was dressed as a soldier but had amnesia and could not give his name. I think you’ll find this very interesting!
Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer In 1825, fishermen in Boulogne-Sur-Mer organized an association for rescuing boaters in difficulty. Currently, the National Association of Rescue at Sea has 230 stations spread along the French coasts.
Amélie, chef de rayon chez Décathlon Human relations always seem to be the toughest part of any job. Amélie, a department-manager at Décathlon (a large retail sport equipment chain) spoke to us about the challenges she faced when she took over a sales team that had been undermanaged in the past.
Colette Daumas, Artiste peintre Ms. Daumas made a career in real estate, but never forgot her childhood dream of becoming an artist. She spoke to us about her first exposition, which was held recently in Paris..
Irène Andrieu, astrologue Pierre Guillaume Calvet interviews Irène Andrieu, who started studying under a tibetan master at the age of 23 and now consults as an astrologist.
Philippe Rebbot, régisseur de cinéma Philippe Rebbot is a film-production manager in Paris. Nathalie Faucher interviewed him about this interesting profession.
La Galette des Rois January 6th is Epiphany or Twelfth Night, the day that the 3 wise men are added to the nativity scenes in French households. This date also marks the start of sales of the King’s cake!
Nicolas et Audrey se marient Nicolas and Audrey spoke to Nathalie Faucher about their marriage plans. The date was approaching quickly, but they were on top of the details, since they had started planning one year in advance!