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Language in Latin Quarter, Paris?

We will be in Paris for about 5 days. I speak 7 languages but French is my weakest. I am fluent in Spanish and Italian. Latin Quarter implies that maybe these languages are commonly spoken there (as in Latin Quarters in other cities). If this is the case, it would make it easy for me to get information about Paris when we first arrive. Is this the case or does "Latin" refer to some older version of French or maybe something about the Romans?

Posted by
32 posts

I don't understand the various references to Chinese. As I said, the only Asian language I speak is Japanese.

Posted by
9110 posts

The Latin Quarter is so-called because it's where the colleges were/are and, in olden days the classes were taught in Latin. It's a barrio only in the literal translation, rather than in the common use, of the term. Horrid French will work. English will work better. Chinese will work better than Spanish.

Posted by
32 posts

Disappointed but thanks. Do you happen to know if there are parts of Paris where Italian, German or Spanish are common?

Posted by
9110 posts

Unfortunately, no. There are rather large areas where your Arabic, Vietnamese, or Chinese, would get a solid work-out; but I strongly suspect that folks speaking the other European languages are pretty well absorbed into the general population or are in very small enclaves. I've never come across any, but that doesn't mean I'm correct.

Posted by
16941 posts

Paris is a world city and there is probably a neighborhood somewhere where they speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Sinhalese, Arabic, Hindi. But Germans, Italians, are not "ghettoized" (I hope no one takes that as a perjoritive term) in that they will live whereever they choose to live and can afford. For better or worse, English is widely spoken and many establishments are owned by "foriegners" (Australians, Scottsmen, Kiwis, Japanese, etc). When I complimented the barman at a restaurant on his excellent English he replied "Yeh, it was my favorite language when I grew up in Bloomington, IL."

Posted by
32 posts

Funny stuff. I wonder if the bartender came across much French in Bloomington. Oh well, it sounds like I'll be ok with English. I speak a little French and am doing an elementary refresher course as fast as I can. My only Asian language is Japanese but maybe, with the great popularity of sushi, everywhere, I'll find a few of them.

Posted by
1064 posts

It's the Latin Quarter, so everyone there speaks Latin. Just as they all speak French in the French Quarter of New Orleans.(Sorry, but I have been waiting a while to say that. Thanks for providing the opportunity. :) Seriously, your knowledge of French should make it easier to read written materials and listen to Parisians talking with one another, but, at least in the tourist areas, most will address you in English even if you speak French to them.

Posted by
32 posts

Happy to have provided the opportunity for the comeback. If you count Latin, I actually speak 8, as I can fiddly fumble through it.

Posted by
389 posts

I remember hearing two Spanish women try to communicate in Spanish to a Parisian waitress, but they soon had to switch to broken English. I found it ironic considering how much more similar French and Spanish are to each other than either is to English. But the number of French and Spaniards who study English dwarfs the number studying other Romance languages.

Posted by
13004 posts

"...there is probably a neighborhood somewhere...." The 13th in Paris...that's Chinatown.

Posted by
284 posts

John, it sounds like you enjoy languages. I think it's great you're taking a refresher in French. For me, learning a little of the language spoken in the place I'm going to adds substantially to the enjoyment of the trip. The little Icelandic I learned before going to Iceland (and which I've since forgotten) was both fun and very much appreciated by the Icelanders. Have a great trip!

Posted by
9110 posts

Actually Paris has two Chinese areas, one of which is mis-named based upon the actual residents. One is in the 13th about at Tolbiac. It cropped up in the seventies with the influx of Southeast Asian refugees and is probably the largest. You'll hear more Vietnamese and Lao than anything else. The other is the original one from about the turn of the previous century and is obviously older , but is smaller. It's located around Arts et Metiers in the 3rd. You can work on Cantonese and some Mandarin around there. I guess being accosted in English depends on how well you speak French. I can remember, as a kid, being asked why I had American-style clothes, but that's about it. Nope. A couple of years ago I was travelling with Legendary Bill (who speaks almost no French) and English was foisted on him. He replied in Mandarin. I picked up on it (we're both fluent) and drove the gal nuts. As a point of reference, this is the same clown who took off and held out his hat in a metro tunnel while leaning up against the wall. In very short order he'd collected enough coin to buy us a couple of beers.

Posted by
9110 posts

Sometimes threads go off on a tangent, but basically it was because we were trying to tell you what we think or know is in Paris. It's up to you to decide if you can marry what's available with your capabilities (which, regretfully, probably nobody has looked up). To recap: Arabic, Lao, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Khmer.

Posted by
31524 posts

John, "I am fluent in Spanish and Italian." Complete fluency in Italian is something I also hope to master one day. I'm still plugging along with the lessons, and get to practice every year when I visit Italy. It's very likely that you'll get some opportunities to practice at least one of your "strong" languages. Europeans are very clever with languages, and many locals I've met speak at least one other language (besides their home language). They frequently have to deal with travellers from other European countries, some of whom may not be entirely fluent in French or whatever the local language is. I've found that I sometimes get a chance to practice Italian when patronizing Italian restaurants in various cities in Europe (including Paris). These are often run by Italians who prefer to live in other countries besides Italy. On a trip a few years ago, I shared a rail compartment with a business traveller from Switzerland. He had been born in Spain, and was also fluent in 7 languages. I knew that he wasn't exaggerating, as he was constantly doing business on his mobile during the trip, while continuing to talk with me in English. When I asked him how difficult it was to keep switching languages, he said "I have to admit, it makes my head hurt sometimes". The ability of others to learn multiple languages is something that never fails to amaze me! Cheers!

Posted by
9110 posts

If you want to go down to the small group level that Ken suggests, we can probably come up with any number of ideas. Example: There's a couple of Italian brothers that run a Turkish kabob joint almost under the peripherique on the north side of town. If you're sophisticated, however, the area might give you an acute case of the willies.

Posted by
13004 posts

Sorry, I missed where you stated you know Japanese. As for German or seeing bilingual menus in German and French most often, go to the 10th arrond., specifically around Gare de l'Est. You're best bet on running into hotel or restaurant staff who can speak German is there. @ Ed...thanks for the info on the 3rd. Still, if it's Chinese food one wants, they're almost everywhere, maybe not so many in Clichy but I still saw them there too.

Posted by
11450 posts

Hey in Spain , I had to speak french to the French waiter because neither my mate nor I spoke enough Spanish, and the waiters english was worse then my french,, so having ANY extra Europeon language can help no matter which country you are visiting there. Remeber that with the EU people can work in other countries so your clerk may speak another tongue other then the country you are in as their first langauge.

Posted by
8512 posts

Since we've diverted onto the subject of ethnic areas: One of the biggest Asian areas of Paris right now is up the Belleville hill in the 20th. The 3rd is reduced to a few restaurants (note the line for Pho) but is mostly a big wholesale area with shops run by Chinese immigrants, one wholesale handbag store after another. The 13th became an Asian area because few French wanted to move into the highrise apartments that were built there in the 1970s, but the Asian refugees arriving after the Vietnam war were more than happy to make them home. For Indian groceries and restaurants (Hindi, Bengali, other?) try Passage Brady in the 10th.

Posted by
760 posts

Latin was spoken in the Latin Quarter a couple hundred years ago when it was (and still is) the university area. The reality of life is that English is functionally the second language of the European Union. The last language you want to try using in Paris is German, they have not forgotten WWII. I would seriously recommend that you get Rick's guide book for France and read the sections that cover French history and the French people, it will be a big help understanding what is going on around you. I remember a clerk at a very busy ice cream shop saying to an American who was trying to order in halting French,"English, English, please speak English!" That being said, in more relaxed situations, the gesture of starting out even in fractured French will be appreciated and most likely followed by very passable English. A number of young people we met really wanted to practice their English.

Posted by
7705 posts

Bets beat me to it I was wondering when someone was going to mention Belleville!! John, I believe the Chinese references started coming up because you had mentioned finding ethnic enclaves. While European enclaves don't exist in Paris, there certainly ARE concentrations of Chinese in different pockets of the city. For someone who's so sophisticated with your 7 languages and all (Lord knows I do well to mangle two, my own and that of the country I live in and speak to my husband in oh yes and that of my in-laws, which I'm learning, and the one I minored in in college, which I haven't used for years, and the bit I can speak from the country where I taught English in the early 1990s, as well as the two I "studied" in high school. I would never say I speak anything but English and French), I'm surprised you didn't know more about the history of the Latin Quarter, home of the Sorbonne. I would guess a quick Google or Wikipedia search would reveal what the "Latin" in Latin Quarter derives from. It's pretty easy to get information about Paris in English, on your computer, at a library, or a bookstore, before ever leaving home.

Posted by
32 posts

Ken, Oddly, I first learned Italian in Germany for a similar reason that is my situation now with France: I'd been working in Spain for 3 years and become fluent (ah youth and a spongy, absorbent brain.........long gone) and didn't know much about German........took a quick little course in Spain but was still befuddled. The most popular spot in my first little German town was an Italian Eiscafé. https://www.google.com/search?q=italian+Eiscafe+germany&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=9XG&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Jl8VUaTNDKHq2gWsk4GYCQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1024&bih=605 I hope this isn't advertising. And as you suspect, I could understand and be understood enough to communicate with the Italians. Learning Italian at first is a tongue twister (peter piper picked etc.) because words are so similar e.g. sp. A mi me gusta esta cosa...itl. A me mi piace questa cosa (the s sounds like a z in itl.). Even now, I have to be in Italy a few days to switch over and often use Spanish instead of Italian words..........visa versa in Spain when I've been in Italy for a while. Working with Germans, I began to learn but it was nice to have the Italian "home base" when first getting oriented. That's why I was hoping for Spanish or Italian in Paris.........I suspect I'll find something similar. I was in Montréal year before last and tried my little bit of French: Je m'appelle Jean Martin. J'habite au Texas, et je voudrais un cognac, s'il vous plaît. It was fun but I didn't get very far. When George W. was in office here, I always wore my Canadian t-shirts when I traveled abroad. Fortunately most of the world likes Obama (it didn't like George) but I'll probably pretend to be from Cape Breton (far from Texas) when I'm in France.

Posted by
32 posts

Ken, PS, I get by in Portugal about like you're planning to do with Spanish in Italy or wherever. Limited Portuguese (a little better than my French) but it works pretty well. It's kind of a Twilight Zone thing: you know they're speaking something you don't really speak well but you understand it anyway...........and visa versa.
How's the weather up there.............too cold for me I bet.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks All............a lot of good stuff here. Right now, at the suggestion of Rick Steves (been using him for 20+ years) I'm looking at staying in Rue Cler. Anybody have anything to say about it? Hi Ken, As I said initially, I speak 7 (8 if you count elementary Latin) so I have a lot of experience in learning them. I'm 70 and my brain is now a fossil but when I first moved to Spain (age 18), it was a sponge and soaked up everything. My learning method is this: 1. First learn to say: How do you say? And then other similar questions. Then point at everything and ask. 2. Carry a little note pad and whenever somebody answers the question, write it down. 3. Talk to everybody e.g. the busboy, the yard man, the taxi driver, the waitress, some guy fishing off a bridge, the street vendor, the cook etc..........constantly.
4. Associate new words with things/words that sound the same or remind you of them. I have some others if you're interested...........the trick is to be young. I have and worked in Spain, Germany and Italy so I'm accustomed to Europeans who speak multiple languages. I live in Texas and New Mexico where Spanish is common and have been speaking it daily for 50+ years. Latin Americans are always a little surprised, at first, because I look like a typical Gringo. But my accent is Andalusian (hick Spanish compared to Castilian) but it's European so they say I sound like a professor. I sometimes remind them that most people in Spain look like me (European). There is no substitute for living in the country where the language is spoken but I recently came across (and bought for French) the best method I've ever found (after years of Berlitz and a host of others) and they have a good promotional price. pimsleurapproach.com

Posted by
8876 posts

You probably couldn't find a bigger English speaking area than Rue Cler. Or Rue Rick as some like to refer to it. I stayed there my first trip to Paris. I found it to be too quiet and too far from all but the Eiffel Tower. Yes, you can take the metro anywhere, but I like there to be places to go within walking distance. I've stayed in the Latin Quarter twice and much preferred it. I think that the 4th, 5th and 6th, the closer to the river the better, are the more central and interesting areas.

Posted by
11450 posts

I agree with Andrea, Rue Cler would not be my first( or second) choice.. and thats after years of visiting Paris.. I honestly feel a first timer would do better in the 4th , 5th or 6th , which are more central with more transport options..
I will also add even RS knows there are many other great areas to stay in while in Paris, the one tour I took with him we stayed in the 14th, and my friend took a tour with RS too, they stayed in the 4th. RS can't feature everywhere in Paris so he has just picked a few to feature in his books With that said, if you wish a quieter area, perhaps a tad more residential , if you avoid Rue Cler but stay in the 7th you may really enjoy that arrondissmont, many do. Also, last note, many ask about staying on Rue Cler because they like the idea of a market street ,but there are market areas all over Paris, millions of Parisiens can't all fit on Rue Cler! lol

Posted by
32 posts

Does 4th, 5th 6th refer to something in Rick's book? I'm looking in his France 2013, beginning at page153, Sleeping in Paris. Rue Cler is the first listing. (7th arrondissement etc.) And I'm guessing that # 7th is what you'll are referring to. Is this right? I'm sure Rick explains it but I just got the book. What is an arrondissement (neighborhood I guess)? "if you avoid Rue Cler but stay in the 7th" This confuses me. Rue Cler is the 7th. Yes! The market street part attracted me. I'm a foodie (http://geriatricgourmet.com/........my site) and while most like museums, cathedrals, ruins etc. first, my favorites are always markets and then the other stuff. I especially like fish and farmer's markets. These are probably in Rick's book but I didn't see them in the index. Can someone tell me where the best are and which of these arrondissmonts is closest to them? This is probably what will ultimately determine my choice.

Posted by
8876 posts

Paris is divided into arrondissements, or districts. Rue Cler is in the 7th. I'm sure there is a map in your book that shows where each arrondissement is located. If you look at the river and locate the 2 islands in the middle of it, that is the center of Paris. Many places to sightsee are in that general area. Above the river is the right bank, where the 4th (Marais) is located. Below the river is the Left Bank, where the 5th (Latin Quarter) and 6th (St. Germaine) is located. Then see where the Eiffel Tower is. Rue Cler is close to that. It is not as central. "Rue Cler is the 7th." No. Rue Cler is a street IN the 7th. You can still go to Rue Cler if you feel you need to see it, but there are market streets everywhere. And most of the markets on Rue Cler are closed on Sundays.

Posted by
32 posts

Does 4th, 5th 6th refer to something in Rick's book? I'm looking in his France 2013, beginning at page153, Sleeping in Paris. Rue Cler is the first listing. (7th arrondissement etc.) And I'm guessing that # 7th is what you'll are referring to. Is this right? I'm sure Rick explains it but I just got the book. What is an arrondissement (neighborhood I guess)? "if you avoid Rue Cler but stay in the 7th" This confuses me. Rue Cler is the 7th. Yes! The market street part attracted me. I'm a foodie (http://geriatricgourmet.com/........my site) and while most like museums, cathedrals, ruins etc. first, my favorites are always markets and then the other stuff. I especially like fish and farmer's markets. These are probably in Rick's book but I didn't see them in the index. Can someone tell me where the best are and which of these arrondissmonts is closest to them? This is probably what will ultimately determine my choice.

Posted by
32 posts

Does 4th, 5th 6th refer to something in Rick's book? I'm looking in his France 2013, beginning at page153, Sleeping in Paris. Rue Cler is the first listing. (7th arrondissement etc.) And I'm guessing that # 7th is what you'll are referring to. Is this right? I'm sure Rick explains it but I just got the book. What is an arrondissement (neighborhood I guess)? "if you avoid Rue Cler but stay in the 7th" This confuses me. Rue Cler is the 7th. Yes! The market street part attracted me. I'm a foodie (http://geriatricgourmet.com/........my site) and while most like museums, cathedrals, ruins etc. first, my favorites are always markets and then the other stuff. I especially like fish and farmer's markets. These are probably in Rick's book but I didn't see them in the index. Can someone tell me where the best are and which of these arrondissmonts is closest to them? This is probably what will ultimately determine my choice.

Posted by
9110 posts

Arrondisements are administrative subdivisions as Andrea said. Think of them as who to call to get your potholes in the road fixed. They show up as the last couple of digits on a zip code and are not neighborhoods, nor are they homogeneous. They all have many neighborhoods and some neighborhoods span an arrondisement boundry. They sometimes are used (without great specificity) to locate in what general area something is located. More common is either specifying the neighborhood (Marais, Montparnasse) or giving the nearest metro station (Cite, Madelene). Arrondissements have no names, just numbers. As a side-note: community guidelines prohibit advertising and you've listed your web page a bunch of times.

Posted by
15058 posts

The arrondissements are numbered in a spiral, starting with the Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame). So those nearest the center have the lowest numbers. I like the Marais quarter (I think it's the 4th) on the right bank (north of the Seine), and the St. Germaine and Latin quarters on the left bank. The Marais is quieter at night and more residential, the left bank has more students, more bars and cafes open late at night. All are walking distance to many sights and there are "good" metro lines (the ones that take you directly, or with minimal transfer, to other sights) in both. All are more interesting than the Rue Cler area (in my opinion). I have found that greeting shopkeepers, hotel staff, tourist sights staff, etc. in polite French (don't forget to say Madame or Monsieur as well as good morning, afternoon, or whatever) gets you a long way.

Posted by
32 posts

Sorry about listing my website. I don't sell anything (been retired for years) so it's not really advertising. I just put it there as a reference to stuff I like, my languages etc. but if it's against the rules, I won't do it again. I'm still hoping somebody can tell me which/where the best Fish and Farmer's markets are. That's what I really need to know to decide where I want to stay.

Posted by
9110 posts

The markets can be divided into two groups, those that open up a day or two a weerk, and the permanent ones. Of the latter category here's three that come to mind in the order I'd rank them: Rue Mouffetard Rue Montorgueil
Rue Daguerre What used to be the major market was at Les Halles, but the whole operation has expanded and moved down to Rungis (just north of Orly). I've never been, but I think it requires a pre-arranged guide. I've flown over it - - the place is huge - - I don't think you could walk all the halls in one day.

Posted by
32 posts

Sorry about listing my website. I don't sell anything (been retired for years) so it's not really advertising. I just put it there as a reference to stuff I like, my languages etc. but if it's against the rules, I won't do it again. I'm still hoping somebody can tell me which/where the best Fish and Farmer's markets are. That's what I really need to know to decide where I want to stay.

Posted by
32 posts

Sorry about listing my website. I don't sell anything (been retired for years) so it's not really advertising. I just put it there as a reference to stuff I like, my languages etc. but if it's against the rules, I won't do it again. I'm still hoping somebody can tell me which/where the best Fish and Farmer's markets are. That's what I really need to know to decide where I want to stay.

Posted by
32 posts

I just looked googeled Rue Mouffetard, Rue Montorgueil and Rue Daguerre and looked at the pictures and yes, this is exactly what I'm looking for. Now I just have to look at them enough to decide which I like best and that's where I'll stay. This is probably getting too specific but does anyone happen to know if one or another has more seafood?

Posted by
32 posts

I just looked googeled Rue Mouffetard, Rue Montorgueil and Rue Daguerre and looked at the pictures and yes, this is exactly what I'm looking for. Now I just have to look at them enough to decide which I like best and that's where I'll stay. This is probably getting too specific but does anyone happen to know if one or another has more seafood?

Posted by
31524 posts

John, As you're not selling anything, hopefully the Webmaster will allow your website link. I found it interesting to see some of the details in your life, including language skills. Regarding Rue Cler, whether it's "touristy" or not doesn't matter to me as that's the area I prefer. My reasons are partially pragmatic, as it's close to some of the sites that interest me, and it has good Metro access for other areas. I like the atmosphere, but I'm typically out touring or whatever so don't necessarily spend a lot of time there. Who knows, one of these days I might decide to try another area? I can't offer any suggestions on street markets, as that's not something I've ever looked for. It's interesting that you mentioned the Pimsleur series, as that's what I've been using for Italian (between night school classes). I've looked at Rosetta Stone and some of the others, but haven't found anything yet that works as well for me as Pimsleur. I'm 60+ and only started trying to learn a new language in my 50s, so the learning curve is a bit more difficult. I once asked one of my Italian Instructors if I could learn a language at my age and she said emphatically "YES, but it will take you longer". That was encouraging to some extent. I tried to be a good Canadian and also take some French lessons, but both night school courses I signed up for were "cancelled due to lack of interest". At that point, I decided to just focus on Italian. One thing I've learned - it's impossible for me to study Italian and Spanish at the same time. I go into "brain lock" as there are too many similar words. I figure if I can master Italian, I should be able to "get by" in Spanish speaking countries as the grammar is somewhat similar. Cheers!

Posted by
31524 posts

John, Thanks for the additional comments. It's possible you didn't get far with French in Montreal as Quebecois is a bit different than Parisian French (in Paris they refer to it as "the old French"). I was in a Hostel in Rome in September and one of the other residents in the Dorm room was from Montreal and one from Brittany. I was watching them chat and they did seem to be communicating, but with a slight amount of difficulty. On that same trip, the Montreal guy and myself were seated at an outdoor Café next to the Hostel. There were three girls from Brazil seated next to us. I found that my limited Italian and their limited English allowed us to communicate to a certain extent. They were later replaced by an Italian family (Father-Mother-Daughter) and the daughter could speak a bit of English. That proved to be interesting when I paid my bill when the Mother gave me a lesson in "Italian tipping practices" (I suspect they were in the restaurant business). I had apparently tipped too much, so she retrieved the excess and handed it back to me. Not sure if the restaurant staff saw that - they didn't say anything? I find that Italian pronunciation is infinitely easier for me than French! I really struggle with that. One of the Guides I know in Paris (who speaks 5 languages) says that I'll never be able to get French perfectly, as "you have to be born here". I'd probably be able to manage German more easily than French. I have a lot of trouble even understanding Portugese. It's quite different than the other languages in that "family". Interesting discussion.....

Posted by
8419 posts

I agree with Andrea and Pat, my favorite area to stay in Paris is the 4th, the 5th and the 6th. Andrea's explanation of the arrondissements (districts) was really good. To complicate it though, the 4th consists of part of the Marais area, the eastern portion of Ile de la Cite (island where Notre Dame is located) and all of Ile St. Louis (little island east of Notre Dame). The western part of the Marais is in the 3rd, and the western portion of Ile de la Cite is in the 1st. Did they have to make it so complicated? :) There are books written on the different markets in Paris. I'd go to a bookstore or Amazon.com and see what appeals to you. Since you're a foodie, I think a little book describing each market, where it is, how to get there, etc. would be useful and fun to read. Edit: I wrote this before I realized there was a whole second page of posts...

Posted by
32 posts

Well, moving right along, Wow! I was just going to ask a few simple questions and I seem to be babbling ad infinitum. Yes Ken, Italian is about the easiest of those I know to pronounce. It's written like it sounds with the nice A,E,I,O,U vowels and the consonants consistent and spoken.........not so much silent stuff like French......and English. The Japanese have four ways of writing and one is called Romaji which refers to the Roman, or Latin, alphabet. When they use it, they write it just as in Italian and of the major world languages, Japanese and Italian are phonetically the two most closely related. Japanese grammar, words and everything else are completely alien (but I think more practical) than anything Western. But we have very little trouble with its pronunciation. For the first few minuets on the phone (until my limited vocabulary trips me up) I can fool a native speaker into thinking I'm Japanese. German pronunciation is not too bad (some guttural stuff) but the grammar is unnecessarily complicated (10 times more than Japanese). I used to say, stuff some cotton in your mouth, speak English like a dog barking and it sounds like German. Portuguese has some of the obnoxious grammar mess that German has (declension-a night mare at first). But guess what, English is a mess to those first learning it: Something used to be = was, but it doesn't make sense. Past participle of use and infinitive of be. Also the British somehow managed to get things like Sherry form the word Jerez..........and a lot of other goofy stuff like that. Anyway it can be fun. Susan, Now if I can just figure out which, what, where, these markets are in relation to these 4th, the 5th and the 6th etc. I'll know where I want to stay. Thanks all for your kind advice and instruction.

Posted by
31524 posts

John, As you've studied Japanese, maybe you can help answer a question. I've asked people who live in Japan and speak Japanese as their first language, and they can't answer it. In the movie Tora Tora Tora at one point (in about the middle), the Japanese officer instructs the Helmsman of the aircraft carrier with a word that sounds like "Mooka". This happens just after the Navigator says "we've reached point D". The Helmsman repeats it twice, elongating the word to some extent. He then adds something to the end of the word the second time he repeats it. The movie is supposed to be historically accurate, so I'm sure it's there for a reason. Not that it's a huge concern, but I've always been curious on what that word means. I'm assuming it's something to do with changing course, but not sure? Cheers!

Posted by
6513 posts

John, of the one or two day a week markets in Paris I prefered the one at Bastille. It's one of the bigger ones and I really enjoyed it. There were several fish stands and lots of stands for meats (some butcher type and lots of the sausage and cured meat variety) along with the fresh produce and the inevitable flea market type stuff. It's quite large (several blocks long) and happens on Thurs and Sunday. I believe it's in the 4th arrondisment and the metro stop 'Bastille' lets you off right there.

Posted by
32 posts

Well, moving right along, Wow! I was just going to ask a few simple questions and I seem to be babbling ad infinitum. Yes Ken, Italian is about the easiest of those I know to pronounce. It's written like it sounds with the nice A,E,I,O,U vowels and the consonants consistent and spoken.........not so much silent stuff like French......and English. The Japanese have four ways of writing and one is called Romaji which refers to the Roman, or Latin, alphabet. When they use it, they write it just as in Italian and of the major world languages, Japanese and Italian are phonetically the two most closely related. Japanese grammar, words and everything else are completely alien (but I think more practical) than anything Western. But we have very little trouble with its pronunciation. For the first few minuets on the phone (until my limited vocabulary trips me up) I can fool a native speaker into thinking I'm Japanese. German pronunciation is not too bad (some guttural stuff) but the grammar is unnecessarily complicated (10 times more than Japanese). I used to say, stuff some cotton in your mouth, speak English like a dog barking and it sounds like German. Portuguese has some of the obnoxious grammar mess that German has (declension-a night mare at first). But guess what, English is a mess to those first learning it: Something used to be = was, but it doesn't make sense. Past participle of use and infinitive of be. Also the British somehow managed to get things like Sherry form the word Jerez..........and a lot of other goofy stuff like that. Anyway it can be fun. Susan, Now if I can just figure out which, what, where, these markets are in relation to these 4th, the 5th and the 6th etc. I'll know where I want to stay. Thanks all for your kind advice and instruction.

Posted by
9363 posts

No, John, there is not a lot of French spoken here in Bloomington, IL. Maybe in the foreign language department of Illinois State University, but not on the street.

Posted by
8419 posts

"Now if I can just figure out which, what, where, these markets are in relation to these 4th, the 5th and the 6th etc. I'll know where I want to stay. " That's why I suggested getting a book about markets in Paris. From a library, a bookstore or Amazon.com. You can read about each one and decide which market appeals most to you. It will tell you where it is and in which arrondissement. Of the markets (there are more than these though) Ed suggested: Mouffetard is in the 5th Montorgueil is in the 1st Daguerre is in the 14th There's another one near Ecole Militaire in the 7th, and another at the Metro stop La Motte Picquet-Grenelle in the 15th.

Posted by
9110 posts

The thing about the once-a-week markets is that it's largely the same vendors moving back and forth across town selling the same stuff today at Point A as they sold yesterday at Point B. It's the same thing with the roving flea and farmer's market that everybody raves about in Sarlat. Had you gone up to Perigueux the day befor, you'd have seen the same crowd.

Posted by
31524 posts

John, "How's the weather up there.............too cold for me I bet." I forgot to answer that question earlier. The weather was bright and sunny for most of the day and it felt almost like spring. The "official" high was probably about 5 C, but it felt warmer. Another week of this and the snow should be gone. I don't mind the snow as long as it stays up at the local ski hill (Silver Star), but I get really annoyed if I have to shovel it. Cheers!

Posted by
13004 posts

Hi, My compliments to anyone who masters a non-Indo-European language such as Japanese, etc. On German..."the grammar is unnecessarily complicated...." and "obnoxious grammar mess".... I absolutely dissent from that point of view. German grammar, ( including declensions, pronounciation, spelling, verb forms, etc.) is totally logical.

Posted by
32 posts

Fred, Well, like I said, it's just opinion but the Japanese communicate very effectively WITHOUT, what I consider to be, superfluous stuff. And the key word is WITHOUT.
When I was a kid in school, I hated al the grammar mess in English too. If you speak effectively with one tongue, is it logical to have two.............blah, blah. It's not worth an argument. I consent to speak they way my ancestors spoke whether, wither, weather I like it or not.

Posted by
32 posts

Ken, The word is Mokka. It is emphatic and means right now, this very instant. The officer was probably saying something like this: We are attacking right now! Mokka! Kogeki chuu! Fred, It's just my opinion but I'll explain what I mean: In Japanese, there is no declension. Except for he or she, there no gender with nouns, adjectives, articles or anything else. There are no articles. Verb conjugation is very simple. There is nothing like conditional, subjunctive, perfect, pluperfect, present perfect, no gerund etc. Past and Present are very simple and expressed by slightly modifying one word: To be. It either is or was. Future is simply tomorrow or when ever it will occur........with one word. Relative position of a glass to a table: Das Glas auf dem Tisch ist - steht Das Glas wird durch den Tisch ist Das Glas in der Nähe der Tisch ist Das Glas unter dem Tisch ist Das Glas bei dem Tisch ist Das Glas wird auf dem Tisch morgen sein Das Glas war auf dem Tisch gestern Das Glas wird auf den Tisch wobei Etc. Nothing like these examples can happen in Japanese. The glass is simply glass – no gender and no article. Table is just table – neither article nor gender e.g. Glass on table (no after table = possessive) is. Glass by table (no after table = possessive) is. Glass on table (no after table = possessive) tomorrow be
Etc. I have by no means mastered Japanese or German but I find it easy and convenient not to have to worry about constantly having to change gender, verbs or even bothering with articles etc. In Japanese, and as I said before, the pronunciation is like Italian.

Posted by
32 posts

PS, My only problem with Japanese is that the words, except for a few modified e.g. ice-cream = eisu crimu, pencil = ipensu, typewriter = teipureitu are completely unique to Japanese. I can't count on Latin or Greek roots. Wow, how I do babble: Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Data, don't babble!
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Babble, sir? I'm not aware that I ever babble, sir. Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Please, organize it into brief answers to my questions. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708739/quotes My tombstone: Too much to do; not enough time.

Posted by
13004 posts

John, Got it, but it's my view that learning German grammar (a tedious task, if one sees it as such, ) is totally logical when you dissect and analyze learning the grammar. I know something of Mandarin Chinese grammar if you can call it that, sounds the same in Japanese, ie., both languages don't have real grammar as we know it in English, French, Russian, Polish, German, Spanish with all the component grammatical parts as you listed, not to mention cases, voice, mood, and declensions. Remember paramount in German as in French (maybe even more so) is word order.

Posted by
32 posts

Nancy, From what's been said here (grateful to all) and Rick's book, I'm beginning to like the area around the Bastille market. The pictures look like my version of paradise: https://www.google.com/search?q=bastille+market+paris&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=0Fy&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=H7kWUazNGoWRrAGn44HgCg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAA&biw=1024&bih=605 Susan, I'm going to get the book "Paris in a Basket". Thanks.

Posted by
6513 posts

John,
I stayed in the 4th and really enjoyed it. I loved walking around the Marais and it was close enough that I walked to the Bastille market. I like to walk and walked most everywhere, only took the Metro to places that were quite far away like Montmartre and Pere LaChaise cemetery. One day I actually walked down to Rue Cler to see what all the RS hype was about. I wasn't all that impressed. I prefer the Bastille market even though it was only two days a week and I like the whole Bastille area too. Good luck making your decision on where to stay, you can't really go wrong in Paris.

Posted by
31524 posts

John, Thanks very much for answering that question about the Japanese word! That's something I've wondered about for a long time. The word "Mokka" makes sense in the context that it was used in the movie. As the Navigator stated "we've reached Point D", the command would have been to change course immediately as they then had to head south towards Pearl Harbour. You have an exceptional knowledge of grammar. That's something I've got to get back to in my studies soon. I haven't yet mastered the various "tenses" of Italian - futuro, passato prossimo, etc. Hopefully I can figure it out. I've found that learning another language is both interesting and rewarding, but it sure is a lot of work! BTW, I have a habit of "rambling" at times also. Cheers!

Posted by
16941 posts

Het John, it sounds like you'll be speaking French on your third day there. Once you have ten languages under your belt, the eleventh should be a snap.

Posted by
32 posts

Nancy, I know it's in the book (and I just took Susan's advice and ordered Paris in a Basket) but do you remember which two days the Bastille market is open? We're only there five days and I don't want to miss it. I've pretty much decided on Marais and now I'm looking at Rick's hotel picks for it.
We're poor................any recommendations? Wi-Fi would be nice and a shower in room a must.

Posted by
32 posts

Ken, Well you call what you do rambling and I call what I do babbling. So I'll just babble on: Thank you for your kind compliment about my knowledge of grammar but I'm afraid I must have deceived you. Little story: When I was a kid I flunked history and English.........did well in science and art but flunked most everything else. When I first set foot on the cobblestones that the Caesars had walked on, I got interested in history. It was suddenly relevant to my life (caught in the time warp that was rural Southern Spain in the 60s) and I ended up majoring in European history in college. I still didn't care about American history until I began to spend some time in México (and later built my house in New México after having lived in Spain) but even then, was not interested in British Colonial history until I went to Boston. There, I walked around and chatted with Benjamin Franklin's ghost and now I'm even interested in that. I didn't care about grammar until I had to start learning a new language. Now I'm fluent in 3, proficient in a couple others and have dabbled enough to get by in a few others but have still mastered none...........including 70 years of English. All grammar is human and, to me, all humanity is a mess. Look at history.........we don't learn from it. War.......been in one now for over 10 years and WWII only lasted 5. Leonardo da Vinci's summation of the primary purpose of the majority of humanity: Consumption and Defecation. Now I'm really babbling and better catch myself and get back to work.

Posted by
8419 posts

John, try Hotel Jeanne d'Arc - very budget friendly, very well liked. But they book up fast.

Posted by
415 posts

Sunday is definitely one of the days for the market around the Bastille, but I don't know the other day. (I was just there on a Sunday in September). As for languages, I'm trying to learn Italian and Portuguese at the same time. Portuguese is proving to be the most difficult, but it's easy enough to read and understand if you already know French and Italian. I speak better French than Italian. I used to get pegged as "une canadienne" as soon as I used my French in France. When I asked why this was so, I was told it's my accent and my vocabulary. Upon my return to Canada, I used some newly acquired French vocabulary in Quebec, and my friends there all laughed and said I had spent too much time in France and now had a very French vocabulary for things like laptop computer, cell phone and yogurt. You can't win.......

Posted by
31524 posts

John, I suppose my experience with grammar is the same. I didn't really get interested in it until I started learning another language. This is going to take some "re-learning" as I'd have trouble even describing the different components of grammar in English at this point. I'll be happy if I can become fully fluent in both speaking and reading/writing Italian, but may eventually decide to try another language after that.

Posted by
31524 posts

John, "Well it's Saturday night and I'm having my Cognac" You've reminded me that one of my Sons gave me a bottle of Calvados for Christmas. I'll probably have a shot (or two) tonight for a special treat.

Posted by
32 posts

I'm astounded at how long this conversation has continued. I was just asking about Spanish in the Latin Quarter and have met a bunch of nice folks. Here's to you Rick! You've created a very enviable life for yourself and served all of us poor travelers so well. I'd love to meet all of you in person but I'm poor and can't pay for your trips. Well it's Saturday night and I'm having my Cognac:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJW-XQtycmw I'll get back to you nice folks Monday. It's 3 in the morning here and I'll have a hangover all day tomorrow. As Little Richard would say, I'm having fun. But I have to sleep awhile now.

Posted by
13004 posts

Hi, Point taken on how you see grammar and learning various languages. Thanks for sharing your view.

Posted by
15 posts

Dear John,
I am so impressed by your web site, and I hope I will reach your level of fluency one day, especially in French. I always wanted to speak French, and I took some classes in Manila (my home town) a few years ago. Now that I have moved to Denmark with my Danish husband (after a short stay in the US), I have to concentrate on my Danish, as well as on my English (still need to improve it!). Regarding your French, I guess you are an intermediate or even an advanced learner. "Je parle à seulement assez français pour obtenir que j'ai besoin de dans Québec". I am definitely impressed... it is a difficult sentence indeed. How would you say " the book that I need"? "la livre que j'ai besoin de"? Bon jour de Danmarke

Posted by
32 posts

Monday morning and resuming my babble: Thank you Rose, No, I am, by no means advanced in French. I don't even consider my self intermediate............but I'm trying. I think it would be as you have it: "le livre que j'ai besoin de" Once again, I can make a rough guess because of the Latin roots (not so for Japanese). Italian: "il libro che ho bisogno". We see the que (what or that) is the same for both. We see that libro (book) is slightly altered (livre) but recognizable. The I (skipped in Italian and usually Spanish also) is Io in Italian and Yo in Spanish. A little different than the French Je........but still recognizable. Need is almost the same in both Italian and French (a little different in Spanish: necesito)........it: Ho bisogno di, and Fr: besoin de. If the Romans were there at some time or other, I can usually figure out the word.........if not the pronunciation. http://geriatricgourmet.com/files/I_Roman.pdf Wow, Danish! My good friend Judy Johnsen (http://geriatricgourmet.com/New_Mexico.html- spelled with e instead of o) is Danish but I don't think she speaks much of it and I wouldn't even know where to start............except www.pimsleurapproach.com I have a few friends in California who speak Tagalog but I've never tried to learn it. Judy is about to go to the Philippines so I'll recommend Pimsleur to her.
Too many languages.................now I have confused myself.

Posted by
32 posts

Susan, I'm about to book our room at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc but first I have to send them this email: Hello, We would like to make a reservation but we are confused about your example of the reservation dates on your website: Arrival date: (example : 2011-9-9) Number of nights: Here in the United States, we write dates a little differently e.g. February 11, 2013. Our confusion is that, since you have 9 – 9 in your example, we do not know which 9 is the month and which 9 is the day. (The British also have a different way of writing dates) We want to make this reservation: Check in on April 20th 2013 and check out on April 25th, 2013 (5 nights total). Please advise me how to enter our dates on your website.
Thanks Susan.

Posted by
32 posts

Susan, I'm about to book our room at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc but first I have to send them this email: Hello, We would like to make a reservation but we are confused about your example of the reservation dates on your website: Arrival date: (example : 2011-9-9) Number of nights: Here in the United States, we write dates a little differently e.g. February 11, 2013. Our confusion is that, since you have 9 – 9 in your example, we do not know which 9 is the month and which 9 is the day. (The British also have a different way of writing dates) We want to make this reservation: Check in on April 20th 2013 and check out on April 25th, 2013 (5 nights total). Please advise me how to enter our dates on your website.
Thanks Susan.

Posted by
28131 posts

John says, "Monday morning and resuming my babble" John, please, please respect the Community Guidelines of the Helpline. You will find them in the upper right corner of the webpage. As you are new to our little family I'd like to share a couple of them with you. Number 1 is Stay on topic. Make your contribution relevant to the original post. Number 5 is Observe chat rules. Our forums are not chat rooms. Only two posts per blog entry... It appears that you have 28 up to now - all in this one post. Number 7 contains Do not advertise ... Promoting your website ... is prohibited. It seems that virtually all of your posts on this thread include your website. Please take the Community Guidelines seriously. Many threads have been removed by the Webmaster for violations of the Guidelines. I'm sure you want to keep your thread up. Perhaps starting different threads for different questions would help. Happy planning ...

Posted by
28131 posts

April 20th 2013 And the answer to the date question is that they are using YYYY-MM-DD so you would write 2013-04-20.

Posted by
32 posts

Susan, I'm about to book our room at Hotel Jeanne d'Arc but first I have to send them this email: Hello, We would like to make a reservation but we are confused about your example of the reservation dates on your website: Arrival date: (example : 2011-9-9) Number of nights: Here in the United States, we write dates a little differently e.g. February 11, 2013. Our confusion is that, since you have 9 – 9 in your example, we do not know which 9 is the month and which 9 is the day. (The British also have a different way of writing dates) We want to make this reservation: Check in on April 20th 2013 and check out on April 25th, 2013 (5 nights total). Please advise me how to enter our dates on your website.
Thanks Susan.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks everybody. I have enough information now to get on with my search so this will be my last post.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks everybody. I have enough information now to get on with my search so this will be my last post.