Who is Paul Taylor?
He’s a comedian and Youtuber that has currently a one-man show in Paris and a TV show in Canal+, he also has more than 200 000 followers on YouTube. He was born in England but lives today in France and all his narrative is based on this duality of being an English in France, and how to integrate or understand French culture with the eyes of someone coming from England.
Paul Taylor is a great example of French acculturation for Ifalpes students, as he discovered France staying and living in the country. And also, he lived in “Haute-Savoie” as a child, the region where Annecy and Ifalpes are located! In all his sketches, he talks about the things he discovered in French culture, what surprised him or amazed him, and every time with a sharp sense of humor. You can get more info about him on his website or you can watch his videos on his personal Youtube channel or his “What the fuck France” Youtube Channel.
His tips to learn French
At Ifalpes, we had the great opportunity to ask him a few questions. We asked him to share a few tips to help our students learn French and get the most out of their stay in Annecy, or even at home.
Ifalpes: 3 tips that you would give someone who is going to start learning French.
1. Watch as many French films/TV shows as possible. Start watching them subtitled in English, then subtitled in French, then without subtitles.
2. Check out news/current events on French websites.
3. By far the best way, is to spend time with people who speak French. If you’re a foreigner in France, DON’T HANG OUT WITH OTHER FOREIGNERS. Your French will never improve. Find French people to talk to.
Ifalpes: What are the 3 phrases in French that you use all the time and that you regret not being able to use in English?
1. Bouche à Oreille = mouth to ear. It sounds like something sexual rather than the actual meaning “word of mouth”
2. Il ne faut pas chercher midi à 14h = don’t look for midday at 2pm. I’m not sure how this phrase got invented, maybe there were enough French people confused when looking at their watches.
3. Ça me fait chier = it makes me shit. I love this phrase and use it all the time. Although I’m happy that I’ve never been so angry that I needed to go to the loo.
Ifalpes: How to approach conversation with a French man/ French lady?
Paul: I don’t know. I’m a very shy person in real life so I usually wait for people to approach me, because I have no idea what to say and how to behave, and I don’t want to look like an idiot! But if you do start a conversation, you have to say Bonjour. Or Bonsoir. Check your watch, because if you get this wrong, you might look like an idiot. I think 6pm is the limit.
Ifalpes: Which words in French do you find surprising?
Paul: 1. Putain! What did the prostitues ever do? 2. Citron vert. A green lemon. It makes so much sense. With that logic, surely it should be called une Orange rose instead of pamplemousse. 3. Any word ending in “ing” like pressing. These words are the ninjas of the French language. They don’t exist in English, but they sound like English words.
We hope you liked this interview and you will enjoy learning French culture with his videos… And don’t forget to go see his comedy show in Paris if you have the chance!