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French Level 1
    Unité 13: Leçon 2b
    La Ville:
    Les Addresses
    Now that you know some of the places that you will find in a French village, you will need to know HOW to find them. Look at the following chart:

Track 37
Des Places  
une avenue an avenue
un boulevard a boulevard
une rue a street
    All streets in Paris begin with one of these three words. Below are some examples of street names in downtown Paris. Read through them as you say them with me. After we are finished, I will give you some information about these names:

Track 38
Des Avenues
Avenue Des Champs-Élysées
Avenue Winston Churchill
Avenue Du Général-Eisenhower
    Many French streets are named after famous people. As you can see from the names above, these people are not always French. They can be of any nationality, but they are usually somehow tied to France by some contribution that was made by them to the people of France. The reasons for these contributions vary from help during war to writing great literature or contributions in the arts (now you see why Mlle. "D" asked me to do teach this leçon. I love history!)

Track 39
Des Boulevards
Boulevard De La Madeleine
Boulevard Malesherbes
Boulevard Des Capucines
    There are many streets that receive their names from buildings or other landmarks that are nearby, as in the case of "boulevard de la Madeleine" which is named after a church that is located on this particular "boulevard".

Track 40
Des Rues
Rue De Rivoli
Rue Faubourg-St. Honoré

    I have a few more tidbits of information that you may find interesting about many of the streets named in the previous graphs. In the first graph, the "Avenue Des Champs-Élysées" (which is the main street in Paris) is named after a special place from Greek mythology. In English you would call it, "The Elysian Fields". This is the special heaven that was created for heroes to inhabit after their deaths. It is described as being very beautiful and wonderful. It was a place where they could forget all of their worries and remain in peace for eternity.

    In the third graph, one of the streets is named, "Rue Faubourg-St. Honoré". This street is important if you enjoy shopping, particularly if you want to shop in one of the many designer shops in Paris, for a good many of them are found on this street. There are others scattered throughout the city, of course, but this is a good place to start. Later in Unité 14, Monsieur Charon has a special guest instructor that will be telling you all about shopping in Paris.

    One more interesting bit of information: When you speak in English about where a person lives, you will usually say that "someone" lives on a street, avenue, boulevard, etc. In French we use the word "on" as well, but only with "certain types" of streets. Look at the examples below:

Track 41
Des Phrases  
Je suis dans la rue. I am in the street.
Je suis sur le boulevard. I am on the boulevard.
    Now I will explain to you why we use the word, "dans" ("in") en français for "les rues" and the word "sur" ("on") for "les boulevards".

    In the early days of Paris history, the city was originally built inside of a wall to protect the people who lived there from invaders. Later, when there was no longer a need for it, the wall was removed. Streets and buildings were constructed in the area that was once covered by the wall. These new streets were called, "boulevards". The pre-existing streets, the ones that had been inside of the wall, were called, "rues". It soon became the custom in Paris, and later in all of France, when speaking about a "rue" to use the phrase, "dans la rue" since the original "rues" had been "inside of", or in the wall. The phrase, "sur le boulevard" became the way to describe living "on" these streets because this area was the wall and people generally climb on to a wall, not into one. Je trouve ça très interessant! Vous aussi, j'espère!

    Well, c'est tout! Mlle. "D" will be waiting for you at the next leçon. Adieu!