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Paris unveils new app to aid non-French speakers

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Paris unveils new app to aid non-French speakers
Paris has a new mobile app called "Yes I speak touriste" to help foreigners struggling with their French. Photo: jfgornet/flickr
08:42 CEST+02:00
Paris, the city of light, love, and tourists, has released a new mobile app called "Yes I speak touriste" to help foreigners struggling with their French find some respite.

The app provides users with an interactive map showing locations like restaurants and hotels where their native tongue is spoken.

Users select their preferred language and locations appear where they can find fellow Mandarin, Arabic and English speakers.

Select Mandarin, for example, and around 20 addresses pop up, including a pharmacy.

Needless to say for English there are far more. The map below shows all the stores under the title "fashion" where English is spoken.


The French capital's chamber of commerce released the app, which is available in nine languages, at the start of the peak summer tourism season.

Along with the app, there is a paper guide and a website with a list of locations compiled by the chamber of commerce and the regional tourism board.

The website, called "Do you speak touriste?" also offers businesses personality profiles for different nationalities.

In 2013 Paris launched a manual to show those who work in the trade how they could treat tourists more warmly.

SEE ALSO: TEN essential free mobile apps for visiting Paris

According to the profiles, Russian tourists are "traditional and passionate", and Chinese are "serial shoppers and connected".

Now, the service has moved to mobile, and is available free of charge for Android and iOS phones.

Paris consistently ranks as the most visited city in the world, with 46 million visitors -- 58 percent French and 42 percent international -- each year, according to the chamber of commerce.

The organisation said "the perception of the destination by tourists is positive, with a satisfaction level of 94 percent in 2014".

Not all tourists are satisfied, though. Japanese reported 58 percent satisfaction, and Chinese 54 percent -- with security an issue.

"Cultivating hospitality shows the world that each visitor is welcomed. It also encourages jobs and growth," the statement said.

SEE ALSO: 13 ways France aims to become more welcoming

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