How to communicate while traveling in Paris

How will you reach out and touch your loved ones, friends, and co-workers while you're on vacation in Paris? (Well, you can't reach out and touch the co-workers; they have rules against that.)

From phrase sheets and overcoming the language barrier to Internet cafes and Skype, how to find WiFi hotspots and use telephone calling cards to renting and using cellphones abroad. This is communicating in Paris.

On Speaking French

Parlez-vous français? - A cheat sheet of useful words and phrases in French.

Phrase books, French/English dictionaries, translator apps, and digital translators - Handy dandy pocket-sized primers on all the words and phrases a traveler might need to know.

Overcoming the language barrier - Tackling that myth known as the "language barrier" with a few simple keys to unlocking French (or any foreign language) and getting your message across.

The polite use of English - Even if you can't manage a word of French beyond merci , there are ways to make yourself understood in English by even the proudest Francophone Parisian. (Hint: The trick is not TO TALK MORE LOUDLY.)

The metric system - Making sense out of meters, kilos, liters, and other aspects of the base-ten system (plus a primer on European clothing sizes).

Learning French - Cat. Hat. In French: chat, chapeau. Ah, if only learning a foreign language were as easy as memorizing old Dr. Suess songs. Still, it's doesn't have to be that hard. Here's how to put some polish on those dimly remembered French lessons from junior high.

Telephones & cellphones

Calling Paris - Everything you need to know about Paris and phone calls: How to call Paris, how to call home from Paris, emergency numbers, and more.

Calling home - The pros and cons of every method of making calls once you are in France: from old-fashioned calling cards to using cellphones (your own or a rented world phone) to Skyping. (Plus, the ways not to try to call home.)

Cellphones in Paris - Using mobile phones in Paris, from the dos and don'ts of using your own cellphone to renting a world phone to swapping out the SIM in your phone.

Skype - The easiest, cheapest way to make International phone calls and video chats (whether calling Paris or phoning home while you are on the road)

The Internet in Paris

WiFi - Internet hotspots in Paris—including the city's 260 free municipal hospots.

Internet cafes - How to find cybercafes and computer terminals in Paris.

French keyboards - Introducing: AZERTY—How to handle the crazy French keyboard (hint: ask to borrow a QWERTY one).