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    Hotel JulesAirlines, bloggers, cruise lines, and resorts flood our inboxes daily with travel contests and sweepstakes. The prizes are always tempting, but it’s tough to figure out which giveaways are worth your valuable time (and contact information) and which you should demote to the spam folder. To up your odds of scoring a free vacation, we’ll feature one travel contest each week – and say why it’s worth your while.

    Contest: The trendy Hotel Jules in Paris’ 9th Arrondissement is giving away a five-night stay to one Facebook fan. The trick: You have to speak – or be eager to learn – some French.


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    Starting today for the next 34 days, the hotel will post a French phrase on its website and challenge fans to translate it properly. Each correct translation nets you two chances to win: The hotel will raffle off one copy of its “Paris Survival Kit,” a French-English phrase book, each week; at the end of the contest, all correct answers will go into the grand prize drawing pool.


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    Ease of Entry: Moderate. Entry requires some thinking (or Google translating) to properly decipher the French phrases.

    Value: The exact value depends on when you visit, but rooms cost around 200 Euros (about $275) per night, a $1,375 value.

    Odds of Winning: Currently quite high. As of publishing, only 297 people liked the hotel’s Facebook page, and just six people translated today’s phrase. Plus, each week the hotel will give out a copy of its “Paris Survival Kit,” the hotel’s own French phrase book – a worthy consolation prize.

    Deadline: The last translation goes live October 20, but don’t wait until then to enter. Each correctly translated phrase earns an entry in the grand prize pool.

    Details: Visit the Hotel Jules Facebook page, “like” it if you haven’t already, and translate the day’s phrase. Repeat once per day through October 20.

    Verdict: Francophiles – and anyone jonesing for a trip to Paris, really – should enter. You’ll not only have a shot at free five nights in one of the world’s priciest cities, but you’ll also learn a few French phrases along the way – not a bad deal. Even so, take note: The prize details don’t mention airfare, so expect to spring for the transatlantic flight on your own.

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