Duplicate content translated into different languages is NOT considered duplicate content by Google. Many large websites are translate all their content into several languages. Far from being a problem, they enjoy good rankings in each of these languages.
Google even allows same language content to be duplicated when targeted to different countries. You could have a co.uk and a com.au site which have the same content with some minor spelling difference and prices in different currencies. Even two same language sites with nearly identical page titles would not be considered duplicate content. They just need to be targeted correctly. This can either be done automatically by the top level domain, or by setting the targeting via Google Webmaster Tools.
If you are having problems with duplicate content, your url structure could be part of the problem. Your English content could be moved to a directory similar to your French content. Something like
example.com/en/place-1. I personally use
fr.example.com without problems for English and French respectively.
Google also gets confused if you mix languages within the same page. Make sure your French pages don't have any English content on them. This is one of the many suggestions in Google's guide to working with multi-regional websites
Another hint you can give to Google is rel alternate links either in meta tags on your pages or in your sitemap files. Google describes how to do this in this post about multilingual and multinational site annotations.