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Paris and the French

Travel Forums Europe Paris and the French

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11. Posted by me.da (Full Member 96 posts) 11y

I agree with Peter, start in French and use as much as you know, even if its bad. They will be pleasantly surprised, especially if you can say more than 'bonjour' and 'merci'.

I only spent a little time in Paris but plenty outside of it and found almost everyone to be helpful and friendly. I found that lots of people switched to English of their own accord, just so they didnt have to listen to me mangling their lovely language. the French are generally not as bad as their stereotype, its just that when they decide to be rude they do it spectactularly. When they find out you're Australian, they will almost always say the same thing. Took me a while to figure it out but - Kangaroo.

Anyway good luck

12. Posted by kar1181 (Full Member 21 posts) 11y

She doesn't speak any French so she starts off by speaking Icelandic and then everyone is very willing to speak English.

Damn, I wish I had of learnt Icelandic in school instead of Deutsch now :)

Thanks for the info guys, I think a lot of it sounds like common sense. I guess it would be like if I am in my home city and a French person came up to me asking questions in French. I would be a little irate probably (and not understand a word they were saying).

I don't doubt that those who learn English as a second language must feel a little insulted when they spend so much effort learning English, and are interrupted by a native English speaker, who couldn't be bothered to even greet them in their own tongue.

I guess I'd better spend some time cramming in more French phrases :)

13. Posted by kar1181 (Full Member 21 posts) 11y

When they find out you're Australian, they will almost always say the same thing. Took me a while to figure it out but - Kangaroo.

Yeah I noticed that in Asia a lot too, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China :)

It is interesting though, very rarely have I been identified outright as an Australian, most foreign people seem to pick me out as being English, until I casually drop that I am not. From speaking with friends, it seems to be a fairly common thing amongst Aussie and New Zealander travellers.

Maybe the accent they expect as being Australian/Kiwi is so distorted by stereotype, when they do hear one, they don't recognise it! Still, perhaps it is the same as non French speakers being unable to differentiate between the Quebecios and Parisian tones of French.

14. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 11y

On the metro map topic, I found it really easy to read. Although it is larger than the one we have here in Montreal, I found it good to have a reference (since the one in Montreal is based on the Paris system). I can just imagine what it would be like if a person was coming from somewhere with no metro/subway.

As for the French speaking question, as long as you know the key phrases (like "do you speak English?")you will be fine. Although I speak fluent French, when I'm tired I just instinctively go to English, and people were great. In other cities in France it was more French-oriented (unless you're at a major tourist location).

Now let me just say that you will love Paris and never forget it! The place is beautiful, most of the people are friendly and it's an experience you will always take with you!

If you need any help with anything Paris-related, I'm here!

Cheers,
Katie ;) (aka the Paris Nut)

15. Posted by kar1181 (Full Member 21 posts) 11y

On the metro map topic, I found it really easy to read. Although it is larger than the one we have here in Montreal, I found it good to have a reference (since the one in Montreal is based on the Paris system). I can just imagine what it would be like if a person was coming from somewhere with no metro/subway.

Like me :(

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