SOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2498 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1522 times:
Almost in the same possition.
I'm traveling to Nice in January, and I know like 50% of French. Many things are heard about non-french speakers in France, but is it true that they are struct with people who don't speak the language very well?
PU151 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1505 times:
Just act normal. The niçois are excellent hosts, really kind people, and with a good sense of humor! Plus, you'll be more likely to find english-speakers down there (I used to live in Cannes, but now I live in Lille, to the north of France).
One problem though, many of them suffer from a bad case of southern accent. Charming (I've been trying to mimmick it since I came to France), but extremely difficult to understand for the non-initiated.
Don't try not to look as a tourist, because they'll find out as soon as you say a word... If you want to blend in with the masses, just dress normal. That means no baseball caps, of course (now that was a stereotype).
Oh, and BTW, as a friendly tip... it's "Je ne parle pas l'anglais".
PU151 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1496 times:
Sorry Southamerica, didn't see your post. Yes, in the past they were somewhat rude on people not speaking French, but that was ages ago. OK, there might still be some "irréductibles" but, what the hell, idiots are born in all countries.
My overall feeling is that most French people are uncomfortable with speaking in another language, particularly in English, because it's a somewhat "alien" language, it is not a latin tongue as Italian, for example. Hence what Delta pointed out, they will prefer you to speak in French, but if they have to resort to English, they will with absolutely no problems.
Don't worry, in the worst case you will always find a French english-speaker somewhere to help you out.
Luv767s From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1465 times:
I've gone to Nice for the past 2 summers and I know a few French phrases. Only twice I've had to use them, at a train station, and a restaurant. I love Nice and everyone there is so gracious. Someone around will speak English even if they don't want to. We had several meals in Nice where the waiter spoke no English and we did just fine. They are used to tourists there and they have menus in several languages.
I would say NOT to wear any American sports things. And do bring a French dictionary in case you need to read signs etc.
BTW: the French do wear jeans.
-"...never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm"
Arcano From Chile, joined Mar 2004, 2422 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1401 times:
I've been in Paris. Before to get there, I had your same fear: French hate English (language).
Let me tell you, I can express myself in a reasonable clear French, but I had many troubles trying to get their answer.
French and Parisians were very friendly; when they got my face of "what!?!?!?" they asked me is I spoke English, and they made the effort to speak English (or even Spanish).
As already said, just be nice and, I don't know exactly why, but I also recommend to avoid tshirts of "I love LA" or "Knicks". I got the best impression of France and its people. I only remember 1 bad French that cared nothing about my language in a train station.
Saludos )( Arcano
in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773, 380 and 788
LH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1398 times:
The French don't wear sneakers?!?! WHAT?!?! Too bad no one told much of the French youth that. You most certainly can wear sneakers, however, if you do and you don't want to look American, don't tie them. Tuck your shoe laces inside your sneakers.
And if you want to say "anglais" instead of "français", you might want to try "je ne parle qu'anglais" or "je parle seulement anglais". At least that way...people will know you can't speak French
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
QANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1325 times:
Simply dress in a sensible manner, swiming costume is appropriate only by the pool or at the beach, if you can only hear yourself talking in a loud place then you are probably too loud, at least try to speak French - it is appreciated. If you want a fix of english, come over the border to Monaco. The Grimaldis love tex-mex so there's plenty of that.
Just be open to the culture - and maybe pretend to be Canadian.