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When In Paris....  
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1526 times:
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My wife and I are to visit Paris next week.

Shes currently trying to learn French and is doing a great job.

Someone last night was giving her tips on how to be confident in her control of the language so that she gains some respect by the Parisians.

Whats your take on that? What tips would you offer her?


Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOYRJA From Denmark, joined Feb 2007, 78 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1515 times:

Quoting Mirrodie (reply 0):
Someone last night was giving her tips on how to be confident in her control of the language so that she gains some respect by the Parisians.


You gotta be french to get respect from Parisians. Nothing else works Big grin


User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

From my experience (in Paris and Quebec), simply trying to speak French when starting a conversation, asking for something works best.

Native French speakers will soon realise that you're not French, and will either help you along or revert to English.

The effort on your part is the key...


...In my experience anyway!


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1504 times:
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Mirrodie...... If you learn to say please, thank you and where's the bathroom you'll find that you have half the battle won. Smile and point at what you want, and bring your phrasebook. Also practice saying "Excusez moi, Je ne parle pas beaucoup Francais, ou est la (bar, WC, taxi, aeroport, Tour Effiel, patisserie, Uniprix?"

Most Parisians will be helpful if you make the effort, and if your better half has been learning and tries...believe me when I say that the French will happily correct whatever mistakes are made while explaining to you the best way to do whatever it is you want to do.

Have fun in Paris, remember that the Maison Rodin is right next the Les Invalides and you ought to go see both. Go eat at someplace nice at least once.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

Say "bonjour" back when you are given the salutation.

Say "au revoir, merci" when you leave a store, restaurant.

SPEAK FRENCH lol.

In what contexts will you be speaking French, just as visitors? Or will she / you be speaking French when conducting business?

Don't be so intimidated. The Parisians aren't that rude (and this coming from an American)!



Bonjour Chef!
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1491 times:

While you're at it, meet up with fellow resident a.netter 707cmf  Big thumbs up

UTA



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offline707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1484 times:

Sure, welcome to Paris, if you want to have a meal with me (us), don't hesitate (I work near CDG - actually went to eat there at lunch today).

I cannot speak on behalf of all the Parisians. Most of them won't speak English correctly, a lot of them will be rude (alas a true French issue), but a lot of them will be nice.

Something that has not been told yet here, but that works a lot to earn respect here : PDAs ( and I am not speaking of Personnal Digital Assistant). IIRC, you've been married recently. Showing (a lot) of affection to each other will open a lot of doors in Paris, people here love to see happy lovers.

Cheers,

707


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1479 times:

Quoting OYRJA (reply 1):
You gotta be french to get respect from Parisians. Nothing else works


Not even that ! If you're not from Paris, Parisians will loathe you !

I would agree with those who suggest that you try to speak French whenever possible, no matter even if it's only a few words to start the conversation. I've been living in France for over 3 years, and in the beginning I found that people were much more cooperative and helpful if you at least start the conversation in French. They pick up immediately that your French isn't very good, but they seem to appreciate the effort anyway, and in most cases, if they can, they will switch to English. Just my experience, but others have confirmed similiar experiences.


User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1472 times:

This is going into a more indepth cultural differences matter, but I don't find the French (or the Parisians) to be so rude ... they are just being French!

I think that what we, Americans, think as being rude, is really the French just being themselves. I don't think they're doing it on purpose. Each culture has its perceptions of what is rude and what is not.

I have been working with French for almost three years now, and I have managed to acquire means to talk back right to them. I don't mean talking back like a son would talk back to his mother, but responding the way any other French would respond. I have found that you have to have your own answer to everything, you have to have your responses before the other person finishes, otherwise you just get run over.



Bonjour Chef!
User currently offlineSLC1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1428 times:

Quoting OYRJA (reply 1):
You gotta be french to get respect from Parisians. Nothing else works


Respectfully, I disagree, with the notable exception of a waiter in Neuilly-sur-Seine who was an absolute dick, I found the Parisians to be a very respectful people.

Quoting Kieron747 (reply 2):
From my experience (in Paris and Quebec), simply trying to speak French when starting a conversation, asking for something works best.

Native French speakers will soon realise that you're not French, and will either help you along or revert to English.

The effort on your part is the key...


Exactly, just once though, being an english speaker, j'ai oublié vousvoyer, and from what I've heard to use the informal form (or tutoyer) can be insulting. The response I received was less than amiable.


User currently offlineStretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

Mirrodie, most of the advice above is on target. The French have a bad rap, and I am sure that your wife's attempt to communicate in the native tounge will charm the Parisian gentlemen . . . by the way, Paris is very romantic, even in the winter . . . perhaps we will be welcoming a "little Mirrodie" in 9 months or so . . .


Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13596 posts, RR: 61
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1390 times:
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When In Paris....

...use protection. You don't know where that skank has been!

Oh wait - thanks to her T-Mobile Sidekick, we DO!  Big thumbs up



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24936 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1388 times:

The majority of them probably speak English anyway, so just speak English  Big grin


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1383 times:

...do as the Parisians do?

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineSLC1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1379 times:

Quoting Gkirk (reply 12):
The majority of them probably speak English anyway, so just speak English


Well, but don't assume they speak English, or assume they should.


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6449 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1355 times:

Don't worry. You will meet more people than you usually do abroad who don't (want to) speak English. Then you just ask someone else.

Having been in Paris 8 times I learned two French words - "Sortie" and "Correspondance". When rushing around in the Metro it is very useful to know the difference. It's also useful to know the difference between TGV and RER. But apart from that, France is an ordinary country, Frenchmen are ordinary people and Paris is just another (much too big) town.

Be sure to save a day for the aircraft museum at Le Bourget. It is fantastic. An extremely good choice instead of waiting in a queue behind fifty thousand Japanese tourists who must climb the Eiffel Tower.

In fact I am also able to order two beers in French, not one beer and not three. A French friend of mine living in Paris told me that it is very useful since it saves me from 50% of my struggle when touring the city.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineEspion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1340 times:

Be sure to save a day for the aircraft museum at Le Bourget. It is fantastic.

How is it possible to get there from say downtown paris?by metro?



Snakes on a Plane!
User currently offline707CMF From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (9 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1308 times:

Quoting Espion007 (reply 16):
How is it possible to get there from say downtown paris?by metro?


You have the RER, a commuter train that runs from Paris to quite far in the suburbs and beyond. Line B serves CDG, and has a stop at LBG.

Cheers,

707


User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1209 times:
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thanks for the tips. The immersion experience is great for her.

ran into a different event last evening, we were just walking by Notre Dame and a guy approaches us, offering tickets to an event last night; inside Notre Dame, gave them to us free b/c his friends weren't going to make it, turns out it was opera singers and pipe organs played inside ND at 830pm.

its snowing here now and COLD, cest la vie, beats winter in NY.

707cmf, time permitting, a meet might work, just email me

ciao all



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