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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
The French by Sky on 24 July 2005 3:03pm
When I first told my sister I was going to Paris she said "Why? With all those French people?!"

lol well, having just spent a whole week in Paris I think it's time to set the record straight: the French are lovely people (well, Parisian people at least). They were polite, helpful and not at all rude to us. Why do some people think the French are so snotty? They were nicer than most of the people who live in my area!!

Sky xx
Re: The French by intrepid on 24 July 2005 3:35pm
I've heard that it's a language thing- if you go to France and say something to a French person, you have to say at least the 2 sentences in French, THEN you can try English. You've got to make the effort. Americans like me are spoiled in so much of Europe, where so many people know English (or in my part of Europe, people come flying out of the woodwork to try their English on you), so we're taken aback when somebody is assertive in speaking their own language, for pete's sake. Funny, but if a foreigner in the US tried to speak anything other than English, they'd probably get the same treatment.
My folks and their minute knowledge of French went to Provence for 2 weeks and were overwhelmed by the hospitality they got.
Re: The French by Spursfan on 25 July 2005 12:23pm
Years and years ago I was at college (Sky, it was Cauldon!) with a french girl who had married an englishman and was living in Crewe. She told me that, when she was growing up, her parents had told her that they didn't mind who she married, French, German, or whatever, as long as he wasn't English!!!

I can also remember her saying that she felt very nauseous every time she cooked a full English brekkie - oh and her husband had pulled a few pranks on her, like getting her to go to the shops when she didn't speak much English and ask for 'tinned t-i-t-s'!! Apparently she couldn't work out why the shop assistant looked so sniffily at her!!

Re: The French by peripatetically on 25 July 2005 2:35pm
My Parisian experience wasn't too great either, to be honest. The worst treatment I received was, ironically, from the hotel staff. I spoke French to them, the little I remembered from 4 years of high school studies, but was totally ignored. They knew I was there, weren't busy with anyone else and held their noses in the air, walking past me a million times without so much as a galnce in my direction. I was really polite and tried with great patience to get their attention. All I wanted were some postage stamps. People on the street weren't rude, but they weren't particularly friendly, either. Without doubt, Paris gave me the coldest reception I've ever experienced in many years of Europena traveling.

In a gondola, when I skiied in the Austrian Alps, a friend and I shared it with two Frenchmen and they didn't even smile at us or bother to even say hello with a nod. Very into themselves when they realized we were from the USA. We boarded first, laughing and having fun and saying hello. They got on and averted their eyes as if they we totally alone in that small littl space sitting opposite us.

Call me stupid or naive, but I'll never understand their reasoning to be that way. So far, I've not heard a good explanation.

Re: The French by George Dubya on 29 July 2005 2:13pm
Cheese eating surrender monkeys - all of them.
And they have no concept of personal hygiene.
Personally i'd invade tomorrow but Condy says 'it wouldn't be a smart idea'.
Re: The French by missfrog on 29 July 2005 4:25pm
Here comes the specialist!!! ME!!!

(I have already posted something but it was erased...argh!)
Yes, we're wonderful, beautiful, generous, brave, passionate, clever and everything!!! But...

If you went to Paris, you must remember that the Parisians are like anyone who live in a big city: they're stressed, oppressed, tired, and some of them get their revenge on the poor tourists. If you want to meet the real French, come to the real France! But it's true that most people aren't outgoing like the English. Except in the south, maybe.

It's true that we don't like being spoken to like we're living in a British colony, without any attempt to speak French first. It's perfectly normal and when I travel, I make sure that I know a few helpful words of the country I'm visiting. I call this respect.

And George, I'm glad to inform you that everyone is pretty aware of the normal personal hygiene over here. That cliché comes from WW2 when soap was out of reach both physically and financially; it was -wow!- 60 years ago, under the regime of occupation of the nazis, remember? so, please, take out your history book and kick yourself for being so stupid.

And peripatetically, don't judge the French from those rude people you've met. When I was in Cambridge, my friends and I decided to do a bit of punting. We waited half an hour behind a Japanese couple and ther were about twenty people behind us. A boat arrived, and , at the same time, an American family. They paid, got into the boat and left with the guide so fas we didn't have time to react. The father, with his gigantic cowboy hat was sitting in the boat with an atrociously satsfied smile upon his face and the first thing he said was "We come from California, you know" as if it was good enough a reason to pass before everyone else.
No decent American would like to be judged after these horrible tourists, would you?

Re: The French by Mr. Anchovy on 29 July 2005 4:31pm
Just wanted to give my impression as I have been living in Paris for 4 months now. I have to say that it is an anonymous city and it's rather difficult to really get to know (French) people here. It takes quite a long time for a French to warm up and feel comfortable with you. I have the feeling that at least in Paris people don't care too much about others. I spent 6 months in England and people were much more open. While in a pub strangers would start a conversation with me out of nothing, this would never happen in France I guess.
Re: The French by Sky on 31 July 2005 4:03pm
But hey, at the very least you'll never see a French chav. We were talking to two French women and they didn't even know what a chav was! Well, I didn't see any, anyway...

Lol I can't even begin to imagine what a French chav would be like!
Re: The French by tucsonmike on 4 August 2005 8:24am
I have to laugh. I've been to France and took French in high school. (I wanted to take Spanish, but my father wouldn't let me. That's a story for another campfire). I found the friendliest folks in France on the Riviera. Paris? Parisians are rude to other Frenchmen, much less foreigners. Of course, again this is a generalization of what I saw, not 100% true.
Well I did well in French classes, but had one slight problem that sent Parisians up a tree. The practice I got with my French in my Brooklyn, New York high school was from Haitians! So I had Brooklyn/Haitian accented French, LOL! This did not go over very well.
George Dubya, you made me laugh with Condi not wanting to invade. I am in enough trouble for leaving a "Condi for President" flyer I made on a coworkers desk.
Yes, I have known "Ugly American tourists." Please, let me go after them. Don't judge all Americans that way.
Actually, living in Tucson, you might strike up a conversation on a line, but people here are pretty private. You need to live here a while and join things to really get to know folks. Then again, almost everyone here is from somewhere else. Again, for another post.
Re: The French by Ken Dunn on 7 August 2005 9:31pm
Help wanted by joemanar45 in The Series regarding subtitling on Michael's DVD's. 7 Aug 2005. See the posting titled 'Michael PALIN in french?'

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