The French Have a Bad Rap

Eiffel Tower

In the States the French, particularly the Parisians have a terrible reputation for being rude.  In fact, I was a bit nervous before we left that we wouldn’t have a nice time in Paris, since neither of us speak French.

Right before we left the States, we were at a Christmas party and met someone that had just spent a week in Paris.  She told us how rude everyone was and what a terrible time she had.  When I asked her if she attempted to speak French, she said no and shrugged her shoulders.  As Americans we tend to get incredibly upset when people don’t speak English in America.  But ironically, we expect everyone to speak English when we are in other countries.

We are here to tell you, we have not encountered a single rude person in France and that includes 9 days in Paris.  This is most likely because we have tried to speak French and communicate the best we can.  The French are wonderful people which unfortunately have gotten a bad rap.

All you have to do to have a wonderful time in France, is attempt to speak French and remember your manners.  The French are much more formal, polite and every conversation starts with a greeting.  For example, you don’t go up and say, “I need a train to Toulon.”  You say (In French), “Good morning sir. I need to buy a ticket to Toulon.”

When we arrived our French pretty much consisted of:

Good morning: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Thank you: Merci

Thank you very much: Merci Beaucoup

Please: S’il vous plaît

1: un

2: deux

3: trois

4: quatre

5: cinq

Do you speaking English?: Parlez-vous anglais?

When we needed to buy a converter in the apple store, we studied up before hand with our translator on how to ask for what we needed in French.  We were prepared to speak the language of the country we are in, to our advantage everyone ended up speaking to us in English.

The point is to attempt to speak French and expect to speak some French, in France.  We have had a wonderful time in every part of France we have been in now.  So please don’t believe the rumors.  Try a few words and hopefully you will have an amazing experience in France as well!  Because the people are très magnifique!

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