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The french need to be friendlier

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burmans

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I try and get to Paris once a year (have been the last 6 years with my wife) and have never experienced any memorable rudeness. I know it happens though. It seems the french are admitting there is a problem now and trying to rectify it.

France admits it needs to be friendlier to visitors - CNN.com
Well they certainly have a perception problem!

Personally have never had this issue, but then I do know a few words of French, do at least try to use them and dont think that adamantly expecting people to speak your language in their country (and some cases thinking that speaking loader will help them do so) is a good way to elicit polite responses. Yes, the French can be famously rude, but would have to say I've seen many. many examples of similar rudeness when people try and speak a foreign language in Australia. The main difference in my view is that very few people would regard this as something that is acceptable when they are here, whereas there seems to be a high level of expectation by English Speakers (and Americans) that people will speak their language.
 

casanovawa

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Is it France or just Paris?? I find that the people in the major cities of the world NYC, Paris, Moscow etc rarely seem to reflect how others in the country might act or behave.

I was helped greatly by a young French couple out in Normandy one time who gave me a lift and wanted to buy me dinner etc, I have run into one or two rude Frenchies in Paris, I think NYC people are considered to be quite quick tempered and aggresive etc...

But always good for a country to reflect on some of its behaviours, especially in such a valuable industry...

And while there at it they may as well get over the fact that as proud as they are of their own language, English has pretty much become the language of business and tourism etc even if the French language can sound very nice...
 

Himeno

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Well they certainly have a perception problem!

Personally have never had this issue, but then I do know a few words of French, do at least try to use them and dont think that adamantly expecting people to speak your language in their country (and some cases thinking that speaking loader will help them do so) is a good way to elicit polite responses. Yes, the French can be famously rude, but would have to say I've seen many. many examples of similar rudeness when people try and speak a foreign language in Australia. The main difference in my view is that very few people would regard this as something that is acceptable when they are here, whereas there seems to be a high level of expectation by English Speakers (and Americans) that people will speak their language.
There is a difference between knowing some of a language and not knowing any.
If an English speaker visits Paris, even though the people they are trying to speak to more then likely know a good amount of English, they will often refuse to speak to the visitor until they attempt to speak French. The French person knows what the English speaker is saying, but will simply ignore them.
 

Paddy55

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I try and get to Paris once a year (have been the last 6 years with my wife) and have never experienced any memorable rudeness. I know it happens though. It seems the french are admitting there is a problem now and trying to rectify it.

France admits it needs to be friendlier to visitors - CNN.com


I must be as fortunate as yourself - 4 visits in 5 years and not a bad word to say about the French - if you make the slightest effort to speak any French at all they are most helpful and welcoming.

Mind you, residents of LOTFAP who make no effort to speak French, try and throw their $US around as though there is no need for Euros, and who order steak and french fries get everything they deserve!
 

burmans

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There is a difference between knowing some of a language and not knowing any.
If an English speaker visits Paris, even though the people they are trying to speak to more then likely know a good amount of English, they will often refuse to speak to the visitor until they attempt to speak French. The French person knows what the English speaker is saying, but will simply ignore them.

Well here's the thing, when I go to most countries I find the locals are keen to hear you speak a few words and I always try, even if it is just excuse me, do you speak English.
 

Himeno

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Well here's the thing, when I go to most countries I find the locals are keen to hear you speak a few words and I always try, even if it is just excuse me, do you speak English.
Only place I've ever had an issue was France.
The Japanese I've spoken to in Japan were more embarrassed by their English speaking skills (they are more confident with writing English) then worried in any way by my lack of Japanese.
 

burmans

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Only place I've ever had an issue was France.
The Japanese I've spoken to in Japan were more embarrassed by their English speaking skills (they are more confident with writing English) then worried in any way by my lack of Japanese.

Well I have found plenty of people reluctant to talk to me but without speaking the language am unsure how you would actually know if it is due to diffidence in speaking your language or because of their own lack of yours. Most of the former Eastern Europe for a start but have also found this outside main cities in Asia.
 

Jacques Vert

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I must be as fortunate as yourself - 4 visits in 5 years and not a bad word to say about the French - if you make the slightest effort to speak any French at all they are most helpful and welcoming.

Mind you, residents of LOTFAP who make no effort to speak French, try and throw their $US around as though there is no need for Euros, and who order steak and french fries get everything they deserve!

Very true. +1 learnt 5 words/phrases: Bonjour, bonsoir, merci, Au Revoir, S'il vous plait; carried a french-english pocket dictionary and made an effort. She found them to be extremely friendly, even in Paris.
 
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BadgerBoi

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Most of the people who lecture me about the French being rude have never actually been to France. Just saying...
 

OzEire

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Is it France or just Paris?? I find that the people in the major cities of the world NYC, Paris, Moscow etc rarely seem to reflect how others in the country might act or behave.

I was helped greatly by a young French couple out in Normandy one time who gave me a lift and wanted to buy me dinner etc, I have run into one or two rude Frenchies in Paris, I think NYC people are considered to be quite quick tempered and aggresive etc....

I have to disagree about NYC. I had been given the rude and aggressive stereotype before my first visit to NYC but found the most welcoming and friendly people (for the most part, nowhere is perfect).

Indeed, I have found that politeness I receive anywhere tends to reflect the manners and effort I project.
 

pauly7

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I must be as fortunate as yourself - 4 visits in 5 years and not a bad word to say about the French - if you make the slightest effort to speak any French at all they are most helpful and welcoming.

Mind you, residents of LOTFAP who make no effort to speak French, try and throw their $US around as though there is no need for Euros, and who order steak and french fries get everything they deserve!

Agreed, travel frequently to France and think the rudeness thing is a load of merde.

If you want rude go live in Sydney ;)
 

YSSY

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The people who always tell you that Parisians are rude seem to be the French from other parts of the country, in my experience anyway.
I've spent cumulative of about a year+ in France in the last decade and never had problems, even without trying to speak French I always found them very polite.
 

Pushka

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I haven't experienced any issues. A few words of greetings in French, knowledge that you are Australian and it's all good. In Paris and France.

I did experience rudeness in Germany. We were staying in a town that hosted a US Army base. I think they hated all of us. Probably reasonable I guess.
 
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