Speaking French

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by BJP114, May 21, 2011.

  1. BJP114

    BJP114 Read Only Funster

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    Hi all had our motorhome for over 12 month now and would like to try France
    this year but we are a bit worried that neither of us speak french my question is would we survive.:Confused:
    I would be greatfulll for any tips.:thumb:
     
  2. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    Yep, you'll survive.

    But just from a general respect for the culture you are visiting you should make the effort to learn a few words

    David
     
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  3. Gooney

    Gooney Funster

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    Basic human survival, you will never starve, worst comes to the worst you will always recognise your requirements by photo's or graphics of items you require at supermarkets, pictures are universal, just point at the picture of what you want, go for it!!:thumb:
     
  4. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    And remember to shout very loudly - the French love that
     
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  5. nokaii

    nokaii Read Only Funster

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    On a trip to Le mans a few years ago with a friend who speaks no French we had a hilarious time watching him ordering ham at a supermarket counter - he pointed to the ham, held up 4 fingers and did 'Karate Chops' to show he wanted slices :Rofl1::Rofl1:

    but seriously all you really need is oui, non, sil vous plait and merci to cope you'll find you'll understand a lot more than you thought you would (also any english words ending TION are in fact originally french and mean the same) so now you're prepared :thumb:.
     
  6. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    I survive and I live here!! I'm the only person I know who's moved to France and their ability in the language has deteriorated....
    Smile a lot, always say Bonjour, s'il vous plait and merci.

    Supermarkets are easy (I still have to look at pictures on packets) but do shop in the markets. The food is fresh, beautiful quality & generally the stall holders are friendly.
    Learn a few basics, like coffee, ice cream, beer etc... and just making the effort goes a long way.

    Also, buying fuel is same as in UK--you just pay at the kiosk and say "pompe numero..(whatever)...."


    Enjoy your trip to France.
     
  7. BJP114

    BJP114 Read Only Funster

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    We are feeling more confident already looks like this is going to be the year we give it a go.:thumb:
     
  8. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    In the last 12 months I've visited the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Poland, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco and Portugal.

    Do I speak any of these languages other than Gibraltar which is English? No I don't.

    Did I survive? Yes
    Did I enjoy them all? I certainly did.

    Just go for it. What's the worst that can happen?

    Pete:Cool:

    PS I met some very friendly people in all these countries but the most friendly were in Poland.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  9. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Go for it! As already said learn the French for good morning, goodbye, please and thankyou and use them frequently. The rest you will pick up quite easily.
    No matter how foolish you feel always try and use all the limited French you have, invariably someone will come to your rescue who speaks English.

    Once you have been once you will want to go again and again.

    Norman
     
  10. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    I used to live in the French speaking part of Switzerland and speak reasonable French, which is a help but nothing more than that. As almost all the above posts, being polite, learning and trying to use a few basic words and smiling a lot goes a very long way. The French people always appreciate the English trying to speak their language, if only becuase it gives them an opportuntiy to demonstrate their cultural superiority to you!!

    You'll love the place and will slowly get to love the people as well. Enjoy!!
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Is it just me or do French people get friendlier the further south you go?
     
  12. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    We are in France now and e do not speak French apart from a few basic words. No problem at all to the point we have commented that we could live here. the biggest problem is understanding them as they talk very fast. We have used supermarkets markets and garages with no problem. I love Britain but France is wonderful too. Go for it.
     
  13. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi all you really need is basic phrases i.e. good manners also usual numbers 1 to 10 always smile and a lot of hand signals ( polite ones only) gets you by. Go for it we have been several times no problems. Terry
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    The only French you will nead to survive is....Deux bieres sil vous plait.:Wink:
     
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  15. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    We (Parc Verger - www.parcverger.com) are in rural France in an area that is not a major tourist area. The guests who stay here, many of whom have little or no French, never have a problem, however, as there is always someone to help. Many of the locals get a lot of pleasure in helping les anglais parlay a bit of French, and we have often had conversations where we are trying to speak French and we get responses in English because they are trying to learn our language.:BigGrin:

    If you find they are speaking fast just say "doucement s'il vous plait" and they'll smile, slow down for a few words....and then gradually speed up again! It's great fun. So as has been said on previous posts, learn a few basic words and come over and enjoy France, it is a beautiful country, and the locals that you meet will generally be very welcoming.:thumb:

    Bob
     
  16. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    I only learned enough French to pass my O level but that was in 1966 so when I first went to France on holiday in 1998 (driven through it to Italy and Spain twice in the interim, last time in the 1970's) Pete spoke more than me and he'd only learned what he knew from fishing holidays accompanied by wifey Mk I, who had been a bi-lingual secretary. His vocab wasn't all that good but he knew some different words to me .....

    Anyway I did see the Caravan Club are running a holiday at a campsite where you get French lessons thrown in for the price and TBH I wouldn't mind doing that but would have to check how basic it was; would drive me nuts being cooped up with a load of people chorussing un, deux, trois and singing Frere Jacques etc - but absolutely essential if you don't speak any to begin with!

    Like I always tell people, I couldn't speak any Spanish and we used to holiday at a friends villa in Almeria which wasn't (then) at all touristy, so you had to try - the butcher on Almeria market taught me 'medio kilo' when I pointed to 500g on his scales!! And a similar story in another butchers where a lady wanted lamb chops and couldn't see any, so did the 4 fingers and 4 karate chops - and warbled "Baaaaaa" at the butcher! :Rofl1:

    You'll cope - if you want to!
     
  17. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    As said above... learn the essential bit...; 2 bières s'il vous plait , or une baguette et 4 croissants (2 are definately not enough!) .... don't forget ...merci , au revoir!If in northern france you'll have to say 2 pains au chocolat , while in south you will ask for 2 chocolatines. Different part of france , might mean different words.
    French will like your efforts and will give you a helping hand , no prob .... and if the worst happens , like a mechanic prob or sickness... i won't be far to help you. Don't forget to ask in a PM for my mobile number so you can text me whatever you need. I often say it but will say it again : don't call me as i'm working and with the babies'shouts i can't hear a word! Text me , so i can get what you want straight away... and don't forget to tell me WHO you are lol! it might help!


    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
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  18. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    As usual Frankie offers help,

    She sure is a grand girl, what would we do without her.
     
  19. elamessa

    elamessa Funster

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    Might be worth carrying a small Collins French/English dictionary and also the AA Pocket Guide French phrase book. The latter can be found in Matalan or Aldi.

    Have a great trip in this fantastic country.

    Steve
     
  20. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    Coming home the other week I stopped in the M5 services next to a French registered motor home of course I started to try to say hello etc. at first they gave the impression they did not speak English so we tried in very poor odd words of French and the younger members of the family became less shy and we all had a lovely chat,they were on the way to Scotland for a holiday and we were glad we made the effort as their English was a lot better than my shouting and talking slowly (French):Rofl1: and yes they did seem as nice as Frankie
     

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