They only speak French
Everybody speaks English. Well, not quite so. English is
definitely not commonly spoken in France. True, some younger Frenchmen do
speak English. But you will find out, their pronunciation might be very
different from yours.
Don’ t worry. It’s possible to survive in France without the
knowledge of even one word of English. You get your money from cash dispensers
(atm’s). In the outskirts of every self-respecting village, you will find
huge supermarkets or even larger department stores where you find everything
you might want to eat, drink or whatever. Sign language to an old woman
in an even older small grocery shop called Alimentation is definitely past time.
By the way, if you’re Scottish or Dutch, you will visit these supermarkets
anyway. They sell gas for your car, too. You will pay approximately 15 eurocents
less then you will at the local gas station near your campground.
Let’s get back to language items. This isn’ t the place to
offer a language course, but we will point to some curiosity’s in French
language. Please feel free to suggest us some more:
- Although the word chaud officially
means hot, in fact it’s better translated by warmish. Be prepared, especially
at campground showers. Eau chaude mostly is nearly warm water, but
the expression might even indicate the water is not so very cold anymore.
- Be very careful with the proverb baiser. There still seem to exist schools
and language courses that teach you this word means to kiss. That may be prudish, it may also be
euphemistic language, but the real meaning of the word is (excusez le mot)
- French are really fond of their language. However, the card game bridge is called bridge in French, too.
- Names of the cards that are not indicated by numbers: ace = as, king
= roi, queen = dame and jack = valet. The kinds of cards: clubs = trèfle, spades = pique, diamonds = carreau en hearts = cœur.
I'm sorry, I guess this is not very beautiful English but it's the best I can do. I translated this page on special request. Language improvements are really welcome. Most of this site is in Dutch only. Again I'm sorry. I made this site as a virtual guide to France for those Dutch who use to complain about everything in France (there are lots of them every year). I plan to translate some more pages, so please be patient and come back someday.