Correct greetings in Paris

Old Feb 20th, 2012, 08:59 PM
  #41  
 
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I'm pretty much bilingual, too, and I have always instinctively said "Bonjour Madame"or "Bonjour Monsieur" or "Bonjour Mademoiselle" upon entering a store.

NOT at a checkout in a grocery store. Never. That would be really weird.

NEVER said "Ca ca?" That would be totally weird too.

And absolutely never "les gars" or "les mecs"; that would be just insulting.

I think in large cities like Paris shopkeepers are more used to just hearing "bonjour," without the "Monsieur" or "Madame" than in villages and towns, but that may be a mistaken impression because I think they deal with more non-French-speaking tourists than in the provinces.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 02:10 AM
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This has been a fascinating discussion.

On the serious side, it is interesting to find that one can be considered too formal in what is a very formal (lots of rules of form) country. Even in the US, what is done and what is polite varies significantly by region and size of city and, dare one say it, by social if not economic class.

On the other hand, mecs et minettes, many of you did not recognize my attempt at humor in my query about American waiters. Their manners, addressing a table full of people old enough to be their grandparents as "guys", is both appalling and sad because they really don't know any better and because no one has trained them. At MacDo's perhaps, but not when you are asking people to drop $75 or $80 per person for dinner.

Enough rant. I shall try to restrain attempts at humor in the future, but I can offer no guarantee.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 03:41 AM
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Enough rant. I shall try to restrain attempts at humor in the future, but I can offer no guarantee

Just raise your right hand when you are telling a joke, so we will know.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 03:49 AM
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Pvoyageuse asked: Should I tutoyer them if I speak to a group, or do I have to say "Vous mecs?" to be polite?

The question does not arise. Even if you decide that you're on tutoyer terms, it's still Vous mecs.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 03:55 AM
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>>Just raise your right hand when you are telling a joke, so we will know.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 05:10 AM
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Pvoyageuse asked: Should I tutoyer them if I speak to a group, or do I have to say "Vous mecs?" to be polite?

Why am I quoted? Did I ask this question? really?



"The question does not arise".
The question certainly arises because addressing a bunch of people as 'vous mecs" is vulgar and rude and should be avoided.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 06:00 AM
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The feminine equivalent for mec is nana.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 06:11 AM
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What about "mon pot"? Heard that in few movies.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 06:23 AM
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I think 'pote' translates more closely as 'friend' rather than being gender specific.

Also, how about 'meuf' for a feminine equivalent of 'mec'?
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 06:25 AM
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> Why am I quoted? Did I ask this question? really?

Pvoyageuse, your post at 5h37pm is confusing. It's hard to tell which are quotes and which are your comments. Putting > to the quoted lines would have made it easier to understand.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:42 AM
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Kerouac, 'nana' is what my son would have called a girl, but then he was most interested in 'Supernana's' before he married and had one of his own! ;-)
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Jay..

Verlan!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verlan
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 01:55 PM
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The masculine equivalent of meuf is keum.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 01:56 PM
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Pote = buddy
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 02:41 PM
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it's still Vous mecs.

No, it's Eh les mecs and that is used only among pals.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 04:27 PM
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And then there is the southwestern U.S. cuisine for guys who are computer experts -- techs-mecs, bien sur.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 02:45 AM
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Not that it's the same thing but those who enjoyed this thread might enjoy this article from today's New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/wo...ef=todayspaper

In case you don't have an electronic subscription the article begins with "In a memo addressed to state administrators across France, Prime Minister François Fillon ordered the honorific — akin to “damsel” and the equivalent of “miss” — banished from official forms and registries. The use of “mademoiselle,” he wrote, made reference “without justification nor necessity” to a woman’s “matrimonial situation,” whereas “monsieur” has long signified simply “sir.” "
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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 02:53 AM
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It will be interesting to see how quickly the 'mademoiselle' box disappears from official forms -- and whether commercial forms will follow.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 03:02 AM
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The French have ruled Mademoiselle as sexist!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...official-forms
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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 04:25 AM
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Apparently they are going to use up the old forms before printing new ones.
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