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Do you get miffed when you try to speak the local language and they respond to you in English?

Do you get miffed when you try to speak the local language and they respond to you in English?

Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:06 PM
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Do you get miffed when you try to speak the local language and they respond to you in English?

Does this happen to you? I have heard of people going to Paris and speaking French rather well to only be answered in English. Thia ia quite annoying when you really want to practice the language. Why do they answer you in English when its obvious that you would like to speak in French!
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:12 PM
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ira
 
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No.

>Why do they answer you in English when its obvious that you would like to speak in French!<

Because it is much easier for them to speak English than to try to understand your awful French?

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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:17 PM
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At some point accuracy and speed might trump your desire to practice. Just congratulate them on knowing your language better than you know theirs and let it go at that.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:21 PM
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ron
 
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So, just keep speaking French. That way both of you can practice speaking your non-native languages.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:26 PM
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BUT IRA, I SAYING THAT ITS GOOD FRENCH. NOT BAD FRENCH. I HAVE KNOW PEOPLE FRON QUEBEC ACTUALLY THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED IN ENGLISH!
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Hi

I guess it is much the same for US people in England ?

Peter
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Actually, I'm quite grateful when they respond to me in English.

I'm quite aware that although I try my best, I am butchering their language.

Allowing the conversation to continue in English is a relief.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Sorry, Ira, I didnt realize the caps were on. I was yelling. Also, I meant to say"I am saying" not I Saying.
Actually, my French is pretty good and it doesn't happen that often that they answer me in English and when it does it still is annoying. I do continue in French. I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were not trying to be antagonistic.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Not yelling at you, Ira dear! I had too much café au lait today. Hey, that rhymes!
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:34 PM
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The obvious answer is that they want to practice their English as much as you want to practice your French!
There are certainly a lot more important things in life for you to get upset about.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:41 PM
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Are you sure that the only thing in that coffee was the au lait? LOL I think they are trying to be considerate rather that being antagonistic...it seems you have an odd "take" on it. You certainly are free to continue to speak french as you say you do and when they realize how well you speak it I'm sure they are comfortable speaking to you. Personally, I am not as fluent in the language as you are so after awhile I am actually glad they come back in English because by the end of the day my head is hurting from the attempted frend speaking.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Frend speaking? hmmm... better check my own coffee here...what IS in there? LOL
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:45 PM
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I have never been miffed at anyone for speaking English to me. If I am in a non-English speaking country and they have gone to the trouble to learn my language, I am grateful. When that happens, I am well-aware that their English is much better than my command of thier language, and I don't have a problem with that.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:50 PM
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Many years ago as we were checking out of the Hotel Scandinavian in Paris I was trying, in my awful French, to explain which days our two teenagers had breakfast.
The desk clerk politely asked my in English if I speak English.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:54 PM
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My daughter is having the devil of a time in Germany. She's studying at the University of Tubingen and working hard to immerse herself in all things German. But Germans keep speaking English to her. When she asks them politely to speak German so she can improve they say that they want to practice their English.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 01:57 PM
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It would not rhyme to a French ear.
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 02:02 PM
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I am trilingual. My first language is English and I speak Spanish fluently and French fairly fluently. When I meet some people in the States who speaks these languages, I never speak to them in their native language unless they tell me that they don't speak English. To be polite to them, I might ask them if they would like me to speak either language. You just never know how long someone has been living here and I know that they might take offense.
In Europe, I don't think that it is always to help out the English speaker that the Parisian shop keeper responds in English when he has been addressed in decent French. Regardless if he hears an accent. I think in a lot of cases, it is both a control and a snobbery issue. This can happen in Montreal too. Its like " oh, please, I can't be bothered with the way that you are speaking my language so I choose to switch to English, you fool!
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 02:17 PM
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If it really bothers you that badly, ask them why they switched to English rather than assuming they are being offensive. How does anyone here know why they switched to English??
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 02:19 PM
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Well, given the response here, I would bet that 90+% of people appreciate it when responded to in English, and that might explain why people do it. I doubt that it has much to do with snobbery, and even if it did, it's a fairly small slight. I am sure that if I spoke another language and someone asked me a question in broken English, I'd try to switch to their language, too. I think people are just trying to be courteous (or save time).

My French, unlike yours, is atrocious (if not non-existant), and I was super-appreciative each time someone volunteered to speak English to me. I'm sure the panicked look on my face (when they asked a question in French) hastened their decision to speak English to me!
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Old Dec 21st, 2004, 02:57 PM
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The only reason why I would answer in English (and I know I have done this!) is just to be helpful. It has nothing to do with being snobbery.
Although people think their French is good there is still the accent that often makes it hard to understand, especially for a non-French, non-English native speaker like me (my mother tongue is Dutch).
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