Why do the Parisians Always Answer in English When I Talk in French?
Reading time: 🕐 (3 minutes)
Read in: English
Question from: a French learner in the Quora community
SO many of my students experience this too. When they enter a shop and say “Bonjour,” the Parisian sales person almost automatically responds “How can I help you?”
Here’s how to react (just a few ideas):
- When they try to speak English, just pretend that you can’t understand them.
- Say you are Norwegian, and you are sorry but you can only speak Norwegian and French. From there, you can let the Parisian choose
- Why not start your next conversation with this old lady who is always there feeding birds at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Older people are the most friendly conversation partners!
- Accent IS KEY
- Use the “Bonjour” magic spell. But, can you say it well? 🙂 On this topic I recommend the first chapter of the book The Bonjour Effect, by Julie Barlow
- Wear a “Je parle Français” t-shirt
- Other ideas? Let me know, I would love to have other creative ideas to share them with my students too