Why Don’t the French Speak French to Me?

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Yes.  Why is this?  Thank you so much for bringing this up, Alexis.  Why, you’re welcome, Alexis.  I’ve always loved that name.  Yes, me too.  And, your hairstyle.  It’s amazing.  Amazing!  You remind me of a Portlandia character who didn’t quite make it on the show.  Why, that’s exactly what I was going for!  Also, I’ve been meaning to compliment you on your uncanny promptness and ability to secularly excuse someone from sneezing.  I love that you say “Good bless you” instead of “God Bless you.”  It’s so refreshing because it doesn’t quite make sense.  And, you know, at the end of the day, that’s what I love about you Alexis, you don’t quite make sense.  So many people in this great, green world make sense, but you, you don’t.  I could go on, but I won’t.  I’ll continue telling you this astute social comment and eating this really delicious Waldorf salad.

Now, why doesn’t  Vincent speak French to me?  He clearly knows I am trying to learn, yet he often, subtly switches to English.  How peculiar.  Also, why does he refuse to find more French friends in America?  We saw those older women speaking French at the concert hall and I said, loudly enough for them to hear me (social strategy) “FRENCH!” Vincent however pretended not to hear them and then said, “That violinist was really good” in English.  What the garfunkle?  We could have used those women’s AARP discount for cheaper movie tickets and then see films like, “The War Like Never Before” or “The English Countryside: a documentary.”

Also, when we were on the train in Chicago we heard some Frenchers talking and Vincent whispered, “They’re French” and then I said, “Say hi!  Introduce yourself” and then Vincent shook his head and pretended to read a map.  Then he said, “They’re from Lyon,” which is the exact place he is from!  They all were halfway around the world but someone didn’t want to talk to them and make the French connection.  What is with these French! They are so anti-French!  I am easily the most pro-French person I know and I get stuck with an Anti-French French.  What the heck.  I’m going to give an anti-high five to Vincent when he gets home.  This will consist of pretending to give a high five but then at the last minute, not giving the high five.  That’ll teach him.

Anyway, I need to learn French.  Like, seriously.  I meet Vincent’s family in T minus three months and I need to be able to speak really well as to come across as impressive and thoughtful.  Well, actually the problem is less the speaking and more the listening.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I am not that good of an American listener, let alone a French listener.  I often create grocery lists in my head while people tell me traumatic childhood moments.  What am I going to do in France when people at the grocery story tell me their own traumatic childhood moments?  I need to practice French.

We do have a French club and it’s very fun but there hasn’t been a meeting in months and guess who is the president or should I say, “presidente” of French Club?  You with the twirly mustache guessed it: Vincent, our anti-French friend.

Yep.

Things are going to change, Lionel.  You bet your plaid shirt they will.

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5 Replies to “Why Don’t the French Speak French to Me?”

  1. Salut Alexis,
    Si tu veux parler français on peut se faire un skype bientôt?

    Maybe if french people avoid talking with other french people abroad, it’s because they are abroad to meet different people, and share different point of view. To open their mind…

    1. Bonjour Claire,

      Oui! Oui. Vous faiest un bon (bien?) pointe. Vincent parles Frances a moi beaucoup. Je voudrais apprendre beacoup! Il est une tres bien professeur.
      I think you are right about being abroad and wanting to be immersed in another culture. Soon, we will have another French friend here though and this will be helpful and probably challenging to keep up. If I were in France, I would try to make French, rather than American friends; it is true.
      Thanks for commenting!
      Alexis

  2. Claire’s right! Personally, I’m living in Pondicherry, India, where more than 70% of the foreigners living there are French. And believe me, there are lots of them! But Gosh, I just don’t want to spend my time with them and less speaking French with them! I mean, we’re out of our country for a reason, whether travelling or living abroad, and living in a French community actually makes me understand how nasty, boring and lousy we can be sometimes (well, less than Americans or Indians for the lousiness :D).

    Other thing is, maybe in your trip to France you will meet people who’d like to talk to you in English, so to impress you or just to improve themselves (same as you want to do!). Don’t be mad at them 😉 I have an Argentinian friend who always talks to me in French, I always answer in Spanish, that’s the beauty of intercultural relationships 🙂

  3. Thank you for stopping by mine 🙂 Lol, I keep to English in front of clients who try to get me to speak in other languages too, even when they can’t speak English very well >.<

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