Do french people avoid speaking English to tourists?

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Hero_Lou
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#1
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#1
Hey! I'm going for Holidays to Paris and I've heard this before.. So is it true? Will I have a problem communicating? My french are awful
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hysterria
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#2
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I've been to the French countryside a couple of times and people generally don't speak English to tourists, simply because they don't speak English. Howver, I can imagine it's different in Paris as it's a huge city with lots of tourism so I reckon the locals speak at least basic English. Hope that helps!
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lina_t
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(Original post by Hero_Lou)
Hey! I'm going for Holidays to Paris and I've heard this before.. So is it true? Will I have a problem communicating? My french are awful
When I was in France and I had to communicate with locals, I spoke in English because I didn't know much French. They always understood what I said in English, but answered in French instead, so I quickly learned some useful phrases.
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Hero_Lou
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(Original post by lina_t)
When I was in France and I had to communicate with locals, I spoke in English because I didn't know much French. They always understood what I said in English, but answered in French instead, so I quickly learned some useful phrases.
But how did you understand though😂
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lina_t
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(Original post by Hero_Lou)
But how did you understand though😂
Basic French from secondary school
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Joleee
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#6
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#6
yes, some parisians will refuse to speak english to you; but don't fret, that's not the majority. most want your money so they'll only be reasonably rude. lol

you'll be fine. i myself survived two weeks and i suspect 95% of tourists don't speak french just like you.
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artful_lounger
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#7
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#7
My impression was if you make an attempt to converse in French, most will usually be happy to switch to English if it gets too difficult. They don't seem to respond to well to tourists who show up and expect everyone to speak English, even if they can.

However my perspective may be skewed as whenever I was there we always had a fluent speaker with us, plus I was younger so maybe they just were more charitable towards children.
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the bear
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#8
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#8
in Brittany they don't even speak French :afraid:
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skytree95
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#9
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#9
Learn at least a bit of French before you go, it really helps in reducing the cold shoulder that the French give to those who don't try at all.
It only amplifies the assumptions that people there have about the English. I've got nothing but good things to say about the French because I try my hardest and punch my weight above the average tourist.

It really does pay off, quite literally one holiday when I was in Rocamadour and helped an Israeli family order their entire meal. Ended the night €40 richer and got a free dessert from the restaurant for not making them struggle like what they do most times!

All I say about going to Paris is research, research and research more.
Know the hacks about how to get around on the Metro and RER as well as places to check out and how the transport system differs (Carnets especially).
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malkimoo
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#10
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#10
just learn abit of french
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LeapingLucy
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#11
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#11
Whenever I'm in France waiters/shop owners just speak in English to me before I even speak. They can tell who's a tourist. In Paris they'll speak English to you, it's fine.
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Lifeisded
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#12
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#12
Nope I went France and they spoke English back which was embarrassing but I think it depends on what are a
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Cedriskee
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#13
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#13
(Original post by hysterria)
I've been to the French countryside a couple of times and people generally don't speak English to tourists, simply because they don't speak English. Howver, I can imagine it's different in Paris as it's a huge city with lots of tourism so I reckon the locals speak at least basic English. Hope that helps!
I buddy, as a french person I can tell you the people who won't speak to you in English is because they don't know or they don't understand English.

The things is if you go to Paris you will find many People who speaks English!
I've friends from US that don't like Paris because they speak French and in Paris people used to speak to them in English because they see they are foreigners, so they need to go to the countryside to practice their French.

So relax, in Paris you will find English speaking people.

And by the way if you want to plan your visit of Paris you can look to www.erasmusofparis.fr to see what to do and how to tame the city
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