Speaking French

Before I came to France, I heard many people say that French people do not like speaking English. French people think that they are the best in the world. When I went to visit Collioure last weekend, one of the stores' clerks said the same thing. She also said that many French people think that visitors to the country should speak French.

Her comments made me worry about our weekend trip to Paris. She said, "I am originally from Paris, and they are snobby and stuck-up, although nice in their hearts. They think they are all that and everybody should know French. However, they will speak in English if
you really cannot speak French."

On our trip to Paris last weekend, five of us were trying to have a nice supper at a restaurant. We tried hard, but our French was, of course, far from perfect. Our waitress made her annoyance with our poor French clear, and corrected almost every word we said.

Having spent 10 years living in the United States, I consider Americans one of the most arrogant and spoiled peoples in the world. However, I now think that the French people top Americans.

A very odd thing I have observed is that, as much as French people do not prefer speaking English, they love to use American songs in TV commercials, background music for TV shows, in stores, and for listening while they are driving. I see some hypocrisy in French people enjoying American songs so much since they detest speaking English.

I wonder what the French people have to say about this issue. I sense that a majority of other countries love and abhor America simultaneously. According to the online forum French vs. American culture, French people still consider the American Dream a reality, and many students come to America to learn English. I suppose the explanation is that the French find Americans disagreeable, but they adore them at the same time.

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About the Program

Fifteen college students came from North America to Perpignan, France, in June 2011 to produce these videos and stories. To find out more, read a welcome letter from program director Rachele Kanigel, meet the program faculty and explore the 2010 website.