21.3.06

French and dummies


It is incredible. Although French is one of the least useful or beautiful languages in the world, it still atracts plenty of mistaken foreigners (mostly Americans) who somehow grew up with some kind of France myth. Not only foreigners, some French must also be the target audience of some of the publishers behind French language methods such as "French for dummies".

In any case, I have been recently forced to take some French lessons... I was expecting to have a fight with the guy over some truly important ideas, but he disappointed me: Unshaved, junky looking, of course not bathed, the guy was undercaffeinated and seemed actually nice. His first question: What do you think of the French?. My answer: I don't think they are nice. And from that point on, he spent the full hour expressing almost everything that I think about the French. The French teacher specifically said that "the French are selfish, elitist, conservative, racists" and a long etcetera. Although he was born in Paris, he invited me to visiting smaller towns insisting that people there do not reach the level of stupidity that I (or we) have to suffer in Paris. Great beginning, I will meet up with him more often. Now I have a good reason to improve my French. Finally a French guy I am in sync with.

10 Comments:

Blogger Samantha said...

Just wondering, if you hate France (and the French) so much, why do you stay?

1:23 PM  
Anonymous roseanglaise said...

8 years in France near Rennes. British, not U.S. A lot about France smells a rather unpleasant shade of green it's true - manipulative politicians, CPE, directionless students, ridiculously low wages, ever-increasing living costs,etc. etc.-
but the U.K I have come to realise, has its own shortcomings as well, one of which is people's falseness - they never say what they really feel or think. I know cos I grew up in it and had it engrained into me from an early age. It's part of the culture. That's the main reason I won't go back. I love that French frankness. From what I know of U.S politics and lifestyles, I reckon it would be 100 times more trying to live there than in France and I pray God I will never be obliged to attempt it.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Uranus said...

Samantha,
There is an alternative to the two classical choices: Collaborating or fleeing. That is resisting, fighting against the established culture. I know that after a while in France some people tend to think only in terms of collaboration (WWI, WWII,...) or retreat (Vietnam, Canada, Algeria,...).

I will defenitely leave sooner than later, living in Paris is not good for my well being, but now and later, in Paris or elsewhere, I will stand up against the French culture.

Do I have any deadline to stop this blog? Only when French voters do not have to choose between Le Pen, Sarkozy or Chirac: The racist, the anti-European, and the aristocrat.

Roseanglaise,

I know your point, I have heard it many times before: "I like that if someone doesn't like his job, expresses it instead of just smiling". I know that I would be more sincere by saying "Fuck you all" everymorning at work instead of saying "Bonjour, comment allez vous?", but I just feel that I have a moral responsibility to improve the karma of those non French who don't deserve the French bad vibe and do deserve a good starting to the day. I don't like my job either, I just do it to get a green payslip, but neither my customers nor my suppliers and colleagues need that I forward them my problems.

I will continue to say "good morning" even if the morning wasn't good. Sorry, where I am from we have education.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous roseanglaise said...

Nope you missed my point completely!
Never mind eh chuck...;)

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment on DFF cracked me up (since I found it very TRUE!). Can I ask you where you're from and please don't say "uranus".

As for the comment by roseanglaise....I DO NOT find the French frank AT ALL. At least not any of the ones I know! How in the world do you think this?? I thought they hated this trait in Americans and thought it a fault? Oh, and I also beg to differ, but most of the Europeans I know in the US had a very easy time adapting to the American lifestyle & workplace (much more so than foreigners I've known in France have had adapting to all the formalities, politics, etiquette, etc. that goes on in day-to-day life around here!). I don't think it'd be so bad for you that you have to pray to God about it ever happening to you! : )

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

French frankess does not exist in this nice world ... if being frank is being rude, non polite, violent and with the same behavior of the XV century I think I am NOT IN and complete OUT!!! cuz that is natural's mood state of the French from Paris.

I do not know how hard is now to employ foreing people in France, but if you are able to do that in your company.. you should really start thiking hiring people from Brazil, Curasao, Portugal cuz maybe they can teach Frenc to be happpy, teach them to smile hhehehehe :-) Or easier, some German, Dutch, Spanish or UK workers, consultants , you know all needed people that LIKE TO WORK!!!!! that have some grey mass on they brians and do not ask questions and contribute economy.. in this case the economy of Paris, cuz if these lazzzzzy Frenchies-Paris still not giving the minum CUSTOMER SERVICES SATISFACTION will kill the economy.... so think in yourself as a human factor who is saving to this people!!!!
Thank's God I have had the chance to teach them some Quality and Customer Service techniques .... consider yourself as a gift to them and of course kick some asses whenever you have the chance... they need strong hand in order to learn.

(Brighton RULES dude.... with lots of bitches but still RULES!!! hehehehe)

5:49 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

No kidding, I don't think the French are frank at all - in fact, MOH tells me all the time that I am too frank, and that I need to change or I'll never fit in here. At least from my experience, it's better to hide your emotions and not say what you really think.

And roseanglaise, if you've never lived in the US, surely you can't comment on what life is like there (or how terrible it is)? That's just as bad as all the Americans who talk as if they know France because of what they've seen on tv or read in the news.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous roseanglaise said...

Frank in comparison to the British...
And no USA on point of principle.
Nothing personal; American people are great and I admire your non-'coincé du cul'-ness (i.e not stuck up your own derrieres)!. I can imagine that the French in comparison to U.S don't seem frank at all... Your bitter writing style is contagious, uranus!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Uranus said...

Hiya,

I liked the comment on replacing French employees with foreign employees! That is called "outsourcing"! It is clear that foreigners are rising the bar, that this country of spoilt public employees is revolting trying to stop a process that is beyond their control. They lost the colonies that they won with guns and violence and, they got colonised by their own past and it is only a question of time before the third industrial revolution swallows their days of wine and roses.

roseanglaise, it seems like being pro-French is always coupled with being anti-something (being the American adjetive a favourite here), I will write a blog entry about this topic in the near future.

When I read that frankness is the French paramount attribute I laughed out loud. Even if for one minute I was able to forget about the masters of politics at Palace of Versailles, even if I could find and destroy all copies of the movie "Les liasons dangereuses", I would still find plenty of French people on my way to work busy talking on their mobile phones about somebody else, gossiping, critisising, bashing...


Uranus

12:04 AM  
Anonymous ernestranglin said...

Uranus, you are totally right!
I see you are very smart!
The French are "untermensch", isn't they? Really, why uranusian people should tolerate this animals? Why do not just sent a bomb to liberate the world of this bull-shit?

You see? I am french and i am a surrender-monkey-something! ^^
Sorry, i must go back to the third world, buddy...

PS: On récolte ce que l'on sème...

4:50 PM  

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