Age of Innocence – 1963, End of the Railways and The French Language

Boulogne Street Entertainer

And the French are still precious about their language even today but their reluctance to communicate in or even simply acknowledge English gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my fluency in everyday essentials and I have to use all of that knowledge on my occasional visits there:

‘Vin blanc sil vous plait’

‘Vin rouge sil vous plait’

‘bier grande sil vous plait’

‘bier grande vite’.  And so on.  As Ricky Gervais advises if they don’t understand you, talk louder, if they still don’t understand you, then trash the place!

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7 responses to “Age of Innocence – 1963, End of the Railways and The French Language

  1. Vin blanc sil vous plait’

    I have not problem with:
    ‘Vin rouge sil vous plait’
    ‘bier grande sil vous plait’
    ‘bier grande vite’. Easy enough. 😀


  2. Ha ha! I love your spin: their reluctance to admit to knowing English is a good chance for others of us to practice our French. I had done enough travel prior to France, to have noticed that practically every country speaks some English, but not enough to be an educated traveler. Typically, before every overseas trip, I study the language first, and have as many helpful words and phrases and numbers as I can cram into my brain. But I had just returned from Turkey and was tired of studying, and I thought, “France is such a contemporary European country, I won’t have any problem using English.” ha ha ha! What a lesson! I learned only “un pressure sil vous plait” (for a draught beer) and “un citron” (for the lemon ice cream), and spent the rest of my trip kicking myself for being lazy with the language. Since then I also discovered that one cannot get by with English in Japan either. I have safely tucked my assumptions away in a box….


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