Language barrier...

13 Aug 2013 Noelle_Garcia asked


I'm going to London & Paris plus extension in less than 10 days...will I survive in Paris without knowing any French? Or am I doomed like the majority of my friends are saying...?

  • 14 Aug 2013 Jacinta said


    I’d advise you to learn the basics. Greetings, please/thank you and a few staple phrases.
    NB: When greeting a stranger to ask for directions start with hello not excuse me. And you don’t automatically ask strangers how they are are unless for some reason you should care.
    A good place to start is:
    Hello. I’m sorry, I’m lost, I’m looking for . Can you help me?
    Some people won’t, but some definitely will.
    Also, if you want to ask people if they speak English, ask them in French, otherwise you come across as largely ignorant.
    Trust me, if you learn a little quickly, even on the plane, people will appreciate you trying rather than just assuming everyone should speak English. Their response will be sympathetic rather than annoyed.

  • 14 Aug 2013 RJ1817 said


    nah, you’ll be fine. Knowing the basics will help, but other than that, you’ll be ok. The French are pretty ignorant anyways, so don’t worry about it haha

  • 16 Aug 2013 Maik said


    A few weeks ago, I read an article about French and German people and their English skills. About 35.9% of the people in France can speak English. 41.3% of the Germans.

    My tip: Get Google Translate and a maps app for your smartphone. Some apps also work offline (without using data connection). Just in case if you can’t find anyone with at least basic English skills.

  • 19 Aug 2013 Noelle_Garcia said


    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice :) T-Minus 37 hours…



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