• Nico Bettencourt

    The French exception

    publicado por  Nico Bettencourt en Foro de Francia 

    I am french. Let me explain to you why we don't speak english AS GOOG AS YOU EXPECT WE SHOULD DO (because, among youngers, many can speak english nowadays) :

    First, not all french people speak english. And many have a very average level. Others are not very proud of their speaking's level, even if it's not bad at all. And you may know that taking risks is not the main quality of the french people :) (although this is changing A LOT currently).

    Second reason : like it has already been said in this topic, some people are not inclined to make efforts in front of foreigners which aren't doing any effort too.

    Thrid reason : This is not a french exception. I don't think italian and spanish people are particulary good english speakers. And so we could say about japanese, chinese, russian and all latin people. A thing you have to know is french is a latin language, and it's very different way of speaking (and pronounciation), although many words are similar (because of the french influence in Britain during Middle-Age). The counterpart, is french people are far stronger in spanish for exemple than english natives. So please consider the advantage of all nothern europeans countries over latin countries in speaking english before any judgement.

    The last (but not the least) reason : There is, in the end, one french exception. It's the ancestral rivalry between France and England. We have been in war so many times during the last 1000 years that it's a part of the french memory. Even if we are allies since last century, something is still here, accentuated by our different way of living (but I am sure french people doen't hate english as much as english people hate french). Besides this, you must add the fact that english culture is flooding the world through business exchanges, TV and movies, since the industrial revolution, with a big acceleration thanks to the USA supremacy during last 60 years and the emergence of the medias. Many people of the world, particulary the french (for the reasons I've explained), are over saturated by this "invasion". They are very aware that english and american people doesn't take other cultures into consideration (I talk about our music, films, and so on). And I am sure many french are not very happy to see that english, particullary this tongue, is becoming the "international language".

    For english natives, it's a HUGE advantage to speak a language considered as the "international langage". Why bothering learning other tongues ? That's why they are the worst speakers of other language in the world. That's not me, that's statistics.

    If you combine all these reasons, you may understand why France is not the best choice if you want to speak english when travelling. But it is not the worst too ;)

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