Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Parlez Vous Français??


Some of you have gathered that when in Paris, I'm a purists of sorts.  Although my French is the subject of many snickers, and I do so appreciate having English spoken when I falter,  I do NOT want  "my" Paris "Americanized".  This cute little table/chairs caught my eye and it was only when I downloaded the photos that I realized the whole menu was en anglais,  as well as the coasters, and the worst....smiley faces!  HAPPY HOUR??  Non, non et non... c'est Joyeux Heure! :)

22 comments:

Ginnie said...

Catering to the tourists, of course...but then, how will we ever learn French, right, Virginia?!!!

travellermimi said...

I've always believed the tourists enjoy picking up lil phrases and words, all part of the experience!


Mimi
paris tours

Shell Sherree said...

Oh, poor Virginia ~ I can picture your disappointment when you saw that. It's a pretty photo nonetheless. But like you, I'd rather see things written French. All the better for learning as well as atmosphere.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Catering for international tourist.

Maya said...

Sometimes it's a tourist thing, but sometimes they do it just to be "worldly" I think (places that don't have as many tourists). I'd prefer the signs to remain in French!

Laurent said...

In that case it's just language sharing Virginia. I'm personally good with it when it's used for things coming from abroad and "happy hour" is from your country. We can also see French words used in Britain, US, Germany ...
Nice picture by the way.

alice said...

Coming just after Laurent (who likes Ladurée like you, Virginia!), I could say I'm very surprised to read so many French words and expressions when you, dear Americans, write about cooking!
"L'Heure Joyeuse" would sound very French...

Paris Paul said...

Actually, the expression "Happy Hour" is quite common in Paris. What surprised me about your photo is that they spelledit correclty, because most bars refer to it as "Happy Hours" (which makes more sense becuase there never is just one hour!). Looking closely at your photo, though, I bet they had the 's' originally and then someone pointed out the error so they erased it.

Regardless, thanks for the great shot!

M said...

I prefer to struggle with my French and only fall back on English when I have to but perhaps this was an American or English themed establishment and that's why they had coasters in English?? But it's more likely that we are just becoming One World ... Lovely photo -- the little table and stool is terrific.

Virginia said...

Alice,
Of course I had it wrong. I just guessed and that usually doesn't work out! L'heure Joyeuse sounds better! :)

M,
Your français is soooo much better than mine, you hardly ever have to fall back on anglais!

Paul,
Happy Hours is really cute, you have to admit. And oui, more than one hour is required in Paris I think.

Laurent,
Yes, we do borrow French words here and usually mispronounce them!

Rob said...

It can be frustrating when French people speqk to you in English or write menus etc. in English...you have to persevere I guess! Il faut s'en sortir!

Still Happy Hour brings a smile whether it's in French or English...

Rob

http://rob-a-paris.blogspot.com

Daryl said...

Je parle une petite peur .. a very petite peur

claudine said...

Ce qui est écrit est en anglais car THE AULD ALLIANCE PUB est un pub écossais! En France, il n'existe pas de Happy Hours!

Virginia said...

Claudine,
Ahhhhh, maintenant je comprends!

TheChieftess said...

Awww....but you're still in Paris!!! And at least there's no Micky D's bag sitting on the table!!!

bevgrey said...

I was in Paris last month for ten days with my sister and sister-in-law. At almost no point were we out of earshot of someone speaking English, usually Americans. As an American tourist myself, I have no right to complain, but I kept on having the totally unreasonable feeling that they had no right to be there; they were taking all the Frenchness out of France. If I were a better person, I'd admit that I am a horrible snob. :)

I did at least always start my conversations in my barely mediocre French, order my food and beverage in French and so on in an attempt to separate myself from the tourists who walk around demanding everyone speak English. I had no illusions of fooling anyone, but I wanted people to know I knew I was in France.

Alexa said...

I'm all for one world—but not for diluting the different cultures of that world to the point where we're all speaking one language. Especially if it's English. I worked hard to learn French, et quand je suis a Paris, je veux qu'on me parle en Français! In other words, I'm with you, V.
(My WV is "vive," as in la différence!)

Starman said...

Better get used to it, kiddo. Paris is changing faster than one can keep track.

Andi said...

I was amazed to see so many Happy Hour signs on my most recent trip to Paris I never noticed them before or they are new, but they are everywhere now!

Virginia said...

Bevgrey,
I so agree. As my French friends know, I"m hesitant but do try and never assume anyone speaks English. I try to distance myself as you do. I think it works some of the time. I"ve had people ask me directions etc. I don't fool myself that I look or act Parisian, but I sure try! :)

Andi,
Well your avatar is way cute. Thanks for stopping by.

Starman. I don't want to hear that!!!!

Alexa,
You are my dream companion to visit Paris with one day. :)

Chieftess,
Well Mc D is the thing that sends me over the edge! HA

Alexa said...

Virginia—Aaaaaw. I look forward to being your someday-soon-I-hope Parisian travel companion/French tutor/(in a pinch) translator! :~}

Nina F said...

I live in Paris, I'm not a native Anglophone, but I think it's a good thing that France is opening more up to the English language. I live in Paris 7ème, the part of Paris with most Anglophone expats, as well as tourists and expats from all over the world. Perhaps that café was in the 7ème too? When I for example see some English signs in stores/restaurants or Halloween displays in the stores in my neighborhood, I like it. I see as the 7ème's way of acknowledging all it's expats (OK, and tourists), so I think it's charming! Even if English is not my native language, it makes me feel better about being an immigrant in the 7ème. That sounds weird perhaps, but that's how I feel. Also, French people, and especially the young generation, needs to start to learn better English, so a bit of "Americanization" in everyday life, that's a good thing for both business and the "melting-pot" atmosphere. :-)
However, I can understand that you as an Francophone tourist not really are looking for that international atmosphere as much as the traditional Parisian feeling, I felt the same as you when I first moved to Paris. :-)
PS: I really love your blog, your perspective and all your pretty photos! :-)