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Traveling to Paris and don't speak French?


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  • Added on: July 16th, 2014
I'll be traveling to Paris in a few weeks and I'm a little nervous because I don't speak any French at all. I'm trying to learn some basic phrases like "parlez vous anglais?". Two questions:

1) Is it possible to navigate through the city with little minimal knowledge of the French language?
2) How will you be treated by locals if you don't speak French?

Lucy Stanmore

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  • Added on: July 25th, 2014
Most youngsters in Paris will speak English, so with a minimum knowledge of English, you shouldn't have any problems. However, you can always take an English - French guide book with you to help you get along. Since there are thousands of tourists in Paris, I don't think that anyone will funny at you because you do not speak French.


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  • Added on: August 6th, 2014
Last time I was on the Paris metro, it occurred to me that more people were speaking English than French. Don't worry about it.

If you're going elsewhere in France, it can be more of a barrier. Almost everyone under then age of 50 or so took English in school, but as with any skill that doesn't get used for decades, people get rusty at it.

As with anything, your experience of how people treat you will vary. If you're polite and friendly, odds are you will receive polite and friendly treatment in return. But if you don't, it's not likely to be due to your language skills, more so one of the following:
- You feel you're being treated rudely due a different set of cultural expectations. The person you're interacting with does not feel they are being rude.
- You're the thousandth tourist today to do the same annoying thing. (Living in a tourist mecca can be exasperating.)
- You've encountered someone who just isn't very nice to people, but it has nothing to do with you.


Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: August 7th, 2014
1. enough people speak English for you to get around.

2. If you try to speak even rotten French before speaking English, the Parisians will probably hear your desecration of their mother tongue, then say
"Oh, I can help you. Do you speak English?"

At that point you are home free. If you launch in English, you may not get information volunteered as easily.
Tortuga traveller


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  • Added on: August 10th, 2015
hahahahah : ) I think it'S gonna be so enjoyfull because French people so conservative about their language.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: August 10th, 2015
August in Paris, you won't find many people who speak French.

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