mardi 3 septembre 2013

Bonjour la France !

If you are planning to visit France, here are a few things you need to know.

When you go to France, don't forget your manners ! Greetings in France is very important. Before you say anything, ask any question, say Bonjour. To the people at your hotel, at the restaurant, the museum etc.

Before any kind of interaction, remember to always start with Bonjour. If you want people to be kind to you then always always start with Bonjour or Bonsoir when it's after 6 pm. Add Monsieur if it's a man or Madame if it's a woman.

When you step into a store, especially small ones like cafés, tabac,station service, épicerie, etc., say Bonjour to the person you see there.
Une épicerie - A grocery shop
When you meet a shop attendant and you have to ask him a favor, if you have not already exchanged greetings, say Bonjour Monsieur / Madame, if you already have, start your question with Excusez-moi and end with s'il vous plait.

Example :
Excusez-moi, pouvez-vous me dire où se trouve le ketchup s'il vous plait ?
Excuse me, can you tell me where to find ketchup please ?
When you look around, and don't buy anything, don't just leave. Say Merci , Au Revoir on your way out. Same thing when you buy something.

When you board a bus, it is very important not to forget to say Bonjour to the conducteur and when you are descending say Merci , Au Revoir. Same thing when you go to chez le boulanger, chez le coiffeur, etc.
Un conducteur de bus -  A bus driver
Once i went to a magasin to buy carambar, i am addicted to these caramel candies. After looking around a while, i couldn't find them, so i decided to ask a shop attendant who was close-by, arranging goods on the shelve.

Me : S'il vous plait madame, avez des bonbons carambar au caramel
(Please madam, do you have caramel carambar)

Shop attendant : Bonjour
(Good morning)

Me : Excusez-moi s'il vous plait, j'aimerais savoir si vous avez...
(Excuse me please, i would like to know if you have...)

She cut me off by saying very rudely "En France, on dit bonjour".
(In France, we say good morning)

Quickly i said "Je suis désolée Madame".
(I am sorry madam)

Carambar Caramel
I was lost in my search that i forgot to start with the French Magic Word. It's the French culture! No matter how absent minded you are, or how much in a hurry you are, never forget the magic words.

You cannot stop a french man and just say "Excuse me can you tell me where to find the cinema please?". Once your Bonjour is missing, be sure you will get a frowny face. Even if you don't speak French, always start with "Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?", then continue in English.

Your attempt to speak french does magic to the French man's heart. He will cheerfully reply you in the little English he can speak.

Here are a few polite terms you should know before your plane lands in France :

1. Bonjour
2. S'il vous plait
3. Excusez-moi
4. Je suis desolee
5. Merci



*bonjour - good morning
*Monsieur / Madame - Mr./Madam
café - coffee shop
tabac - shop that sells cigarettes and tobacco
station service - filling station
*épicerie - grocery shop
*excusez-moi - excuse me
*s'il vous plait - please (used for people you are not familiar with, and people with whom you have an informal relationship with)
*merci - thank you
*au revoir - goodbye
*conducteur - bus driver
*chez le boulanger - to the baker's
*chez le coiffeur - to the hairddresser's
*magasin - store

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