Language in France
The official language of the country is French, however, regional languages and dialects like Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, Alsace or Flemish, are still used very widely, and some of them are even taught (according to the 1995 law "Regional" languages voluntarily in primary and secondary schools). At the same time, the purity of the language is officially protected by the Specialized Institute of Academie Francaise (founded by Cardinal Richelieu in the XVII century) and the Haut Conseil de La Francophonie, founded by President Mitterand in 1984). And in official correspondence and public institutions only French is used.
Inside the country, a lot of dialect groups and govers are well noticeable, which makes relationships with local residents, mostly very poorly knowledgeable foreign languages, quite difficult. The inhabitants of Elsace and Lorraine use the German dialect, and the Flemish regions of the French Flanmin, the Bretonsky (Celtic language, close to Welsh and Kornksky, also has several dialects, are quite widely used in Bretti), the Basque region is distributed in the south-west of the country. Baskonsky) and Catalan, in Provence – Provencalsky, in the south-west – oxitian, and on the island of Corsica Corsican (Italian dialect) in the go on a par with French, if not wider. Accordingly, the French himself, used in these regions, is often quite different from the Paris dialect. However, tourists rarely face similar subtleties, but rely on understanding, using the French course in school, it would be too optimistic.
Many tourists mistakenly believe that French is very similar to English and to understand it is enough to add to English words "French grace" and characteristic proncess. But this manner, based on some similarity in writing words, causes not an understanding from local residents, and irritation, because in reality these languages are not more similar than English and German, for example. The French themselves believe that their language is more like Catalan, and make the same mistake, being in Spain, but in France itself "Pidzhin" perfectly useless. In case of difficulty, it may be best to write down what needs to say – it can really help due to these reasons. But the locals are extremely negative. At the same time, rumors are completely bothering that French waiters, for example, refuse to serve tourists, because their pronunciation does not comply with French standards. In all tourist areas, the service staff speaks English well (knowledgeable German or Italian) is also widely found) and often he himself tries to help the tourist, moving from one language to another.
It is also worth paying attention to that some of the parts of France (like Paris) are constantly flooded with tourists and the locals simply get tired of the obligation to constantly provide someone help, indicate the direction or understand the clumsy attempts of tourists to explain in two or three languages right away. As a result, a fairly polite appeal to them is often a sufficiently sharp reaction, disappointing many guests of the country and creating a stereotype of the rudeness of the same Parisians, for example. However, everything is not as scary if the appeal to the local resident is part of the attempt to explain – calm (and better – slow), and in words there is no slang. And it is not very recommended to speak loudly to be understood, or put pressure on a person who is asked for help.
In appeal to avoid words "that" (Tu – "you", Used in a conversation with children or close friends) or the name of the unfamiliar interlocutor (this is also allowed only to familiar people). The correct use of these forms is included in the local etiquette to underline the level of relationships between people, and catch all the subtleties. It is recommended to always use the word "Wu" (Vous – "you"), even when communicating with the service personnel, and even if they themselves tell you "you" (this is already a French stamp – assume that all foreigners say so). Only after explicit permission to go to "Easy" form can be used to use it. With the name and surname, everything is easier – use "Monsieur" (Monsieur), "Madame" (madame) or "Mademoiselle" (Mademoiselle) before handling usually removes all problems. The French will really appreciate any attempt, not even very skillful, speak French if it is not accompanied by frank snobbery or synthetic.
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