Wednesday, May 11, 2011

English Not Welcome

Not in the continent, anyway. If in France, it is best to say something in French, like 'Bon Jour', before ordering your coffee. You may actually get some service.

The same applies if you're in Italy or Spain, it seems. But say something in French in a Madrid cafe, and you will get prompt service, and a 'Merci, Monsieur' as you leave. The French are viewed as cultured, the English as barbarians. English food is considered bland, French food a delight. As far as the food is concerned, it is indisputably true. And not even the English are immune to this French cultural imperialism, despite all their jokes about the French.

The roots of this linguistic discrimination is hard to pin down. The French have quarreled too often with the English perhaps, and so will not tolerate their language. And the Spanish may yet mourn their armada.

But if you're planning to stroll down the Champs Elysee, now filled with American stores, or walk down the shady sidewalks of the Paseo De La Castellano on your way to the Prado, you may want to pick up a smattering of French first.

Note :
Americans are more tolerated, they are such generous tippers.

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