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France needs more English teachers

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Joined: 06 May 2009
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: France needs more English teachers Reply with quote

French tourists seen as world's worst: survey

Thu Jul 9, 6:06 am ET

PARIS (Reuters Life!) French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as bad at foreign languages, tight-fisted and arrogant, according to a survey of 4,500 hotel owners across the world.

They finish in last place in the survey carried out for internet travel agency Expedia by polling company TNS Infratest, which said French holidaymakers don't speak local languages and are seen as impolite.

"It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info.

"The French don't go abroad very much. We're lucky enough to have a country which is magnificent in terms of its landscape and culture," he said, adding that 90 per cent of French people did their traveling at home.

"So when they're on holiday they can be a bit stressed, they're not used to things, and this can lead them to be demanding in a way which could be seen as a certain arrogance."

French tourists are also accused of generally spending less than other nationalities when abroad.

De Roux said the French, not accustomed to leaving large tips at home where a service charge is automatically levied on restaurant bills, can seem "tight-fisted" compared with other nationalities.

The Japanese ranked top of the Best Tourist survey, with the British and the Germans judged the best of the Europeans.

But French tourists received some consolation for their poor performance, finishing third after the Italians and British for dress sense while on holiday.

(Reporting by Joseph Tandy; editing by James Mackenzie)


The argument for tight-fistedness is a stretch. Japanese don't tip at all in their own country.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11124
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not very sure how the subject line of this thread and the attached article are related.

The French likely don't agree that many of them need better English Shocked
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Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 48
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Park our brains at the airport Reply with quote

I find the survey a little skewed. Besides, everyone knows 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

As an American living in Paris, I'm often ashamed watching my own people pick up their luggage and leave their brains at the airport. They speak two words of the "local language" and while the French do struggle to speak English, at least they can communicate with the English they do have outside of France. Compare:

"Gosh I've got a hankering for some coffee, ain't their a Starbucks near here?"
"Pardon, where is a cafe?"

If anything, Americans need to learn how to speak International English.*

*I know I'm probably going to get in trouble for posting this, but hey.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11124
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You won't get in trouble with me, for what little that's worth.
Though, I'd argue that it's not just Americans - it's anyone who travels abroad only very rarely and/or only with groups of fellow-countrymen.

I've heard some unbelievable examples of poor communication skills by native English speakers in Europe.

Like the American guy at the AAA agency in Prague, shouting over and over 'I've had a car stolen!' In his stress, trying some simpler sentence construction was beyond him, and the staff, despite their quite good English language skills, couldn't quite puzzle out the exact scenario he was trying to describe.

Or the British couple who kept shouting at a waitress, whose English was at least as good as theirs Shocked using two-word commands: Coffee! Milk! at top volume. Listening skills non-existent.

I teach International English. Maybe there's a market for it in the States or somewhere - I'm not going there, but perhaps some enterprising teachers could build up a niche market:)
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