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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #21
asif iqbal
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Originally Posted by Rem View Post
France is not the "exception" it's just that more more many people visit Paris than your area.it's easier to receive a warm welcome in a tiny place than in a real "huge tourist factory" like Paris ( each year 27 million tourists visit Paris ) no doubt if there were less tourists , parisian's welcome would be better . the consequence is that unfortunately too many people like you are disappointed to see how they are received.
But many surveys about this issue showed that the tourists who claim that they are not very well-received in france are often the same people. Tourists from english-speaking countries with in the top of the list the US and UK. Italians, Arabs and people from eastern europe complain less of the way they are welcomed in france than the others tourists. Why ? Just because these people are more likely to make an effort to speak a little French.
I see almost everyday, english-speaking people asking a person direction in their language but unfortunately in most cases the french person who frankly doesn't understand what the tourists are saying because he doesn't speak english answers in french that he can't help them or doesn't answer them because he tired of people who ask him questions in a language he doesn't understand.
And the reaction of the english-speaking askers especially the american ones is almost alwas the same. A surprised and sometimes disdainful Face that indicates " How can it be possible ? How can he not to speak english ? those french people are very very arrogant ( it's well-known; people who don't speak english are inevitably arrogant ). First thing they do where they come to their countries is to say to their friends how awful french welcome is and how nasty and arrogant french are .
So before blaming other people , look at yourselves. If you made an effort to speak a little french, I can assure you french would speak to you in a more pleasant way but if you can't because you're too lazy or too stupid to learn something different, so go on vacation in The US, Australian South Africa or Canada which are extraordinary beautiful places.
Ok next time I will carry my french dictionary around and try and translate everyword I possibly can which will take me 30 minutes at which point i might get a even more stringent reaction than i would otherwise, however u make a valid point
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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #22
Rem
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Originally Posted by asif iqbal View Post
Ok next time I will carry my french dictionary around and try and translate everyword I possibly can which will take me 30 minutes at which point i might get a even more stringent reaction than i would otherwise, however u make a valid point
Merci beaucoup et si tu dois acheter un bon dictionnaire français/anglais, je te conseille l'édition de référence Hachette Oxford.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #23
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Looks like France is becomming as multi-cultural as North America.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #24
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Paris was always a multicultural city.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #25
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Looks like France is becomming as multi-cultural as North America.
Well, although not as early as the U.S.A., which is without doubt a country of immigrants, France has had this multiculturalism for quite a while now, especially Paris...a good 35-40 years now, with each year getting more multicultural. This is because of the numerous ex-colonies and overseas territories (mainly in North Africa & Subsahara Africa, Antilles, and Southeast Asia). And before those non-European groups, France welcomed neighboring Spaniards and Italians escaping troubled times in Spain and Italy in the first half of the 20th c., although those groups are much less distinguishable, except for maybe Spanish gypsies. On top of that, Paris has been multicultural just for the simple fact that it is Paris and was a crossroad for artists, creators, musicians etc. worldwide.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #26
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If Paris didn't already exist, they would invent it. But if you didn't exist, Paris would not care.
This is very true, but in all honnesty, I think this is not specific to Paris and actually apply in other crowded cities, or at least some of them. I just say this because, funnily, I came up with a similar conclusion after my second trip in NYC. Actually it wasn't such a problem to me. I'm passionately in love with NYC, and this since my first trip over there in 1994.

Anyway, it's true that Parisians are rude. It's not only foreigners who say so, Parisians have a bad reputation among other French people. If everyone agrees on this, then I guess there's certainly something true about it. Furthermore, the mayor of Paris made a press conference a week ago to say the municipality will start a campaign asking Parisians to be nicer with visitors. If there wasn't a problem, I guess he wouldn't do so !

It's also true that Parisians aren't specifically curious about someone saying gladly he comes from XXXX. I've wondered why, and I came up with two reasons to explain this. Firstly, Parisians see people coming from XXXX all the time. It may be something special to you, but it's not so much for them. Secondly, Parisians are just completely into their own microcosm. They have their job and their circle of friends, and that's what matter in their life.

Anyway, I don't believe we should generalize too much though. Individuals remain strongly different, and everyone can have a specifically different experience. Personally, I really enjoy helping out tourists... I have something of a boyscout I guess.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #27
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Well, although not as early as the U.S.A., which is without doubt a country of immigrants, France has had this multiculturalism for quite a while now, especially Paris...a good 35-40 years now, with each year getting more multicultural. This is because of the numerous ex-colonies and overseas territories (mainly in North Africa & Subsahara Africa, Antilles, and Southeast Asia). And before those non-European groups, France welcomed neighboring Spaniards and Italians escaping troubled times in Spain and Italy in the first half of the 20th c., although those groups are much less distinguishable, except for maybe Spanish gypsies. On top of that, Paris has been multicultural just for the simple fact that it is Paris and was a crossroad for artists, creators, musicians etc. worldwide.
Actually, Paris is multicultural for much longer than that. And I don't talk only about European immigrations which started in the middle of the 19th century, but also about immigrations from beyond. By the end of the 1920's, there were 100,000 citizens from the colonies living in Paris. By the early 1950's, they were 1,000,0000 all accross France.

However, the History of immigrations in France is far to be a fairytale. It is painful, sometimes downright racist, often contemptuous. From the Human zoo of the 1900's World Fair in Paris, where "savages" were enclosed in cages to show to the Parisian visitors how they were supposed to live in their "natural environment", to the Algerian workers massacre of 1961 in Gennevilliers during the war of Algeria. There are very shameful events which happened in Paris during the last century.

For French speakers, the documentary "Paris couleurs, un siècle d'immigration" (Paris colours, one century of immigration) makes a picture with no concession of that History. If you want to learn more about it, here are the videos:
Anyway, I still believe this documentary is a bit biased since it constantly pictures everything in a negative way, whereas France was far to be the worst country in this field in the first half of the 20th century. Actually, this documentary even succeeds to describe the French victory at the 1998 world cup as a bad thing (!). However, it remains extremely interesting for those who aren't aware of these facts.

EDIT: Here's a more balanced description showing the whole History of international immigrations in France during the last 2 centuries. Unfortunately, it's not really a movie but more a collection of commented photos:

Last edited by Metropolitan; July 26th, 2007 at 08:35 AM.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #28
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What a great city! I had an amazing time when I was there and I would love to go back very sooon! Thanks for sharing.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by edubejar View Post
Well, although not as early as the U.S.A., which is without doubt a country of immigrants, France has had this multiculturalism for quite a while now, especially Paris...a good 35-40 years now, with each year getting more multicultural. This is because of the numerous ex-colonies and overseas territories (mainly in North Africa & Subsahara Africa, Antilles, and Southeast Asia). And before those non-European groups, France welcomed neighboring Spaniards and Italians escaping troubled times in Spain and Italy in the first half of the 20th c., although those groups are much less distinguishable, except for maybe Spanish gypsies. On top of that, Paris has been multicultural just for the simple fact that it is Paris and was a crossroad for artists, creators, musicians etc. worldwide.
I'm not even so sure, Metropolitan rightly pointed out the fact that multiculturalism in Paris is much older than 50 years old. However both of you forgot one thing, internal migrants. When New York was recieving irish, italians and germans, most of whom didn't speak english, Paris recieved migrants from britanny, creuse, auvergne, corsica or alsace, most of whom didn't speak french. A bit like in big indian cities or lagos today, in culturaly heterogenous countries, internal migrations are also a very important component of multiculturalism. And the consequences were also similar as they also faced structural racism, and were also considered as violent and prone to engage in criminal activities (for example in the very early 20th century, migrants from the Auvergne region were accused of being "appaches" which is how street gangs were called at the time).
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #30
Karakuri
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Originally Posted by asif iqbal View Post
the french are the most rude people on earth when it comes to helping tourists who can only speak in english they are so bloody full of it i hate french attitude it sucks big time!
Have you ever been to Japan, China, or Turkey for example? Do you think everyone in these countries speak fluent English? For you its easy because tourists TRY to speak your language; the universal language (just like in this forum). But we, non anglo saxon countries, have to learn, and the fact is the French are not this good at learning English. Besides, there may be rude people in Paris, but that doesn't mean the whole country is this way. Sometimes I try to help tourists who look lost, but sometimes I have things to do...
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