Whether it’s true or not, and I lean towards the not, too many tourists have complained about the French being unhelpful, impolite and unable to speak any other language except “le francais.” That has the French authorities worried.
France is the most visited destination for foreign tourists in the world. Last year, some 29 million foreigners visited Paris alone. One out of every ten Parisians makes their living off of tourism. Officials fear some tourists might skip Paris to visit more friendly cities.
To combat the stereotype or perhaps reality in some cases, tourism officials have come up with a new six page guide titled: “Do you speak Touriste?”
Inside is information on how to greet people in eight languages, advice on spending habits, as well as cultural differences of various countries. They learn that the British like to be called by their first name, Americans like to be assured on prices, and Italians like a firm handshake.
Thirty thousand copies are being handed out to waiters, taxi drivers, shop keepers and anyone else who may come into contact with tourists.
Will it work…on va voir? But then, to me, that Parisian attitude is part of the city’s charm.
Do you think the French are rude?