|Subject: Re: Languages again|
Being French, I find this thread very interesting, and I agree with what was said on this subject. Even if English has its difficulties, it's quicker to learn the basic of it than it is for other languages. Unfortunately problems arise when we discover that there is no end to these phrasal verbs mentioned by Joel and that the pronunciation is totally irrational. I have in mind words like Leicester. How could I have known that the middle syllable was not pronounced? There are many other examples, and I have come to the conclusion that it's impossible to guess how words are said before we hear them.
Mind you, perhaps you have the same feeling about French, and find a Bonjour comment allez-vous impossible to spell ;). Though from my experience with my British friend, the main problem is to say all these words that finish with dre or tre... Everyone their pet hate, on my side it's words finishing with gh or ght that give me nightmare ;). And that's why I didn't even try to spell your phrases, Joel. It's really too much for me!!
I'd also like to say a word here on what was said these last few weeks about how foreigners are received in France, or Paris. I think that when we go to a tourist place in July, we are more likely to be seen just as walking wallets rather than persons contributing to the local economy. In a way it's a bit like going to Disneyland in the middle of summer. Success is not to make people happy of their visit, but when these have to wait 2 hours under the sun to see an attraction... :(.
For instance last year I spent my holidays in the French Pyrenees, and anytime we stopped in a little town or village, we were well received. But go to St Jean Pied de Port or Pau, and all they want it's your money. You eat, you drink, visit what you came to see, and please leave as quickly as possible, because there are far too many other tourists to serve right behind you. This no matter your Nationality... But it's not only a local problem...