Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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Ouch. Poor woman! Do you feel like the same standard of politeness applies for "au revoir"? I do get the impression that it is expected, and in small, intimate stores, I always make sure to nod at the owner and say it on my way out. However, for more heavily trafficked spaces, I leave without saying it with a slight pang of guilt!

"Between three minutes and five hours..." -- Ouch indeed. He was definitely having a bad day. But sorry. I have to confess. I laughed :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Dear Veronique,
I spend five years living in France and make the error of trying to do business in rnce to the tue of investing about 100,000 euro per year.

I speak French.

Now the reason that I can't employ you is because after three years of French rudeness and xenophobia I decided that French people make bad workers and are educated to na pathetic level in everything except French language and geography that they are quite without value in a modern IT and international business situation.

I got tired of seeing my international clients treated with typical French rudeness and unprofessionalism.

I have had French people instruct me directly to speak French while I was speaking English to partners as if it was their right to make such demands of others.

As a consequence I do not like French nationals, do not hire them and refuse to assist them in any way in my own country.

As far as I am concerned they deserve what they give out.

Your comment just assures that the next time someone French asks me for directions I will send the on the most direct route to the opposite direction.

Good lock with the handicap that is your nationality.

Wow. That's pretty sweeping-- condemning 65 million people for being rude! What is your nationality?

Well, good grief, it looks like someone else must be having a bad day! I too laughed and I'm not even French. Refusing to help a person who is lost based on the language they speak by birth is a personality handicap, in my opinion!

Everyone has a bad day from time to time. I suppose when you deal with tourists all day, some poor tourist will get the short end of the stick when you have a bad one....

Yes, that is a valid point about bad days, particularly with respect to people who work with the public day in and day out. I was referring to the above-mentioned general policy of being rude and unhelpful to people just because they are French/American/x nationality based on the actions of a few, but that really isn't the point of the original post, I suppose. All you can really do about this kind of cheekiness is laugh about it -- between 3 minutes and 5 hours is technically the truth!

"Refusing to help a person who is lost based on the language they speak by birth is a personality handicap, in my opinion"

Visit France. I referred to an incident when a staff member requested a client who was English speaking and in converation with me in English that "We should speak French as we were in France".

You have abolutely no idea of how pathetic French state education is entirely inward looking and xenophobic.

Those who do not understand my comments are either in Paris, French or unaware of just what a rotten place France is.

while I am not jewish it is the only place where I have heard supposedly educated people openly blame 'the jews' for the second world war.

As regards trying to assist people in a foreign language I assure you that you have no idea of how bably the French treat other nationalities even when they speak French.

Their bigotry is expressed in a repressed psedo bureaucratic manner.

It is in every sense a dying culture and nation and I feel utterly uncompelled to assist a nation composed of 'veroniques' who take the typical French low brow attitude of finding any gesture of rudeness by French speakers towards foreigners as the pinacle of comic entertainment.

You are clearly unaware of the social segregation of foreigners or that the effect of Le Pen.

We could also discuss the treatment of refuges from Franco, Vichy and that the last defdenders of Hitkers bunker were French SS volunteers etc but of course since it is France history can't be mentioned unless it complies with the utterly twisted and falsified verion propagated by the French education system.

I have only one piece of advise regarding France if you are not French get out and take your money - if you are French go home.

You can reapply to join the rest of civilisation when you get over the fact that your existance is centered around something
as stupid as linguaphobia.

There are many very nice countries in the EU, France is the most backward and unevolved of them all, composed of civil servants, trade unionists, people under 25 on the dole, neo nazis and little else.

Here are some quotes from around the web randomly collected

"French unions staged nationwide strikes on Thursday and hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets to protest against plans to raise the retirement age to 62, throwing down the gauntlet to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bernard Thibault, the head of France's largest CGT union, estimated that at least two million protestors had joined some 200 rallies across the country and said this would pile pressure on the government to revise its contested pension reform.

"This draft bill will not get passed in its current form. The workers have decided to take to the streets in large numbers to prevent the text from getting passed," he said as he headed the main, sun-soaked rally through eastern Paris."

"PARIS (Reuters) - The CEO of a U.S. tire maker has delivered a crushing summary of how some outsiders view France's work ethic in a letter saying he would have to be stupid to take over a factory whose staff only put in three hours work a day.

Titan International's Maurice Taylor, nicknamed "The Grizz" for his negotiating style, told the left-wing French industry minister in a letter published by media on Wednesday that he had no interest in rescuing a plant set for closure.

"The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.

"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Taylor added in the letter, which was posted by business daily Les Echos on its website and which the ministry confirmed was genuine."

I don’t live in France but I’ve been there a few times. Don’t plan on doing ANYTHING on a Sunday. Everything is shutdown. Dont plan on visiting places at there lunch break. An best of luck trying to find out when its break time because you wont get any help then either.

I remember going to a Museum, as we walked up, the lady was locking the door and said, “lunch time, come back un 2 hours”… Wait what????

Our company once tried a french business contact (supplier) for a short time... once.
They delivered late, unashamed and incorrect.
They were rude and refused to communicate in German (understandably), English, or any language apart from French.
Non merci."

The most striking aspect for me was that despite endless hours of pseudo intellectual talking heads on endless state owned media, the French have THE WORST educated population in Europe and an absolute lack of graduates fit for the international workforce.

It's a bigoted fading retirement home for vicious racist geriatrics and French baby boomers who would sell their kids to sex slavery so as they could have a low retirement agency. This is not suprising given the average education has only taught them nationalim and xenophobia.

No I don't want to help them after five years of watchng them snigger at foreigners, steal and sit on their arses. I dont want them in my country because they are undesirable. If you have a problem with this go check out how the French treated Easter Europeans. Personally I would hire someone Polish over some French bum any day.

Yes when I read the typical snigger from some French youth hiding in Seattle because their is no employment in her wounderful country dispite French banks screwing the EU via bailouts redrected via Ireland it reminds me of all the reasons I shut down and wrote off my losses. Anyone who invests in France is insane - if you want to burn money give it to charity in your own country.

Couldn't be bothered to read Celt's long winded attempt to hide his Francophobia. He is the very definition of a coward who hides behind a computer screen, knowing full well that if he ever spouted his garbage in person, he would most likely have his teeth knocked out. And as a French person myself, I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't like to have the opportunity to personally teach him some manners, either.

J'étais à la gare de La verrière en train de prendre le bus 417 à 15:08 2023 donc tout le monde allait à l'intérieur et je suis venu juste après la dernière personne et le chauffeur ferme juste la porte arrière donc je me dirige vers la première porte d'entrée puis il l'a refermée et est partie sans moi Heureusement, un gars vient de l'avant alors il lui a ouvert la porte et j'ai aussi pu entrer. La même chose se produite quand je partais du bus, il ne voulait pas ouvrir la porte omg j'en avais tellement marre. I even sais bonjour to him even though he didn’t open the door but there were no response. ASIAN

Epouvantable. Je suis désolée. Il y a des gens comme ça partout, malheureusement, et la France en a son lot.

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

News about France in English

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In Paris, alone, need help?

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