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Old 03-17-2016, 01:15 AM   #41
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After several trips to France, as my daughter has lived in Paris for 6 years, now Lisbon for 2 years, I am well acquainted with the average French and now Portuguese shop keeper, and neighbour. I had no French in school, despite Canada being officially bilingual, and no Portuguese. I had a little German, but it didn't stay with me as I had no place to refresh my vocabulary. So I communicate with the non-English speakers by being friendly and trying out the few words of their language that make sense to me. In France, I can't seem to get the pronunciation that differentiates du (feminine) from du (masculine) when ordering two baguettes in the patisserie. It clearly doesn't matter, as the clerks will usually ask me, either in sign or in English, if I want one or two. How can du be misunderstood? But I digress. I have the utmost respect for all of those French and Portuguese who have to deal with unilingual English like me. They do a great job. They figure out, or help me to figure out what I need, they make their sale, we both leave satisfied that things worked out well for both of us.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:31 AM   #42
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One of my law firm partners was French speaking "pied noir", originally from Mauritius. He impressed on me before my first visit to France that the French place great store on politeness in conversation, so each conversation starts with "Bonjour Madame(or Monsieur)". Approach it differently, it ends differently.
Koliver, maybe you should be ordering "deux(two) baguette", after asking if they have "du (of)baguette". That`s the best I can do using my schoolboy French.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:42 AM   #43
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Maybe in OZ, deux and du sound different. My wife thinks they sound different. when I say deux, it sounds the same as when I say du, so I rest my case.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:47 AM   #44
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One of my law firm partners was French speaking "pied noir", originally from Mauritius. He impressed on me before my first visit to France that the French place great store on politeness in conversation, so each conversation starts with "Bonjour Madame(or Monsieur)". Approach it differently, it ends differently.
Koliver, maybe you should be ordering "deux(two) baguette", after asking if they have "du (of)baguette". That`s the best I can do using my schoolboy French.
I've seen very interesting customs in various places. Some of our older employees in Puerto Rico were very traditional and no phone call ever started with business. I remember exchanges like this:

Hector: Hello Suzy, this is Hector.

Suzy: Hello Hector.

Hector: How are you doing today?

Suzy: I'm doing fine, and you?

Hector: Very well. (Then on to business) Last words of conversation are about lunch plans.

After lunch.

Hector: Hello, Suzy.

Suzy: Hello Hector.

Hector: How are you doing, Suzy?

Suzy: About the same as two hours ago when we talked. (Very nicely not ugly)

Hector: How was your lunch? What did you have?

Suzy: It was very good. We went to the dairy and had sandwiches and ice cream.

Hector: Ice cream is always good. I had chicken for lunch. Then on to the business they would proceed.

Then I remember one Central American country where we were warned no humor in a business meeting, that they thought it was unprofessional and indicated you weren't serious.
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:21 AM   #45
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Language a barrier to foreign cruising?

At sea / coast everybody here in Europe will understand and answer you in English on the VHF.
On the rivers VHF is in the local language, i.e. Dutch, German, Polish etc.. My experience e.g. in Poland (I don't speak Polish) is that most of the barge captains will answer you in English or German - if necessary.
But it can be a PIA: was once waiting several hours in front of bridge. Tried to reach the bridge master on the indicated VHF channel and at the end on all the standard channels. No reaction. Finally a Polish skipper helped me on the VHF and all of a sudden the bridge was open.
Beside this singular situation never had a real problem without speaking the local language.



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Old 03-17-2016, 05:04 AM   #46
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I gave the wrong title of the two books. They are French for Cruisers and Spanish for Cruisers.

Comment on the French. The Eastern Caribbean has French speaking islands and English speaking islands. St. Lucia and Trinidad, English speaking islands are / were considered yachting centers. Both are losing cruisers to other islands, basically French speaking islands of Guadalupe, Martinique and St. Martin. Many factors, but most talked about are related to the difference in government actions which affect cruisers. Security has become a big issue and the French police well and apply the laws in a manner which is consistent with the first world countries the cruisers come from. Not the same in some of the English speaking islands where the cruisers feel that the locals have free reign to steal dinghies and outboards etc.

The medical facilities and personal in the French islands are at a first world standard. Many of the personnel are on rotation from the French mainland. Not the same in some of the English speaking islands.

Customs upon entering and leaving St. Lucia and Trinidad is a study in inefficiency with multiple government employees involved. It is a jobs program that cruisers have to pay for. Whereas in the French islands you can clear in and clear out at a computer which can be found in local restaurants for a nominal fee.

Internet on St. Lucia is terrible, difficult to get and frequently not available at all. On Martinique wifi streams out to the anchorage at a level at which you can download videos.

Most of the businesses which cruises would deal on the French islands have one of more English speaking employees. The restaurants frequently do not but the employees are used to dealing with the anglophones.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:30 AM   #47
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After several trips to France, as my daughter has lived in Paris for 6 years, now Lisbon for 2 years, I am well acquainted with the average French and now Portuguese shop keeper, and neighbour. I had no French in school, despite Canada being officially bilingual, and no Portuguese. I had a little German, but it didn't stay with me as I had no place to refresh my vocabulary. So I communicate with the non-English speakers by being friendly and trying out the few words of their language that make sense to me. In France, I can't seem to get the pronunciation that differentiates du (feminine) from du (masculine) when ordering two baguettes in the patisserie. It clearly doesn't matter, as the clerks will usually ask me, either in sign or in English, if I want one or two. How can du be misunderstood? But I digress. I have the utmost respect for all of those French and Portuguese who have to deal with unilingual English like me. They do a great job. They figure out, or help me to figure out what I need, they make their sale, we both leave satisfied that things worked out well for both of us.
Unlike English , every sylabil in French has to be pronounced; difficult!

Here's a bizarre tip I learnt from my father in law: pretend to speak Italian, like in the gangster movies, to get your mouth moving in the correct way: then speak French with an italian accent !

It really does work!
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #48
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Unlike English , every sylabil in French has to be pronounced; difficult!

Here's a bizarre tip I learnt from my father in law: pretend to speak Italian, like in the gangster movies, to get your mouth moving in the correct way: then speak French with an italian accent !

It really does work!
I think I'm going to have to practice that more, when I tried it what came out wasn't even words, more like a confused growl.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:11 AM   #49
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I think I'm going to have to practice that more, when I tried it what came out wasn't even words, more like a confused growl.
Lol.

We speak English without moving our mouth much; speaking French is like chewing a steak.

I speak very basic french; I learnt whole sentences rather than words, which means I can converse for a period of time , then I end up repeating myself!

The French are very very traditional, not only in speech but in the etiquette of meals; I'm always mixing up the different courses and serving the wrong food, which always gets a glare of displeasure. There is no leeway made for foreigners .

Follow the rules, or you'll Get frozen out.

PS: the French hate the English more than any other race; always say you're an american, or in my case Irish , and you'll get an immediate response.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:37 AM   #50
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Greetings,
Mr. R. Keep in mind French is one of the "Romance Languages" and can hardly be likened to "chewing steak". I used to speak very basic Irish but since I've stopped drinking I've completely lost that ability.
Happy St. Patrick's day.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:36 AM   #51
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Mr RT-my experience is that Gaelic is one of the very few languages in the world that one can speak only when drinking, preferably a Guinness! It certainly can only be understood when drinking.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:37 AM   #52
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Mr RT-my experience is that Gaelic is one of the very few languages in the world that one can speak only when drinking, preferably a Guinness! It certainly can only be understood when drinking.
Common with Gaelic, a few shots of Vodka makes my Russian crisper.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:54 AM   #53
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Greetings,
Mr. R. Keep in mind French is one of the "Romance Languages" and can hardly be likened to "chewing steak". I used to speak very basic Irish but since I've stopped drinking I've completely lost that ability.
Happy St. Patrick's day.
Thanks; I'm sure our your Irish president will be having a little celebration drink.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:37 PM   #54
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Unlike English , every sylabil in French has to be pronounced; difficult!
As a French speaking person that's exactly my problem when I speak English. Funny, I have to learn to not pronounce every syllable !

I navigate on US waters every years and using the VHF is often the most challenging part of the day. I remember when I went through the Welland Canal and I had to listen to the VHF for hours waiting for instructions. Any word that sounded like my boat name was like an alarm ! I'm getting better with the years… at least something positive to getting older.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:36 PM   #55
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...the French hate the English more than any other race; always say you're an American, or in my case Irish , and you'll get an immediate response.
Or Australian. Once we were booking into a rural French hotel, after they took our passports(as they do) the lady said,"Oh, you are not English", became quite friendly, and gave us a different room. A better one, I hope.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:20 AM   #56
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As a French speaking person that's exactly my problem when I speak English. Funny, I have to learn to not pronounce every syllable !

I navigate on US waters every years and using the VHF is often the most challenging part of the day. I remember when I went through the Welland Canal and I had to listen to the VHF for hours waiting for instructions. Any word that sounded like my boat name was like an alarm ! I'm getting better with the years… at least something positive to getting older.
Its hilarious hearing a French person trying to pronounce ' the'...and even funnier for the French with English speakers trying to differentiate between ' vous' and ' vue'. Lol.

The real challenge is understanding vernacual dialects; I've spent most of my time in the south east of France where they speak with a very strong accent; I find Parisians and north eastern French the easiest .
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:42 PM   #57
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Guys, guys. Learn a bit of language or two and there will no probs. It is way easier then understanding diesels/thrusters/windlasses/inverters/refinishing teak decks/Canadian customs!
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:58 PM   #58
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Funny, one of the reasons why me and my better half want to go cruising around the world is to be exposed to other cultures and learn other languages faster that we can do by relocating on land. We are at the 3rd country, about to move to the 4th from which we will start sailing (if everything goes as planned).
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Old 03-18-2016, 03:42 PM   #59
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On the typical cruise ship, one can encounter passengers and crew from scores of countries speaking dozens of different languages. In addition, there are stops at variouss ports. On our last cruise we landed at five different countries (Italy, Greece, Turkey, Portugal [Azores], and USA), each with their unique language.
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