What to do when you don’t understand French and you live in France

I am currently living in Strasbourg as part of my Third Year Abroad, and have to say I’ve learned a jolly lot.  Here is my handy guide to ex-pats, erasmus students and au pairs who are now living with the cheese eating surrender monkeys…

1)  Don’t know what the shop assistant is saying?  Just say ‘non’!  They probably only want to know if you have a supermarket card, which you don’t, or if you want a bag.  If you want a bag they may ask you what TYPE of bag, so just carry all your shopping and avoid any more embarrassment!

2) Lost?  Don’t ask for directions!  Keep on walking for hours on end.  Maybe call someone in England and ask them to Google map it for you!

3)  Don’t understand a lecture?  Write in pidgin French littered with suicide notes in English!

Pretty much sums it up
Pretty much sums it up
I gave up at the end of a two hour lecture and drew a terrible map
I gave up at the end of a two hour lecture and drew a terrible map
I don't even know what this is
I don’t even know what this is

4)  Asked directions to some place?  Point vaguely in one direction, then run off like you’re mega busy!

5) Someone talks to you on the tram, train or bus?  Look very intently at your phone!  I bet people in England are missing you soooo much!

I am so missed it hurts
I am so missed it hurts

6) Want food? ‘Cheeseburger’ is the same in French!  What other food do you need?

7) Want to try on clothes in a shop but don’t want to talk to the shop assistant?  Just buy the clothes and try them on at home!

8)  Don’t know where your lecture is?  Just don’t go!

9) Completely zoned out of a lecture and don’t know what they’re talking about?  Write pleas on your hand!

One way to get you strange looks on the bus! (Aidez-moi je comprends rien - help me, I understand nothing!)
One way to get you strange looks on the bus! (Aidez-moi je comprends rien – help me, I understand nothing!)

10) For any other situation? Cry, scream, or shout “THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN ENGLAND!”

3 thoughts on “What to do when you don’t understand French and you live in France

  1. Pingback: There’s no point sitting going crazy on my own | Sia later England!

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