After taking private French classes or spending the time to learn French online, many people feel they can combine a holiday trip to France with the benefit of practicing their French language skills while they are there. It may seem like a reasonable idea, but unfortunately, many travelers often return home saying, “Every time I started to speak French, people would reply to me in English.”
Here is some advice on how to pick the right place to put those private French classes to good use.
City dwellers tend to be busy and in a hurry. They don’t have the time or interest to chat with slow-speaking foreigners. Many French people speak English in major cities, they may not wish to be rude, but they just don’t have the time and are most likely trying to speed things up.
There are many French-speaking places around the world. People there can be delighted when they meet foreigners who have taken private French classes and have come to practice their French skills. Of course, the local accent may not be the same as French spoken in France, but it’s still French and will be good practice for you.
Finally, if you are on vacation in France to practice your French, don’t hesitate to say that you prefer speaking French. Many French people think that it is polite to speak a foreigner’s native language if they can. Most of them don’t realize you may have taken private French classes and have come to France to practice your French. So say that you prefer speaking in French.