No. 88: French People Who Speak French Slowly
Oh, how I love when the French speak French slowly. Every time I leave Paris and travel around France my confidence gets a boost when I realize I actually know more French than the hard knock Parisians have led me to believe.
It is such a relief to be on the Island of Martinique, the French territory off the coast of Venezuela. Obviously it’s a relief for many of the normal reasons: work stress, school stress, family dysfunction, etc. The whole tropical-island-paradise-thing certainly helps out with that. But the real relief is being removed from cranky French people, who definitely don’t count patience as a virtue, and wouldn’t dare crack a smile if their life depended on it.
It is a welcome respite to be in a part of France where French isn’t the chosen language, but the colonial language, and where the people are quite happy to have you stumble along in French, so pleased that you are trying.
The Martiniquais don’t seem to give a rat’s patootie if you make a mistake. Their patience is immense, their smiles are large and they seem to have all the time in the world to let you mangle their not so precious language.
Most importantly they speak S-L-O-W-L-Y. And slow is so very appreciated by us not so fluent speakers.