France is a beautiful country with many attractions, beautiful buildings, charming towns and smiling, beautiful people. But for us hopeless Norwegians who can not otherwise in French than "Sorti," it is almost impossible to both make ourselves understood and to understand what they are trying to say to us. Even young Frenchmen can barely say a whole sentence in either English or German.
This summer we were a few days in Strasbourg. A very beautiful city that deserves an honorable mention for its many beautiful buildings, canals, bridges, street life, shops, restaurants, hotels .... But oh - so hard it was to get into a conversation with people there !!
When we sat at home and googled a bit about the city, we found that it was a bilingual city since it was located entirely at the German border - but we could not notice that. Either we asked for directions, was in a store and asked for something special, or we would have explained something on a menu, then it was just a lot of stuttering! Olav is good in speaking German, and I am able to speak English quite well, but this mixture of French, German and English that were presented to us, went far above our heads to understand! And the strangest was that also the young Frenchmen, had big problem with speaking other languages.
But there was no lack of willingness to talk. Whether we shook our heads, hoisted our shoulders, or did some other sign that we did not understand, I think they thought, that if they just used even more words, then we would understand! Something we did NOT !!
Well, well ... To spend a holiday in France can be exciting in many ways. It is a beautiful country, and lots of nice people, but I think I will wait to go back there until there is invented an app that can translate recordings of languages!