The good news is that I have had more than one, okay, I have actually had three french people come up and ask me for directions on this trip. And yesterday, someone asked me how much the bus was to get to the train station and not only did I understand her, I actually knew the answer.
So until I open my mouth, I’m a local. Yaye pour moi!
Then I talk.
I have used various techniques to persuade french people to stay with me as I bumble my way around their beautiful language.
Along with a winning smile, I have found owning up by far the best approach:
“J’étudie le français mais Je ne comprends pas tout” I am studying French but I don’t understand everything (as opposed to anything which is truer but I don’t want to lose them)
I have also tried this to some success:
“Je ne parle pas très bien, mais je comprends si vous parlez simplement” I don’t speak very well, but I understand if you speak simply
And if they’re cute I throw in a:
“C’est gentil de m’aider avec mon français” How kind of you to help me with my French
I know all Im really being is a different kind of phrase book, but a girl’s got to do. You know the rest, I’m exhausted.