They didn’t speak French to us…

That’s one of the negative comments that we received recently. Slightly ironic though in that the comment was from a German family of which only one of the four could speak any French and he couldn’t speak much.

However, we’ve now reached the point where we expect that French guests will criticize us for not being French. At least that is if they come from the Dordogne where we can understand their opposition to English as it’s often treated by the English as though it were the far south of England. Somewhat more peculiar though are those from Alsace who are historically German of course but who are, by now, more French than the French with a lot more depth to their French ancestry.

What’s also been a feature this year is that we’ve had a LOT more Germans, Dutch and Spanish than normal and have around 90% non-French for quite extended periods sometimes. That’s given rise to criticisms from some of the French guests that French isn’t being spoken in the dining room or rather that English is being used by everyone else but them.

That’s something that we’d never thought about before. After all, in the majority of hotels around the world, it’s English that’s used between guests of different nationalities and, on the whole, it’s the language you’d most commonly hear during breakfast. Yet, in France the French expect the most common language to be French. Weird.

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