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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014
French tourists labeled "rude"Posted Saturday, July 11, 2009, at 6:41 PM
"French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as bad at foreign languages, tight-fisted and arrogant, according to a survey of 4,500 hotel owners across the world."
For years, Americans were described as the "Ugly Americans," because of their rudeness in foreign countries and their lack of foreign language experience. It's good to see an objective survey on this subject.
I took two groups of students to Europe, one in 1998 and one in 2000, and I felt that the French were the least friendly and cooperative. They were highly insulted when we didn't know their language, but they were perfectly willing to take our money.
The Swiss seemed the most agreeable, other than the English, of course - and in Amsterdam, the shop clerks spoke English with no accent whatsoever. By and large, we were very well treated everywhere we went.
"It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info.
Americans have also been highly criticized around the world for not learning more foreign languages. I admit that we should encourage our people to do that, but I really think most Europeans don't realize how little opportunity Americans have to practice a foreign language. Europeans can travel a few short miles in either direction and they're in another country, speaking another language. It's not that easy for us.
De Roux said the French, not accustomed to leaving large tips at home where a service charge is automatically levied on restaurant bills, can seem "tight-fisted" compared with other nationalities.
The Japanese ranked top of the Best Tourist survey, with the British and the Germans judged the best of the Europeans. I found that the Japanese had a tendancy to talk among themselves during presentations by our guides. There was no comment about the Americans, but I don't think we could be considered "tight-fisted"!
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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