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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  541 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trip report - Monts Groulx

Not really. The two truly remarkable ones (out of 15-20 so far, roughly estimating) were:

- A guy whom I presumed to be so offended by my pathetic level of French and attempts at using anything else that he just turned around on his feet in the middle of my sentence and walked away in a huff. Then he probably realised I'm the best around because he came back and acted as nothing happened. Perhaps the only time I felt like an NPC, still regret that I didn't say something like "Press 'B' to jump!" and skip away.

- One encounter near the central train hub when I was with my ex-girlfriend, her brother and his "it's complicated" where we knew something like eleven languages between us and they just pressed on with "Francais?!" over and over again. Only then, when we shrugged, gave up and excused ourselves, I heard some of the rustiest, most reluctant of attempts at English in my life. They looked tortured and probably knew only a few hundred words between them.

Seriously, the last time you had a reasonable chance of walking up to someone in Poland and expect them to know French we had compulsory classical languages, noble class and were probably called "Duchy of Warsaw". Still, they persist.

Though, in fairrrrness, it's not exclusive to French people. Poles and Germans, on average and in my experience, aren't much when it comes to foreign languages. We just usually don't think it's a cardinal sin to at least try English if we happen to know it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯