1) You use a different language whenever you’re not sure of the French words or phrases:
For me, it’s Italian. It’s a romance language, right? So it must be close. Why not try it and see? Wrong.
It’s even worse, when like me, you speak a jumble of a few different languages, hoping something works. I speak a mish mash of Fritalish (French-Italian-English-Spanish), throwing anything and everything out there thinking that between all of the languages I’m attempting, something will resemble the French word and a light will go on in the person’s eyes I’m trying to communicate with.
I may be guessing here, but this is probably pretty annoying.
2) You’ve been using Rosetta Stone for 6 months and taking classes but find you are actually getting worse, not better:
I can actually speak less French now than when I started my courses (in France!). It’s as if knowing more words confuses me to the point of not being able to use any words.
3) You use hand signals, when at a loss for the correct words:
To be fair, when I tried this in Italy, I remember it working slightly better.
4) When you speak (or attempt to speak) French, the French look at you like not only are you not speaking French correctly, but like you are making the sounds of a wild animal or creature from a horror film:
I get this reaction a lot. It seems my French deeply disturbs many of the people whom I inflict it upon.
PS. This doesn’t only happen in Paris, so it’s not just rude city-dwelling Parisians that don’t have time to listen, who find my French horrifying.
PPS. I don’t think all Parisians are rude. I think big cities, in general, hold a lot of impatient people.
5) You end up lost, repeatedly, because you googled the name of a restaurant or shop (or town!) that someone said to you, incorrectly.
I have both ended up at a shop that’s been closed down for years (instead of the internet café I was looking for), and in a town 2 hours out of the way of where I wanted to go, because I wrote down a name someone gave to me, and it didn’t resemble the actual name of the place closely enough for the world wide web to be able to direct me there.
Let’s hope my French improves by the end of the Summer!
A humbled attempter of the French language