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Thread: rude retail person

  1. #1

    Thumbs up rude retail person

    i was at place vertu looing to buy a pair of glasses
    so i went into NEW LOOK
    there was an older man i asked him for some help in english
    he kept answereing me in french
    as far as i know we are not seperated from canada
    i think its just bad business

  2. #2
    Well, that's the way it is Quebec. He has no obligation to communicate with you in Anglais. It's good for business, yes. But if he chooses to lose your business, that's his choice.

    In downtown Montreal, due to large amount of tourists and international business, English is pretty much a business (though not legal) necessity.

    For the most part, English is widely available. In terms of retail/service, I've only encountered one waitress who was francophone only. She was really cute too; wish I hadn't learned French at Wal-Mart.

  3. #3
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    Man stop crying... the opposite append too and do you see me and some other french guy comming crying on a escort review board about it?

    The funniest part of it is you probably havent contacted the owner of that franchise about it... at least you went on merb to bitch about it....

    You registred to this board in 2004 and you have 17 post... I guess you read a bit the board and from 2004 to now we had PLENTY of thread about separation, french-english, etc... so PLEASE can we pass to something else?

    Funniest thing is that today I tried to reach service of panasonic Canada... french option bring me directly to a voicemail ALL day but there was operator available all day in english... anyway had to return the product to the store but did I posted a thread about it earlier to complain? Try yourself tomorrow: 1-866-330-0014
    Last edited by wilko26; 08-28-2007 at 12:45 AM.

  4. #4
    Pimpin' ain't easy...
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    I find it funny...downtown they speak english for tourists ? Québec is a french "province" they come here to see and here what is the french culture...so at least they could try it. When i came here in 1999 from Quebec City, i moved to Dorval, the girl at the dep could'nt speak a word of french, she was about 25 years old..strange...and another guy in the garage i used to work about the same age, from the west island..not a word in french and born here..normal? I speak english and i'm from a 99.99% french city...if i can do it, why don't you do it ? Today a sales person came to my house trying to sell me something, i was not in the mood, she spoke to me in english, responded in french then she asked me if i spoke english i said "non je parle pas anglais" she turned heels and went to the next house...talk about loosing business.

    I'm french and i'm proud ! ;-)
    Last edited by Bucky; 08-28-2007 at 01:57 AM.

  5. #5
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    As an ango who speaks French fairly well; I alaways appreciate when sales/customer service/etc. reps. at least attempt to speak in English.

    Generally I find that we somehow determine who is stronger in their second language and take it from there; Sometimes French is spoken, sometimes English and sometimes we both end up going back and forth.

    Is it possible that the sales rep realised by your French comprehension that you understood French better than he could speak it? Maybe you read more into the situation than there actually was? (YOu do realise that I am just musing here.)

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  6. #6
    Franky sayz

    Several points here. First I am an anglophone, from the states. I generally say hello and how are you in french and then ask if they would speak english to me. For me, this is very effective in being polite and getting to converse in english. Obviously I expect no one to speak english, or any other language for that matter.
    Second point, Quebec is NOT FRENCH. You are Canadian first and Quebecois second. You May speak a dialect of the french language but you are not French. I promise you that when I am in France, it is a different experience than being in Quebec. I prefer Quebec
    Franky

  7. #7
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    Franky, talk about something you know, please. I am Québecois FIRST and then Canadian. I never appointed you to talk on my behalf. We are French as in "we speak french", not as being from France. Even in France, there's different "dialect". Are they less French because of that? Only somebody who know nothing about the Québecois culture would bring a point like this on the carpet. None the less, I find your way of approaching peoples with french first very good. I'm certain you have a way more positive response that way! Glad you make the effort!

    I dare anybody to get offended to be spoken in french in Quebec!! You need to be on a real power trip to be offended being spoken in french in Quebec! Get down of your high horses and see the reality! Wake up! You're in a french community and peoples have a right to speak french if they choose to. Stoneeca obviously understood French so, why speak to him in English? Yhea, business and courtesy... How about him making an effort? Often, this will turn a stubborn "frenchie" into a "bilingual-as-he-can" person! Not so often the other way around, when the french-speaking person talk to an Anglo...

    Personally, I often "forget" how to speak english when I'm surrounded with closed-minded anglos... And a few signs of good will, a few difficultly articulated words and sentences in french are often all it takes to jug my memory and make me perfectly bilingual again!

    How can Stoneeca learn if he refuse to be exposed, beside the obvious, he's not interested to ever speak any french, not even a few basic words.

    I totally agree with Bucky. English peoples who were born here and still don't speak french is an incredibly ridiculous situation. Why don't they speak french? Because they don't see a need to. Why don't they see a need? Because French peoples will speak to them in english!

    How acceptable is it for a French-speaking person, in Montreal, not being able to be served in french? It happen to me quite often, right downtown! Stores, cafeterias, restaurants... And Mr. Stoneeca want me to be sorry for him? Won't happen!!

    Peternorth, being able to speak multiple languages is a great asset, even if we only think anout the human side, without any money consideration. Obviously, you realized this and, I envy your ability to speak multiples languages. But most french-speaking peoples were not always bilingual: they learned. I remember, before I spoke english, going to Ottawa and not being able to speak english and having morons laughing at my efforts. Did it stop me from learning english? No way! It pushed me to learn even more! That way I can say I'm superior to these unilingual peoples who were making fun of me! Forget speaking french in China, you can have the exact same effect in Canada!

    Next, as in all these discussions on language, we'll have those saying Bill 101-104 are useless because french in Québec isn't in that bad of a shape. That bad, compared to what? Compared to chineze in Mexico? You're outside, it's raining, you have an umbrella to stay dry. Now, some moron comes by and tell you "You don't need an umbrella, you're dry." Dhu!! Why are you dry? Same with Bill 101, 104 and others. French in Québec isn't in "that bad of a shape" because of these laws, and these laws should be given more teeth, with an absolute interdiction for judges to act as legislators. Judges are there to apply the law, not define it.

    Ouf!! Done for now.. Tabarack!
    Last edited by metoo4; 08-28-2007 at 11:20 AM.

  8. #8

    Smile Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by metoo4
    Franky, talk about something you know, please. I am Québecois FIRST and then Canadian. I never appointed you to talk on my behalf. We are French as in "we speak french", not as being from France. Even in France, there's different "dialect". Are they less French because of that? Only somebody who know nothing about the Québecois culture would bring a point like this on the carpet. None the less, I find your way of approaching peoples with french first very good. I'm certain you have a way more positive response that way! Glad you make the effort!

    I dare anybody to get offended to be spoken in french in Quebec!! You need to be on a real power trip to be offended being spoken in french in Quebec! Get down of your high horses and see the reality! Wake up! You're in a french community and peoples have a right to speak french if they choose to. Stoneeca obviously understood French so, why speak to him in English? Yhea, business and courtesy... How about him making an effort? Often, this will turn a stubborn "frenchie" into a "bilingual-as-he-can" person! Not so often the other way around, when the french-speaking person talk to an Anglo...

    Personally, I often "forget" how to speak english when I'm surrounded with closed-minded anglos... And a few signs of good will, a few difficultly articulated words and sentences in french are often all it takes to jug my memory and make me perfectly bilingual again!

    How can Stoneeca learn if he refuse to be exposed, beside the obvious, he's not interested to ever speak any french, not even a few basic words.

    I totally agree with Bucky. English peoples who were born here and still don't speak french is an incredibly ridiculous situation. Why don't they speak french? Because they don't see a need to. Why don't they see a need? Because French peoples will speak to them in english!

    How acceptable is it for a French-speaking person, in Montreal, not being able to be served in french? It happen to me quite often, right downtown! Stores, cafeterias, restaurants... And Mr. Stoneeca want me to be sorry for him? Won't happen!!

    Peternorth, being able to speak multiple languages is a great asset, even if we only think anout the human side, without any money consideration. Obviously, you realized this and, I envy your ability to speak multiples languages. But most french-speaking peoples were not always bilingual: they learned. I remember, before I spoke english, going to Ottawa and not being able to speak english and having morons laughing at my efforts. Did it stop me from learning english? No way! It pushed me to learn even more! That way I can say I'm superior to these unilingual peoples who were making fun of me! Forget speaking french in China, you can have the exact same effect in Canada!

    Next, as in all these discussions on language, we'll have those saying Bill 101-104 are useless because french in Québec isn't in that bad of a shape. That bad, compared to what? Compared to chineze in Mexico? You're outside, it's raining, you have an umbrella to stay dry. Now, some moron comes by and tell you "You don't need an umbrella, you're dry." Dhu!! Why are you dry? Same with Bill 101, 104 and others. French in Québec isn't in "that bad of a shape" because of these laws, and these laws should be given more teeth, with an absolute interdiction for judges to act as legislators. Judges are there to apply the law, not define it.

    Ouf!! Done for now.. Tabarack!
    metoo4 or moiaussi4

    True.
    The seminal poster could have spoken French. Some people will never learn another language for whatever reason(s),their loss.Some cannot even speak and write their "mother tongue" properly whatever it may be.Their loss.

    People laugh at others efforts to speak another language. Unfortunate but unavoidable at times. Depends on the context and what is said. Years ago my French speaking girlfriend (Kenogami) was upset at one of my Anglo friends and called him a "hole ass" translating directly from the French expression "trou .....". Hard not to laugh at times like that.

    Judges are not acting as legislators but are telling legislators you overlooked changing times or there are contradictions in the law that preclude reasonable application. Legislation is never forward looking but a response to bring fairness to situations that have arisen.

  9. #9
    I'm and ex-Montrealer living in Toronto. Personally I think part of the charm of Montreal is the French culture and attitude, something I miss badly. If you don't like the French, get over it and come to Toronto, you can be served in all kinds of languages that don't include French or English, and if you're a white English speaking male...you'll be part of a minority here.

  10. #10
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    Usually, when outside of Québec and in a situation I think french might be possible, I start with a "Bonjour" and keep going in english. Once in a while, I'll get some french back. Not always fluent french but some none the less! I then praise the effort and, if they pursue, I will be pleased to help them as much as I can! It's a win-win situation for both! Even in the middle of the USA, by an "Américain pure laine", I got some quite decent french once, good enough to make you wonder about our Québec-born-raised-english only-speaking citizens!

    I NEVER assume, outside of Québec, (beside in France....) that I can be served in my native tongue. I hint as of my language and as much as I can, I keep going in the other person's language. If I can't use the other person's language, I'll be the one making as much effort as possible. If the other person help me, that's great but I don't have any rights to qualify that person's effort.

    I never assume everybody should speak my language and that those who don't are idiots or inferior. But in Quebec, with somebody born and raised here and still not speaking french, we can ask ourself some questions...
    Last edited by metoo4; 08-28-2007 at 01:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneeca
    i was at place vertu looing to buy a pair of glasses
    so i went into NEW LOOK
    there was an older man i asked him for some help in english
    he kept answereing me in french
    as far as i know we are not seperated from canada
    i think its just bad business
    I had a similar experience at the same mall where i was asking questions in english and i got replies in french but then another salesperson noticed that i was talking in english and then took over from the french speaking one, i got the feeling that the french speaking guy was bilingual but was being a jerk since i would assume that you would have to be bilingual to work in a store in Montreal, i was about to tell the french speaking salesman that i speak no french but if he would have continued in french i would have told him to stop being a jerk and get me a english speaking salesperson as i am sure in a mall like place vertu that you would have to be bilingual to work in a retail environment especially in a touristic city like Montreal.
    Last edited by Joe.t; 08-28-2007 at 02:42 PM.

  12. #12
    For once, I don't have to argue with metoo4

    I do agree with his statements. I had also the same experiences in the US (Memphis, Dallas and Anchorage) that some people detected my accent and asked my where I was from so I told them Montreal and they started to talk a few words of french.

    Same things happen when I detect the person that I am talking to is spanish speaking. I try to say a few words to them in spanish and sometimes I have to ask them: "Como se dice: <whatever I want to say>" and they are so happy.

    On the other side, I might be able to understand Italian speaking people but I won't be able to answer them in their language. Is it rude? I don't think so. Sometimes you can read but can't write back. You are able to understand people but you can't talk back. Talking has also an other problem because you are in front of the person and you can be shy to talk because you're bad.

    I might have considerer to be rude if the person would have asked you to talk in french but the clerk let you speak in english while you showed him that you understood what he was saying (at least it is my understanding).

    Try to get served in french outside of Quebec and you will see that is much more harder than to get served in english in Quebec. To use back your sentence: "As far as i know, we are not seperated from Canada" and french is also an official language... Is it bad practice? maybe but it is reality!!

  13. #13

    To have another language is to have another soul

    First the bad:

    Without doubt there are speakers of every language who use it as a weapon, political or otherwise, to attempt to make people feel bad who can't speak it.

    Now the not bad:

    99.9% of my language experiences in Quebec have been pleasurable. I've made an effort to learn the language. I'm not a natural. I've spent time 100% in French twice for 2 weeks with a separatist family. French speakers have been patient, encouraging and pleased that I was making the effort. The more French the area, the happier they were.

    My approach is to start in French... generally in Montreal the person (even the francophones) will respond in English. I take this to be a sign of politeness on their part. It's ironic as I would often prefer to continue in French but I am lazy.

    I have a usual comment that I make when a francophone (its amazing how often it happens) apologises for his limited English: I say (in French): I find most Quebecers can speak English way better then most anglophones can speak French. This is true and they appreciate the comment. They are generally very generous in their comments on my level of French. I also say (in French): I adore the French language, but the French language doesn't adore me. That's another kettle of fish. (C'est une autre paire de manches.)

    With those comments we are both then confortable and each appreciates the effort of the other.

    I have for years, as a volunteer, assisted people (mostly immigrants but also a couple of Quebecers) with their English. Their unease and sense of inadequacy because they don't speak English well is palpable, even when they are quite good.

    I recall helping a fellow from the Congo one time... he felt inadequate because of the level of his English skills... he only spoke 5 other languages!!!

    People appreciate a small effort... I was addressing a group of professors from China.... I learned a couple of phrases in Mandarin that I used when I started and they loved it.

    I believe and make it obvious to people who have the capacity to speak a language I can't that they have a gift that I don't have and I admire them for it.
    Last edited by Dee; 08-28-2007 at 06:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    As a unilingual American anglophone, I honestly can't remember a single time on my many trips to Montreal where a merchant did not at least attempt to speak English with me. There was one time, however, when I was walking east on Rene Levesque not far from the Novotel, when a truck driver pulled up to me, stopped, got out of his truck and frantically asked me for directions in French. The poor guy appeared to be very stressed out, and very lost, and although I could not understand exactly what he was saying, it was clear to me he was looking for directions to get to his destination. I said to him, "could you please speak English?" I knew this was likely futile because he looked like a blue collar guy, probably uneducated and from outside of Montreal, and I know that once you get outside Montreal the English literacy rate drops off. The guy looked at me and again spoke frantically in French. I responded, "sorry guy, I don't speak any French at all."

    He then looked at me sort of apologetically and said, "it's good, it's good", then retreated to his truck and sped off. I assumed those were the only English words the poor bastard knew.

    The poor guy was lost and the one guy he sees walking on Rene Levesque that he stops and asks for directions is an American anglophone. I wondered later whether he ever made it to his destination.

  15. #15
    Hehehe I guess he knew also Yes, no , toaster

    Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe rain, maybe snow...

    You are right that if you are going outside of the Greater Montreal area it is less likely to find people speaking english but it is still possible because I went with friends in Saguenay and even there some people were able to talk with them

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