I was going to apologize for sharing an old post instead of something new. But then it occurred to me that my apology was really more of an excuse, so why bother? And as I have shared before, sorry seems to be hardest word in France.
It is ironic that this rather elegant way of apologizing, ‘faire son mea culpa’ or to admit being at fault in some way, borrows from the Latin. The French use the fact of being Latin (in language and in character) as an excuse for most bad behaviour: being late, disorganized, resistant to order.
So I’ll keep this short and suite: Mea culpa!
Hope you enjoy this oldie but goodie about manners…see you next week!
We Canadians are known for being polite. Sorry, we’ll say, every time we even come close to bumping into anyone. When we don’t understand or can’t make ourselves understood, we apologize first, ask questions later. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Things are different in France. The French rarely apologize but they do have their own strict forms of politesse. If you follow these, you will be admired for your manners and appreciated by all but those mauvaises langues who always have to find something to criticize. There’s one in every crowd.
Hello and goodbye
Bonjour has always struck me as such a formal way of saying hello. Perhaps because I translate it into English as ‘good day’ which no one says anymore except Aussies (and the way they say it, g’day, makes it sound very cool). You can say ‘salut’ as ‘hi’ in…
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