February 12th, 2010 | Comments Off on this is definitely a French thing

One of the hardest things for me to keep straight in French is the difference between ‘tu’ and ‘vous’. I mean, obviously I know the difference, but I haven’t internalized it… it often happens that I start a sentence with ‘vous’ and switch to ‘tu’ halfway through. I figure I get a semi-free pass as a foreigner, though.

Anyway, this is only relevant because I was in Munich recently, wandering around Marienplatz. It’s right by the city centre: tons of shopping to do, quite touristy overall. One of these survey people (I think) came up to me and asked, “Sprichst du Deutsch?” I muttered “Nein” and kept walking, but the first thing that popped into my head was “He just tutoie-d 1Fr. tutoyer, to use “tu” with someone me! He doesn’t even know me!”

So maybe the French are getting to me a little.

ETA: I was talking to the Franco-German student at work and he explained to me that people in Germany systematically tutoient people if they appear to be less than 18, which is not necessarily the case in France. Hum. I don’t think I look that young.

1 Fr. tutoyer, to use “tu” with someone
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