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Re: The use of NON in French.....

 Weegie wrote:
The main consideration, no matter whom you are dealing with, fonctionnaire, shop assistant etc, it is always wise to start with "Bonjour".  It isn't necessarily considered rude in UK to address a question without preamble and relying on tone and inflection but not so in France.


Good point, Weegie, absolutely the first word in every transaction needs to be "bonjour".  It acts like "please" and we wouldn't dream of asking anything of anybody without saying "please", would we?Smile [:)]

Sovereignty: the right to eat cholorinated chicken.
from The Little Book of Brexit Bo ll oc ks
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Re: The use of NON in French.....

Slightly annoying is a habit I've noticed a couple of times recently at the checkout, where the person on the till may make eye contact with you as you're waiting for the previous person to pay. No point, at that stage, in saying a cheery "Bonjour" , as often the checkout person will then blank you entirely until the person in front has gone. They will then look at you again and say their "Bonjour" as though the previous attempt has been voided.
I once made the mistake of not responding and got a very shirty repetition of the caissière's "Bonjour", even though she'd ignored me when I said it. So I said an equally pointed "Rebonjour"and we declared it a score draw.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: The use of NON in French.....

L'oiseau wrote - EDIT.
"I don’t think a proffered kiss would go down too well with a tetchy fonctionnaire, though! ;-)"
Very true - you have to assess the social situation and pick your victims!
The most difficult interview I had with a fonctionnaire was after we had sold our tractor, sans carte gris (long story). The buyer later decided he needed a carte gris or wanted his money back.
We didn't have the complete legal paperwork so I went to the prefecture in great trepidation - bonjour, ca va? etc.
The lady checked everything and looked very doubtful, but she saw that I was almost shaking with anxiety. Eventually she said d'accord, je l'accepte. Or something like that. We got the carte gris.

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Re: The use of NON in French.....

I have been embarrassed on a number of occasions when I have asked somebody in a supermarket:”Excusez-moi, aves-vous etc” The reply always begins with a rather icy “Bonjour”.
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Re: The use of NON in French.....

Chap at the till on Saturday actualy stopped working, looked at me and asked if he had said "Bonjour" before he began to deal with the shopping. He looked relieved when I said he did.

On a side note, on a recent trip to Edinburgh, Scotland last month we went to a supermaket. At the till I proffered my opened rucksack to the lady. She asked me why I was doing that. Somewhat taken aback I asked if she wanted to check it was empty (something we have to do with every bag, rucksack etc at shops in France I explained). She expressed complete surprise and no interest at all in our open bags! Is it just France or my dishonest face?
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Re: The use of NON in French.....

Must be your face!  Never  had to do it.  Suppose I must look honest. lol

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Re: The use of NON in French.....

I find that happens when they get new or inexperienced staff on the till, or when the security man is close by.  Since I know the directors well, fellow Rotarians, who bise when seen, most of the staff not only know me, but my bags, which are also pretty distinctive.  I do find, however, that staff in the UK (mainly Waitrose and Tesco, 'cos that's what they have where I go) are far more friendly and helpful than any supermarket cashier here.

Judith
ex W1, via 47 and 11 and now [just] in 34, equidistant from Carcassonne, Narbonne and Béziers, where I hope we'll finally stay!!
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