手机APP下载

您现在的位置: 首页 > 英语听力 > 轻松娱乐听力 > 英文小酒馆 > 正文

第95期 小酒馆大世界:顾客是上帝?听谁说的?

来源:可可英语 编辑:Andersen   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
  下载MP3到电脑  [F8键暂停/播放]   批量下载MP3到手机

Bonjour! Welcome back to our new segment, Global Village. 小酒馆,大世界。If you listened to the very first episode in this segment, you already know our new guest co-host Sarah with British and French dual nationalities. Sarah is here in the studio to share with us about her life in France. Hello Sarah.
Hello
I have to ask. All of these are upside. Living in rural part of France obviously has its challenges.
Of course.
What's the toughest, the biggest challenge you faced living in that particular part?
If we're talking really about the rural setting, one of the kind of obvious challenges is transport. So when I first moved there I didn't have my own car, so I had to rely on the very limited public transport. Now I think our town was actually quite lucky because we have a train station and we do have buses going to the nearest cities. But I think there are many areas where they would actually have to come to my town, my small town to then get transports to somewhere bigger.
Your small town is actually a transport hub.
Yeah.
But how frequent are the trains or the buses?
Guess it depends where you wanna go, but I know the buses that I would try and take it might be have like, it's probably different now but maybe 5 a day, but the times were not always convenient and the nearest city is about a 2-hour bus ride away. So what the nearest kind of big city Montpellier is probably about two hours away. And I do think in the last five to ten years the transport system has improved. So when I first went there in 2009, I also was comparing it to the place that I was living in England which is terribly unfair. But I guess you kind of can't help it.
You kind of have to, that's how we compare it to. We always compare with the life we are more familiar with.
But we always have to be careful when we do that because it makes you a bit disgruntled. So where I was living in England, we were very close to Bristol and the transport links were excellent. So in this rural town finding that I had two opportunities to get a bus to the nearest city was a little bit frustrating. There's a lot of car sharing nowadays. It is much easier. And I bought a car to make it easier as well.
Perhaps going around like small towns or villages in France, the best way would be go buy a car.
Most people in rural France have personal vehicles.
When I was traveling around Provence, we were driving around because that was the only way. There were trains, but not very efficient.
Yeah, then maybe not that frequent and it really does depend on the area cause if you're in a big city you do have excellent transport links. But where I was, they were mediocre, I would say from based on my, where I was familiar with they were quite different.
OK. So talking about comparing the new culture with what you're familiar with, let's talk a little bit about stereotypes. So we all have stereotypes of people from other culture. What are some of the stereotypes British people have of the French?
Sometimes there's a stereotype that French people are rude.
Arrogant.
Arrogant as well. One of the reasons there might be that perception is because of people may be dealing with customer service in France. So in the Anglo Saxon world, the customer is always right.
And it's not so in France?

顾客是上帝?


So I know this is not only it's not just my experience from the town that I lived, but it's almost like you should be grateful if you're served. So I know that many people have experienced something that would never happen in the UK, for example, where you might walk into a shop or a “boulangerie”(法语:面包房bakery) or post office and the person who should be serving you is on the phone but not on the phone for professional reasons, but they're having a chat with their friend, their mother or they're just chatting to a colleague in the store. And it's obviously not a professional conversation because you can hear them. They're talking about making plans for the weekend and they know you're there, but you just have to just wait quietly and then eventually you will probably be served. And it's not a good idea to interrupt them because they will find that very rude in fact.
But in France, this is totally acceptable. Everyone seems to be...
I don't think that all people who work in customer service behave like this. And I don't think all French people accept it. But it is, so they must be enough tolerance and enough people doing it there. People are noticing it. And this is in Paris as well. I've heard people on there, they have blogs talking about it. So it's not just me who's noticed it. But I obviously don't want to generalize but I definitely have seen it. I've experienced it a couple of times myself.
Much more than in Britain.
Yes. Much more yeah.
One other stereotype that we often have, Chinese often have of the French, I often ask my students in class. So what is your stereotype of French people? When I say French, what do you think of? Most of them saying romantic. Do you have that sort of stereotypes in the UK as well? French people are romantic.
I think so yeah. I think it's a pretty common stereotype. It's not just for French, it is for all Latin countries. So Italy, Spain, France, probably Portugal I think as well. I think that stereotype is applied to all of those countries and I feel uncomfortable trying to give an opinion on it because I had a relationship with a French man and although he was often romantic, I'm not sure if I can generalize that to all Frenchmen. I did have experiences of men sometimes catcalling or wanting to get particularly friendly with me. But I think people have experienced that in the UK as well. So I would say that perhaps there is some truth in that stereotype, but I couldn't say definitively they are more or less romantic than British men. I'm not sure.
I guess it's the whole idea. It's not just about the people. I think it's because of the whole setup. For example, you think about Paris, especially Paris in the movies and in art and you have this romanticized idea. And then if you think that a couple in Paris and then you can almost hear the music in romance films coming in.
Yeah,absolutely!
Again, talking about stereotypes,did you have to deal with the French stereotypes of British people? Because for sure they also have stereotypes of what British people are like.
Absolutely! It's not so much that I had to deal with them. It's that I realized that I was a walking stereotype. So there's a couple of stereotypes to do with being punctual, things like that. And I just realized that the conception of time in France...
Very different!
...again not everywhere, but in general, what I noticed is that it's much more flexible than in Britain. They have this thing that I thought was just a local phenomenon. They called it le quart d'heure Millau, which is the Millau quarter of an hour. What that means is that if you give a time as long as you arrive within about 15 minutes, you're on time, whereas the British perception of time would be if you do not arrive at least a couple of minutes before or dead on time, we consider that quite disrespectful. So I’ve had trouble negotiating with that because I realized that it's really ingrained in my personality. And so being a teacher in France, working with adults has been really challenging because obviously my colleagues, they also have this slightly flexible perception of time as well as my trainees. So for them, I would have to tell them that no, actually we have to work with the British perception of time for my classes, or at least we have to make some kind of compromise, maybe let’s has have five minutes instead of 15 minutes.
It's very interesting to hear these cross cultural experiences because your perspectives are so different. From your perspective, you're thinking these people are being disrespectful because they're not respecting the time, but they're thinking, Sarah, why are you so uptight about time?
Exactly!
Yeah, just relax.
Definitely. There's also a stereotype about being... maybe a little bit cold or not clear with our communication. So what I’ve experienced is that French people in general, I saw this in the workplace and in my personal life, their communication is relatively direct. I'm not accustomed to direct communication, so I found it quite aggressive in the beginning. I didn't like it very much. I think I still struggle with it quite a bit, but I'm learning to be a little bit more assertive. So I think part of that is my culture. But part of it is my personality as well, because you can find lots of assertive people in Britain as well. But I do think that you can notice a huge discrepancy between the two styles of communication where we often use euphemisms. So we might say I had a little bit of trouble this morning, and perhaps your car blew up.
It's the whole understatement in British culture.
Exactly! We would have the... perhaps a French person might have a tendency to exaggerate it, potentially.
So it’s the two, basically two end of the spectrum?
I think so, yeah, like we've often joked about it, because some of my friends noticed that when they would invite me to places and I would say maybe I’ll come. A British person would know instinctively that means Oh, Sarah is not coming. But French people genuinely think that...
You are not sure.
that I'm not sure. And so they'll try to phone me and text me. So there is that kind of implied meaning that a lot of British people will inherently understand. But that's when you have these cross cultural situations. If you're not being explicit about your meaning then it can be misunderstood. You see it in the humor as well. French are really good at satire but they also seem to really enjoy slapstick humor. So slapstick like falling over, very visual physical comedy which some people do appreciate in Britain, but we don't think that it's ...
that funny.
particularly funny whereas we prefer that kind of dry, wit, sarcasm, understatement, those kind of things. I noticed it is difficult to understand each other's humor as well.
I think understanding humor in a particular culture is perhaps the highest form of cross cultural understanding.
Probably
Because even when you can understand it, you still don't find it funny most of the time.
I did start in the beginning I saw some sketches and things and I didn't find them funny at all. But I think it's just because I didn't get what their style was. I didn't realize what they were getting at. But as soon as I started watching this satire on French TV, they can be really funny.
Once you can get into it.
Yeah, really funny.
I was reading some books on cross cultural communication. One of the experts he gave a few tips and one of the tips is when you're dealing with another culture and also never assume what is being understood is what is being said.
Absolutely! When we were at university, before we were all sent to these different countries, there was an amusing activity they got us to do which was meant to for... because a lot of us had not really travelled much. We didn't have a great deal of self-awareness or cultural awareness. Not all of us but some of us. And so we did an activity where each person was told to smile when the other person talking to them smiled, nod their head and basically mirror what the other person was doing. So if you... it didn't matter what they were saying, if they were smiling you would smile. If they were frowning you would frown. And it was kind of to demonstrate that in these cross cultural situations, you're probably going to meet people who seem to understand but who actually don't understand. And so you have to be really careful with that.
Sometimes people are just perhaps being polite but they have no idea what you're saying.
Exactly, of course.
And on that note, let us wrap up this episode. In the next episode, we're gonna continue our talk with Sarah, where we're gonna delve deeper into French culture, and also compare the differences between Britain and France. We'll see you next time.
Ciao ciao.
Ciao.

更多英语资讯,获取节目完整文本,请关注微信公众号:璐璐的英文小酒馆。每天大量英语干货更新!

重点单词   查看全部解释    
slightly ['slaitli]

想一想再看

adv. 些微地,苗条地

 
rude [ru:d]

想一想再看

adj. 粗鲁的,无礼的
adj. 粗糙

 
disrespectful [disri,spektful]

想一想再看

adj. 无礼的;失礼的;不尊敬的

 
uncomfortable [ʌn'kʌmftəbl]

想一想再看

adj. 不舒服的,不自在的

 
comedy ['kɔmidi]

想一想再看

n. 喜剧,滑稽,幽默事件

 
frequent ['fri:kwənt]

想一想再看

adj. 经常的,频繁的
vt. 常到,常去

 
tendency ['tendənsi]

想一想再看

n. 趋势,倾向

联想记忆
phenomenon [fi'nɔminən]

想一想再看

n. 现象,迹象,(稀有)事件

联想记忆
satire ['sætaiə]

想一想再看

n. 讽刺文,讽刺

 
convenient [kən'vi:njənt]

想一想再看

adj. 方便的,便利的

 

发布评论我来说2句

    最新文章

    可可英语官方微信(微信号:ikekenet)

    每天向大家推送短小精悍的英语学习资料.

    添加方式1.扫描上方可可官方微信二维码。
    添加方式2.搜索微信号ikekenet添加即可。