Paris is known as the city of love, but I went and found something even deeper: an appreciation for art and language.
As a business major, my focus has always been on business concepts and business programs. So this spring break, I decided I wanted to do something different by participating in the “Classical Myths in Paris” short-term study abroad program and learning about a subject I am completely unfamiliar with.
Although it has only been 3 days in Paris so far, one of the best parts about this experience has been being forced to interact with people in a different language. Although I am bilingual, I still find learning a new language to be difficult. I recognize that I can’t be a master of all languages; however, taking the time to learn phrases from each country I visit is better than nothing. Especially in France, I have learned that making the attempt to speak French and show that you are not simply making the assumption that they know English truly does go a long way.
Here are some of the little phrases I have been using while navigating around the city. Although these are simple, knowing little phrases in every country you plan on visiting is crucial.
- Bonjour – Hello [it’s extra polite to add a title: Madame, Monsieur]
- Bonne journée (bunn zhour-nay) – Have a nice day [when leaving]
- Bonsoir – Hello [in the evening]
- Bonne soirée (bunn swa-ray) – Have a good evening [when leaving]
- S’il vous plaît (seel voo pleh) – Please [literally, “if you please”]
- S’il vous plaît, parlez-vous anglais? – Please, do you speak English? – (seel voo pleh, par-lay voo ahn-gleh?)
- Merci (mehr-see) – Thank you
- Merci bien/merci beaucoup – Thank you very much (mer-see byen, mer-see bo-koo)
- Je vous en prie (zhuh voo zahn pree) or De rien (duh ryen) – You’re welcome
- Au revoir (ohr-vwahr) – Goodbye
- A bientôt (ah byen-toh) – See you soon
- La carte, s’il vous plaît? – The menu, please (la kart, seel voo pleh?)
- L’addition, s’il vous plaît? – The check, please (la-dee-syon, seel voo pleh?)
As I have written before, participating in a study abroad program really allows you to expand your worldview, as I experienced when I participated in the accounting study abroad program over winter break. Now I realize the importance even more. Doing a study abroad program that is different from your field of study allows you to develop your cultural competency even more!