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Friendly to Americans???

Kempton...
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Friendly to Americans???

I've heard that the French in Quebec City are not friendly to Americans and won't speak English, is this True?? We are going in 2 weeks and want to be prepared.

Ottawa, Canada
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47 reviews
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1. Re: Friendly to Americans???

Hi Hammie38,

Welcome to the QUEBEC CITY TRAVEL FORUM.

And as I see you are fairly NEW to TripAdvisor... a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

Let me be very clear this is a TRAVELLERS MYTH... and one that should die off already !! (Just like those that say American Tourists are Rude, and Travellers from the UK are bad tippers, etc). Old Wives tales !!

For more info, check out the TOP QUESTIONS ABOUT QUEBEC CITY (Box to the right of this screen) and the one entitled *I Speak a Little / NO French. Can I get by in Quebec? How Tolerant are the Locals?*

You'll have a fabulous time... it will feel like you are indeed in Europe (without the added expense, lol). Quebec will be very happy to welcome you, Enjoy !!

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 10 September 2010, 22:53
Quebec
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for Mont Tremblant
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2. Re: Friendly to Americans???

Oh gosh that is so far from the truth it is funny. I am very English speaking and I have never had a bad encounter in QC. Quite the contrary in fact, I have been well looked after and served.

Learn a few basic words of French that will help you feel part of your adventure.

Merci thank you

Bienvenue you're welcome

bonjour -good day

I can guarantee you will have a fbulous visit and you will certainly want to return one day.

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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3. Re: Friendly to Americans???

I am very happy to answer this question. As an American who travels on a regular basis to Quebec province, and Quebec City in particular, primarily becomes of my love for the area, it isn't even remotely true. The locals are so very friendly and do not hesitate to revert to English, even if you are attempting to converse in French.

I will admit that I am old enough to know of the "rumors" of which you speak as there was a consensus among some, years ago, that perhaps Quebec was a bit anti English/American, maybe resulting from the height of the desire of some for sovereignty from the rest of Canada. And while independence for some has not disappeared, Quebecers are a warm and generous people, whether you are English/American, or any other nationality.

I do recommend that you respect the culture and history, and a few French phrases, bomjour, merci, go a long way. But you will have no problems.

Enjoy a very friendly environment!!!!

JDP

niagara falls.canada
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4. Re: Friendly to Americans???

Hammie.. I agree with the other posters you will not have a problem in Quebec City. You will be most welcome. Have a wonderful time.

Massachusetts
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703 posts
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5. Re: Friendly to Americans???

I can't add much to what has already been said, other than to note that we were in Quebec city over the summer and almost everyone we encountered was incredibly friendly and gracious. Even people who deal with tourists all day long, like the museum ticket desk staff, were kind and helpful. At one historic house outside the city we had a tour guide who insisted on giving us our own tour in English and letting our daughter practice using some of the old-fashioned things around the house.

It goes a long way if you at least start in French; they'll pick up on your accent and gladly switch to English.

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Friendly to Americans???

Ok - I can't resist so I'll jump in too .....

Hammie, I just spent last weekend in QC and almost everyone I met at our hotel and also at various restaurants were from the States and they were all having a fantastic time. (Yes, I tend to talk to strangers quite a bit:)

Oh - and Wine-4-2 I am from UK and yes I can attest that the myth that we are bad tippers is indeed wrong - in fact I am accused of being too generous! Thanks for sticking up for us.

Have a great time Hammie.

Quebec
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for Mont Tremblant
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7. Re: Friendly to Americans???

JAne12Ottawa, you sound like me. I am from the UK too and I am always the overtipper, I always want to reward a job well done.

The whole talking to strangers thing is definitely me as well. On the subway in NYC, in stores, in fact anywhere, I just do it. My oldest son is the same. I learn so much about the locasl that way and I have had some great conversations with total strangers.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Friendly to Americans???

TO JANE13OTTAWA and BOGWOPPIT,

Talking to strangers I’ve been told is definitely a “Canadian” trait (we are just sooo dang friendly). It does seem to freak Travellers out a bit when it first happens to them here in a day-to-day situation (Standing in line for example… so common at the Bank, Grocery Store, whatever). But my understanding that from other posts in the TA TRAVEL FORUMS that Travellers quickly adapt to it, and actually enjoy it, and wish they’d see more of it in their home countries.

Like others, I must say I’ve had fascinating conversations because of the tendency to do so… both here in Canada when I’ve met Travellers visiting our country (have been known to give out Travelling Tips… but not reveal that I am DE with TA)… but even more so when travelling in other countries. People tend to loosen up once they know you are a tourist visiting their country / region. And inevitably you find out a whole lot of stuff from the Locals that you’d miss out on otherwise. Of course it helps I suppose being Canadian, as folks always seem to welcome us openly, and are always curious to know about Canada… is the weather REALLY that cold? And how do we survive it? LOL. It always amazes me when I am in New England… in a state right next door, and yet how someone says they’ve never been across the Border to Canada… that has happened to me several times when in NY State, Vermont, NH & Maine.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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9. Re: Friendly to Americans???

As a Brit albeit expat in Europe, I'm not sure about Brits specifically being poor tippers. Is it not more a European thing because it's not what we are used to this side of the pond? Just as the (sales) tax is already included in our prices in Europe, service normally is too.so you actually know what you'll be paying for something from the outset, not with all the add-ons at the cash-desk.

In restaurants service being included translates sometimes in differential pricing depending on where you are sitting eg cheapest to eat at the bar and dearest at outside tables. So any tip left is a token thank-you beyond that, which is completely different from North America where you are expected to tip 15% largely regardless of the service (20% if it was great) as your contribution to supplement the low wages of the serving staff. This is of course wonderful for the employers in but in what other industry is the client expected to contribute to the wage bill? Bogwoppit how do you reward other people not in the hospitality industry for doing their job well? (and did you tip 15% on your trip to Barcelona too, you'll have been really popular if you did!)

Hammie, I'm sure the people you come into contact with during your visit will for the most part speak English as well as French but I think it's a good idea to have a phrase-book with you, just in case. If you would consider that for France, you should for Quebec too as it is very French! When we travel where I don't know the language I always take a phrase-book and did have to look things up last year in Denmark which is a country where "everyone speaks English" we are told. Not true!!

And In Quebec province we found that not everyone can slip into English (we had instances when we struggled with French-Canadian pronunciation and they didn't help us out by going into English) and in any case signs are normally only in French although menus in restaurants are translated .(I have read here that the menu posted outside will be in French only, by law).

Don't worry, you'll have a great time, Quebec is really beautiful!

Edited: 11 September 2010, 17:25
Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Friendly to Americans???

Sorry Hammie if we hijacked your topic a tad with our tipping discussion.

Hey bogwoppit - nice to know that we are fellow brits - I wondered about your name when I first saw it ... you and I both know what a "bog" is :)

Anyhow - I'll make one last comment regarding tipping (honest) - I return to England almost every year to visit family and I must say they absolutely watch me like hawks when I leave a tip as they think I am seriously nuts when I want to tip 15% to 20% - their rule of thumb is one pound per person - egads I cannot and will not follow that rule - so yes Wine-4-2 perhaps the fact that I have lived in Canada for many years really has influenced my tipping habits :)

Also pleased to know that "chatting to strangers" is not just allocated to us Brits.

What fun you all are - thanks for making me smile today - ok Hammie back to you - sure hope you enjoy your visit to QC.

Later,

Jane

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