Ever since I had lunch at a restaurant on Thursday, something has been bothering me, so I decided to pose the question here:
If you're having a problem understanding the menu in a restaurant in Paris, would you like someone to help you with the translation or not?
Here's what happened - I was finishing up my meal when a family of 4 Americans sat down next to me. Our tables were very close (Parisian restaurant close) but since I tend to blend in with the locals, I don't think that they recognized me as a fellow American. The teenagers were complaining because they couldn't read the menu and didn't like the options. Meanwhile, I was trying to decide if I should help...but didn't want it to look like I had been eavesdropping, which I wasn't but the tables are so darn close that it's hard not to hear what's going on. Anyway, when the poor mom was having a hard time figuring out the word for "courgette", I decided to offer some assistance. I'm not sure that they were happy to learn that there was an English speaking person next to them and an awkward silence descended on their table. I busied myself with my iphone so that they wouldn't feel uncomfortable and the mom thanked me when I left, but I keep wondering if I should have just let them figure things out on their own.
I'm probably going to find myself in this situation quite often while I'm living in Paris, so should I offer to help or not?