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saying "bonjour" in shops?

Canada
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saying "bonjour" in shops?

OK - if there 1 tip that keeps cropping up for first-timers it's to say "bonjour " on entering stores, shops etc. I get it. Funny, it's something we tend to do anyway, in my little unsophisticated part of the world.

Here's my question: How does one know when to use "Bonjour madame" & when to use "Bonjour mademoiselle" - without getting into trouble with les dames!? Sacre bleu! :)

Waterloo, Belgium
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1. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

Just say bonjour madame, you'll be on the safe side. And you'll be more polite than most (me for instance) who just say 'bonjour'.

Of course I'm close to 50 and not interested in getting their phone nr - if you are, try mademoiselle, if she keeps smiling than you may have a chance.

Andrésy, France
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2. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

In government offices mademoiselle is now banned. All state female employees are now officially madame regardless of age. I would only say mademoiselle to someone who looked like a teenager.

Montreal
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for Paris
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3. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

just 'bonjour' is fine too

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

I have spend months in Paris over the years and have never heard anyone but a child addressed as Mademoiselle -- it is pretty much not done.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

Mademoiselle can be taken as harassment or as mocking/ironic. Don't go there.

Johannesburg, South...
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6. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

On a similar note, does one still address a waiter as 'garcon'? Having not been to France in many years, is that term now offensive or derogatory in any way?

Edited: 02 June 2014, 17:40
San Francisco...
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7. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

NO! No, no, no, no, no. Actually, a very good question since it was such a stereotype. A waiter is Monsieur or Madame, and usually brought to the table by simple eye-contact and a nod rather than calling to them.

Guildford, England
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8. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

Garcon is never used. A waiter is monsieur.

PARIS
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9. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

Jargey! very often people just say 'Bonjour' with a smile.

That will do.

Debate closed.

;-)

Le Bugue, France
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10. Re: saying "bonjour" in shops?

Oh please, no! Never garçon! And no snapping your fingers, either. Make eye contact, and if that doesn't work use Monsieur or Madame.