How integrated can we be in France?

It seems that the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about the question “How integrated am I in France?”

I have been living here now the last 12 years, yet I still feel an outsider in some situations. Now, is this a British thing? Other nationalities living in France seem to intregrate well into French society, a good example is the Portuguese.

Often I can be at a gathering “pour faire la fête” where I meet total strangers. Upon hearing that I am an “anglais” I am often treated as if I arrived in France last week at first, then a certain surprise when they find that I can speak French fairly well. Added to this total bemusement.

It seems that French people just don’t expect us to speak French. That said, listening in on some conversations between people I feel I may as well be on another planet! I can understand what is being said, but can contribute absolutely nothing to the subject matter. Is this all somesort of enrypted French code?

Despite my number of years here, I expect that however long I live in France I’ll always be “l’anglais or le rosbif” and that I won’t be accepted totally.

More reading… (thanks to Tish Bogdan for the link).

0 Replies to “How integrated can we be in France?”

  1. It is hard for me to have an opinion on this, having been a foreigner in so many different countries and for such a long time. I guess I have learned to ‘disconnect’ my brain when differences occur but the articles are pretty interesting!

  2. Of course, Amanda, there are some lovely people. But in certain situations I just feel like I’ve been beamed down onto the planet Mars.

    The UK isn’t a million miles from France, but it might as well be!

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