The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer

When you meet someone who is half French, Half British it's natural to ask a lot of questions (even if some of them grate a little). James Vasina, a half rosbif, half froggy has the answers.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

What country do you prefer? Come on, you must have a favourite?

I might have a few problems with either side of the family if I answer this one…

But if you were forced to choose… 

I'm torn, the friendliness in England makes daily life much brighter but having grown up mostly in France, I'm really attached to all the French habits.

English films or French films?

English, as well as for comedies. Although there are some really good French ones, and I do love them, there just tends to be more of them in England and the humour is more easy-going.

French food or English beer?

The overall quality of food in France, such as in supermarkets, is better. But British Ale over French lager any day.

Which language do you speak at home?

Both. I don't get much choice in these, they often depend on the context, although as a child my parents would alternate between languages so I wouldn't get confused. The language generally fits in with where I am as its the one that I'm using daily. 

What language do you dream in?

My dreams rarely ever make any sense and remembering them is a challenge. 

Which language do you prefer speaking in?

In an argument? French of course! The vast amount of slang (especially used by us younger people) is also great fun, to the point that there are conversations that parents could never understand. But English is a more easygoing language and definitely better for breaking the ice.

READ ALSO: The ups and downs of being both French and English


And finally what language do you swear in?

French, I think it's just more of an everyday thing in France, and you don't sound too rude because it's so common.

What's the worst thing about being half French/half English?

Having to deal with stereotypes that people, especially when people think they're the first ones to pick them up.

And the best thing?

It's great for work, there's loads of stuff to read and watch. I feel that I'm fully both and it's cool to be able to understand and compare different views from either side.

You must have a favourite country for sport?

Football's obviously more vibrant in England and I can't say that I got very enthusiastic about the hours of fencing that was on TV in France over the Olympics.

Do you wish you were from just one country?

No. It's great to be constantly moving from one to another, it livens things up and you get to have a change from time to time. I know the travelling would get on most people's nerves but I really don't mind it. Sometimes though when people get all patriotic about an issue and I give opinion and someone replies “yeah but you're not full French/English” it gets irritating.

Which passport do you use?

English one as I can use my French ID card if it's for travelling around Europe. Plus I've never actually got through with getting my French passport, I keep getting delayed because of all the paperwork.

What are the most annoying things people say to you?

“Ah you're half British J'aime Londres…”

Stop right there! I'm not from London and London isn't another word for Britain. It can become quite annoying when some people think it's the only town on the other side of the Channel and forget that the country stretches all the way up to Scotland.

Ah you're half French, I love Paris!

In the same way as above, it becomes irritating when someone rounds up a whole country to its main city, especially if you come from a tiny village in rural France that no one has ever heard about.

But you don't have a French accent…

No, I don't have 'zat sexy French accent'. Brits might think that all French people speak with the accent heard in the classic films, but today a lot of the younger people have a more perfected and often American-influenced accent.

Omelette de Fromage! (sic)

I've had this shouted in my face a couple of times. Whilst everyone around cracked up at someone saying “cheese omelette”, I eventually found out that it's a scene from the cartoon Dexter's Laboratory, which has become popular way of caricaturing a French-speaking person.

So there it is. Next time you meet a half French, half British person, you not what not to say.


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