I just wondered if there are other french-english couples who are members of this forum?


(Margaretha Montagu) #1

I am French, and my husband is Scottish. I originally joined for his sake. Even though I have only been a member for a short while, we have already made some wonderful friends, including a couple (husband french and wife english) whose horse we are taking on loan and who drove all the way from Bergerac to Madiran to come and meet us. And if you are in an english-french relationship, is it working?


(Nola d'Enis) #2

We are the mirror of Cecile and her husband - I am from Zimbabwe/South Africa and my non-Engish speaking husband is French (he understands far more than he lets on!). My/our/his kids are bilingual in varying degrees of fluency. There are cultural differences - I don’t get ‘Grosses Tetes’ and he doesn’t get marmite - but on the whole, vive la difference…


(Andrew Hearne) #3

I’m English, my other half is French and has never spoken to me in English (but managed to come out with a few phrases when she met my family which astounded me - we’d been together for a while and never spoken a word of English!) We met in France, live in France so it was always understood that we speak French. I now speak loads of English at home because we’ve got a couple of kids and I’m desperate for them to be able to understand and converse with family back in the UK (that they only see once a year max) but always speak in French to my other half.

As for mixed nationality relationships - c’est pas donné - need to explain so many things, it helped as I had already lived and studied in France but occaisonally there are still little things that… I think you all know what I mean. Just have to think in advance and explain…


(Andrew Hearne) #4

fallait le dire !


(Andrew Hearne) #5

Completely agree and I heard something similar concerning the number/% who don’t speak French or who go back to the UK


(Rich Snyder) #6

Hello, yes, we have a mixed marriage. I’m American and my wife is French. We were married last October and it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. If I spoke French just half as well as she speaks English, I’d be happy. She is an outstanding cook and she finally has someone to take care of the yard and the cars.


(Lucy Backs) #7

Be fair… it has good sports coverage!!!


(Catharine Higginson) #8

Erm well probably the local council who had a post to fill…But let’s not get all Daily Mail on this please! I was just being inflammatory and busy laughing at Kwite rite.

Mange tout Rodney Mange tout!


(Lucy Backs) #9

Quite right to be astounded that so many don’t speak the language. For some of them it isn’t that they don’t try, just that they don’t succeed! Also, I think it is a little unfair to say that “…so many go back because they can’t get a job.” I know of more than one couple/family who have returned to UK for family reasons - nothing to do with whether or not they enjoy France! Sometimes, you need to be close to family and France just isn’t close enough!!


(Catharine Higginson) #10

Ok thanks!


(Catharine Higginson) #11

Stephen I don’t suppose you’d remember where you saw that survey by any chance - I’m trying to dig some info out for someone and can’t find anything? Thanks!


(Lucy Backs) #12

Never say “Never” again…


(Cecile Page) #13

LOL, the time to arrive is a problem I AM struggling with in France!!LOL I think I’ve lost that Gallic part of me: I’m always waiting for plumbers, electricians…to arrive and give me quotes, they tell you 10am, they rock up at 11.30!!! and then you wait for months to get the quotes!! (i’m still waiting for plumbers’ quotes, the shower room is already finished!!) thank God i found that Building company, the guy who runs it thinks I’m on drugs, but he got the point that i want to get moving with things.
My hubby swears by faulty towers too!!LOL. It’s ok for 2 minutes but i found it a bit much quite quickly. In our household we have 2 types of movies: the Cecile’s movies, and the Bernie’s movies.
Don’t get me started on nursery rhyme, i had to learn a whole range of english ones as he did not remember any, the only one he manages is an Afrikaans one, with some baboon, it cracks up the kids everytime.
We had disagreements on the amount of meat per week at first (as you know Saffers eat meat at every meal) over 13 years we’ve come down to once a day, and not even red!!! Achievement!!
I still struggle with the afternoon “Braiis”, such a drag, the idea of barbequeuing from midday to eat at 4pm doesn’t hit home.(not lunch, not dinner, and then tons of meat to eat till the next day! yeuk!!) Man, i could think of tons of things, but that what makes our life more fun and exciting than same nationality marriage.


(No longer a member (admin)) #14

Hi Margaretha,

Glenn Dudley who just joined SFN is English and his wife Claire is French. Apparently their relationship works quite well.

Cheers!
Jan


(Cecile Page) #15

Hi Margaretha,
we are a "mixed"couple too. I’m the frog and my husband is South African. We met and lived in London for 13 years, before selling off everything and going back to the beach, the surf…as he was missing it so much. He was the one really up for the move to south west france, I was quite happy to stay in my London life and just coming here on Holidays. Cut a long story short, we are here now, he’s loving life, i’m starting to re-adapt to the french way of life and mentality (having spent my grown up years in the UK, it’s hard to understand the system here!). His french is really poor and it makes the everyday life of speaking to the teachers, or other parents a bit tricky, but he manages to get by. (we actually have quite a few saffa friends here too). The difference works for us. The kids are a mix of culture. The fact that i lived and worked in the UK for so long probably makes things easier. To be in France is a new adventure for me too. I think it’s like everything, it depends of the person you are with. Cecile


(michelle segond) #16

Hi Margaretha, i’m english & my husband is french. He speaks english, i speak french so socialising is no problem & fingers crossed, umpteen years on, it’s working.


(Heather Tombs) #17

Hello, yes, there are more of us out here! I’m English, my partner is French. We have seven teenagers between us, my four Irish who speak French, his three French who speak hardly any English. So… when we’re all here, which is rare these days since some of them studying away from home, life is fun, loud and hectic! We don’t know any other ‘mixed’ families, it would be great to hear from others. But as far as the relationship goes, yes, it’s working :slight_smile: One minor problem we have though is socialising. If it’s with French people, it’s fine, but if with English it’s often either boring for my partner who tends to get left out and can’t follow the conversation properly, or tricky for me trying to simultaneously translate and keep up with what’s going on! Don’t think there’s a solution to this other than him becoming fluent in english (which is a long way off!) but am wondering if there are others here in the same boat?? Heather