We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Speaking French

Longmont, Colorado
Level Contributor
69 posts
47 reviews
Save Topic
Speaking French

Our first trip to St. Martin in April is a spring break reward to our teenage daughter for 3 years of straight A’s in French. Does anyone have suggestions for how we could enhance her experience to speak the language she has been studying? We (her parents) speak only a few words that she has been teaching us. We don’t want to pressure her in any way and will leave it up to her to speak as she feels comfortable. On the other hand, it would be nice to experience some friendly places, off the beaten path, where English is not as prevalent as in the tourist areas. We are staying at Orient Beach, but are renting a car, so we can easily go anywhere on the island. Any ideas?

Caribbean Paddling
Sightseeing Tours, Water Sports, Gear Rentals, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Ferries, Sightseeing Tours
Tropical Boat
Scuba & Snorkeling, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Boat Rentals, Sightseeing Tours
St. maarten
Level Contributor
737 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Speaking French

Start off by encouraging her to order in French. When walking into a restaurant or shop on the French side say bonjour. She can also say "un petit peu" (spelling?) if they ask her if she speaks French, so they won't rattle on and take it slow.

Owings Mills...
Level Contributor
887 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Speaking French

I'm doing the cabbage patch dance for your daughter, Straight A's great job! Too bad I can't say it in French. I'm sure SXMLover can help you with specific places. I think she will have great success at most places on the french side even at the lolos where she can order in french. The lolos may take the pressure off being that they are so informal. I'm in the process of teaching myself French via podcasts, it's fun yet challenging. Good Luck, You will have a great time.

Cupecoy Bay, St...
Level Contributor
10,764 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Speaking French

Congratulations to your daughter! My high school French went out the window many moons ago. Got a couple of CD's to try to help me brush up, but BOY is it hard!

If you'll be on Orient, bet she'll have the most fun talking to the beach boys and girls who will take care of you if you park yourselves in front of any of the restaurants there. She can find out all the cool things to do! While most speak English, many just enough to get by. If someone begins to speak to her in English, tell her to just reply in French. That will get a conversation going.

I think you will find that speaking French to just about anyone you run into, whether on the beach, in a shop or restaurant, will go a long way towards making friends. I know it's greatly appreciated, even when us language challenged folks at least make an attempt.

You might want to take her to Gutside, a lovely little restaurant on the road to Friars Bay. While they speak excellent English there, I expect speaking to the owner Richard in French would be a hoot!

4. Re: Speaking French

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 6:22 am, August 24, 2009