Across Continents

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Arrivee en France

I imagine Roscoff is quite a pleasant port. Unfortunately, in the dark and damp I really couldn’t tell. Besides I had enough to contend with, getting to grips with riding on the wrong side. I was glad I’d had the sense to invest in a right-hand drive bike.

Despite the gloom, the ride to the medieval town of Morlaix, winding along the estuary, was very pleasant. I wandered briefly around the town, looking for a cafe. It was still very early and none were yet open. Just ’Bar Tabacs’. Too soon to start drinking I thought.

Finding a small supermarket in the village of Plouezoc’h I decided it was time to take the plunge and impress the locals with my language skills. Struggling at first with an unfamiliar dialect – I think they call it fluent – far removed from my school boy comedy French, a very perceptive chap suggested a useful phrase for my admittedly limited repertoire might be ’Je parle tres peu le francais’ (’I speak a little French’). I much preferred this to the offering of my little phrase book which suggested ’Parlez-vous anglais?’. Apparently this roughly translates as ’I can’t be bothered to make any effort to speak French’.

So, what of Brittany? Mostly twinned with Devon and Cornwall. Not flat, except perhaps the runways. And quite a few similarities with Wales and the Welsh language. Like bilingual road signs – French and the regional Breton language. Except nobody’s got around to painting out the French. Then there’s the expression ’Ty’ – in Welsh this means home, similar to its meaning in Breton. There’s even a small village called St Dogmel, close to the regional town of Lannion, just as St Dogmaels is to Cardigan back in Wales.

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One response to “Arrivee en France”

  1. Patrick Taylor says:

    Actually, ‘Je parle tres peu le francais’ means: ‘I speak very little French’ – not the rather more encouraging: ‘I speak a little French’.

    Good luck with your trip.

    Patrick

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