Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Something textbooks just don’t teach you

I have just bumped into Veronique in Super U. She has just taken her children to the dentist and is a little bemused.

The dentist retired last year and now a younger dentist has taken over his practice.

‘Have you been to the new dentist yet?’ Veronique asked.

‘No, but I must take Iona and Joe before September.’ I reply. ‘What is he like?’ I ask.

Veronique smiles. ‘He is really nice, kind. Did you know he is Romanian? Just one thing though, he came to get us from the waiting room, smiled, and said ‘Salut’.’

I must have looked confused.

‘Oh, it doesn’t bother me,’ Veronique continued, ‘but it is very familiar to say ‘Salut’ particularly someone from the medical profession to their clients. I can see some of his older clients taking offence.’

‘I hadn’t realized that saying ‘Salut’, could cause offence.’

‘Oh yes, really it is just an expression for children and teenagers. Adults do use ‘Salut’, but rarely and only between family members or with very close friends.’ Veronique explained.

Now, they don’t teach you that saying Hi (Salut) could land you in hot water in the French textbooks, do they?

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