I pick up Metro, the freebie daily journal, from the stand on rue Austerlitz every morning – for two reasons:
- I’m a cheapskate
- Metro is an easy read for foreigners like me: containing short, succinct articles, written using relatively low-brow French, i.e. nothing too deep or philosophical
I rarely read a whole article, usually just enough to get the gist of the story before moving on – with one exception. ‘An American in Paris’, the name of Seth Goldschlager’s regular column, always holds my eye to the last punctuation mark.
Not because it’s particularly amusing or interesting mind you (sorry Seth!) but simply because it’s in English. Yes an English column in a French Newspaper!
I grant you – Metro is actually a Swedish-owned franchise; but with this and the recent launch of France 24, the multilingual newschannel, there is growing evidence that the old-world view of the French, as a deeply conservative inward-looking society, is starting to look like old-news.
When was the last time you picked up an English Newspaper and found it contained a regular column in French, Spanish, Arabic or any other language for that matter?