Spanish are less personally intrusive than French – class experience

This is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I could not avoid noticing the differences in phrases I am learning in Spanish as compared to the ones I was learning in French.

Both language classes spent a first couple of weeks with Name, Surname, Workplace, Street address, Phone number and suchlike. No surprise there, even though I don’t normally rattle out my full details at the first meeting with a stranger.

However, I distinctly remember also having to divulge my marital and parenthood status in the early French classes (e.g. I am married, I am single, I have N children, etc). That was quite embarrassing, if not downright annoying. Especially so for those adults who were single without children and therefore had nothing to discuss at length. The artificial learning conversations were even more artificial for them.
So, when I switched to Spanish, I will steeling myself to this self-inflicted privacy disclosure, just to find it never happening. It has been a couple of weeks already and nobody seems to give a hoot about existance of a wife, partner or descendants.

Though it is a relief, it makes me wonder where the difference came from. Was it just that French study books were older and less politically-correct? Was it that our French teacher was trying to play a full-disclosure cupid? Or was it actually something about French versus Spanish culture that I am not aware of? And who do I ask without looking politically-incorrect myself?

2 thoughts on “Spanish are less personally intrusive than French – class experience”

  1. Hi, just wanted to note that i’m spanish and i can tell you that people here is much more incorrect in terms of being polite that french people.

    That what i can say from my personal experience.

    setPD(): i’m evaluating the option to learn esperanto, but i have too many hobbies to add this as a new one so i really dont know if i will.

  2. Hi Kusanagi,

    Thank you for the comment. Maybe it was just a teacher after all. I certainly heard since that different Spanish-speaking countries are very different in terms of their politeness and rules of behaviour.

    With Esperanto, it is obviously a hobby (at least at the start), so has to be judged against other hobbies. But it is easy to try and see if you like it, compared to other hobbies like martial art or skiing.

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