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English speaking notaire


Cathy

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I often wonder about these people that commit themselves to living in a country that has a different language to their mother tongue why they do it if every one they have to deal with has to speak their language!

I also wonder how many French people that buy houses in the UK had to have a French speaking Conveyancing solictor!

Surely its not the Notaires responsibility to speak English to an English speaking purchaser and why should he?.  Wouldn't it be more polite and in the purchasers,  who cannot speak French, best interest  to get someone to go with them that can speak both French and English?  Only a thought! 

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For 5 months of the year we live in a very rural part of France, with very few English speaking friends and neighbours. We speak French well enought to get by. We have a French speaking notaire that we are happy with, but we have a small issue at the moment that we feel we could explain better in English. I am a big believer of 'when in Rome ect.etc.' but we just need a bit of help.
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[quote user="Cathy"]For 5 months of the year we live in a very rural part of France, with very few English speaking friends and neighbours. We speak French well enought to get by. We have a French speaking notaire that we are happy with, but we have a small issue at the moment that we feel we could explain better in English. I am a big believer of 'when in Rome ect.etc.' but we just need a bit of help.[/quote]

And very sensible of you. I don't see what the OP's problem is, after all you haven't asked him to pay the bill.

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I saw the title of the thread and thought I haven't asked for an English speaking notaire.  Was I having a 'senior moment'?  Then I saw that it was another Cathy.

Cathy - Welcome to the Forum.  On this Forum, there is no exclusivity on names, which seems strange.  So you may get confused for me.   I'm blond, 21 years old (every year for the last couple of decades or so) and a mother of several children.  How would you describe yourself?

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I think Scrumpyjack is being a little harsh here ... sure when in Rome, etc., but the purchasing of a house or major legal issues require that you understand everything about the transaction and if your French isn't up to it then you are really disadvantaged. Often notaires will find a translator, as do some mayor's offices, but if some of them can speak English then all the better. It is their choice to learn and speak English, and advertise as such, after all.

So good luck Cathy and make sure you come on this site if you want

more advice.
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I too believe that Scrumpyjack is being a bit tough here and essentially he is saying if you go to another country and have a problem then why expect someone to speak your native tongue? I am presuming he is fluent in French?

I take his point on an interpreter but equally take the other points made by the OP.

In the early days my French was weak and I used a number of sources to resolve problems one including an interpreter for a legal problem and where despite my profession as a legal guy in the UK I could not get my head around.

Now it is different and one tries to integrate into French life and to become involved. Some of my neighbours compliment me on my French some do not!!! But is hugely improved since I arrived her.

Scrumpyjack some of the 'property programmes' on the UK suggest a couple selling up say around London and then moving to Wales and for whatever reason. Some of the regions in Wales are Welsh speaking as a first language and they are proud of it and their culture. However they again speak English as a second language in which language do you suggest they address a non-Welsh speaking individual?

And would you be prepared to learn to speak Welsh?

When I went to school yonks ago Welsh was not available save for say in University. I took other languages based on purely forward looking views.

Scrumpyjack you are being over the top on this one (with respect)
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I do apologize folks but I missed something. Here in France they do not have what everyone recognises as a Solicitor. They do not exist. What you have is a Notaire who may or may not speak English but is a Govt official and amongst whose duties is the collection of Tax. They you make a leap to Avocats and which the French suggest are akin to our Barristers. I disagree with that concept in that for centuries our system has been based upon Common Law theirs is code based.
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[quote user="ScrumpyJack"]

I often wonder about these people that commit themselves to living in a country that has a different language to their mother tongue why they do it if every one they have to deal with has to speak their language!

Surely its not the Notaires responsibility to speak English to an English speaking purchaser and why should he?.  Wouldn't it be more polite and in the purchasers,  who cannot speak French, best interest  to get someone to go with them that can speak both French and English?  Only a thought! [/quote]

Like the OP, we too are happy to work in French, but there are times (and we have one such coming up) when there is a need to explain a problem in English, either because the concept is difficult to explain (or you do not have sufficient skill in the language to explain a technical concept), and where finding an English speaker is a necessity, so that you can understand completely what you are being told.

Of course, it is always possible to hire a translator, or take a friend, but it may be that the subject matter is delicate, and not for all ears.

And there are a growing number of notaires who realise that if they speak another language they too can attract clients they may not otherwise get.

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It does seem to run a little counter to a forum of this sort, to complain when an English speaking person asks for help with something to do with French life.  I had a weird idea that we were here to share experience and knowledge to the mutual benefit of all so when we were ourselves short of a bit of info'/help/knowledge, we could ask others too.  Maybe not though.  D/R I suspect maybe we've missed the point somewhere.

In all matters legal, in whatever language, it  does seem sensible to me to make sure you know what's being said and what you're signing.

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 Frankly this attitide from some members that you need to be fluent in things medical and legal, when even in ones native language there is plenty of potential for error in these spheres is pretty boring and narrow minded. As is the assumption that you may like to share the intimate details of your health or legal matters with a third party.....

I don't even speak 'hairdresser' in my native language......or accounting, or computer come to think of it.....

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We took the view ( wrongly) that we would cope with buying our house using a Notaire that did not speak English but did ultimately use one that spoke perfect English.

After over two hours of listening to everything relating to the various surveys, tests and searches explained in detail we were glad we had gone for a English Speaking Notaire

The Notaire did more than translate verbatim and explained the logic behind the procedures

The Notaire did have a "Senior moment" when she started talking to the Seller in English and us in French. It all added to a great day.

Joshua

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I spoke very little French at the time and my French friend who found the place for me spoke very little English but we always managed to get by between ourselves.

So it was natural that he should act as the (unpaid!) interpreter at the compromise de vente.

His sole contribution was to say "write name here, here, here and here" [:D]

It all turned out OK in the end and I have no regrets however as my French improved  I began to realise what a shark my friend was (no worse than anyone in my area). Knowing that I had signed to give him power of attorney (as I would be travelling when the acte de vente finally happened) it was reassuring to be able to eventually read and understand the documents and find that I did indeed own the property and had not bought it for my faux ami or given him the right as an usufrutier.

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It is nice to see that Scrumpyjack feels right at home here with his statements - I note he has now made 4 postings to the site! Nothing like getting the feel before being controversial.

So what have the English given the French?

Some people who will pay over the odds for houses

Some people who will buy houses that the French do not want

Some poeple who will employ French builders to renovate the unwanted properties

Oh, and work for the Notaires in relation to the properties that the French do not want.

+++++++

The Notaires will not say 'go away because you do not speak French' instead some advertise what languages they speak and benefit from it - I know our one did, we used him instead of the sellers notaire who only spoke French. Our Notaire has also got business from us for drawing up our Wills.

What about translators - they earn money because people cannot speak the language.

I work for the NHS and the number of patients who do not speak English is large, hence translators, at the expense of the NHS, are used. Perhaps these patients should be turned away 'if you survive until you can speak English then come back'.

I would like to think that all of us who have property in France are trying to master the language though it might take some time.

Paul

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[quote user="ScrumpyJack"] I often wonder about these people that commit themselves to living in a country that has a different language to their mother tongue why they do it if every one they have to deal with has to speak their language![/quote]

And not just an issue in France, in Bristol for example, from their own statistics, interpretations provided by the local authority (nice to think that you could turn up at the Mairie and get a full translation for all these), French is a mere 6% whilst the highest is Somali at 23% . . .

Interpreting assignments by language 2008/09

Vietnamese  2% - Urdu 5% - Tigrini 1% - Pushtu 1% - Somali 23% - Arabic 5%

Bengali 3% - Chinese 4% - French 6% - Hindi 1% - Spanish 3% - Portuguese - 5% Kurdish 4%

Italian 2% - Gujarati 2% - Farsi 2% - Russian 2% - Other 5% - Polish 17%

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[quote user="dragonrouge"]I too believe that Scrumpyjack is being a bit tough here and essentially he is saying if you go to another country and have a problem then why expect someone to speak your native tongue? I am presuming he is fluent in French? I take his point on an interpreter but equally take the other points made by the OP. In the early days my French was weak and I used a number of sources to resolve problems one including an interpreter for a legal problem and where despite my profession as a legal guy in the UK I could not get my head around. Now it is different and one tries to integrate into French life and to become involved. Some of my neighbours compliment me on my French some do not!!! But is hugely improved since I arrived her. Scrumpyjack some of the 'property programmes' on the UK suggest a couple selling up say around London and then moving to Wales and for whatever reason. Some of the regions in Wales are Welsh speaking as a first language and they are proud of it and their culture. However they again speak English as a second language in which language do you suggest they address a non-Welsh speaking individual? And would you be prepared to learn to speak Welsh? When I went to school yonks ago Welsh was not available save for say in University. I took other languages based on purely forward looking views. Scrumpyjack you are being over the top on this one (with respect)[/quote]Does that question really need answering?  To me English because Wales, believe or not, is part of the United Kingdom and the first language of the UK is English!!

We are talking about here France where the first language is French!!

The title of this Topic was 'English speaking Notaire.' And my point for those that think I am being 'hard' is why should any Notaire need to speak English because a Btrit buying a house and using his office cannot speak French ?  If you have a problem with understanding what is being said or has been written get someone who can speak the lingo suffiicently to do the translation.  Any Brit Immobilier worth their salt can speak both languages.

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Sorry Scrumpyjack which tends to lead me on other paths. However SJ Wales has devolution whether you or I like it or not. There is also an Act of Parliament called the Welsh Language Act. It matters not but those elected MP's voted for it. We have somewhat the Mother of all Parliaments perhaps you would do well to understand that concept.

I am now on notice both express and implied as to your alleged conduct elsewhere.

Good bye
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[quote user="ScrumpyJack"]

The title of this Topic was 'English speaking Notaire.' And my point for those that think I am being 'hard' is why should any Notaire need to speak English because a Btrit buying a house and using his office cannot speak French ?  If you have a problem with understanding what is being said or has been written get someone who can speak the lingo suffiicently to do the translation.  Any Brit Immobilier worth their salt can speak both languages.

[/quote]

A Notaire might want to speak English so that it is an additional factor in his / her favour in obtaining work, just as having a qualification etc can add

Plus, I would not trust an immobilier to translate for me - they have a vested interest in selling the house NOT in providing me with translations, some of which might be detrimental.

To go back in history every nation would have been confined to their country because they could go no where because those people would not speak the language.

Paul

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[quote user="P2"]

A Notaire might want to speak English so that it is an additional factor in his / her favour in obtaining work, just as having a qualification etc can add[/quote]

True if thats his want.  Cannot argue with that but that was not my point.

[quote user="P2"]

Plus, I would not trust an immobilier to translate for me - they have a vested interest in selling the house NOT in providing me with translations, some of which might be detrimental.[/quote] Again true but agin that was not my point. And anyway hasn't the Notaire a vested interest in selling a property?  He is in the business of earning as well as an immobilier.

[quote user="P2"]

To go back in history every nation would have been confined to their country because they could go no where because those people would not speak the language. Paul[/quote] Agreed but we are not talking about people migrating to another country we are talking about people having the common decency to try at least to learn the language they have migrated to.

Yes I admit that buying or selling a house or any legal transaction in France can be very daunting so why not take someone who is aufait with the language and not expect the person who is conducting the transaction to speak in your mother tongue because you cannot speak theirs.  

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