Faux Pas: The difficult art of saying goodbye
The French language is beautiful, and French manners are lovely but it can all be very confusing! When you are leaving the easiest thing is to say “au revoir” – goodbye. If you want to feel very local you can wish someone “bonne journé” – have a nice day. But this wording is used only until 12 noon. Later, you should wish “bon après midi, (nice afternoon). And from the late afternoon hours, you should say “bonne soiree” – have a nice evening. But that’s not all. Separate rules also apply on weekends and national holidays. On Saturday, upon leaving, you should say “bon-week-end” (nice weekend). On Sunday, we say “bon dimanche” (nice Sunday). However, before a state holiday we say “bonnes fetes”. It is hardly surprising that beginners and visitors just want to go out and say nothing to anyone!