The 7 stages of living with French Numbers

What stage have you reached?

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Stage 1. Accuracy over Flair
You’ve dabbled with French numbers and are at ease giving out single digits ( You accept the risk of coming across as a ‘simple’ person but you’re a firm believer that accuracy is more important than flair.

Stage 2. Remember remember
You’ve mastered your memorization skills and are pulling it off, no one is the wiser. Walking from the petrol pump to the counter allows you to repeat in your head 6 times “bonjour, quarante euros de quatre-vingt-quinze sur le numero 7 svp”.

Stage 3. Collector
You’ve gained confidence, but certain situations remain a challenge. You still collect food rather than order home delivery. Explaining that you live at apartment number 85 on 99 rue Quatre Vents with two door codes 79b89 and 94a77 is too much at this stage. The good news is that you’re taking advantage of the 2 for 1 offer on collection.

Stage 4. Breath Holder
When you receive a phone number you  take a deep breath hoping the numbers after 06 won’t  go any higher than 70

Stage 5. One Step Behind
You’ve come to accept that you’ll always be a step behind., By the time they’ve said soixante-quatorze you’ve just worked out quatre-vingt-dix-sept.

Step 6. The System
You’ve worked out a system. you write down the numbers phonetically and decipher in private. The system is functional but occassionally becomes complicated; becomes 0 6 4 20 10 7 4 20 9 4 20 12 60 14.

Step 7. Champion
It’s been a long process but you’ve finally cracked it! Your number skills are so good you expertly drop in date calculations mid-sentence to show others you’re at the top of your game. Congratulations, you’re now ready learn numbers in a third or fourth language.


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