Computing in French

English-speaking people are in the minority in this RV park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Where I would normally say, “Hi” when I pass someone while walking the dog, I now say, “Bonjour.” Dozens of families from Quebec have made this park their winter home for years.

Just like us, they all have their computers with them now, and when something goes wrong – they know that Jim is the ‘Go To’ guy!

The first obstacle is the keyboard. What in the world is the ‘SUPPR’ key? Aha, ‘supprimer’ means ‘Delete.’ Then comes the menus … no ‘Start’ button here. In it’s place is “Demarrer.” The control panel is “Panneau de Configuration.”

There is an option in the Control Panel called, `Clock, Language, and Region.` You might think that changing that setting from French Language to English language would help, but we didnt’ see any difference.  Apparently, it just allows you to use certain special keys to make characters like, é. Most of the language issues are built in to the version of the software installed. When you buy a computer in Quebec, it comes with the French version of Windows.

Then there are the error messages! What would you do if the screen told you,

`Windows ne peut pas trouver cette URL. Assurez-vous que vous avez entré le nom correctement et essayez à nouveau.’

When Jim’s high school French failed him, he entered the French into Google’s translator to figure it out.  I think he actually had a bit of fun, and he did finally complete the tuneup of their computer, but it took him twice as long normal!  I think I need to use the translator to find the French words for a note on our invoice … “Computers in French will cost double!” :-)

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