Your are traveling by bus or train. The person sitting next to you has been talking non stop on his/her cell phone for the past 45 minutes.

Vous voyagez en car ou en train. La personne assise à côté de vous parle sans arrêt sur son portable depuis 45 minutes.

I am not upset.

I do nothing.

I don't care

I don't do anything. I'm probably texting someone on my phone and can tune out the noise.

I leave them alone. I paid for a ride, not for silence.

I let him be

I probably would just tune them out and continue on my trip.

I probably wouldn't notice or care because I always travel with my iPod. But if I did notice, I'd probably just be listening to their conversation.

I will look for another place to sit.

I would ignore it, but if it was too obnoxious I would tell them to be more quiet.

I would not do anything. This does not bother me.

I would sigh and bare it. It's rude, but I'd feel uncomfortable asking them to get off the phone.

I would take out my phone and call someone as well or listen to my ipod.

I'd get annoyed, but not do anything. If I had something really urgent, I'd appreciate it if others let me handle it too.

If I am bothered by this I would put on an ipod and listen to my music.

If I'm trying to sleep, I would ask him to stop talking so loud. Otherwise, it's fine...

If it's not disruptive, whatever. Sometimes it's fun to eavesdrop on conversations, but if I'm busy, then I'd ask them to keep it down or something like that.

ignore and listen to my ipod
if the story is interesting i might listen to it (just for fun!)

Ignore him/her and concentrate on something else. If I am really bothered, I would politely ask him/her to lower the volume.

It would be annoying, but I wouldn't actually ask them to stop. After all, it's public transport, so they're entitled to talk on their phone as much as they want.

No real response- it may get annoying depending on the person's voice, but he/she has every right to talk as he/she wishes.

play music/ "such" them or move somewhere else.

Say nothing, feel annoyed.

That sounds exactly like that time when...that exactly happened. I content myself with listening in on their conversation. Eventually the conductor tells them to put a lid on it.

"excuse moi tu sors ou je te sors, mais il va falloir prendre une décision!"

Ça m'énerverait et je ne comprendrais pas comment on arrive à parler sans-gène comme ça.

Ca ne me dérange pas

Ce n'est pas grave, j'écoute de la musique depuis 45 minutes.

Comme j'écoute de la musique, cela ne me dérange pas.

J'aime entendre les conversations d'autres personnes. Éventuellement j'écoute ce qui se dit

J'augmente le volume de ma musique.

J'écoute la musique pour ne plus l'entendre.

j'écoute sa conversation téléphonique

J'espère dans ma tête: "pourvu qu'elle ait bientôt fini".

je change de place pour ne plus être dérangée

Je lui demande poliment de parler moins fort et d'écourter sa conversation

je met mes écouteurs de baladeur mp3, et ainsi je n'entendrai plus cette personne irrespectueuse

je met mes écouteurs et j'écoute la musique.

Je met mes écouteurs pour couvrir sa voix.

je met mes bouchons d'oreilles

Je ne dis rien car chacun est libre de faire ce qu'il veut bien que je trouve ça agaçant et un peu irrespectueux vis à vis des autres passagers.

Je ne dis rien et m'énerve toute seule.

Pas grave j'ai mes écouteurs dans les oreilles !


Nos réponses se ressemblent beaucoup, je remarque que certains aiment écouter les conversations des autres, c'est drôle e voir la similarité des réponses. Par contre, pour rebondir sur ce que j'ai lu dans un autre forum, cela dérangerait sûrement une personne plus agé que nous!

I think in this situation, the level of annoyance is pretty low, because the buses and the trains are already pretty noisy, especially when other people are talking as well. hence we couldn't see any difference between the responses of the american students and those of the french students. 

I think this totally depends on your mood, how annoying the other person is, how other people in the same bus/ train react to the situation as well

Je suis d'accord avec Linh sur l'humeur du moment. Un mauvais jour nous ferais nous enerver contre la personne qui parle meme si on est calme d'habitude.

Mais c'est vrai que c'est vraiment très désagréable quelqu'un qui fait du bruit quand on essaie de se reposer dans le train.

Comme on ne peut pas changer de place dans le TGV, je crois que j'irais au wagon bar prendre un pot et me dégourdir les jambes! A propos, savez-vous qu'en France, il y a maintenant des trains de nuit pas chers où les jeunes peuvent danser toute la nuit dans des wagons spéciaux?

Je vais rejoindre Martine au wagon bar et si ce n'est pas fini quand je regangne ma place, je vais chercher le contrôleur pour lui demander de me trouver une autre place!

I guess it is somewhat harder for us to imagine being on a long train with someone who is talking all the time because we usually don't travel by train. Usually we just take short bus or subway rides.

Martine, I am intrigued as to why they started implementing this night trains where people can dance all night? Was it because there were many complaints about young people being loud?

So I think it's normal that on short train/bus rides, some people are friendly and confident enough to start small talk. I've been in situations where I had random conversations with strangers on plane rides or long bus rides.

I agree with Linh that this depends on your mood or how social you are perhaps.

How do French people interact with strangers? Do you say hi to strangers in the city? Is this common?

It definitely seems like the French and American students agree here.  I'd think it was more of a generational issue, where younger people are more used to things such as cell phone conversations and louder noise.  On a similar note, I don't even see a problem with talking on a cell phone in a restaurant if you're quiet about it.  In fact, the in-restaurant conversations are often much louder than the person speaking on the phone, so I don't understand why it matters whether the person is on his phone or not.


To the French students: do members of older generations seem to react differently than you do as well?

I completely agree with you Aaron. There are numerous generational gap differences, and I personally wouldn't mind if someone was talking on the phone on a quiet bus or train ride. If their volume was abnormally loud, then I may tell them to just lower their volume, but otherwise I don't think it's a big deal.

I don't really feel I have the prerogative to tell someone I'm traveling beside to lower their voice. So I prefer when the people working on the train/plane/bus monitor the annoying noise level. Then they can officially ask people to please be quiet for official reasons, and smile.

I agree with Aaron and Jamie.  Younger people are definitely more used to cell phones and loud noise--the comments on putting on your headphones and listening to music to tune out noise is common to both the French and American answers.  I think I personally have never told anyone one a bus, plane, or train to shut up--after all (as many people said) it is public transportation.  Too bad we don't have the "older generation" on this forum, otherwise we could ask them how music came into play (if at all) in tuning out random noise.  Also, as Jamie said, comfort around strangers--today we're used to online chatting, texting, etc.  Communication is much easier, so I feel like people tend to talk with strangers relatively easily. 

^That's strange that you said that Ken. I almost feel that since the major mode of communication is electronic, people tend to shy away from true face-to-face conversation.

And Ken, yes, we do have another generation on this forum. Madame Levet and her counterpart at Brest, could you tell us what you think of noise on public transportation, and how you would react?

After looking at the responses to the prompts "You are at the movies.  The people sitting right behind you make loud comments about the film." and "You are traveling by bus or train.  The person sitting next to you has been talking non stop on his/her cell phone for the past 45 minutes" it's interesting to notice some differences.  First, both the French and American students are more irritated if people talk loudly in the movies.  As one American pointed out, you pay for a ticket to the movies so that you can watch the film, and it's rude to talk through it.  Buses, however, are public transportation and are often loud.  Most students felt that it was OK to have a cell phone conversation on the bus, as long as you didn't mind other people listening in!


Many students mentioned listening to music to drown out an annoying conversation.  However, most of the American responses mentioned iPods while none of the French responses did.  Is Apple a big thing in France?

Just wondering, many of the students mentioned listening to music to drown out the annoying/loud conversation. Would anyone actually just sit and listen to the conversation? I probably would, depending on what was being said.

Pour répondre à Grafton, cela dépend fortement de la conversation; si c'est à propos de leur travail, cela ne m'interressera surement pas, par contre c'est toujours amusant d'écouter les potins des autres! :)



voici un lien pour toi:,1024.html


je crois que c'est un peu cela, les jeunes faisaient sans doute du bruit, c'est aussi une façon d'attirer de nouveaux clients; de plus, la SNCF a supprimé les trains couchettes et donc, il faut bien occuper les gens pendant la nuit!!! Ces trains discothèques sont aussi moins cher que les autres


Anton, tu as raison, trop de communication tue la communication!

Jamie, les gens qui ne se connaissent pas ne se disent jamais bonjour, sauf quand ils rentrent dans une salle d'attente (et encore pas toujours)


Diana, rassure-toi, Ipod est très à la mode en France, certains attendent même toute la nuit devant les boutiques quand ya un nouveau modelle. Mes frères et soeurs plus jeunes que moi veulent tous avoir un IPOD ou Iphone, mais mes parents font de la résistance!!!  Steve Jobs est même rentré au guignol de l'info !!!





Le train ne semble pas très habituel pour vous: vous prenez toujours l'avion ou la voiture? Quelle est la réputation de vos trains? Sont-ils a l'heure?