Don’t believe anyone who tells you that English is widely spoken in France. Why should it be? I can’t recall any time when, back in England, a visitor has come up to me and spoken in French, expecting me to understand and reply in French, or German or Dutch. So, why should we expect French people to understand and speak in English. Of course, while the command of a number of languages is evident in the major cities, especially among those in the tourist service industry, it is most definitely not the case in small villages and rural areas; find yourself having lunch in some rural auberge and it’s likely to be French all the way. In all major tourists spots you will find that English is spoken by someone, and, to be fair to the excellent French educational system, French children start learning foreign languages, particularly English, from an early age.