I can speak elementary French, though it's been a long time, and I'm afraid I'll be making plenty of mistakes. I prefer to try to speak the language when I travel, but I admit to being intimidated by the Parisian's reputation for insisting that their language be spoken correctly, and the speed with which people speak. I *think* it's better to go into a restaurant and try to speak French, and do my best, rather than resorting to "parlez-vous Anglais." Do you agree?
Also, while I'm asking, is "un carafe d'eau" sufficient to ask for tap water, or does one have to say "eau du robinet"?