“DO YOU speak English” will sound a familiar request from holiday makers to Bordeaux locals this summer.

But it won’t just be the tourists asking for conversations to be translated.

Chris Routis’s grasp of the language has come on leaps and bounds in his first year in England. And the City utility player wants to make sure that knowledge doesn’t go rusty during the break back home in the south-west of France.

“I know a lot of people in France who speak English,” he said. “So I will tell my friends there to talk in English to me.

“I can speak better if I stay in England because I learn from the team. But if people speak English in Bordeaux that will be good for me.”

Routis admits he tries to pick up phrases by listening in on conversations in coffee shops and cafes.

“That is right. When the English people talk together, I listen but it is really hard for me because they are very fast.

“Sometimes people have a big accent in this area but it is nice. I think my Yorkshire is good!”

His understanding of the English game has also developed after an eye-opening debut season at Valley Parade.

Phil Parkinson is clearly a fan of the Frenchman and it would be a major surprise if City did not take up the option on the second year of his contract.

Routis said: “I have learned more this year than in all my seasons (playing for Servette) in Switzerland because the football is really different.

“In Switzerland, it was similar to France. But here there is more contact, the pitch feels smaller and it’s really hard.

“You need to run more for all the game – and there are a lot of games in the season.

“In Switzerland you play 36 games in the league and there’s just one cup. My most games in one season there was 32.

“Here you can play just over half the games and still beat that. It’s unbelievable.

“My friend told me he couldn’t believe how often we played games. We play Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday and then do it again.

“In Switzerland we will do that only two times a year and after that you are too tired. But in England, you do that all the time.”

Routis, who made his 17th start in the weekend win over Barnsley, has shown there is a quality player there once he has nailed down a regular position.

But his debut English campaign has not been all plain sailing, with the Easter Monday red card against Preston and being subbed before half-time after a torrid afternoon at Oldham.

After his early “hook” at Boundary Park, Routis spent more than four months out of the starting line-up. He admitted he learned a tough lesson for sulking.

“I remember I didn’t play for a long time. In my head, it was difficult for me.

“But I learned from that. The next two weeks after Oldham I worked hard to get back in the team but then started thinking ‘I’ll never play’.

“I didn’t work like I should. I wasn’t 100 per cent in training.

“But I cleared my head and said ‘no’ and gave everything again. I knew I could play in this team if I worked hard.

“The gaffer gave me the chance at right midfield and now I’m playing more. I’m happy again.

“A footballer’s career is like that. Sometimes you have good moments and then you have bad.”

Routis is looking forward to a family reunion – he hasn’t seen his dad all season. But first there is the business of beating Crewe.

“I don’t think about the holidays yet,” he added. “We need a good finish to be as high as possible in the league.

“But then I’ll go back and see everyone in Bordeaux again. My mum came over this season for three weeks but my dad could not because he has a lot of work.

“He loves the football but I haven’t seen him for nine or ten months, so it will be good.

“He hopes I stay here next year because he watches the videos of our games and sees the big atmosphere. He wants to come.”

And Papa Routis will certainly not have to worry about a translator.