Why in the world should they? Do most New York merchants speak French? Those who deal with tourists mostly have some English; but here's a tip; try to speak French to them. Once you show this willingness, they will be very, very helpful. The reputation of Parisians for rudeness is based almost entirely on the experience of Americans who shouted at them in English and expected them to be understanding. They felt, most justifiably, that they have the right to speak their own language in their own country.