From Frogs Lovers to American Haters: The Hairy Truth Behind Common French Stereotypes

When you study a language and the cultures that go along with it, you’re bound to come across stereotypes.

Here are some French stereotypes I regularly hear – and why they’re not true.  Or most of them, anyway….

French people wear berets

Quick: Imagine a typical, anonymous French person.  Chances are, the person in your mind’s eye was wearing a beret.  But as anyone who’s spent some time in France knows, berets are fairly rare.

They were somewhat popular in previous centuries, but over the past decades, they’ve become relegated to either traditional or military dress/uniforms, or an eccentric or nationalistic headpiece.

If you see someone wearing a beret with their everyday clothes today, they’re either trying to make a statement, or an old gentleman genuinely rooted in a region and tradition where this was once common.  Or, if they’re a woman, maybe they’re trying to look old-school glamorous or whimsical.

Sorry to shatter the illusion, but on the streets of Paris today, you’re far more likely to see people wearing hoodies or even baseball caps, than berets.

French people stink

perfume bottle

When you look for the origin of this French stereotype, the overall consensus seems to be that it comes from the French diet (or somewhat stereotypical diet) of onions and pungent cheeses.

But why would that make it true?  If you eat a lot of onions or stinky cheese, does it make you smell any different?

In reality, a 2015 survey revealed that 57% of French people shower every day. This may sound like confirmation of the stereotype, but as an article in La Depeche points out, the French are far from being the dirtiest Europeans – that honor goes to the English, of whom 80% claim not to shower on a daily basis.

The percentage of French people who don’t shower daily is also only slightly higher than Americans, who this Atlantic exposé considers to be of average cleanliness.

Those are the facts, as much as statistics can be trusted, anyway.

From personal experience, I’ll say that in France, access to running water is the norm, and inexpensive shampoos and soaps are widely available. Also – another statistic – a majority of French people use deodorant. But I will admit, I do often smell body odor on public transportation or in crowded rooms.

I think that the reason for the persistent idea of the French being stinky comes down to proximity and heat. Unlike some countries, air conditioning isn’t a given in most French places, and even when there is air conditioning, it’s not usually at polar blast level.

Even when it’s only a bit warm, due to the weirdly prevalent French fear of draughts, and you’ll often have windows that remain firmly shut, even when it would be nice to get a breath of fresh air. In the US, where I grew up, I was rarely around sweaty people indoors, but in France, it happens all the time.

Add to this the fact that people here are often more packed together because there’s such great public transportation and train networks, unlike in countries like mine, which depend mostly on people taking their own vehicle around.

And “people” may not be the issue. Just one unwashed, malodorous person (often, sadly, someone without access to running water, or an elderly person with different hygienic standards or difficulty cleaning him/herself) can make an entire Metro, tram, or train car — or an entire bus — stink, and it suddenly seems like everyone’s to blame.

French people are rude

young woman driving

This is one of the most common French stereotypes, and probably the most unfair.

First of all, not all regions of France have the same general culture or attitude towards other people.  It’s probably like this in the country you’re from, as well.  In France, people from the North and people from the South are generally considered to be warm and friendly – and in my experience, they are.

On the other hand, even fellow French people will probably tell you that Parisians are rude.  Part of this is because they’re not necessarily talking about actual native Parisians but lumping them together with transplants from other regions of France who are in Paris to work and find it too fast-paced and urban, which makes them somewhat miserable all the time.

As a city person, and a former New Yorker, I do not understand either of these sentiments, but they’re a thing.  So, these people may not be radiating sunshine when you talk to them.

Still, as a longtime Paris resident, I know lots of people who (like me) are perfectly happy – even delighted – to live here, and even those who don’t feel this way aren’t necessarily downright rude.

This takes us to the second reason why the French/Parisians are seen as rude. For most French people, overtly expressing your emotions, smiling all the time, and just generally being warm and fuzzy and exaggerated makes you seem insincere, maybe even stupid.

This is why many French people have a hard time believing Americans like me, who have no problem saying things like, “That was the funniest movie I’ve EVER seen!” (and meaning it, in a certain way…for now). The French just don’t show enthusiasm like that, and don’t react to it in an overt, smiling way when other people do it. But it doesn’t mean they don’t feel happy or enthusiastic.  It also doesn’t mean they hate people who do.

Many people who say the French are rude are tourists.  They may come from countries where the customer knows best. They may have previously been in countries where they’re constantly greeted with smiles, even given compliments. Some of this, ultimately, may be insincere, but it’s the way they think they should be treated.

In many places, if you just speak English to a waiter or shopkeeper without saying even a simple greeting in the local language, they’ll try to help, but most French people will consider it rude and presumptuous (and also a kind of scary – more on that a bit later). And when you think about it, they have a point.  If you think a French person is being rude to you, keep these things in mind, and when it comes to the point I’ve just made, ask yourself if you’re being polite.

French people only listen to accordion music

Musician hand playing accordion

Many of the stereotypes on this list come from dated impressions.  The accordion was a popular instrument in France in the 19th century, up to around the 1930’s, with its bal musette music.  Today, you’ll almost certainly hear accordions if you’re strolling around central Paris.  They won’t be coming from a cabaret, but from a busker who wants to be paid for that expected melody.

Some performers do continue to keep accordion music alive, but most contemporary French music is pretty much like music in most Western countries. You have singers of all sorts, from traditional, folk, and regional groups, to pop and rap stars, not to mention a modern French music phenomenon: internationally famous DJ’s and electronica stars like Daft Punk and David Guetta.

French women don’t shave

In the nearly fifteen years I’ve lived in France, I’ve probably seen a handful of women who didn’t shave their underarms, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who didn’t shave her legs. The women with the unshaved underarms were older, maybe starting around age 50.

But globalization of pop culture and fashion and beauty standards means that an overwhelming majority of women from younger generations shave – more than 75%, according to a survey cited in La Parisienne. The article also reveals that nearly 80% of those surveyed were against the “all natural” movement touted by countless feminists and American pop stars like Miley Cyrus.

French people hate Americans

Let’s not say “hate”.  Let’s say that we’re frenemies.

French people actually really like a lot of things about America. They’re one of the biggest filmgoing populations in the world, for example, and most of those films are American.

They also love American music, TV series, and believe it or not, even American food, from McDonald’s, to currently trendy street food (gourmet burgers and other food truck fare).

Most French people want to visit the United States, especially places they’ve seen in movies or on TV, and many have already been – even multiple times.  Some even stay, including many French celebrities.

On the other hand, most French people disagree with a lot of aspects of US culture and politics, whether temporary issues like the current president, or concepts like the lack of universal healthcare coverage.  As I’ve mentioned before, French people also tend to have a problem with most Americans’ bombastic way of expressing our opinions and emotions.

Add to this the fact that French people see themselves as proudly resisting a world power whose language has overtaken theirs in the domains of diplomacy and travel, and you’ll get some insight into that conflicting relationship.

So, if you’re an American in France, will you automatically be hated?  Mais non!  But if you are getting a resentful vibe, show them that you’re more than a stereotype.

Frenchmen are the most romantic people in the world

Romantic Candles as a Pathway in a Bedroom

Ah, l’amour!  The French have a reputation for being romantic and seductive. In surveys of the most romantic languages, French is often among the top results. Alas, this is another French stereotype that isn’t necessarily true, although it’s less “untrue” than the other stereotypes on this list.

The reason is that romance is relative. Remember what I’ve said about the French not being overt and expressive about emotions?  If you’re looking for a man who will be extremely affectionate and sing out their love for you, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree.  If you like grand, romantic gestures – prom-posals, skywriting and the like – look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you like passion but not making a fuss about everything, prefer sex to a routine date, and value meaningful but not excessive gifts, you might want to give dating a Frenchman a try.

The French always surrender

white flag

I can understand the misconceptions behind other French stereotypes, but this one genuinely annoys me.  If you’re even remotely interested in history, you’ll probably understand why.

For centuries, France was one of the most significant military powers in the world. Even if you don’t know anything about William the Conqueror or the American Revolutionary War (they were our allies, fam!), you’ve probably heard of a dude named Napoleon Bonaparte.  Under his leadership, the French army conquered most of western Europe.  Even after his time, the French went on to military victories in conflicts around the world, as this exhaustive list shows.

So why the stereotype?  It comes from World War II, when France was occupied by the Nazis.  But even then, a number of French armed forces made their way to England, fighting for their country under leader Charles de Gaulle.  And everyday French citizens fought too, in subtle ways we may never know about, as well as by becoming members of the Resistance or the Righteous Among the Nations (people who hid and/or helped Jews escape to safety).

Today, France is still a formidable military power, taking part in major world conflicts.  So yeah, surrender isn’t really a French thing.

The French are intellectuals

The French reputation for being intellectuals started in the Middle Ages, when Paris was the center of education for all of Europe, and it continued into the oh-so-cool philosophers and writers of the 1950’s and ’60’s. The idea is still very present in pop culture today.

To some extent, there is a grain of truth to this French stereotype.  For one thing, philosophy is an actual compulsory subject in French high schools.

Even out of school, many French people keep learning. Thanks to lots of vacation, they’re able to travel and discover new places and cultures. Most French people like to be informed about national and international news, and you may just find yourself cornered by someone who wants to discuss a current event that you’re barely aware of – even if it pertains to your own native country. (As someone who prefers TV series to the nightly news, this regularly happens to me.)

But you’ll meet some perfectly average- or even daft-seeming people here, as well.  And, for all the philosophy studies and reflection on current events, problems that many people think portent the end of civilization as we know it, such as text speak, are issues in France, too.  Just watch some French reality TV shows (there are oh so many), and you’ll see that not every French person is Jean-Paul Sartre or Simone de Beauvoir – nor do they want to be.

The French always eat gourmet meals

Fine dining dessert, Strawberry ice cream, poppy seed mousse and fresh fruit

We often picture French people regularly sitting down to amazing, elaborate homemade meals that would be worthy of a five-star restaurant anywhere else.

While the French do value good food and quality meals, people are people, which means that many of them are too busy or tired or plain lazy to cook like that all the time.

Grocery stores, supermarkets, and Picard, a chain specialized in high-end frozen food, outnumber farmer’s markets, even in France.

The French also enjoy fast food.  Just watch the trailer for the recent French movie, Les dents, pipi et au lit. If you go to the 1:02 minute mark, you’ll see a grown man torturing the kids who have invaded his apartment (long story) by eating McDonald’s while they have to have a homecooked dinner.  Yes, lots of French kids love McDonald’s – although the restaurant’s popularity wasn’t always a given.

The French all have poodles

Dogs are the iconic French pet, right? In reality, there are almost twice the number of pet cats than canines here.

Still, many French people do love dogs. Millions of households have at least one, and yes, if you come to Paris, you’re likely to see at least a few people promenading their pooches down the streets.

But one thing you’ll probably notice is that very few of these are poodles, and if they are, you’ll probably never see a poodle with the puffy haircut you’re imagining.  In fact, according to this study, poodles aren’t even among the top twenty most popular dog breeds in France. Désolée, poodle fans!

All French people love to eat frogs’ legs

Although frogs’ legs are a legitimate thing here in France, and some people enjoy them, they’re not as popular as this popular French steoreotype would have you believe.

Since moving to France more than a decade ago, I’ve been served (but not always eaten) everything from standard meals of chicken, pork, and beef, to less common fare like rabbit, snails, and tripe. I have never had frogs’ legs.  I’ve seen them on menus but only in touristy places.

But in case you think this is some conspiracy to keep France’s delicious frogs’ legs to myself, check out this list of the top ten most popular dishes in France, based on a recent survey.  No cuisses de grenouilles to be found.

If you need even more proof that frogs’ legs aren’t on the menu for every French person, look no further than Rainettes, a recently-opened restaurant in Paris’s Marais district.  Its novelty is that it specializes in this otherwise fairly rare dish.

When it comes to the lower part of an animal that most French people seem to love, think chicken drumsticks, or even pigs’ feet. That’s another specialty, but I know more French people who eat pigs’ feet, than frogs’ legs!

French people can’t or won’t speak English

text do you speak english? in a chalkboard, filtered

Not all French people speak English, but most of the people I know here have at least a basic notion of simple words and phrases.

There are three reasons why a French person may not speak English to you:

  1. They truly don’t know how to speak English. This is especially common among older generations.
  2. They’re fed up with people just assuming they speak English. Picture this scenario: You’re at work, when someone bustles in and starts forcefully talking to you in a language you barely understand. That would be a little off-putting and intimidating, right?  Many French people deal with this regularly.  English is the lingua franca of tourism, but many tourists take it too far. I’ve seen people from all around the world strut up to a French shopkeeper and without so much as attempting a Bonjour, just rattle off “Yeah, I want to buy that keychain.” In this case, they’re the ones being rude.  No matter what country you’re visiting, take time to learn how to say “Hello”, “Goodbye,” “Please,” and “Thank you” in the local language.
  3. They’re intimidated.  This is probably the most common reason a French person won’t speak English to you. The French seem like confident, romantic, cynical souls, so it’s hard to believe that they’re scared of you, a mere tourist.  But their fear is rooted in childhood.  French teachers have no problem openly critiquing – even borderline mocking – their students. Marks are regularly shared, not kept confidential like they are in the US, for example.  I’ve worked at French elementary schools and was regularly shocked to see teachers – who were perfectly qualified, kind, and devoted – say things like, “Well, she’s a bit stupid.” about a student. The kids themselves aren’t any better, regularly teasing each other and classifying each other as a good or bad student, laughing at each other in class, and so on.

And it doesn’t get better with age. First of all, ask just about any French adult, and they’ll automatically tell you, “French people are bad at English,” or even bad at all languages altogether.

I think the opening paragraph of this article about language learning statistics sums it up perfectly.  The author begins:

Ce n’est pas un grand secret, les Français ne sont pas des champions en matière de langues étrangères. A commencer par notre chef de l’Etat. Rappelez-vous qu’il avait écrit un seul mot en anglais sur sa lettre de félicitations à Barack Obama pour sa réélection, friendly pour dire “amicalement” ce qui est un non sens.  (It’s no big secret, the French aren’t exactly foreign language champions. Just look at our Head of State. Remember that he wrote a single English word in the letter he sent to congratulate Barack Obama on his reelection: “friendly”, instead of “Amicably”, which is nonsense.)

Ouch. Not only does that put down French people in general – it even goes after former president François Hollande for a relatively minor mistake.  This is what French people are up against. and not just from cranky journalists.

I might be hanging out with a group of adult friends, and if one of them dares to say something in English, the others are often quick to mock their “bad accent”.  Understandably, this leads to many French adults – even ones with powerful jobs or enviable looks or super-intelligence – to be extremely hesitant about speaking English.

So that’s the real reason why most French people would refuse to speak to you, even if you’re just asking them where the bathroom is.

Hopefully this article has shed some light on why these common French stereotypes are flawed.

The next time you interact with a French person, try to notice things about them beyond the language they’re speaking.  You’ll probably find that they don’t fit any of these stereotypes. And if they do, you’ll at least have some insight into why.

Alysa Salzberg

Alysa Salzberg is an American writer, worrier, teacher, and cookie enthusiast who has lived in Paris, France, for more than a decade. She has taught English and French for more than ten years, most notably as an assistante de langue vivante for L'Education Nationale. She recently published her first novel, Hearts at Dawn, a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling that takes place during the 1870 Siege of Paris. You can read about her adventures here, or feel free to stop by her website.

234 thoughts on “From Frogs Lovers to American Haters: The Hairy Truth Behind Common French Stereotypes”

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  1. ‘Or, if they’re a woman, maybe they’re trying to look old-school glamorous or whimsical.’ Or I might be trying to protect myself from the cold. De rien!

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  2. I lived in France for two and a half years. I found the French people to be polite and considerate people. They appreciated my poor attempts at French, indulged my idiosyncrasies, tolerated my different social manners. The best things in France aren’t the food and wine, it’s the people.

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  3. Bonjour,
    I can agree with you on many of your points on the French. I have lived in Lorraine for 2 years and Strasbourg for 1 year. Although I’ve had similar experiences in Paris, Strasbourg was not as pleasent. I lived in a small neighbourhood called Mittelhausbergen where I shopped at all the local shops and ate at the local restaurants. The staff knew me and knew I was an American living there and was actively trying to learn French. I was often ignored or talked down to even when I was attempting to speak French. I’ve even had someone take a photo of me without my permission while I was dinning out with my husband, all because we were having a conversation in English. This is why we decided to move to Nancy Lorraine. The people here are generally much nicer than in Strasbourg (plus personally I think the food and architecture is better). All in all in my experience it all depends on what region you are visiting.

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  4. Good day to you all. The misconception that the French cannot win war comes from a very rich history that very few Americans and other peoples will ever study long enough to get the slightest understanding. First, if you fight a large number of wars, you will surrender more often. That is just a mathematical fact. The French are actually much the opposite. They may be the very hardest group in history. I am an American war historian and I know the truth. The French have fought so much more than all the other’s in European history. This is a irrefutable fact. The French Foreign Legion fought for numerous years detached from the French government for many decades fighting in every war. They won often. 99.9% of Americans will never read enough to discover this fact. The French would rather not correct anybody because there are major atrocities attached to this history. I am almost positive that a former French Foreign Legion / American CIA officer was the shot off the grassy knoll for the JFK assassination. The French are actually a very civilized and very violent people. They were the first people to do assassinations behind enemy lines. Why would the Germans want to attack them first. In war you don’t leave the hardest group for last. They attacked the French first with the full breath of their army in WWII. The Germans didn’t add the weather for the Russians, but pound for pound the French are the all time killers in war. Do not underestimate them in a conventional war. They are very, very hard soldiers. The French have been screwed around in war, double crossed more than any other group. They are intellectual enough to not to be on-board with nuclear war. Anyone with a brain should come to that conclusion. No, I rather prefer French people and culture. I wish to love the French more every time I read about them. A very excellent people, undoubtedly.

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  5. What about the most common French stereotype…that French people are cheap ‘râdin’ and don’t like to spend money. This is the reputation that French college exchange students have in the US.

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    • This is because in France everything is “included” (I mean tax & tip). The waiters for example earn a good wage. Tip barely exists. So When going to America, we tend to feel tricked because we don’t understand why the price announced outside is so different from what we actually pay. If we buy a 12$ burger, we don’t want it to end up being 17$ after tip and tax.

      It is again a cultural thing. After living 2 years in the USA I learnt how to tip! But as a tourist who doesn’t know about American culture, it is not always that easy 🙂

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  6. I have been to Paris several times, each time for 2 weeks, but once for 4 weeks. I have also been to Strasbourg. I did not stay in touristy arrondissementes. I have had only one person in France, a small restaurant owner, be rude to me in Paris. I still don’t know why. I love Paris, from the huge flea market to Chanel. I speak very little French (I forget most of it because I don’t use it at home, and I learned Latin and German in school, instead.) My accent is not good, and only gets better with practice.

    I always try to read about the customs and etiquette of the areas to which I am traveling. I dress nicely, I’m polite, I’m not rude or brusque. But I have seen many Americans who are rude, let their children touch famous paintings, are loud and boorish, and do not attempt any necessary polite greetings. I always say Hello, how are you? Please and thank you, have a good day, goodbye, and ask directions and prices in French. I also learn to count. But you don’t really need to do the latter with cell phones now. I do the same in Spanish-speaking countries, as well, etc.

    I have found the French to be quite gracious. While they aren’t effusive, they are still nice. Generally they are more formal than midwestern and western Americans. I was raised in the Deep South and now live in Vermont, where people to keep such conventions, I think. I’ve had several younger French men help me when I was lost, using up their lunch breaks, and everyone was quite polite and helpful. And no one has made fun of me for speaking English among my friends. Whereas we hear all the time of people in the USA harassing others for speaking foreign languages among themselves. The rudest city I have ever visited was in the USA, and no, it wasn’t anywhere in the northeast!

    I find French men very sexy. I love the way they dress. I love the old architecture in France, the lovely fruit markets, patisseries, etc. And the flavors of yogurt available! I can’t wait to go back to France. I want to go back to Paris, of course, and Brittany, and Lorraine.

    If you want to see berets, I would suggest you go to Basque provinces in France and Spain.

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  7. The fact about school teachers mocking some pupils and about them mocking each other then is something France has in common with Romania of the 1990s up to about 2000-2002. Now pupils mock and bully each other further on, it`s just that the teachers can no longer do that – cause in 10 years we passed from a semi-dictatorship of teachers, that I`ve been through to a full dictatorship of pupils (Prima/Wonderful/Hen hao/Maravigliosa/Ocin haraso!). I think our “spheres” overleap a lot. The average Frenchman-/woman may well-be like a more civilian and up-tight Romanian, just like the average Hungarian may be like (just like) a more organised and serious Eastern Slav/Balcanic.

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  8. All my life I have been insulted for being of French ancestry. My French family immigrated from France to Canada then settled in America. I am different due to how I was raised. I have raised my children the same. We are different than most Americans and proud of it. The biggest complaint is our friendliness and smiling. My girls are chic which people ask why they are so girly. I have been told I eat like a Frenchman. My father has always worn hats, especially berets. He was a child during World War 2. From an intellectual family, I am appalled by the ignorance of people. We have moved to different places for advancement of university education for my children. We have seriously thought of moving to Europe. I would love to settle in France. You are fortunate to live in the beautiful history of France. Merci.

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  9. Ahhh… your section about French people stinking made me laugh. I have found that a lot of French people don’t wear deodorant, even though they do sell it in the shops there. I fondly remember, the first time I went to France, (When I was a very little girl,) I curiously noted two French young women sitting in the airport subway, apparently just returning from America. (With their new New York baseball hats on, etc.) What really surprised me was that one was holding a bar of deodorant, and both where smelling it and studying it closely, as if they had never seen such a thing in their entire lives! 😀 Even now I chuckle when I think about it.

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  10. Thank you for posting this! I am visiting France soon and I just wanted to know how to interact with the people there.

    Another group of people with bizarre stereotypes is the Finns. My friend in college is from Finland and she pretty much doesn’t fit into all the stereotypes.

    -Finns are racist, cold, evil, godless people (My friend is the nicest person you’ll ever know – and as a bonus, she’s Christian)
    -All Finns are hardcore gamers (The only games my friend plays are Angry Birds and Candy Crush)
    -The only music Finns listen to is metal (Surprisingly, she does like some punk, but she mostly listens to rap)
    -Finns are internet trolls (My friend is still learning how to use Snapchat lol)
    -Finns are excellent English speakers and speak with a British accent (My friend arrived in the US not speaking a word of English and her accent is pretty thick compared to some of the Latino students on campus)
    -Finns love saunas (My friend prefers the swimming pool, she actually told me that when I asked if she likes saunas)
    -All Finns eat reindeer (surprisingly, she hasn’t! Her favorite food is lasagna)
    -All Finns have weird, unpronouncable names (Her name is Phoebe. Not even joking.)

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  11. A number of these stereotypes are American based. If not all of them. Like surrendering. The Anericans love to mock the French “cowards”. And as a French woman in a predominantly Anglophone N. American region I would not be surprised if the best lover idea is American too. There are men here who go “oh French woman” when first meeting with a tone that implies I am a slut (despite dressing & acting conservatively which makes them all the stupider).

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    • IMPORTANT POINT TO ADD ABOUT FRENCH BRAVERY: most people just don’t know their history. If you’ve travelled in France, you will have noticed that every town and village has a central square with a monument to the World War I dead. Think about it. So many men lost in a generation that there were not, in fact, enough military men to defend France when the second World War arrived. The American stereotype of French surrender is extremely insulting and ignores the work of the Resistance. On the other hand, if you are American, there is no warmer welcome for you in France than near the beaches of Normandy. Just don’t “rub it in” elsewhere.

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  12. How Rude Can One Be?.
    In 2005, my Caucasian lady friend and I had arrived mid-morning at Gare du Nord after an exhausting all night journey. I approached an official counter in a well-attended part of the terminal, and before I could say more than a sentence, the young white woman – in her early 20’s – looked daggers at me, threw her left arm to her side – gesturing – and yelled: “English!”. She looked at me like she wanted me dead, nearly spitting. A young white man in his late teens or early 20’s at a desk looked on and giggled, like a little girl.
    I, of Asian-Polynesian extraction, was stunned… just nodded and went back to my friend to recover. We had to get our Euro Passes validated; a more mature, courteous woman helped us do that, in another part of the terminal [I was honestly afraid she might make an error dating the pass; then what would we do?]
    Needless to say, I have never visited France again. I have never purchased anything French, e.g. wine, food, gifts; “made in France” and “French” mean to me rudeness and small-mindedness. I always experience schadenfreude when I read or hear of French misfortunes.

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    • I’m really sorry for you. But I hope you realize your comment is very ironic.
      You only described one bad experience about two persons on one of the most dangerous place in Paris and you concluded “made in France” and “French” mean to me rudeness and small-mindedness. Worse, now you’re even happy now when you read or hear of French misfortunes.
      Don’t you think this is a rude, small-minded and very sad way to think?

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    • I am so sorry that you experienced this in Paris… But please consider that we are not all like these 2 persons ! Thank goodness !
      The best way to know a country and locals is to live in a few years…
      As I am living in your beautiful country (USA), I think I know more about americans, than you about french…
      It’s a bit of a leap to conclude as you did…

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    • I’m sorry but you can’t just let one experience make you hate a whole country and the people in it. Sure, some people in France are racist, I’m half French and got beaten up and bullied by some kids (who’s parents were literally not even French whereas my mother’s French ancestry goes back hundreds of years so tbh I’m more French than them) because I was different. I have aspergers syndrome and I’m lesbian with short dyed hair so I stand out and I have been discriminated against but some French people are the sweetest and most accepting people I’ve met and have shown me endless care and support. I may seem biased but I try to keep a neutral and open mind. Please don’t hate people before knowing them personally!

      Reply
    • I totally agree. I am in France right now and I will never return. The French people have ruined my trip. Twice I have been in tears and I’m pretty tough. The younger people seem to be worse but overall the men are the rudest of all ages. They are the meanest, angriest, most negative people I have ever experienced and I’ve travelled a fair bit. The men who have offered to assist, have always been from a western country. Quite frankly I find their attitude very immature and of course discourteous. They need to pull their heads in and get over themselves. If they were to behave that way in Australia- especially to a woman – they would very likely to be told off or even punched by another man. They certainly wouldn’t last more than a day in a job before being fired. I have more than one counter experience like that. Here’s just one of many experiences: I went to an Orange mobile boutique because the 2 days later the mobile data wasn’t working on the SIM plan I had purchased at the airport (I found out later that the surly counter person should have registered me then and there but just sold it over the counter without even a Bonjour or merci). Before I could even complete my sentence on my issue (I’d spent over an hour trying to find the place), the young male ‘assistant’ speaking very loudly (why do they do that?) told me they couldn’t help and then went into a verbal rant in French with the young woman assistant standing next to him, waving his arms around. Was he the manager? Who would know but neither he nor the other woman were taken aside and the rest of the staff didn’t even attempt to intervene. So sorry for spoiling his day. It hasn’t been any better down South – which I’m surprised. I rented a car and on the first day on the road, I had cars queing behind me, tooting and driving past screaming abuse even though there were 2 clear overtaking lanes and I was doing 100 kms (yes I know it’s 130km on the highway but it was my first drive on the right side getting used to a new car and just how hard is it, to move into an overtaking lane?) I got so upset I was crying and shaking and had to pull over to the side of the road a number of times. At every roundabout, the same tooting and carrry-on would occur (I have been a driver for -35 years without incident so not completely inexperienced). One car full of youths who had been sitting on my bumper bar (in Australia that’s classified as menacing driving), pulled to the adjacent lane, pulled down their window and screamed abuse, then lurched in front and put their breaks on so they slowed down to about 60 kms- on a highway! I was such a nervous wreck that I ended up 50 kms from my intended destination and had to traverse back and forwards through 6 toll booths to get to my destination. I just couldn’t think and my hands were shaking so badly all I wanted to do was get on a plane back to Australia no matter the cost. The French are just bullies. I loathe them now and have no interest in blogs that tell me how to fit in so they will accept me in all my imperfection – because obviously we haven’t taken the time to understand them and we must be at fault.. They are the one’s that need to change and I can tell you right now, they don’t want to. The exception has been my 50 yr old Air BNB host in Paris (a truly nice person as opposed to a nice Parisian) who told me that she is very embarassed by the way the French behave and loathes them herself. She is saving to move to another country because she is fed-up with putting up with all the negativity . From the horses mouth.

      Reply
      • Sorry to disappoint you but first, France IS a western country. Then, Orange is an awful company, all the French people will tell you that telephone’s companies can ruin your day (bc of the waiting for nothing, poorly formed employees, etc.). Driving is bad in the south of France : the roads aren’t as good as in other regions, getting a driver licence is easier than in big cities and people aren’t afraid of the police, so a lot of them doesn’t respect the law. However, none of this allows you to generalize and make bad statements about a nation of more than 67,000,000 inhabitants. So you had bad experiences, it’s unfortunate but you know what ? Once I watched a YT video in which kangurus were bullying tourists in Australia, and I’d never saying Australian people are awful educaters and touristophobic bc they didn’t teach kangurus to behave properly with tourists. It’s just as much nonsense to assume that in Australia you would never have been yelled at by young drivers bc you were too slow on a highway.

        For the first comment : are you Fucking serious ? Going through racism/xenophobia doesn’t make it ok to generalize about the racism of an entire population. French people are not rude white racists, because French people are just as diversed as the USA, maybe more. If I wanted to expose arguments of the same level of shitness, I would say that the USA are the country that voted for Trump, made asylum procedures impossible for immigrants, allows politicians to claim that the Shoah never existed, and lets the KKK post white-supremacist bullshit on the public space. I don’t know if you’re american but I’m pretty sure I can do that with all countries in the world.

        Reply
  13. LOL!!!!!! What fun!!!!! Stereotypes!!!!! I’m from Canada and Americans have some odd/funny ideas about us also. We all say “EH” a lot. WE don’t. We don’t live in Igloos..We ARE polite, but my American friends say we can seem/appear cold and distant. Not everyone plays hockey.
    The “smelliest” people I’ve been around were in the Chechoslovakia.
    The strangest foods I’ve experienced were Chinese (also the rudest/pushiest people it seems).
    We eat a lot of French style foods, but I would guess peasant type French food like Tortiere, Quiche, and lots of Cassoulets.
    We have many tri-linguals, bi-linguals, and mono-linguals (Americans!!!!!) LOL!!!!
    Poutine is our national (not recognized as such) food dish. French fries with gravy and melted Quebec cheese curds…….MMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!
    I prefer pancake syrup to Maple syrup…..UGH!!!! Maple syrup is too sweet.
    Thanks for your interesting, insightful, and most true article.
    France is a beautiful country, laced with very nice, interesting, and beautiful people!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • 1st… there’s nothing like Czechoslovakia! It’s either Czech Republic or Slovakia… unless you’re living back in the 1940s.
      2nd… I’m from Czech Republic and I do not smell bad and what you’re saying makes me REALLY MAD!

      Reply
  14. As a dog lover I’m always observant of the breeds I see while traveling. I was happy to see so many West Highland White Terriers being walked and carried when I was in Paris for several weeks. I don’t think I saw a single poodle. Is Jerry Lewis still popular with the French? Many Americans find that hard to fathom!

    Reply
    • Bonjour James. I also love dog-spotting in Paris, even though I’m more of a cat person. Jerry Lewis is not as popular with the younger generations here, but he is considered a cinematic icon. I don’t get it, either….

      Reply
  15. À propos : “french people stink”. I would make the following observations.
    1. Over showering (like every day or more) is not only unnecessary to remain odour-free, It is actually bad for the skin as it removes the body’s natural oils which are there to keep the skin supple and to help ward off infection.
    2. The singer / songwriter “Sting” once said that he refused to smell like a product (i.e. He refused to spray or roll on an overpriced chemical smell) and much preferred the natural smell of a healthy,clean body washed in soap and water.
    3. There is almost an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness, these days bordering on a neurosis. In my opinion, showering every other day and washing in between shower days is perfectly adequate unless your work involves an greater than average amount of sweating.
    4. The only food that can actually manifest itself in the pores of the skin as far as i’m aware is garlic. But it would have to be eaten raw and to excess in order to do this.
    5. Let’s remember we are all mammals and as such all of us are born with and retain a natural body odour : and it is just that : natural.
    If you can smell somebody’s natural ‘perfume’ it is not because they are dirty it is because they are a human animal.

    Feel free to disagree ……..while I go for a shower !

    Reply
    • Alan, I am an everyday showerer, and may it always be so! I feel like, at the very least, it’s common courtesy when you’re in close quarters with other people (public transport, office, etc.). But I do know those facts you’ve listed and respect other people’s right to choose when and how often they shower, because of them. Still, that won’t keep me from being a bit annoyed…and moving as far away as I can…if they stink! 🙂

      Reply
      • You won’t “stink” if you choose not to shower EVERY day. That was part of my point. Like I said it has become an obsession with some people. Are obsessions healthy ?
        As a possibly interesting aside, I’ve noticed how often cat people disagree with dog people (I love dogs ; detest cats, though I wish them no harm). I’ve observed this with many different people concerning many different topics. My hypothesis begins to break down with those who like (and / or have them as pets) both cats and dogs. As a general rule of thumb though it is amazing how often cat and dog people disagree. Is it the pet owners temperament that leads them to choose a cat rather than a dog (or vice versa) in the first place ? C’est intéressant hein ?
        Alan.

        Reply
        • I don’t think MOST people would stink if they took a shower, say, every other day. But in the summer in France, most people don’t have air conditioning and are sweating all the time, so in that case, I think a daily shower is necessary. The same goes for anyone with a very physical job/lifestyle, or simply pungeant body odor, in my opinion. It’s different, of course, if you’re just sitting home, or will be outdoors, but if you’re taking public transit or sitting in an office or other space with people nearby, it just seems like common courtesy to me.

          As for cat vs. dog people, personally I don’t know if it’s a personality thing. My personality fits much more with that of a typical “dog person”, for example: I’m cheerful, friendly, very attached to my loved ones, a bit afraid of being abandoned, etc. I just find cats more appealing – maybe because most of my pets as a child were cats?

          Reply
  16. For me the most hilarious French stereotype is: French people are cowards.
    Hundred Years’ War (in fact more than that), French Revolution, Napoleon (his name is enough), Franco-Prussian War, WWII (which was mostly on the French territory) and that’s just a tiny list!
    But, because of what happened during WWII, a lot of people call them cowards. And that, even if they were involved during the American Revolutionary War.
    It clearly shows our lack of knowledge about History.

    Reply
    • I think a small part of this stereotype comes from the fact that the French flag before the French Revolution was white with some pattern, but for the most part, white. Which was a pretty terrible colour for a flag. People often looked at their army and thought they were surrendering.
      Good thing they changed it during the revolution.

      (For those who don’t understand: white flags were used as a sign of surrender)

      Reply
      • I think when the white flag was used by France, it clearly did not mean surrender. Whole Europe had to create coalitions to contain them, and for centuries …

        Reply
      • Actually the white flag was for the Marine (18th century), the white flag with the golden Lys flower on background white was harboured only in presence of a royal member. Then there is the white flag with golden Lys flower and the Royal crest. The white was the symbol of the monarchy. And until the French revolution there was no French flag that fulfilled the functions of the current tricolor, public buildings had the flag and the crest of the trusteeship power where they were located (royal, duchy, county …). But mainly the french flag was either blue or with golden lys flower. And they were a time (during the crusades before the flag was confiscated from the Welsh and then carried by the British) when we harboured the same flag as the one England as now

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  17. Yes, I am. And you are making way too many assumptions here. I always try to learn the language of countries I visit and don’t expect anyone to speak English but lots of people do.

    No, I am talking about French people. I was born in France and spent the first 20 years of my life in Paris. It’s true that a lot of French people only speak French. Yes, they learned English at school but it doesn’t mean they can speak it.

    Reply
      • For what it is worth, I believe that It matters not what your native language is or where you live. If you are really keen to speak the language and culture of the country you intend to visit or move to then you will learn it. Simple as that. You can’t speak of a nation or its capital city being lazy or hostile or rude or anything else. Countries and cities are made up of individual people, some of whom will be rude or lazy and so on. Making the assumption that the few represents the many is how stereotypes originate so it is hardly surprising that tourists will make snap judgements and assessments of the natives based on their limited exposure to the French, Spanish, Italians, English or whatever other nationality it happens to be.
        Any large grouping of people will contain a mixture of character traits and personalities so to speak a country being this way or that doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ve met rude people in many different countries just as I have also met pleasant and helpful individuals.

        Reply
  18. Are you serious ?
    “The impossibility to speak English in France regularly worries tourists.”

    ??? which foreigner country do you expect to speak your native language ? so sad and so snobby.
    This cliché truly apply to english people unfortunatelly.

    “While it’s true that some French people are reluctant to speak another language than French”
    …eu I think you are talking about English/US people there no ? What languages are they able to speak expect their own language ?

    Nowadays most of pupils/student in the whole world have to learn english or spanish at school…what about english and USA ?

    Reply
    • You are so right! I am an American (USA), and am embarrassed that so many countries speak many different languages while we limit ourselves to English. My great- grandparents were all French. I took French in a School taught by Catholic nuns from kindergarten through my first two years of college. Unfortunately when my grand parents died no one was left in my family that knew any French and I let it lapse. When I traveled in France and met relatives I could only understand and read a little of it. Also, to make it worse, I had by that time gotten used to Cajun French with a southern accent! Even the words I knew were not understandable to a real French speaking person.
      I am often shamed when I see or hear people from many countries speaking their own language, French and at least one other language. Americans have no excuse not to be able to do the same! Merci beaucoup, Cathy

      Reply
    • You have made your stereotyped views quite clear, now what about some facts ?
      I am an Englishman who reads writes and speaks French, German in addition to English. I have also learned Latin because it is such an important basis for other Latin-based languages. My wife reads both Classical Latin and Classical Greek and my son is fluent in Spanish. So, you see not all English natives are language duffers.

      Vous avez clairement exprimé vos opinions stéréotypées, maintenant, qu’en est-il de certains faits?
      Je suis un anglais qui lit, écrit et parle le français (peut-être pas parfaitement mais au niveau acceptable) , l’allemand en plus de l’anglais. J’ai aussi appris le latin parce que c’est une base si importante pour d’autres langues latines. Ma femme lit à la fois le latin classique et le grec classique et mon fils parle couramment l’espagnol. Donc, ce n’est pas vrai que tous les indigènes anglais sont ânes de langue.

      Sie haben Ihre stereotypen Ansichten ziemlich deutlich gemacht, was ist nun mit einigen Fakten?
      Ich bin ein Engländer, der liest und schreibt Französisch, Deutsch und Englisch. Ich habe auch Latein gelernt, weil es eine wichtige Grundlage für andere lateinische Sprachen ist. Meine Frau liest sowohl klassisches Latein als auch klassisches Griechisch und mein Sohn spricht fließend Spanisch. Sie sehen also, dass nicht alle englischen Ureinwohner Schlusslicht sind.

      Cordialement / mit freundlichen Grüßen / best wishes
      Alan.

      Reply
      • I understand the feeling, you’re hurt because of the generalization of your country/people. But you can still admit that on a political/educational level, the UK, the USA, and other english-speaking countries don’t push as much students to learn languages as other countries. I’m French, I speak english, spanish, italian, and a bit of russian. I studied both latin and ancient greek, even though I don’t remember much. Yet I have to admit that most of the French people don’t speak well other languages, because our education system doesn’t make it easy or interesting. Our classes are too crowded and our teachers very oldshool, plus we don’t start young enough. Maybe you should take those comments as an invitation to question the english educational system instead of yelling back angrily right away.
        Bonus : “ânes de langues”… 1- You need an article in French, you shoukd add “des” just before. 2 – What does it mean ? It’s not a french saying, I can tell you that. Careful with Google Translate 😉

        Reply
  19. I have to agree with being lazy, complaining a lot and not speaking English. My classmates weren’t really good in the English class.

    Reply
    • Don’t assume EVERY American thinks these stereotypes. Remember this article was written by just 1 person. I’m an American born in New York and I haven’t heard of half these stereotypes myself.
      *”The French Always Surrender” I’ve never heard that one before, sorry. Maybe I’ve been not paying attention, but I really don’t remember hearing this before.

      *”The French only listen to accordion music” Not familiar with this one either. I listen French music personally, and am a huge fan of Yelle since high school.

      *”The French are rude” Ever visit the Bronx? My husband and I went to Paris on vacation and nobody once got cursed out. I say that’s a win!

      All I’m saying is not all Americans believe these stereotypes, or even heard of them. People are people. There are both good people and bad people everywhere, and when I was a kid growing up there was a girl from France in my class. She rode the seesaw just like any other kid, and we got in trouble trying to climb over the playground fence.
      Maybe everyone could learn a thing or two from kids. They don’t get hung up on silly details when there’s trees to climb, stickers to trade and glow-in-the-dark nail polish.

      Reply
  20. I am from Czech republic,and travelled to France once some 15 years ago.let me add some more stereotypes here.1french women are not very pretty,In Paris,it was hard to find beautifull woman,and when I saw some,they were students from sweden.during my years working in a hotel,I have seen few,but very few.2.they are very stingy.french people almost never tip,they spend 200 euro for a dinner and wo´nt leave a penny to the waiter.They do not tip bellmen,nobody,and that´s why they are hated in hotel industry -only indians are above them as most unpopular guests.
    3laziness-probably true,if the guests here loose their lugagge on the way,there´s 80% chance they went with air france,i don´t know what they do over there,but possibly are too slow to fill the plane with bags in time.
    4.Very bad taste for fashion.Usuallly they look funny,talking mainly about men.
    I made very bad experience with them during my stay in france,even in information kiosk on the main train station,nobody spoke english and a black guy sent me to wrong platform.they think they are the best but in fact the best thing that comes from france is the Foreign legion

    Reply
    • French people don’t tip because tipping is not in French culture. Waiters are paid at the minimum wage and are expected to be compensated for their work already so they don’t need tips like they do in the US for instance. The problem is that because we are so used not to tip that many French people don’t tip when they’re abroad, even in countries where they should.
      I think that this is a real issue because you should learn about the customs before visiting a country.

      The downside of French people not tipping well is that you are often treated badly when you go to a restaurant abroad. Waiters see that you’re French, aren’t expecting to be tipped well and as a consequence, don’t wait on you like they wait on other customers. Which is very frustrating when you are actually one of the people who actually tip well (i.e. 20% in the US) because not only do you still tip like regular customers but you’re getting crappy service…

      Reply
      • The reason why French people don’t tip much are socio-economical. The huge turn-over that exists is the hospitality industry in say, U.K, U.S or Australia (where I live) is very minimal in France. The aforementioned countries use extensively the casual status to hire/fire people at will whereas in France waiters, barmen or hotel employees are considered a “real” and permanent job and as such they get a monthly salary based on around 40 hours of work per week (more or less). As for the tips, they still received some. As the matter of fact I remember my friend Raphael telling me how he loved his job as a barman as he was easily doubling his salary with his tips.

        Reply
    • Otherwise, I think you’re taking your experience as a reference and just making bad inferences from it.
      I will not even talk about the fact that you think that a “black guy sent you to the wrong platform”. I don’t see why the fact the guy was black is important to the story.

      Reply
    • 1st of all, I’m sorry that you came to France expecting to see women as beautiful as models. I mean, after all woman are just objects for you to look at and have no other value. I’ll go tell my fellow French women to rewrite their DNA!

      We’re human, please remember that before you make a shallow comment and embarrass yourself again.

      2nd of all, I’m sorry that we pay our waiters properly and have a different culture to you.

      3rd, French being lazy? People all around the globe are lazy and I genuinely don’t think that the French are more lazy than others…

      4th, bad taste in fashion? Isn’t France well known for it’s fashion? Also, not everyone has the same style and taste in fashion as you.

      I apologise for us not all being fluent in a language that isn’t our native one. We’re not obligated to learn English…

      Don’t let one trip and a few encounters change your mind on a group of almost 67, 000, 000 people…

      P.S. Don’t criticise us for not all speaking English when you can’t seem to be able to use basic punctuation…

      Reply
  21. I live in France and like there are a reason these stereotypes exist…
    Perfume makes them smell, but as does the cheese and coffee! Of course not all french people smell, but I smell more cheese or coffee breath in a day than I smell perfume.
    Parisians aren’t as friendly as in the little towns, but even in my town of 50,000 it’s not as nice as when I go to Tulle, of 15,000. The smaller you get, the friendlier you get.
    French people actually don’t speak good English. Like as a general population, it’s appalling in comparison with many other European countries.
    All my friends from all over Europe speak fluently, or close to, while half the people in my French school couldn’t even buy bread in English.
    It’s because everything is translated. Any American movies or TV are dubbed with French dialogue. No English. No Subtitles. Just French, and lips that move out of time.
    Everyone else pretty much just watches in English with their language in subtitles.
    The majority of people dress the same. It’s like they all have the same outfit planner. So much for fashion.
    Yes we drink A LOT of alcohol, but not to get drunk. It’s to enjoy the taste, not the buzz.
    Snails are a very particular taste. I’ve met more French people that hate them than who like them. I have never once tried frogs legs.

    But yes there is some truth to the stereotypes. Except the Beret one. Don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually wearing a beret.

    Reply
    • Very smart intervention Grace. About speaking English, one more reason is also that we didn’t have a very good way to learn English at school few years ago. But it looks that it has changed with youngest generations.

      Reply
    • French not speaking English might be explained by the fact that French language was the lingua franca before English replaced it after world war I … Don’t expect us to switch to English so quickly.We are bit too proud sometimes, it might take a few more centuries 🙂 More than 50% of English is actually coming from French.. English is basically germanic people trying to speak French for centuries and not very motivated somehow …

      Reply
  22. My cousin’s 18 year old daughter is visiting from Paris, France and I have gone to a lot of trouble taking her to fun places, spending tons of money on activities and restaurants and generally making a huge effort to make her trip a lot of fun! She has NEVER said thank you-not even one time! Two years ago she spent 3 weeks with my family as well and I was shocked at how she never said thank you-not even the last day when I took her to the airport and she left! Also, my dishwasher is broken so we have to wash all the dishes by hand at every meal and not once has she offered to wash or dry or even put away the dishes! I have thought about talking to her about my frustration but my daughters (ages 13 and 17) will be spending a week with her family in Paris and I don’t want to cause problems for them. Should I just leave things alone?

    Reply
    • Yeah, that’s not related at all to her being French. She’s just rude and not raised correctly. I was born and raised in France, and lived in the US for more than 2 years and I can tell you that French people say “please”, “sorry” and “thank you” more than the average American. At first, I thought people were rude until I realized it was just a cultural difference.

      To sum up, your cousin’s daughter is just ungrateful, she’s not being French.

      Reply
      • As for rudeness, never seen a problem with the French. Just make the slightest effort to speak the language, and don’t be slapping everybody on the back and guffawing all over the place, and you’ll do fine. The loud mouthed bore who comes off like a show off has bugged me about a lot of Americans as well. It’s like, you just met me and you act like you know everything about me, give me some space! I love French movies, by the way, they have some great comedies- not as big a Jerry Lewis fan as them, but I guess he’s ok.

        Reply
    • Amen Enuan ! Lucy, don’t worry about your kids, we have Wifi, Mc Donald’s and Netflix in France as well, your daughters will feel at home there 😉

      Reply
    • I’m sorry Lucy but what you are depicting here does not relate to nationality but rather to education and generation (aren’t all adolescent/young people in conflict with the establishment and the generation of their parents?). I’m French-Australian and I confess I had great difficulties (as a French person) to deal with Aussies not shaking my hand when they see me or not watching me in the eyes when they do so. Now, I’ve accepted that fact as a cultural difference and so be it!

      Reply
      • What a strange comment. I moved from NZ to Australia in my early twenties and If I’m looked in the eye or not depends on the person. That is something I have never noticed and I’ve lived there for over 30 years. As for shaking hands, it is the Western custom for men meeting for the first time to shake hands, where as 2 women might just say ‘hi’. If a women is meeting a man for the first time, then it is up to her to extend her hand if she wishes not the other way around. Better than saying Bonjour to a French person and being met with a blank stare or worse a smirk, as they do a very good job of trying to pretend that that piece of dirt (you) isn’t standing right in front of them. Australian’s are the friendliest and most courteous people on the planet and I am so thankful I emigrated there.

        Reply
  23. Hi all, good to read that article, as i was searching to know about french people, their culture and language, I am a UK Business graduate, from Pakistan, i am planning to move to Canada after few years that is why considering French language to learn to get more in demand for career purpose as i am doing Management Accounting. I expect any suggestions in this regards. I have been to Paris for few days it was fantastic experience, people are not as much friendlier as in Spain or in UK but still i found many nice and helpful people. Yes they dont prefer that much English, even found some staff of McDonald dont understanding fluent accent. Overall good experience with french, i like Paris i like french people very good looking people.

    Reply
    • Canadians are very fun and generally very friendly and open to people from other cultures. They are polite and generous. You should have a good time in Canada except for the cold winters and mosquitoes in the summer!

      Reply
  24. I am from Colombia, I live in USA, I am in Paris and I was wondering why some French people smell so bad. Not all of them but some smell like sweat of 2 weeks, and some women smells like stds, and not all of them, But some. I can smell them even if you are not close. Rude, yes and unfriendly and they get really annoyed if you ask them something specially in English. I dont see hairy legs on women so I do think they shave.

    Reply
    • Shocker, poor people and people with mental issues take the subway too. People who smell like sweat of 2 weeks in Paris are usually one of the two from my experience.

      Reply
  25. Based on reading the article and comments, I think that while the French have several traits that make them, well, French, they share many things with everyone else. Some may fit the stereotype to a T, while others may not be anywhere near.

    Reply
    • I totally agree. I honestly think people are basically the same everywhere. There are differences of course but ultimately we are all humans and want similar things.

      Reply
  26. Hello everybody. My name is Arnaud, i’m just a french guy, i’m 43 years old soon , i live in Bordeaux, you know Bordeaux the City of wine. I was searching for an article about how french people are seen by foreigners. What make us different ? In good or on Bad. And i found your article about stereotypes about french. So funny to read it, and obviously most of these stereotypes are wrong. But I can tell you that i love snails and frog’s legs with butter and parsley, trench usely complain, but it’s for our rights, WE are not lazy, i don’t think so, and WE love wine because it’s good but we drink less ans less because After it’s dangerous to drive if you are drunk and cops Can punish you.
    So tell me what can make you say that these french people are so weird for you ? What do we make or think or say that you would never do ?
    Please to read you.

    Reply
  27. I wish I had been born in France. Instead of boring dirty grey England A land of chips. Beer, and telly Vive la France

    Reply
    • Je suis moitié haïtien et français. Je suis également très honnête. Les gens me disent que je dois ne pas être si brutal.

      Reply
  28. French people are good people, and none of these are true. Except for the one about French people always retreating or surrendering. That one has been true for as long as time has been a thing. Or, at least, as long as France has been a thing.

    Reply
    • False. France have been one of the most powerful country (with England and Germany) until the 1870 and mainly WWI. Today it’s still one of the 10 most powerful country in the world

      Reply
      • Not talking about power, but capabilities, we still have aircraft carrier, and nuclear weapons, and or industry autonomy. Maybe not for long, but we still have it. Si I would say we’re even better than British and Germans…

        Reply
    • You should watch more TV news nowadays, and I’m not talking about US TV shows. France is involved in a lot of conflict area, and most of the time go with the US, when needed. You should know that France is one of the EU country who has a lot of military abroad, when not in conflict areas… Even more than British, little US’s sister… Of course, now if you compare us to the US, we don’t have the same budget for military, we preferred to put the money on education…

      Reply
  29. No no French people are polite good people and rude people at the same time I’m A Lebanese Man and i want to go to France/America and Canada after i guratudate from my univeristy as a Information Systems Degree Collegue also Canadian people are like them but better British people are good people also but they are very limited people meaning all they do is just work,study and sleep only also they got the best univerisities in the world of these countires that i want to visit them :).

    Reply
  30. I totally agree that spending lots of time using and hearing/reading the language is the best way to learn it.

    And that’s also why kids seem to do better, they simply try harder in my experience. I’m convinced that adults can perfectly master French if they want to. The only reason why most don’t is that they either lack the motivation or simply don’t have the time.

    Reply
  31. Snails are actually eaten quite often and are easily found in shops, way more than frog legs, though. Still, snails aren’t really a common thing to eat, and a lot of us don’t really like them / haven’t dared to taste them.

    Reply
    • Yeah. Back in high-school, we used frog legs for science experiments, but I never saw anyone eat any. I did eat snails several times though. It’s honestly not very different from seafood.

      Reply
      • I always eat snails and frog legs at christmas day. I assume snails are really repulsive and leave a kind of weird feel in your mouth that most peoples dislikes, but frog legs are delicious, I mean REALLY delicious cooked with some snail butter.

        Reply
    • Hi, I’m french and I’ve never ate snails in my whole life. It’s actually really hard to find some snails (or frog legs) !in ordinary shops ( I don’t live in Paris) !

      Reply
  32. This is so right! Thanks for writing this. I totally agree with this article. I live in Paris and I have been living here for 9 years. French is my native language.
    The thing that foreigners don’t really understand about french people is that they are just like them, listening at Drake and Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber and whatever. Surely we have french artists… but americans still take place in the top charts. People in France usually hate snails. Oh and btw frog tastes like fancy chicken ?.
    Youngsters in France usually LOVE Americans, dream of travelling in NY, wish they could have IN N OUT (no in n outs in France 🙁 ) and eat nerds, and Reese’s, and Marshmallow Fluff, because North American culture is “trendy”.
    Most people shop at H&M and Zara yeah… Avenue Montaigne is where you find all the successful Chanel, YSL, Dior, etc… which are EXTREMELY expensive, of course.
    Bref, je suis très d’accord avec tout ça donc merciii!

    Reply
    • I listen to a lot of French radio on my phone, a lot of the music is in English. but I really like listening to the DJs and commercials. just to hear the French I like “Rire & Chanson”, “fun Radio” and “MFM Radio”.

      Reply
    • See your comment makes me unhappy but I smile because of this high level of stupidity. Oh shit I’m rude.. Sorry! See French people can be nice!
      Oh and btw don’t lie to me but everyone is lazy (even a little bit). I mean, choose between work until you die, or enjoying your life while chilling on a sunny beach.. Don’t be hypocritical.

      Reply
  33. I completely disagree with your explanation about the language issue. Often, when I try speaking French to natives in France, they will respond to me in English (with very varying levels of skill). I didn’t meet one single French person who was the least bit shy about it either. I think they do this because they are very stuck up about their language and
    extremely impatient if one doesn’t speak it perfectly fluently. I am conversational, but not fluent in
    French, mainly because it is a bit difficult for me speak and understand at
    full speed. I need to speak just a hair slower than full speed, but not
    that much. I am good enough though that I have had full conversations in French in Quebec and in France with native
    speakers. They understood me just fine On a recent trip to the Provence
    region, at least once a day, I would speak French to someone and they would
    respond to me by rolling their eyes and answering in English. I grew up
    in New York, where we get tons of foreign tourists who are not native speakers,
    so I am very familiar with the experience of speaking to someone who speaks and
    understands a little slowly and with some errors. It’s
    really not that hard. Most people aren’t going to speak a second language
    perfectly unless they use it on a regular basis.
    I would never, ever roll my eyes at someone because they don’t speak my
    language perfectly. That’s disgusting. Basically, many French are incredibly snobbish about their culture, and if you are not 100% fluent in French they get annoyed speaking with you.

    Reply
    • Hi Jane

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I never noticed this kind of behaviour in France so I can’t explain it. All I can tell you is that what you describe is also considered rude in France.

      Next time you go to France, I recommend you to go to Polyglot Club meetings, these are meetings made specifically for practicing foreign languages and you’ll find lots of friendly people there.

      P.S: if it makes you feel any better, I often notice people rolling their eyes when I ask something in France. And I’m a native speaker. It’s not necessary a matter of language. Some people are just mad about everything, especially in Paris.

      Reply
    • I’m French, and I disagree, but i understand that your experience was a bad experience for you. You surely found some dumb French. It really depends on the region you go in… There are French. But there are also French people from the center, the north, the south, the east-south, the west-south …. It really depends. Provence is sees as a rich region of France (expensive cars, big houses, villas…) and people are known to be snobbish (not all of them for sure). Something you can try : go to the west-south near Bordeaux , or to the center near Orléans/Tours. People are really friendly ! In Bretagne too (besides the rain and clouds :P). Concerning speaking English, I never rolled my eyes to someone who’s trying to speak French. On the contrary, I really find it cute as the cutest cat you can find on the cutest site of internet ! Also, you have may be misunderstanding her “rolling eyes”… Sometimes, we roll eyes because we feel a difficulty or when we think. This is not necessarily a bad thing. May be the person wanted to make the best she can do so, she rolled her eyes to think about how she has to answer… Hope you’ll have a better experience later. Have fun in France ! 🙂

      Reply
    • I had the same experiences and I think these are shared among many tourist, that obviously French people will not have the same experiences.

      Reply
    • I agree completely I am here in Paris and I am living the same thing, maybe worse they get frustrated that you don’t understand.

      Reply
    • “That’s disgusting. Basically, many French are incredibly snobbish about their culture, and if you are not 100% fluent in French they get annoyed speaking with you”. I think this is basically why we are here. You English native speakers behave the same against French who don’t speak english as great as you do….All I see here is criticisms against French speaking English (trying at least), but once situations are switched, you feel inconfortable and French can’t criticize… But you’re doing good, you tried to speak a foreign language at least, enough rare for an English native speaker to be said.

      Reply
  34. ..just came back from France and yes-they do not stink, but they are rude and unfriendly compared to Americans and they really do not like us! They feel that they are more cultured then us. Also-the average french woman does not dress better than the average American. Actually, in NYC the women dress nicer than in Paris. So there!

    Reply
    • It’s also a difference of mentality. Many French people consider that Americans are too friendly with strangers and that it looks fake.

      All I can tell you is that how friendly French people are depends a lot on where you go, but also on your attitude. With a positive attitude, the whole world is friendly.

      You may have been unlucky, or maybe you did something considered rude in France without realising it.

      Reply
    • Thank you for your comment!! I completely agree, I mean obviously there are exceptions but for the most part your right! I was in France for about a month and speak almost no French. When I spoke to people in English, they were always so rude and hateful. But when I speak to them in Spanish their mood would completely change, a lot of people I met spoke Spanish which was interesting.

      And its not as easy as having a positive attitude. Obviously we all come with a positive attitude most tourist are excited and happy about going to Paris. It is not considered friendly to treat someone different because of the language they speak only because you think your better than them!

      Reply
      • What tourists do not realise is that the way they treat french locals is rude 90% of the time for french people. 85 millions of tourists come to visit our country every year. The majority of them never documented themselves on our social etiquette and they constantly miss respect to us. Then they all complain on internet that we are rude, not friendly and snobby. That’s what we think about the majority of tourists who expect the french to lick their feet constantly. This is our land, this is our country, if you are unable to respect it then don’t complain about our behavior

        Reply
  35. Another stereotype I’m reading online is that French hate Italians. I’m Italian, I’ve been to France many times on vacation and all French people I’ve met have been nice and kind to me.I know some Italians can be very rude, but I hope in general you don’t hate us…I really like your country, people, language!

    Reply
    • I don’t think French people hate any particular group of people honestly. I think the relationship we have with Italians is more about teasing them than anything else.

      Reply
  36. Before complainging about “the rude french who don’t speak english”, just keep in mind two points : first, in France english is a foreign language, as german, italian or arabic, no more. Second, how many foreign languages do you speak ? There’s a common joke shared in every country in Europe : How do you call someone who speaks 3 languages, a trilingual, two languages, a bilingual and only one language ? An anglo-saxon… These points set up, amercians are really welcome in France and many french people are fond of american culture, movies and whatsoever. The time where Bush was president is over, and french people were really happy when Oabama was elected. Obama is the USA we’ve always loved. Forget us the recent past.

    Reply
      • That is true, I’ve been to France many times on vacation and I find french people are usually polite. While I can’t say that all french are friendly I haven’t had any bad experience there. My french is really limited but a smile and bonjour goes a long way most of the time. I’ve had some bad experienced with rude people in London and Milan than in Paris or other places in France . While a lot of people who believed in these French rude stereotype are people who haven’t been in that country themselves, also I think that those people who complain about other countries which doesn’t speak English as first languages can be hypocrite for expecting everyone in that country to speak English. For example, while most of public transport in those countries have both their native and english sign, I haven’t seen one yet in any English speaking countries do the same or try speaking in your native languages in any shops here in Australia and see how many of those shop keepers would even attemp to say one words other than English.

        Reply
  37. Merci Benjamin ! Thanks for this article fully of justice ! In my (French) opinion, French people are a little afraid that their language disappears if English becomes the language of the world village. In the other hand, they are very proud of their History, Literature and Poetry. That’s the first reason to which they resist the “invader”.
    Your advice to say “Bonjour” when you enter into a shop for example is the best of all ! A second one should be to speak slowly, very slowly, and never forget that your listener is not native English.
    The last point from a Frenchie guy : The rest of the world do an effort to speak your american language. So be kind, and imagine you have to do the same, if chinese would be the global language, or Russian for example.
    Thanks again for your post and … au-revoir les amis !

    Reply
    • My pleasure :).

      Yeah speaking slowly often speaks a lot. But usually starting to speak French, even imperfectly helps a lot. Because when you do that, you show vulnerability so the person is less afraid to speak another language.

      Reply
  38. “While it’s true that some French people are reluctant to speak another language than French, you most likely won’t have any problem finding English-speaking people in touristic areas.”

    This quote is hilarious. Yeah, you can find English speakers in touristic areas in France, but all of them are tourists. 🙂

    Reply
      • Bonjour Benjamin! I was having a glance on the comments and when I read that French people are not encouraged to make mistakes, I was a little disappointed. I teach French & English in India and I understand very well that how much effort is required to learn a new language especially when it is not a part of your culture. So, as a teacher, I encourage my students a lot to at least try and speak and do not hesitate to make mistakes. It is not about French or American but as a tendency of a human being, a person who will not try anything will not make any mistake and the one who would take an initiative is prone to make some mistakes. If French people do not like making mistakes then obviously they will not accept mistakes from the other side as well. This is quiet alarming for those who are trying to learn French.

        Reply
        • Well actually I’m not sure. For me the fact that people are afraid to make mistakes actually mean that they’ll admire those who take risks and therefore accept other people’s mistakes more easily.

          Reply
  39. Aha very funny article! I mostly completely agree. I am a French from the South and when I travel (generaly in gigantic countries such as in Asia where people might tend to hold on to stereotypes as far as I have noticed) I am always suprised to hear people immediatly thinking “Oh, French? Then you live in Paris!” I’ve been in the North probably 4/5 times and quite like the cities. However the stereotypes such as: Paris is the most romantic city … makes me smile because… well, a big city is a big city, with the cars, the honking and the pollution. There is something called the “Syndrome du voyageur” referring to foreigners going in Paris for the romantism, Jerusalem for the beauty/History/religion, India for the color, Taj mahal and so on. And once the tourists are there, they are depressed, even pass out and leave due to the intense disapointment. I must say I don’t like stereotypes in general. I-ve been studying foreign languages for more than a decade, pationate about traveling, and I never take stereotypes for actual facts: instead I travel and see for myself. The French stereotypes personnaly make me feel ill at ease, especially the ones about sex… For instance, it is true that we talk about it easily and don’t make it a monster compared to other countries. It is a way to prevent it,actually. However when I travel and go out, I very often see how the interests grows among men the instant they know I’m French, when women tend to be less welcoming during nights out. Three times last year, while studying in Suzhou, a young man dragged me out saying “You’re French? Great!” to present me to his shy friend. I didn’t get it until the shy guy smiled at me, closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out for me to “French Kiss” him. I ran away. It happened again after that, even in situations where my friend was being hitting on, said “No” so, well let’s try with the other friend, the next best thing. It suprised me a lot because I’ve heard about this stereotype, but I wonder: is “being easy” another stereotype about French in America?

    Reply
    • As a man I noticed that too in Korea. We were several French people, and lots of Koreans seemed to consider that since we are French we will try to seduce their boyfriends and girlfriends. I thought it was kind of flattering actually since they seemed so sure we would succeed they avoided contact with us. But your example with the guy trying to kiss you sounds quite extreme. Where was it?

      I think the stereotype of being easy is actually quite funny, because lots of French think the same of Americans.

      Reply
    • Yes it is. I am not French, but have been living in France for almost 20 years now. Yes, I would say that it is generally considered that the French are easy. especially the women. I am not saying that this is true because obviously it is not. You find different people in every country. But this is one of the stereotypes of the French. It is true though, that many jokes in France are about sex. Of course sex jokes exist everywhere, but in France that seems to be practically the only topic that people joke about. Some French expressions are not perceived as vulgar or taboo where in another country, they would be perceived as vulgar or taboo.

      Reply
  40. Un fact if saying english words with a french accents works often it’s because english ans french are really close because m, long time ago Guillaume le conquérant had conquered England and, of course english people dpoke french. So after english language have kept a lot of French thinks in his vocabulary etc…

    Reply
  41. I found out on each of my trips to France, that many French who do speak English quite well, pretend not to. They will actually outright state at the beginning of a conversation that they do not speak English, and later on, magically turn into capable English speakers. I’ve been to many non-english speaking countries besides France, and this has never happened to me even once.

    Yes, some French don’t pretend they don’t speak English, but many unfortunately so pretend. It’s not a misconception, it’s a personal experience.

    Reply
    • Yeah I think fear plays a big role here. In French schools, we never speak English, so when we are in a street and need to, we tend to just be scared and say we don’t speak English.

      Reply
  42. It isn’t only Paris where the French are rude.I spent a week in Brittany and the people there were foul.They are also very racist compared to the UK and intolerant.My friend suffers Albinism and people there openly laughed at him.People stir briefly in the UK but I have never known that happen.They also let their dogs defecate all over the place which I found very unpleasant.

    Reply
    • One year later – indeed, no racists in the UK. At. All.

      Also, Paris and Brittany?
      As in, “only 2 different places in the whole country” – that’s what I called rushed judgement!

      Reply
  43. Whoa, doesn’t Francois from Paw Patrol fit almost all of these stereotypes?? Was he just based on this list?? ?

    Reply
  44. Bonjour, je suis français je vien de la région de la Lorraine et je tien à corrigé certains cliché que vous portez sur la france et leur habitants. Tout d’abord les français ne se lave jamais, ceci est totalement faux les français (en tout cas la très grande majorité) aime la propreté et se lave tout presque les jours. Nous aimons aussi sentir bon et nous nous parfumons tout les jours. Deuxièmement, les Françaises ne se rase pas, alors quand j’ai lu sa j’ai était choqué, je tien absolument à dire que nous somme un peuple très propre et que les femmes se rase je vous rassure. Toutes absolument toute les fille que j’ai connu se rase. Troisièment les français sont paraisseux, sa franchement je ne peut pas trop vous démentir quelques français sont paraisseux mais à croire se que vous dite on est soit en vacances soit en grève cela est faux, mais il est vrai que beaucoup d’étudiants sont fenient. Quatrièment, alors est-ce que on est impoli moi dans ma région, non, mais pas mal de gens dise que a Paris nous somme impolit. Sa peut être je ne peut pas vous le dire puisque je ne suis jamais était à Paris. Mais je sais que dans mon secteur nous somme pas des gens très méchant. Cinquièment, nous parlons mal anglais, oui et non moi personnellement je parle très mal anglais et beaucoup on un accent anglais très très nul voir inexistant, mais il ne faut généralisé personnes. Dans ma classe j’ai un Londonien et je peut vous dire que il parle aussi bien que certaines français ou française. Sixièment, alors là je suis tombé de ma chaise et je tien à dire que LES FRANÇAIS VOUS ADORE vous êtes un peuple très très classe et je ne connais personne absolument personnes qui à déjà dit du mal des USA. En France vous avez beaucoup de gens très fasciné de vous la preuve il aurait presque 1 million de Français qui a déménagé au État-Unis (ah, et aussi on adore Obama, il à la grande classe en France). Je vous le dit une dernière fois les français vous aime beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup. Septièment, les Françaises ne porte pas que des robe, mais aussi beaucoup de jeans et de jupe. Et je vais peut-être vous choqué mais les robe sont rare (un fois sur un vingtaines). Huitièment, les Français boivent beaucoup beaucoup de vin, oui on boit beaucoup de vin mais pas des litre non plus, non je dire 1 litre par semaine par personne. Et n’oubliez pas, pas tout les français boivent de l’alcool (un français sur cinq ne bois pas). Neuvièment, alors là oui les français mange des escargots des grenouille, effectivement mais il ne faut surtout pas croire que les français se nourrissent uniquement de sa non pas du tout, d’ailleurs je vais vous dire de quoi on se nourrit le plus, tout simplement de pâte exactement en moyenne un français mange 400 grammes de pâte par jour et par personne. Même si il est vrai certains français mange du cheval, des escargots, des moules et des grenouille (on mange que le cuisse les cuisses de grenouille par le reste du corps). Dixièment, alors oui peut-être que on se plaint, mais pas tout le temps non plus, on se plaint autant que tout le monde.
    Voilà, entant que français je pense être le mieux placé pour en parlé j’espère que vos cliché sur nous sont plus amical, en tout cas je vous jure que je suis bien français je vien d’une ville qui s’appelle Villerupt et j’étudie au lycée Alfred Mézières. Nous les français on est fasciné par vous j’espère que vous en ferais tout autant.

    Hello, I am French I vien of the region of Lorraine and I fixed some cliché to yours that you carry on France and their inhabitants . First the French never washes This is totally false the French (at least the vast majority ) loves cleanliness and washing almost all day. We also like to feel good and we parfumons us every day. Second, the French do not shave , so when I read her I was shocked, I mean absolutely yours that we are a very clean people and women shaves I assure you . All absolutely all the girl that I ‘ve known shaves . Thirdly the French are paraisseux his frankly I can not deny you too are few Frenchparaisseux his frankly I can not deny you too are few French paraisseux but believe if you said you are either on vacation or on strike this is wrong, but it is true that many students are fenient . Quatrièment , then do it is rude to me in my area , no, but a lot of people say that we are in Paris impolit . His may be I can not tell you because I never was in Paris . But I know that in my area we no sum ​​of very nasty people . Cinquièment we speak little English , yes , not me personally I speak very little English and lots of an English accent very very no nonexistent , but do general people. In my class I have a Londoner and I can tell you that he speaks as well as some French or French . Sixièment while there I fell out of my chair and I mean that yours THE FRENCH LOVE YOU you are a very classy people, and I absolutely do not know anyone who has already spoken ill of the US. In France you have a lot of very fascinated people you proof it would have nearly 1 million French who moved to the United State ( ah, and we also love Obama, he to the great class in France). I tell you the last time the French much much much love you. Septièment the French does not only dress, but also a lot of jeans and skirt. And I’ll maybe you shocked but dress are rare ( one time on a twenties ).
    . Neuvièment , then yes the French eat frog snails, actually but it is important not to believe that the French feed only its not at all , in fact I ‘ll tell you what more we feed while While it is true some French eat horses , snails, mussels and frogs ( frog legs eat the thigh by the rest of the body).Dixièment , then yes maybe we complain , but not all the time either, they complain as much as everyone. That, I think entant that French be in the best position to talk I hope your cliché we are friendlier , at least I swear I am French I vien a town called Villerupt and j We French are fascinated by you I hope you ‘d do just as much.

    Reply
  45. I have a girl who has been here to the us but doesn’t seem to know how to leave my boyfriend alone. They yes have known one another from his sister. But she is literally trying to ruin our relationship. . Why?? Are they all this way.

    Reply
      • From where should I start? CORNETTO (in french croissant), MONA LISA,
        Marcello Malpighi and Giovanni Domenico Cassini’s influential works, and many others. I’ve always respected French people, but it appears that most of them are selfish and racists. In fact, Napoleon showed to the World who French are.

        Reply
        • The cornetto is actually worst than croissant. Too dry. Regarding to Wikipedia’s page, croissant could come from Austria, Turkey, or Hungary. Never Italia. But it’s typically Italian. Most of you think you’re doing better and invented everything, but most of you don’t even go to the next village to see what happens. This is typically Italian. Talking about racist it’s really funny that you say that, I actually live in Italy since one year, and experienced more racist acts like never, while I spent 33 years in France… Few months ago, a migrant was drowning in Venezia, while 100 Italians insulted him, and yelled “go home” at him. Nobody moved, the guy died. Vai Italia Vai !!! Now, if you switch on your TV and look at the national news, you’ll understand very quickly that migrants are not very welcome in Italy. And if since Marconi, you don’t have any famous Italian scientist, then it’s not our fault. In a nutshell, you’re right, Italians are the best : to watch football (even more important than work), to avoid work, to cook (but only pasta and pizza), to be racist (every single problem in Italy is because of the migrants, even corruption in politics), to drive (no rules here), to speak English (even in international companies, only 50% speak English)…
          “Italians are the best. French people have stolen Italy’s essential stuff.”
          Your comment just show us one thing : you speak, but you know nothing.
          Fortunately I know other Italian people here who doesn’t behave like strunzz’.
          But I have to admit one thing, Italian women are very nice 😉

          Reply
  46. :’-) !!! Lol !!!! I live in France and I could say : I never eat frogs and snails (horrible!) I love American, I love speak in English (even if I think French people are very bad in English) , my parents neveeerrrr drinks wine, I see very rarely poeple who are dress like models . I think stereotypes are hilariously xD

    Reply
    • Snails are delicious with garlic you should try :p. I think most people see frogs in biology class rather than in their plate though.

      Reply
  47. A stereotype I have of the French is that they’re cowards, mostly caused by my dad and his love of WWII movies/books/documentaries.

    Reply
    • I hear that one a lot here in Berlin ;D. I have always found it strange, because the French are among the people who are the least afraid to fight for their rights and to clearly express themselves when they don’t like something.

      Reply
  48. Heh. I don’t believe in stereotypes, becouse people are various, regardless of their country of origin. However, I met about 50 French people, and 90% was nice and cheerful but they was also a little bit arrogant and complain too much. I heard all time not literally – Ohh. In Paris we have better orginized … Ohh. French company would do that better Ohh. Ahh.

    Reply
    • See that’s funny, because French people complain about France when they are there, but once abroad, they would be mad at you if you dare criticize France.

      To be honest, I do the same here in Germany. And then when I am in France, I do the opposite. I don’t know if it’s particularly French though, and as you say, it’s hard to generalize.

      Reply
  49. I just had a lot of fun reading all your comments! I was working on the French communication for my Negociation class when I found this blog and I just want to thank the author to explain all of this stereotypes. Just go to France before saying anything of that! How many times I went abroad and people told me (laughing in the same time, go figure aha) “Aww you’re french, you’re known to be rude and arrogant”. I just want to tell them “How can i not be rude when you’re telling me that when you don’t even know me?” and the funny part is that they love talking to you after that ’cause we easily say what we think (10. French people complain all the time). Same thing for not speaking english, I remember an australian who told me something about french who don’t make any effort, I just asked him “Tell me, do you speak any other language apart from english? If i’m not wrong i’m speaking in english to you while I could speak french, so who’s making no effort?”. Some people don’t understand that english is not the only language in the world! 🙂

    Reply
    • Yeah I have always found it strange when English speakers go to Paris and complain that French people don’t speak English. I totally understand that it makes it harder for them, but when I go abroad, I don’t expect people to talk to me in French.

      But I would still say French people tend to be more arrogant, or let’s say proud than people in Scandinavia for example. But then it’s hard to say since each person is different.

      Reply
      • just the fact that your government influences people’s opinion and btw i visited France with my muslim friend who i must emphasize is french from 4 generations and wears a head veil , they were obnoxiously rude towards her and when I talked everyone was suddenly very open minded and nice . We think you people are rude because you don’t accept people with their differences the most obvious fact about it is that your government banned head veils in schools and concerning women they take care of themselves which means yes they do shave ! i just wish french people were a bit warm like in england if i smile people smile back to me in france the only people that smiled back to me were originaly arab or african or south european . do you understand now why most people think french are rude

        Reply
  50. I cooperate with French people in my company very often and I don’t know why but even if they are fluent in english, they speak each other ONLY in french, in the presence of foreigner. During business meeting it is terrible … particularly abroad France.

    Reply
    • That’s a shame :(. I think people should always make the effort to speak a language everyone understands so nobody feels rejected. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t do that.

      Reply
  51. I never understood stereotypes or where people got them from but as an American this makes me feel bad to see how much we stereotype other countries…

    Reply
    • Oh you shouldn’t feel bad. It’s a natural human tendency, and Americans are far from being the only ones to have stereotypes about other countries.

      French people have lots of stereotypes about Americans. And I guess many of them are wrong. The best thing to do is to laugh about these stereotypes, they are often harmless after all :).

      Reply
  52. I will be going to visit France in the future. I have been learning to speak french for over 2 years and will never be finished. But as an American, I would rather the locals speak to me in french. As I intend to speak to them in thier language. I’m sure it will be scary, but I don’t wish to be disrespectful. And I feel it would be very disappointing to miss the chance to practice what I have worked so hard to learn. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to in french at home.

    Reply
    • Some people may switch to English if they see you are not a native French speaker, but generally if you keep speaking French they will speak French. What you could do also when you are in Paris is go to a polyglotclub meeting. Last time I went there, there were mainly French people and they were all eager to speak English so you could easily find people to practice with there.

      And if you want to practice before going to France, you can also find a language partner on Italki or via a language exchange meeting.

      Reply
  53. I’m french and I really don’t understand all these. I also noticed that people tend to think as french people as fancy know it all that wear floor length dresses and the boys wear striped shirts and berets. Ugh.

    Reply
    • Well, the feeling I have is that most stereotypes date from the last century. However, it’s still true in my opinion that French people tend to care more about their look than people in most other countries.

      Reply
  54. Hey ! I’m French and I must to say that I looove this article because we can find the true here. Honestly I was starting to get used to hear or read all these clichés. Especially when I want to show that this cliché is wrong to someone and s/he doesn’t want to change her/his mentality, like “French drinks wine and champagne all day”

    Reply
  55. My suit mate in college was from Paris and not all these stereotypes are wrong.
    these are my answers to these statements

    1. i never thought she smelt bad
    2.she didnt shave
    3. she was on the college tennis team and had an amazing work ethic
    4. im from sc and I think there was a cultural divide between us which, yes, came across as rude and sensitive
    5. she was in america so she only spoke English around me
    6. I guess she like america cause she came here
    7. NOOOO!!!!! My roommate had the worst fashion of anyone Ive ever known and she literally had about 8 things in her closet….her minimalism really baffled me and my 2 other roommates
    8. Nope. This girl was driven and dedicated. I didnt see her drink much at all
    9. idk but she did eat weird food
    10. Yes they do

    Reply
  56. Is it true French don’t like African Americans? I have heard this so many times but I’m not sure if it’s true or false 🙂

    Reply
    • I never heard about that, and I am French. So I would say it’s wrong, but then I don’t know everything.

      What’s sure is that being African in France can make your life more complicated. I honestly couldn’t say to what extent, and I hope not too much.

      But I don’t think that the fact to be American in addition to African changes anything.

      Reply
  57. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to France yet, but I used to work as a hotel receptionist when I was younger – we had a lot of French tourists and for unknown reasons 98% of them refused to speak English which is not my native language too. I was speaking in English, they were speaking in French. Many articles say that when you go to a country you should try to learn some phrases, well none of the French tourists had tried it. So it is logical that if the French people expect of tourists to speak some French in France the same people would try to learn some phrases from the native languages of the countries they visit :)))
    Having said that I would love to learn French and have a little trip to France 🙂

    Reply
    • Lots of people never make the effort the learn another language unfortunately. And it’s a shame for them, because they miss a whole part of the culture and fun by doing so.

      At school, French people are taught that you are either good or bad at languages, and they are not really encouraged to make efforts to talk. As a result, they are often scared to look silly abroad when they speak English. Even though, speaking French and expecting everyone to understand you when you are abroad is even more silly IMO.

      Reply
  58. Well I don’t know, I travel to France several times a year for work and generally people seem no more friendly or unfriendly to me than anywhere else (except the taxi drivers.) I think the best advice almost anywhere –including France –for a traveler is try to get to know the language a bit. My French is really, really limited but I’ve noticed that no matter where I am if people see you are making an effort they will make an effort too.

    Except the taxi drivers. I remember a series of misadventures one night in Paris with a French friend that ended with her shouting at the 3rd driver who’d been obnoxious to us, “I am ashamed, do you hear? I AM ASHAMED TO BE FRENCH!!!”

    Reply
    • I totally agree with you. I think the perception of friendliness depends a lot on who you meet, how you behave, or even what you consider to be friendliness. For example I heard that in nordic countries, holding the door for someone is considered rude, because it means you think the person is weak. Whereas not doing it in France would be considered rude.

      Yeah speaking French helps a lot, because when you do that you show that you want to get to know the country and that you respect its culture, but also because a person who is afraid to speak English will be less afraid if you show vulnerability by speaking French first. When I was younger, I used to run away when people asked me something in English, not because I didn’t want to, but because I was terrified at the idea of speaking English.

      Honestly, I can’t disagree when it comes to taxi drivers. I regularly get mad at them. They drive without any respect for pedestrians. I hope there are exceptions though.

      Reply
    • Ashamed to be French or American ? A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words and not his nationalty . Above all I’m European before to be French

      Reply
  59. i like this article, i am not france culture fans but i want to know foreign culture. When we know, we have willingness to respect.

    Reply
    • Totally agree. You need to know other cultures before you can judge them. Because each culture is unique and you can not understand a country without a deep knowledge of its culture.

      Reply
  60. ive traveled quite a lot, and french people are generally more rude than people from other countries. Other travelers I meet say the same thing. Those are not just prejudices but opinions based on experience. They act like they are in some way superior and just don’t care much about other people. At least, less than other people from other countries.
    Most of the stereotypes listed above are generally true. You just take them to the most extreme form and bash that, but that’s not how stereotypes work.

    Reply
    • I am sorry you had a bad experience with the French people you met. I can assure you there are lots of nice French people travelling abroad too.

      The problem with opinions based on experience is that they are highly personal. Some people have bad experiences with French people abroad, while other will tell you they had a great experience.

      Reply
    • I’ve lived in several countries including France (and not in Paris either, one of the smaller, more chaleureuse cities), and I can say for sure that the experience that the French “just don’t care much about other people” is one stereotype that has quite a strong basis. It still puzzles me somewhat, and I spoke to lots of other expats about this, and we agreed on this. I loved life there in general, in the south, but where the service industry is concerned, standards are definitely different from many other cities.

      Reply
      • It’s hard for me to judge, because I never had this feeling as a Frenchman. I have been living in Germany for one year and find people much more rude in Germany.

        But I also realize that politeness is not universal. Something considered rude somewhere can be considered polite somewhere else.

        For example, I noticed that in Germany, people almost never say thank you when you hold the door for them. And I find it rude, but for them, it doesn’t seem to be rude at all.

        Generally speaking French people hate being fake. People won’t pretend they are your friend like I often feel Americans do. This means that French people may seem (or be depending on how you feel about it) rude.

        Reply
        • I am from Yemen and i am studying in France … all these stereotypes are wrong because i lived and contacted with french people .Frankly ,they are gentle and polite and they respect foreigners ..I appreciate that forever . the only strange thing is that french girls are not opened to us as foreigners when we are in the class and they make their group work together ..they are not interested in others . Merci pour la france .

          Reply
          • I am glad you are having a positive experience in France :).
            My experience is that usually French girls are very cautious with men, because French guys are sometimes a bit irritating in the way they flirt.

      • About the pulic servants, I agree that theyre very unhelpful and can be quite rude. As for normal people, I think it is because french people are pretty individualistic, which means they consider everyhing as ‘nonw of my business.’ They can still be helpful when you ask them, and I did notice them being very friendly and fun. I met so many people on the streets, and I jad so many random conversations with people around me. I complained tons of times about a terrible public servant and the horrible service of the government while waiting in line with people.

        Reply
  61. Hi !
    I’m french, as you’ll see through my english skills 😉
    Pretty much everything has been said already, but I’d like to add a couple of things :

    – The element of surprise : When I’m traveling to a foreign country, I’m mentally prepared to speak english. I’m doing better, somehow.
    But when an english speaker asks me something in the streets, in France, I’m kind of « off guard », and I stress out a little…

    To make you understand, it’s a bit like if you’re going to your workplace like every other day, and in the streets, at a random moment, someone comes to you and asks :
    – « Hey, can you please dance with me, right now ? ».
    – «Wait, wait… let me remember… it’s been a while, it’s been years, actually… and I never was a good dancer anyway… and you are a pro… and.. arg…»
    Maybe some others, like me, are unconsciously living this as some kind of surprise test 🙂

    As other people mentioned here, there is actually a matter of shame and vulnerability. I hadn’t the time to prepare ; speaking another language is hard, and the discussion with someone asking for directions in the streets are, by nature, in a rush.

    So the result might be my face a little tense, and a reply going like « You go zis way ; zen you see a big… thing… zen… euh… voila. ». Then I might even frown a little (against myself), thinking « Damn… that wasn’t glorious… » . But of course I never meant to be rude.

    – When in a more suitable time, try speaking with french people : When having a drink or a meal at a cafe terrace, try to engage conversation with the french sitting at the neighboring table. About anything (« Bonjour, excuse me, what does ‘Curry d’Agneau’ means, please ? »). I certainly hope most of the time it will be an opening for a nicer conversation, because no one is in a hurry, and we’ll have the opportunity to ask questions too, make jokes and talk about food – and these are quite a hobby for us 🙂

    – Last thing : If you can, consider visiting cities other than Paris too, because France has different ambiances, rythms and life styles, and I think it would be a good experience to experiment several of them 🙂

    Reply
    • Your English seems pretty good :).

      You are right, surprise definitely plays an important role. Native English speakers often don’t realize it can be scary for us to speak their language. It’s like if a French tourist in the US suddenly comes to you and ask you something in French. Even if you understand and could answer in French in theory, you are likely to freak out and sound rude, even though you didn’t mean to be rude.

      Reply
  62. I visited Paris for 3 days and I actually realized not all the people speak in English, but all of them were very kind and always tried to help me. I love Paris 😀

    Reply
  63. Well,there is a popular image of French people wearing berets and striped shirts but this has been proven very unlikely these days.I was in Paris from 19-21 June and I saw a handful of French people in striped shirts but I saw only 3 people in berets,they don’t wear a striped shirt and a beret together.I wore a beret and a striped dress for 2 days in Paris.I read that Parisians can joke you are going to be a pantomime if you wear a striped shirt and a beret in Paris so they probably laughed at me for dressing that way in Paris but I did not care.I found out that the French are willing to speak English,mainly those in the service sector such as hotel or airport workers.The French have absolutely nothing against the USA because if they did,why would there be two places in Paris named after US Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt?

    Reply
    • Nice picture :).

      You are right French people really don’t have anything against Americans. There are exceptions of course. A woman once blamed me for speaking English in a French restaurant and called me a traitor ;D. The waiter kindly asked her to leave.

      It’s fun to see that the most French looking people in France are often foreigners who try to look French.

      Reply
  64. A lot probably. But this is understandable considering how easy it is to communicate in English in the world.

    If I were a native English speaker, I would also be lazy to learn another language. Truly a shame though.

    Reply
    • Yes, this is true, but until a person decides to stay inside the “English bubble”. If you aim to quit the mass tourism, for instance, and go out on your own into not English countries you can start to face a state of frustration.
      Still remain true that learning a language imply efforts. 🙂

      Reply
      • It’s all about personal preferences.

        Some people want to remain in the bubble. When they go abroad, they want to enjoy the beach and the sun, not discover another culture.

        But I totally understand how it can seem strange, I always learn basic words before visiting a country, because it’s so much fun to talk to natives, discover the culture etc.

        Reply
  65. Of course, not all French people speak english, as well as they do not speak other languages such as italian or spanish. But I do not see the point ! Are all americans speaking another language, and able to speak to tourists in their languages ? No, and this is absolutely normal for americans like it is for french or any other people in the world…

    Reply
    • I totally agree with you. You can’t expect people to speak your language when you go abroad.

      Yet, tons of people visiting France complain that French don’t speak English, or at least don’t speak it well enough.

      Reply
    • The Italian language is not diffused around the world… but on the other hand mostly English, and also French (depending on the area) are kinds of “lingua franca”.
      Americans are monolingual in the most cases, but is it truly an advantage?! How much do they miss traveling outside English language countries because of this?

      Reply
  66. As a 17 years old French boy, I feel like the real reason why French people are often perceived as rude or not willing to speak English is because they’re insecure. In reality we are just as willing to meet you as you are but we are afraid of doing things badly… I’m a supposedly ‘bilingual’ French student heading to the UK to university and I feel really complexed about talking in English with my international friends. French people are afraid of failing (that is how I feel about it personally) and I am often scared of getting laughed at because of my accent or the mistakes I do. The truth is that, while I want my English to be ‘mistakeless’, I then don’t practice orally and don’t get better at it. This is amplified when I am surrounded by other French speakers. Once, one of my friend brought her friend from Singapore and she couldn’t speak French. I am perfectly able to have a conversation in English but I felt too shy and insecure about my skills to talk to her in English, so I either said brief things in French or didn’t talk at all: she thought that was really rude from me! But the truth was that I was just not confident about it, and felt ashamed that she thought that of me. However I feel like when a French is surrounded by non-French speakers, the task gets much easier as we have no choice and don’t fear getting laughed at by other French speakers.
    It’s the same for rudeness. French people just need some love like everyone else haha. In big cities like Paris where it’s very individualistic, you can’t smile at everyone. But also, as French are sometimes insecure, they don’t dare being outgoing and then it makes them look close-minded. But the truth is that, if you smile at a French and show you’re willing to have a respectful and nice conversational intercourse, I’m sure they’ll be delighted and give the kindness back!

    Reply
    • You are totally right. Fear is probably the number one reason why French people don’t speak English, even though they could in theory.

      And I am sure many foreigners would be afraid to have to speak French to French tourists visiting their country too.

      Reply
    • I agree that French people have a fear of making mistakes. The true differences culturally definitely are not pointed out in this article, although truly states that many of the stereotypes above are urban myths! I’ve lived in France for three years and people now refuse to speak English with me simply because they’re afraid of making mistakes. I think this is part of the education system. My French friends I notice find it hard to laugh at their mistakes compared to my English friends, but that can make them seem proud and in turn impolite, but in reality a smile really does change the dynamic and relaxes the situation. Frankly I’ve found people in Berlin ruder that the Parisians.@Frenchie: good luck at university, Brits are generally embarrassed at their lack of foreign languages, but approach it differently and are generally prepared to speak slowly and explain strange vocab if you ask, although I generally find they will pick up on your needs without too much asking, a small cultural element I do miss, but I have to say has been replaced with a great attitude to aiming to keep life simpler!

      Reply
      • It’s quite hard to judge whether people are rude or not, because what is considered rude somewhere can be polite somewhere else. I have lived in Germany a while, and I noticed that using lots of polite words and sentences can be considered irritating in Germany, whereas not using them would be considered rude in many other countries.

        But it’s certain that a positive attitude and a smile can change lots of things. The best way to convince French people to speak English is to show vulnerability first and talk French.

        Reply
  67. It’s lovely to read positive things about French society and culture, but I have to say that most of the stereotypes mentioned above seem to be at least partly true:) I live in Bordeaux, where even in governmental institutions people don’t seem to be able or willing to speak English, it would be ok, if they at least put some effort in trying:) I am not sure whether French girls shave or not, but I have seen quite a few girls at university that do not wear bras, haha.

    Reply
  68. French people refuse to speak english because they don’t have a good accent. English is very hard for the french because of the “th” and the “r” [live in France] and yeah most french wash themselves everyday 😉
    [live in France]

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing this video Vicky :).

      The stereotype probably comes from the fact that some French people don’t really like to speak English with foreigners in France, because they feel it somehow destroys French culture.

      But of course many French people speak good English. It’s hard to generalize.

      Reply
    • Of course some French people do speak English Vicky, but stereotypes are generalities. But let’s be honest, most of them don’t… other than Hi, bye, thank you!!!!
      This is due to:
      – the translation of foreign movies to french (unlike countries like The Netherlands where they only add subtitles and people speak proper day-to-day English by the age of 12).
      – the education system that does not prioritize English: English classes are only compulsory from 10 to 18 years old (with the exception of Business Schools) with a focus on reading and writing. Even doctors or people likely to communicate with foreigners are far from being fluent in English.

      Reply
      • It’s true that compared to Northern Europeans, French tend to speak less English.

        But it’s also cultural I think. France is a relatively big country (compared to Northern European countries), So English is less needed.

        When you travel, speaking French is often enough because many foreigners abroad speak French.

        At the end though, it’s quite hard to know how well French people speak English. Because each person will think differently depending on who she met.

        Reply
      • Hi Lydie,

        I am not French nor a native English speaker. I’m myself Brazilian studying in France. Even though what you are saying seems legitimate and widely thought. This is how I see things.

        – French culture and language are rich. French culture that does NOT need to be phagocyted by Anglo-Saxons’ and has the right to preserve its own rich and romantic language which was back in the days the official worldwide administrative language.

        – France remains one of the most powerful/richest country in the world – official language in 28 countries – and many French people don’t feel the need to learn English – what for? They have big corporations – great health care (one of the best in the world)- they can even fly all the way to Quebec or Africa and still speak their own native language.

        – I have been to the U.S. and haven’t met anyone (including doctors , engineers, entrepreneurs, …) who could speak a single word of French – oh wait.. NOTHING other than English actually.

        – In France, not only English classes is mandatory but also a second language (third for the most courageous).
        Now, your answer to me – is “maybe they learned 2 languages but they can’t speak any of them”. Now, we go into another subject which is “public speaking””confidence” issue. French people are not encouraged to speak out loud, afraid of failure and the system DOES encourage them to learn languages but not to make mistakes. That’s the reason why they don’t dare saying anything else than “hello” “hi” “good bye” ..

        Reply
        • Hi Vicky!

          You are absolutely right. In France, we are not encouraged to make mistakes at all. Do you face difficulties in France as a foreigner?

          While failure is seen as an opportunity to try again in the US, French people often consider failure to be the end. And a lot of French people are simply afraid to speak English. The fact they don’t answer in English doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t speak English.
          Actually many French people speak good enough English to help tourists.

          cf : this list of countries by English-speaking population
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population

          Reply
          • Hi Ben,
            🙂 Here’s the latest article on French -which might be the most spoken language in the future : https://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2014/03/21/want-to-know-the-language-of-the-future-the-data-suggests-it-could-be-french/

            Well, I already went to high school in French when I was younger, then went back to Brazil and decided to continue my university level studies in France. I was already speaking well French. I never had any issue with understanding French people. So that was cool.

            The goof thing is that French people like Brazil and Brazilian. They like to remind me on Soccer team the carnaval! 😉 They also like to go into looooong discussing just for the pleasure of discussing which is part of the game.

          • Thanks for sharing this article. Honestly, I think they may be a bit too optimistic. But we will see :).

            Oh that’s awesome :). So your French must already be very good :). Feel free to contact me if you need any help.

            The carnival must be awesome. The only one I went to is Cologne carnival and it’s much smaller although absolutely awesome too :).

        • You and Lydie are both right, as far as studying English is concerned. I honestly believe 10-11 years of age is way too late to properly and most importantly easily master a language, although it can be achieved, when you choose to study it out of the system. After graduating from high school, most students can’t speak a full sentence, while they could be writing / reading it pretty well. The French lingual educational system really doesn’t focus enough on oral practicing in my opinion, and even those who choose to have a special class on that will struggle with speaking.
          As for English being a second language, in most cases the first one would be French, which at that point you’re not really in need of learning it any more.

          Anyway, there is indeed a lot of lack of self-confidence, and I find it way harder to speak English around French people than if I were in an English-speaking country.

          Anyway, the only three ways to be able to fully understand spoken english and speak it are :
          Going abroad, in an English-speaking country, where you have no other choice than to adapt ;
          Studying english in college (at around age 18), which has a really higher level of oral speaking ;
          Watching undubbed English-speaking TV shows / movies / series, English-subbed being the best option as you can literally put words on what you hear.

          Now to put it in a nutshell – if you want to speak English (or any other language for that matter), just speak it out! That’s the only way the French who have a heard time speaking it will gain enough confidence.

          Reply
    • Bravo! Magnifique! So, dites-nous, s’il vous plait, what you think about driving In the US. J’ai 61 ans. I studied French for 2 very intensive years at Georgetown University [Washington, D.C.] but my vocabulary is asleep at the wheel parceque tout le monde parle espagnol! I look forward to your next video. In the meantime, bonne chance and enjoy your life here aux Etats-Unis!

      Reply
      • Hi Joe, thanks for the feedback. I’m just the person who posted a cute video on a great blog nicely written. I am not the author of any of these two. Anyhow, I appreciate you liked the video too. 🙂

        Reply
    • I’m a French 19 year old girl and I have to say most of the people I know just DON’T WANT to speak english. They find it useless, considering we only have to speak french blablabla… I agree with the fact that we’re afraid of speaking. For example, I love to speak english with my scottish friend or with my roommate. When I speak with them I can switch on my accent and stuff but when I’m around other french people, I become shy and I lack of confidence and end up speaking like in the video, speaking english with french pronunciation. I personally think this french girl’s accent is pretty awful to listen to whilst being correct, language speaking. My ears bleed. And most of the people I know speak like that.

      This is a french youtuber I discovered by chance a while ago, she lives in France and I think she’s a lot more fluent and I actually speak a lot more like her, with a more british kind of accent.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRsWyViRamg

      Reply
      • I expected much worse when you wrote about her terrible French accent honestly :D.

        What truly helped me get over my fear of speaking was to make English friends, and go to Couchsurfing meetings and Polyglotclub events.

        Polyglotclub is great, because people are there to practice languages, so you don’t feel bad and can practice without worries.

        Reply
  69. For the rude one, I think french are not really rude but they usually have a negative mind especially older people, well at least where I live it’s like that.

    Reply
    • I agree. French tend to be quite negative sometimes. Recently an article reported that they are not very positive about their future compared to other European countries for example.

      Reply
  70. Thanks for saying that French people are in fact not different that the rest of the world. Of course they do have showers, shave etc… French people are just like you guys! :p

    Reply
    • Yes. We are not the bunch of frog eaters weirdos that some people imagine :D. All humans are quite similar at the end. And there are always reasons to explain differences.

      Reply
      • I am an Australian. I visit France every summer on my canal boat and can manage a basic conversation in French. Here is my view on the French which I truly love
        – Always greet first in French, every time you enter a shop or ask for help and they are then never rude (except for the odd public servant)
        – After you attempt French many will then speak in English thanks to your initial effort.
        – No berets or striped shirts and no unshaven girls. The men do wear more colour than Australians though.
        – They don’t say stereotypical “Ooh la la” but they do say errr instead of ummm.
        – The French are humble so be humble too.
        – The people do not smell except the homeless who always have dogs. Why always a dog?
        – The food is divine but they do not do Asian food well.
        – They love Australians as much as we love the French.
        – Large tour groups are less loved. Leave the group, the name tag and the resort wear behind.
        – If American, leave the Trump cap at home. This applies to all countries though.
        – In the country many will ask, why would you travel here? Do they not realise just how beautiful their land and culture is?
        – They are proud but not arrogant. Protective of their culture as they should be or it will be lost.
        – The traffic rules are whoever is i front is the boss.
        – Viva la difference.

        Reply

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