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are the french really pessimistic

Cliches about the French include the fact that we are smokers, fashion icons, slim and slender, drink wine and coffee like water and are the ultimate romantics. While these archetypes can prove to be true, it is important to keep in mind that each person is an individual.
1 – We are bad drivers Vrai et Faux. Well, that depends on how your define “bad”. We can be well-mannered in some situations, but easily become surprisingly aggressive behind the wheel.

2- The French are very romantic True. Yes, it’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations about an entire population, but the French are quite passionate and romantic.  Blame in on the language (who can really keep it together with all those rolling vowel sounds).

3- We wear berets while riding bicycles with baskets full of baguettes Faux, well almost ! Yes we love to eat baguettes, especially some tartines (pieces of bread on which you spread  butter, jam or chocolate) which we eat in the morning with an expresso.
It is very unlikely that you get to see the combination of a Parisian wearing a beret with a stick riding a bike.

4- We don’t speak any other language except ours Vrai et faux. We aren’t very good at foreign languages. We had strong policies to preserve French Culture, and these included a lot of excessive measures, specially concerning movies and TV shows’translations and dubbing.
There is also a problem with the way people learn English or other languages at school.
However, there are more and more French people learning English while living abroad or working in a global context which requires to master English.

5- You have to speak French if you travel to France Vrai et faux. This depends where you’re going. If you’re visiting large cities like Marseille, Paris, Lyon, etc., then chances are you’ll be able to get by just speaking English. If you are going off the beaten tracks to explore small towns and villages, then knowing some French is helpful. Of course, those fluent in French will find it easier, but it’s not impossible to travel around France knowing no French. It’s considered polite to attempt to speak French (even if it’s out of a phrase book) instead of assuming someone speaks English. I recommend starting out by asking the person if they speak English: Parlez-vous Anglais?

6- We are snobby & rude Vrai et faux. This one depends on the context. Before calling someone snobby or rude, it’s important to understand cultural differences.With a little education on a particular situation, a person can find they can understand and get along with just about anyone. That doesn’t mean that there are absolutely no rude people in France. There are rude people everywhere, it’s a fact of life! The Parisians can get a bit stressed during rush hours in the Metro, but isn’t it the same in all the big cities all over the world? But I don’t think this is the norm, neither to be a French speciality. Many French will welcome you arms wide open wherever you come from. I hopfully belong to this category.

7. We are all a fashion icon Vrai et faux. Some people critisise the French, especially the Parisians, for our overwhelming concern for the way we dress.
It is true that Parisians like to appear casual and elegant without being overdressed or under-dressed. The laissez-faire approach to fashion is something many people covet — and the looks we wear are something we all want to emulate on a daily basis. But do not expect to meet someone dressed in a Channel suit in the street, it is very unlikely. You will see more people, as in all big cities of the world, wearing international brands with maybe an extra French touch !

9- We are always on vacations Vrai et faux. Almost all employees are entitled to 5 weeks of holiday a year. August has been the traditional holiday month in France, with almost all locals clearing out of their cities to venture to other parts of the world. When you tell a French person that the average American only gets two weeks vacation a year, you will invariably hear,”Ehhh?! Ce n’est pas possible! C’est fou!It’s not possible and it’s crazy

 

10- We are strike lovers Vrai et fauxI will not go into details on that point as it would obviously require a deeper analysis but in a few lines, I would say that the right to strike is important in French culture. However[p1] , it’s often reconsidered by people, by organization or political parties. On the one hand it’s understandable that people have demands but on the other , citizens like me do not always agree with how strikers are acting to achieve their demands or explain their dissatisfaction. That’s why this right, has to exist but also has to be limited so that people can live in a community.

11- We are food snobs True.  If you define “food snob” as someone quite concerned with the quality of products, presentation of meals, and art of food combination , then yes, we are decidedly on the elitist side. Sure, there are people who routinely pop meals in the microwave, and I was initially surprised at the large number of processed items on offer in the supermarkets, but on the whole, we are acutely aware of what we put in our food trollies and grocery baskets and where we shop.


12– We love to smoke cigarettes
Vrai et faux. Again, probably not more than any other people. Since we enforced a law banning smoking from public places, particularly workplaces, people smoke less and less.

 

13-We are all fashion icon Vrai et faux. Another cliche about the French is their appreance. Some people critisize the French, especially the Parisians, for our overwhelming concern for the way we dress.
It is true that Parisians like to appear casual and elegant without being overdressed or under-dressed. The laissez-faire approach to fashion is something many people covet — and the looks we wear are something we all want to emulate on a daily basis. But do not expect to meet someone dressed in a Channel suit in the street, it is very unlikely. You will see more, as in all big cities of the world, people wearing international brands with maybe an extra French touch !

 

14 – We are always on vacations Vrai et faux. Almost all employees are entitled to 5 weeks of holiday a year. August has been the traditional holiday month in France, with almost all locals clearing out of their cities to venture to other parts of the world. When you tell a French person that the average American gets two weeks vacation a year, you will invariably hear,”Ehhh?! Ce n’est pas possible! C’est fou!It’s not possible and it’s crazy

 

15 – We are food snobs True.  If you define ” a food snob” as someone concerned with the quality of products, presentation of meals, and the art of food combination , then yes, we are decidedly on the elitist side. Sure, there are people who routinely pop meals in the microwave, and I was initially surprised at the large number of processed items on offer in the supermarkets, but on the whole, we are acutely aware of what we put in our food trollies and grocery baskets and where we shop.

You are interested by the cliches about the French ?

French “à la carte” offers customized one to one French lessons to meet your needs, your learning style and your schedule.  If you are interested in learning more about French culture and traditions while improving your language skills,  call or contact us here to organise private French lessons in Paris with a French tutor in Paris.

 


[p1]Doesn’t make sense


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