Are the French rude?

GlobalNomad's picture
By GlobalNomad - Posted on
29 December 2011
Are the French really as rude as they're rumoured to be? I'm thinking about spending next summer there, and I'm worried about being made to feel like an outcast.
Afriq Wanderlust's picture
Last seen: 4 years 34 weeks ago
Joined: 01/01/2012

The French are no more ruder than any other nationality. They may come across as abrupt but as in any other country, you will still have encounters that are less than courteous. I would recommend you have a look at the Expat Arrivals section on Culture Shock in France as it explains some of the challenges that visitors to France may come up against when in France.

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chickster's picture
Last seen: 6 years 16 weeks ago
Joined: 26/01/2012

I concur with Afriq Wanderlust, but I think the French are generally receptive to most people who show interest in their country and culture.

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Anonymous's picture

I think French are perceived rude because they feel insecure of speaking another language other than French. So, they tend to answer very curtly and with the only few English words they know or even yet, they answer you in French. However, once you try asking in French, even if it is not correct, but just showing that you're doing an effort, they are pretty helpful and accommodating.

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Anonymous's picture

As a French expat living in the US I finnaly got it!!
French have the very same level of respect towards others than any other culture, we just show it differently:

as a French, if someone acknowledges me or try to engage a conversation in the bus or subway, my first reaction is "what the hell? what do you want from me? get lost I don't know you". Because this person DIDN'T show respect to me by letting me going on with my life, interrupting my being, and intruding in my privacy. Afterall, we are just standing next to each other going from point A to B, and I am too busy or focused to get into small talk to someone I will never see again. Same with Waiters: I don't need/want to know their names: just bring me my coffee and my bill when I ask for it, otherwise, just do your job and leave me be with my friends!

In America, people CANNOT help themselves to acknowlege and engage in small talk with someone on the chair lift or on the line at the supermarket and/or present themselves as your "friend" in a restaurant or store: it is THEIR american way to show respect, to try to create a "connection", to not ignore you...

and that's why we have this major myth of French being rude!! They are NOT, it is just one of these cultural differences that separate 2 nice and polite nations!
Please share it around! Merci, Muriel

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