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R.C.B

I have traveled the world, and spend the time to learn the culture and language of any country I visit and I must say that the French are by far the rudest people I've met, whether in France or abroad they act as if the world revolves around them. If everyone else in the room is speaking Thai or English or Italian they will invariably turn to French when they want to speak about others in the room, sadly some of us can understand them and when they are confronted act as if it was common place to talk about others while they are in the same room as long as they didn't understand them...and god forbid you ever make a mistake while trying to speak their language.

Phil

I recently returned from a trip to Europe and all I can say about my experiences in France was that my most enjoyable moment was catching the TGV out of there!!! The French a the most arrogant, selfish, imature and ungrateful people I have ever met.
You treat the english very poorly and yet you owe so much to them! twice they fought for your freedom!! the second time (WW2) you did nothing to help them, the french culture is built on cowardice and corruption.

Kathy

My sister found that while the Parisians are rude, the rest of France is not. She found the people outside of Paris to be very friendly.

Now, the anti-American posts here are very amusing and just confirm the stereotypes about rude Parisians. By the way, the US does have a history and a culture. People who say we don't, well, it's really more about their insecurities than it is about America, isn't it.

meowsers

Well, to start off. I've never been to France, nor anywhere near Europe for that matter, however, in the time of highschool, we had many (( and I mean many)) French exchange students in this particular part of America, and for the stereo typical people, they were very nice, and undescribably fun to be around. They were infact nice enough I attempted to learn french from them, via the language. I still have yet to get anywhere, for since they moved, i've had to try and learn it myself, which is quite hard at times. Indeed, you have your rude people, and your nice people. You can get vaguely insulted in America for simply wearing the wrong style of clothing in the wrong areas, or listening to the " Wrong" music. I'm sure alot of areas of France are like that, but I dont hate them for that, infact, I'm considering on moving there. Take the good with the bad, just like in any place.

L. Theta

Maybe it's just me, but I feel more home in France, than I do in America. Same that my first language is English :(. (I am in the process of correcting this)
There are a few things I dislike about America, which seem to have been remedied in France.
Firstly, the work thing. What is with America these days, 48 hr. Workweeks etc. I can honestly say that the primary reason I am in college is not for a well paying job (or I wouldn't be in math). However, everyone else seems to be in for this reason. I only got one life, and the last thing I want to do is regret all the hours I spent working. The French aren't lazy, they just realise that culture and intellectual pursuits are as important as work.
The second thing is smiling, not that i hate smiling or anything, but I would rather not just smile for the sake of it.
Thirdly, to all travelers who think the French are rude, spend some time around New Yorkers (possibly the RUDEST people). also, wouldn't you be a bit angry and confused if someone just waltzed up to you and started speaking German or Spanish etc. I have a hard time understanding most American's English, how do you expect me to understand another language?
As I said, I was recently in France, and now that I am back, I am going slowly insane. French culture is not rude, but not quaint and illogical like most of American society.

Laura

It's difficult to dispel the stereotype that the French are rude, when French natives come on blogs like this and make blanket statements that "most Anglo-saxons" are uneducated rednecks! I'm a first generation American (my parents are from Eastern Europe), so I was raised immersed in European customs and culture in Southern California. I still catch myself saying or thinking, "Oh, those Americans!".

I think that American culture is really diverse in the sense that there are so many different cultures and nationalities present and groups tend to keep their home cultures and never really quite assimilate into mainstream America. I also think that each country and in the US, each state has its share of people who fit stereotypes, but its not everyone. I'm put off by rednecks as well, but they exist in every country and they might not realize they're being rude, they might just be uneducated and unmannered, but I assure you that its not all Americans/Anglo-Saxons.

Liz

I'm not sure I like all these references to rednecks being rude. I'm from an area of the USA where there are many people who might be considered "rednecks". I'm not certain whether it's fair to consider rednecks uncultured, uneducated, and unmannered, since "redneck" could legitimately be considered a culture in itself. Also, I've met plenty of "rednecks" at university, so they aren't necessarily uneducated. Nor would I call them unmannered, since I've found many to be polite, helpful, and respectful in address, refering to people as "sir" or "ma'am". However, "rednecks" ARE boisterous, welcoming, fun-loving folks who are casual in dress and manner, and their way of having a good time might understandably be off-putting to people who do not understand them. That is their culture, and it is unique.

Now, I've been to large cities in the USA, Spain, Italy, and France, and I've encountered supposedly well-educated, cosmopolitan people who have acted very rude in each of these countries. By that I mean that they will not respond politely to a politely phrased question or request, they will push you if they feel that you are not moving fast enough, they do not seem to understand the concept of queueing, and they regard any visitor with contempt and even loathing, regardless of the reason for the visit. I do not mean that everyone I met in my travels was rude, I only mean that I've met a few rude people everywhere.

With regards to the "rude French", I've met a few. I've met more who were helpful and even friendly, and quite understanding about my lousy ability with the French language. Two incidents of rudeness come to mind, and in each one, I was having a quiet conversation in English with my traveling companions when we were interrupted by a French citizen who couldn't wait to tell us how ignorant and uncultured Americans are and that we should just get the **** out of their country. Considering we were talking amongst ourselves about how excited we were to be visiting and how beautiful Paris is, I thought the actions of these people could be considered universally rude, with no possible cultural confusion involved. I chalked both instances up to a case of French people stereotyping Americans as ignorant and worthy of contempt.

The stereotypes go both ways. Americans may stereotype the French as rude, but the French do precisely the same thing as regards Americans.

Nia

I agree the french are so rude, I went to Nice - Cannes,France early this year on business/pleasure trip with my bf and I was so excited and happy to finally travel there (I've always wanted to go since I was a little girl). I had plan to spend a few days in paris but it all changed due to our experiences we decided to take a early detour out of that hell hole of a country. It's extraordinary how rude and arrogant everyone can be and how they try to belittle you even when you try to be extremely nice and polite and try to speak french. Sometimes I wonder if it was a combination of being American and African American maybe a lil both. I had so many bad experiences 90% of the time we had to leave early or we were going was going to go crazy in that Godforsaken place.
I just can't believe how little information it is on how Rude some of the french can be. It definitely made me appreciate America on so many levels, You don't realize how good you have it until you leave. I wanted to kiss the ground once I got off the plane and run to IHOP and Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles!LOL

proud to be an american

in regard to all of the "i hate americans" comments....

read over what was said. is it so hard to understand why many think that the french are rude? or that americans are ignorant? there are some very ignorant and rude people living in america, yes, but you cannot generalize. obviously not all of the people in france are rude and arrogant, but good god.. look at the comments you people are leaving! you do not like to be generalized as arrogant just because you are french, do you? so do not generalize americans as being stupid or redneck. it is just a generalization. and by battling over a stupid internet profile about how "superior" france is compared to america, you are in fact behaving like AN ARROGANT FRENCH PERSON. isn't that funny? and to be fair, some of the americans leaving comments are behaving as IGNORANT AMERICANS. we all love our countries and will defend them, but i do not believe that either side has the right to claim that the other is inferior. as nations, we have both had failures and we have both had triumphs. now let's stop acting like children. and if after reading this you still would like to debate that france is greater, or that america is greater... well let's use some real facts rather than calling eachother "uneducated rednecks" or "rude parisians."


- mel

Paul

Matthew wrote " I have been in France for about a year and I must say they are definetly the most rude people I have encountered. They believe that the world revolves around France. "
Do you speak French? Were you learning French? Did you expect people to speak your language?

I have seen Americans in Paris yelling because people did not speak English to them. They said "We know you can speak English, but you don't want to speak English to us.

Anything but French

I visted France a couple of weeks back and I must say, of all the countries I have visited(I have seen around 7 different countries), France was the most beautiful. But French people, i must say are the MOST RUDE i have come across.
French people assume that the whole world should speak in French!! They cant seem to believe that world is much bigger than France :)
Both the men and women have no courtesy/politeness and absolutely no manners. I dont think they know the meaning of the word 'smile'. Cold robot like faces everywhere ! The only time they show some expression on their face is when they are being rude..
I dont think I would visit this rude, self-obsessed country again.

Colleen

I agree with your post completely. My husband and I are from Chicago and went to Paris for a week long trip a couple years ago. We were nervous about how we would be treated in Paris by the French. We decided to do a few things to prepare for the trip which really made a big difference: 1) we listened to CDs to learn several basic French phrases. Learning the French phrase of "I would like . . . please," went a long way, from restaurants to buying Metro tickets. 2) we read about the French culture. One thing you point out which is CRITICAL for Americans to learn is the cultural difference in formalities. The French do not treat strangers like old friends, but instead are formal, courteous and serious. As you pointed out, in America we tend to be casual, loud and perhaps our joking around is viewed by the French as obnoxious and not proper in public. Have you ever watched the Food Network star Paula Deen's European Adventure? She is the classic, loud, rude American bumbling around Paris. She rarely speaks French and tries to be buddy-buddy with every Parisian she meets. We found that being extremely formal and polite with the French, and speaking French as much as possible before asking, "Parlez-vous Anglais?" really went a long way. We had a great time and were treated very kindly in Paris. We even made friends with some of the French!

jay

I am Australian and i have lived in france for over 1 year now, there is hardly a day that passes were someone isnt yelling at me because of my children or my dog.

Everyone tells me to get a thicker skin, but i like being nice and kind.

Anyone who thinks Parisiennes are angels hasnt lived in real Paris lol.

They take an open heart stomp all over it and then judge it.

You learn to swim with the big fish but its not a nice feeling to know you are going to yell at someone on the street like a halfwit.

Whoever said the french only speak English to show you how bad you speak french is soooo right. I have bee searching for a way to describe the way the french speak English as u=if its dirt in their mouths (all the while you haven't said a word in english).


Lola MacDonald

My boyfriend took me to Paris recently as a treat for my birthday. I had never been to Paris before and I was excited, looking forward to savouring the sites and tasting delicious French cuisine. Paris is indeed beautiful but our enjoyment of the city was tarnished by very bad service and extreme rudeness by the French people. I have never felt that level of animosity towards me/us anywhere before and we have travelled all over the world. We were witnessing good service by French people to French people but when it was our turn to be served, we would say bon jour and smile, only and be greeted with a stony stare and a look of disdain. It really was incredible! We travelled by metro often as it was fast and easy to get around but my boyfriend was verbally abused by a Frenchman on the metro and in restaurants we were served with a frown (not a smile in sight). I went to Paris with an open mind, I was excited and looking forward to the trip but I have been left disappointed and in no doubt that the French really do dislike anyone who speaks the English language, just hearing the English language spoken (I say this because I am Scottish so their hatred is not solely directed at the English) sparks such negativity that I was wishing my days away and yearning to be back in the UK. My advice? Save your hard earned cash and spend it in a country where good service and a smile are free for all to enjoy.

Chris Holdroyd

I am a Canadian and like to travel and study languages. Like most Canadians, I have studied French to grade 9. Some continue. Many of my friends have gone to French school. My wife is from Quebec.

In all the places I have travelled, Italy being the best of experiences, I have had nothing but bad times with the French. I had my passport stolen in Nice, my car broken into in Marsielles, my wife had one of her Hermes scarves lifted by hotel staff in Paris, the most devious, despicable people I ever met live in Cannes where i lived for a few weeks some 30 years ago.

I have found when I try to speak Italian or Spanish, natives help you out. But try to speak French in Quebec or France and it gets cold in the room. Maybe it's an insecurity or dislike for the English or perhaps old wounds. I don't really care much because life is for the living and the past is the past. I am not responsible today for my great great forbearers defeating the French on the plains of Abraham. But I do understand that these issues can last for centuries. So to the French, I am sorry for your unhappy past. Please forgive me and could you now be more friendly?

Apple Pie

E.L.R,

Not interesting? LOL~! You weren't interested in the Germans either, were you?

Next time you get f***ed by them, don't come and cry for our help.

subs12

I am American but lived in Geneva, Switzerland for half my adolescence. My french is not perfect by any means but I get by. I have been abroad many times and am an extremely open-minded person but Parisians ARE rude. I never see anyone smile. If you smile they look at you like you're insane. I have been lost in the metro and no one would help me, and as a single woman living by myself, men are overtly aggressive - I know they think they are flirting but when I am stopped every ten minutes by some guy it gets extremely irritating. I really do like Paris, but the people can be obnoxious - and hypocritical. Many of them talk about french equality and America's evils but they don't even the see the excessive racism and imperialist thinking in their own country.

P Mprgan

Go to Italy instead of France. The people in Italy are warm and friendly and their country is just as beautiful as France.

warwick34

having lived in france for nearly three years, i'm sorry to say that your article does not accord with my experience. no where else in the world have i entered a shop to hand deliver a letter to be looked at in horror by the owner or assistant as if i was about to hand her a bomb; or a doctor's surgery to be looked up and down by the receptionist as if i was dirt on her shoe; or been harangued by men whom i have met in a social setting - after hearing my english accent - because of my nationality.

i lived in the Czech Republic for 18 months not very long ago, have visited Germany at least twice a year for twenty years, and have visited dozens of countries in every other continent in the world with none of these experiences and - in most countries - not speaking a word of their language. i wouldn't call my french fluent, but it's pretty good.

i agree that there are polite and impolite people in every country in the world and i have some great french friends here, but i'm afraid that the proportion of the french who are - in my view - bloody rude merits the warning to beware.

so, in answer to the question "the rude french, myth or reality", in my view it's definitely reality.

chip

Tye french would be speaking German if it was not for the USA what ungrateful losers'''''
I am ashamed to say that I am part french''''

Amber Sellick

French arnt Rude, my Mums family are french and there way politer than my dads side wich are english actually!

Doreen

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Jacken

I think there are rude and nice people in France just like anywhere else
and I do not like japanese

Patrick

Hello, very interesting blog, indeed. Very rich and useful, congratulations! You seem to know the French pretty well!

Being French myself, may I had this:
One should always say: "Bonjour". Then "Excusez moi", or "Puis je vous déranger un instant?" "Je ne vous dérange pas?", before asking for something in the public arena. Even to someone who is supposed to give you an information and paid for that! Every French national considers themselves as a castle in their own right. You can also show that you respect that by waiting a few seconds before you speak. Just to sho that you're not intruding.
When leaving, do not hesitate to say "Merci beaucoup, au revoir" with a slight smile. But do not overdo it with a big smile. French people consider big smiles as a sign of untrustfulness!

One last thing: About politeness. Being polite has different meanings depending on which culture you consider - burping in arabic countries, exposing the soles of feet in Asia, etc.
France society is a rather formal one, even if they are unconscious of that fact themselves. There is still very much a lot of the spirit of the "etiquette" of Louis 14 running around. And being formal is not to be confused with being polite. You'll hear: "Ca ne se fait pas". "Ce n'est pas correct". "Aucune éducation!".

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