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What do you think of when you think French?

(19 Posts)
isme10 Tue 24-Jun-14 12:46:03

I belong to a French/English language group. We help each other to improve our language skills in each others language. Just for fun someone suggested the topic next week should be that we should write about preconceptions i.e. what the French think of us English and what we English think of France and the French. Obviously the French will have to write in English about us and vice versa. It can be about the people, the culture, the language..anything. Maybe something you thought before you met the real thing, maybe something you still think.

Who better to ask than you lot. If you think of France and the French what is the first thing you think of?

keepyourchinupdear Tue 24-Jun-14 12:52:15

Romance, stylish dressing, the French Riviera, gorgeous food... I'm not English, but from an English speaking country/background

SirChenjin Tue 24-Jun-14 12:55:38

I have 2 images of French people - the stick thin, immaculately dressed Parisienne Madame with her poodle versus the overweight farmer tearing around in his ancient citroen van, smoking a gitane and necking rough red wine with a complete disregard pour tout les regles (disclaimer - I have no idea if that is grammatically correct, probably not!)

SirChenjin Tue 24-Jun-14 12:56:26


Xcountry Tue 24-Jun-14 13:05:31

Rudeness!!! I worked for a Frenchman once when I was 14 in his café and he was rude rude rude. By far the most rude boss I have ever had

isme10 Tue 24-Jun-14 13:21:24

Great keep them coming please...funnier the better. I have to give the French a run for their money !!

SirChenjin Tue 24-Jun-14 13:34:00

Just asked DH what he thinks of - apparently he thinks of the French policemen at the Louvre who wore the tightest trousers he has ever seen on police officers. Apparently he was "both repelled and attracted at the same time". (Not sure if I should be concerned by this revelation actually confused)

KillerOfThreads Tue 24-Jun-14 13:39:24

Strikes! Endless bloody strikes causing chaos grin last week was the trains, this week is air traffic weeks...?!

WowOoo Tue 24-Jun-14 13:40:50

Vincent Cassel; brilliant films, literature and art; great food and wine and making an event of a meal; beautiful countryside; lots of dog poo on the pavements and stinky sewers in summer in the city; trade unions and strikes; beautiful but difficult language and Vincent Cassel.

WowOoo Tue 24-Jun-14 13:41:39

Oh, I thought I'd be the first to mention strikes KillerofThreads!

MummyBeerest Tue 24-Jun-14 13:46:23

The Louvre
Berets and thin mustaches
Big sunglasses

zzzzz Tue 24-Jun-14 13:53:20

Short cropped hair and blank haughty look for the women.

Toilets so small and rank you would rather let your bladder burst than use them.

Amazingly repetitive cuisine especially for desserts or vegetables.

Sitting in lines looking out at the street rather than talking round a table.

Inability to pick up dog shit.

Amazement that babies can go out and travel.

Feeding bottle fed babies with cows milk and sugar shock

A decade ago though!

Earlybird Tue 24-Jun-14 14:05:02

Scooters - efficient and quick way to move around traffic. Easy to park, daredevil drivers
Cafe life - sitting for hours outside drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and people watching (also the distinctive style of woven chairs and tables)
Flowers - beautiful window boxes, hanging baskets, stone planters filled with gorgeous blooms
Smells - strong coffee, warm croissant, exotic perfume. And not so lovely - strong smell of urine (guess the men just 'go' most anywhere)
Women and cigarettes - chic French women who smoke to control appetite rather than risk being overweight
Jacques Tati - so funny
Seafood - huge stands of ice holding oysters, fish, etc outside shops, restaurants
Art Galleries - how do they all stay in business? More galleries than churches in the American south
Fresh Produce - gorgeous, delicious fruit and veg - completely different to the waxy stuff available here. Dd still gets wistful remembering a heavenly box of raspberries
Beautiful clothes/handbags/shoes - buy only a few very special, high quality (and expensive) things (and wear them all the time), rather than have more/cheaper stuff

KillerOfThreads Tue 24-Jun-14 14:07:35

Worth mentioning again woo ooo! wink

isme10 Tue 24-Jun-14 18:08:04

..and what about the French I don't mean tongues... but the "politesse" of greetings....air kissing and the shaking of hands. It can take half an hour to get round the bar before you can order a drink !!

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 24-Jun-14 23:47:44

French = rude.

Nice bread, wine, cheese and pate. Horrible cakes and biscuits.

charlieandlola Tue 24-Jun-14 23:51:40

Offices and shops owing for hours at lunch and everyone going home for a full cooked 3 course meal

Salad as a starter ( well just lettuce really)

Lots of bank holidays/ saints days in May

Le bison futee

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 25-Jun-14 00:22:40

A year in the merde is a really funny book along these lines. I love love France but their 'pop' music is pretty dire.

LuluJakey1 Sun 29-Jun-14 22:58:07

Holidays in the south west of France, lazy lunches and siestas, sunflower fields, shutters, lavander, lizards, walled medieval hill towns, stylish women, patisseries, heat, storms, sex.

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