When we talk about French people, many stereotypes come to mind for me, I am sure you also have some.
Today we will talk about 6 common stereotypes about French people and I will give you my opinion about them
1 French are lazy
This one is a little bit more complicated than it first sounds. Instead of lazy, I would say that professionally French people have enjoyed some advantages. 35 hours of legal work a week, paid vacation, strike rights…
So when politicians want to increase the number of legal working hours, French people use their striking right.
So people might think that French people do not want to work more and they are always striking, it can sound a bit lazy! But French people are very attached to their rights, and it is usually more an expression of this than of not wanting to work.
2 French people only eat bread, cheese, and wine.
Let’s get this off the way -, no, we do not exist only off bread, cheese, and wine! Of course, we eat and drink a lot of those. The baker shop is a daily stop for most people and cheese is usually part of every meal.
But did you know that German eat more bread than French? (not necessarily better bread though).
About wine, it is true that French drink wine regularly, during family dinners or for lunch with the workmates.
Sometimes even on their own watching a good movie next to the fireplace.
3 French are rude.
This stereotype comes mostly from Paris.
Many tourists returning to their home country describe French people as rude or not very friendly. Who hasn’t heard about a story of a friend facing an unpleasant waiter in a café or restaurant in Paris?
I hear these kinds of stories quite often, and this is usually my answer: “Paris is not really France” and if you visit a less touristy area, you will realize that French people are nearly as polite as anyone else. Nearly.
4 French people are not good at speaking foreign languages.
It is true. While German, Scandinavian and eastern Europe people speak usually very good English, French don’t often. The question is why? My answer would be education.
I can’t really see any other good reasons.
We could explain it with the fact that all of our movies, video games or books are dubbed in French which is not the case everywhere: in some countries, the movies are not dubbed and you just have subtitles.
So you hear English very often and very young. But this reason doesn’t work for countries like Germany…
5 French are unhygienic.
Well I don’t know the intimate habits of everyone, and asking how often you have a shower is not really a point of focus when I talk with people, so my answer could be inaccurate.
But from my own experience, it is not true, French people are like everyone else and enjoy being clean.
6 French complain a lot
Yes, but most of them will tell you that it’s not true. I thought the same!.But hen I started traveling and living in other countries. After a few years, I probably changed.
Now I really pay attention to what people around me say. Maybe I was the same before and didn’t even realize. But it is true, French people complain a lot. Recently I was in Nicaragua, having breakfast with my partner on the side of a beautiful volcano lake.
Four young French adults arrived at the same place. In less than 15 minutes: “the wind was too strong”, “the water of the lake looks cold”, “the prices are high”, “the food doesn’t look good”, “I didn’t sleep well because of the mattress”, “a rooster was noisy during the night”… And that’s only the ones I remember. It went on and on for 15 minutes before I decided to leave.
And this example is not an isolated case.
So some of these stereotypes are true, some others may have been true in the past, and some others are nothing more than legends.
Once again, this is my personal opinion, everyone may not agree with me. Feel free to let me know if you don’t agree. And also let me know if there are more stereotypes I forgot!