There are a lot of stereotypes of the french people.
Unfortunately, as a proud french citizen and Paris’ resident, sometimes they are true… But they mostly aren’t !
Let me prove that to you below !
The French are romantic :
In the minds of many foreigners, French appears as one of the world’s most romantic languages, spoken by European aristocrats from the 17th to the 19th century, at a time when France was considered the land of writing and poetry, marivaudage and libertine philosophy. Numerous paintings or drawings of noble men and women indulging in pleasurable games behind curtains have survived to this day.
This cliché is also linked to the image of Paris, the city of romance par excellence, which was notably the scene of love between Esmeralda and Quasimodo, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in the film Charade, or between Duchesse and Thomas O’Malley in Les Aristochats.
The French are rude:
In France, you’ll probably be told that Parisians are particularly rude, not the French as a whole. Why such a difference in attitude? Perhaps because many people living in the capital are not necessarily Parisians. Most of them come from other regions or cities, such as Lyon, Bordeaux, Normandy, Grenoble, Lille or Clermont-Ferrand.
But Paris is the country’s busiest business district, forcing thousands of jobseekers to settle here, living in small apartments and feeling homesick. Paris can also be a noisy, fast-paced city: the daily routine of Parisians is often punctuated by late subway arrivals, appointments far from home, and store closing times ….
So, please, bear with Parisians: most of the time, they’re in the same situation as you: far from home.
Another cultural difference between France and the U.S.: in a city like Paris, always being cheerful and smiling can be perceived as hypocrisy, making you look fake, even stupid. But don’t feel bad: the French won’t judge you for such behavior; they simply don’t express their joy and enthusiasm in the same way.
The French are lazy:
With an average working week of 40.5 hours, the French, along with the Italians, Irish, Latvians, Lithuanians and Romanians, belong to the group of Europe’s working poor. Add to that strikes, RTT and paid vacations, and you have one of the biggest clichés about the French: they’re a bunch of slackers! Yet in reality, the French are among the most productive workers in Europe, and Finland has the lowest work rate (in Europe) at “only” 1,670 hours a year…
The French are big fans of frogs’ legs:
This cliché is so enduring that the English still call us “Frogs”. While it’s true that France imports between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of frogs’ legs a year, this dish is not very common on the country’s tables. Instead, it’s found in the Lyon region and in southern Burgundy, where it’s often served with garlic and parsley.