8 Funny French Observations About The U.S.A.
Part of understanding another culture is stepping back and getting to know your own culture better. In order to help facilitate this introspective, we thought to round up a few outside perspectives about the U.S.A. from some blunt and honest French travelers who have some interesting observations to share from their journeys. I hope you enjoy these 8 Funny French Observations About The U.S.A.!
1. Prepare for Friendliness Overload & lots of hugging
"Our custom is to kiss before, during, and after each social encounter, with 1, 2, 3, or 4 kisses. This is not the custom in the United States. For a friend, we will hug, with a great tapping on the back and a big smile. For colleagues, greet with a good handshake. Americans have a firm handshake, so do not hesitate to grind their knuckles. It is also a sign you have confidence in yourself.
Be prepared for an onslaught of friendliness. You may be approached by a stranger on the street asking you where you got your coat. Passersby's greet each other cheerfully on the street. Your neighbor may compliment you on the curve of your muscles, and the cashier at the supermarket may ask you what you are doing this weekend (and the three cases of rosé you've purchased)." [Source]
2. Bigger Is Better
"Everything is bigger. Every subject is a big drama. Everything they want to build is huge." [Source]
3. Walk Signs Will Cause Anxiety
"Crossing the road as a pedestrian is not always easy, you often have to wait for ages. When the white man is on, you can cross. And then a stressful countdown shows the time remaining for you to cross, sometimes only a few seconds to cross large avenues." [Source]
4. Always Compliment a Child or a Pet (Even If They Are Ugly)
"Rejoicing in the presence of children or pets. This is the correlation of "smile to strangers," it is mandatory to have a smile or a little "how cute" tilt to your head if you come across a child or pet. Even if they are ugly." [Source]
"Also, if you are running errands and drop off your pants at the cleaners or pop into the supermarket... know that leaving children alone, whether at the home, in the car, or the hotel is frowned upon, even prohibited." [Source]
5. Work, Work, Work
"In France, we choose life over work. We also choose strikes over work, but Americans work too much." [Source]
6. Pluming Has No Logic
"I still have not understood how it is that in my American sink I have, in addition to the tap, a flexible head (as in a French shower) to rinse the corners of the sink but in my shower / tub which is three times larger, I have a fixed head on the wall! No logic!" [Source]
7. They're Loud
"Commercials in the United States are always yelling at me." [Source]
8. Public Restrooms = No Privacy
"If you want privacy (in a public restroom), no chance. There are no real walls, only partitions that do not even go to the ground. So you can see the shoes of your colleagues, hear all the noises ... And even the doors do not help much. You can see the faces of the occupants through the slits in the doorway." [Source]
Are you French and have some observations to add to our 8 Funny French Observations About The U.S.A. post? Be sure to leave a comment down below and share this post using #jplingo @jplinguistics. Don't forget to check out our French Private Lessons & Group Classes by visiting www.jplinguistics.com!