A Summary of Frenchisms


Things You'll Find in France

Everyone has an image of what they think French people are like. Many picture men with berets and striped shirts, sitting complaining about life while drinking a cup of coffee with a baguette and that they stink. Well I would like to take the time to clear the air and say that the French don't stink, how could you in a country so heavily involved in the perfume market? And only tourists and older men wear berets today, so sorry to burst that bubble. But there are a few things that are distinctly French. So here is a summary of Frenchisms.

Crosswalk Rules

Crossing the street in France, especially in Paris, feels like playing a game of leap frog. Whether you're crossing in the crosswalk or jaywalking, it doesn't matter, you always need to be on the lookout for cars. Did you see how I mentioned jaywalking? That's because its almost the main way to cross the street in France. Why wait for the light to turn green when you can cross now? That's the French attitude anyway. And I have to say that I've assimilated nicely in this practice, no more waiting for lights for me!

Les Invalides

Food Snobs

The French are known as food snobs, turning up their nose at certain foods that they think are of poor quality. And while Americans see this as rude or disrespectful, it makes total sense why they come across as snobby when it comes to food. The French are used to really good quality food. No hormones are added, everything is fresh, and they always seem to know the right combinations to make the most delicious meals. They're raised with the best, and is that such a bad thing? I think not!


I don't think that it is possible to go to France without running into some kind of strike. There always seems to be a strike going on. There are so many strikes that it is something that France is known for. And in this year, I've experienced my fair share of strikes. And while many other countries make fun of the French for their constant strikes, I understand it. If something is not going right, they'll strike rather than hope it gets better. They have a voice and they use it. So yes its annoying when you can't take the metro to work one day because of a strike, but at least the people have the right to have their voices heard.

Place de la République


Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and it can be seen in the way people dress. People always dress the part. Sweat pants and yoga pants are for working out. Only small sneakers are allowed, tennis shoes are for working out, and absolutely no leggings as pants. The clothes are form fitting and not baggy. In Paris people dress to impress and often see Americans as too casual and wearing clothes that are too baggy on them. In France, fashion is taken seriously.


Complaining is a favorite pastime in France. The French are known as complainers, which is probably why they go on strike so much. But there are degrees of how much people complain. Some may just complain about the little things, some may complain about everything. I don't know what it is, but even I complain a lot, and I was raised in the US. Maybe its in our genes, who knows, but us French people are known for complaining, and living here this year has only proved that stereotype.

Customer Service

In France, workers rights are incredibly protected. And in turn, for some reason, it means that customer service is not that valued. Unless you're staying in a high class hotel in France, don't expect the American version of customer service. Instead expect to be treated as if you're a burden. And if you threaten to take your business elsewhere, don't expect them to bend over backwards, they don't value you're business as much as Americans do.

The Metro


It is important to stop and smell the roses, and the French understand this. They take the time to take care of themselves. Their work week is shorter (35 hours) and they get paid vacation for at least four weeks out of the year. That's a lot! But then don't forget the hour long lunch breaks, sometimes more, and the hours spent after work with friends. The French value the time spent relaxing, and it is truly nice to enjoy life rather than let it pass us by. To outsiders, the French are seen as lazy, but I think they just have their priorities straight.

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