Skip Navigation

are the French really rude? :(

Travel Forums Europe are the French really rude? :(

Page

Last Post

11. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 10y

Have to say I never found folk in Paris to be particularly friendly even when I put on my best French (in general), but I think that might partly be a big city thing rather than a French thing - or maybe it's 'cause my French is so bad that I was constantly unintentionally offensive.

12. Posted by Cbppc25 (Full Member 75 posts) 10y

Never had a problem myself, in Paris or outside, during any of my trips stays here. In fact, I find the French people I meet nice and warm, and enjoy talking about the states. Best of luck.

13. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

The only rude Parisian I encountered was the sales-clerk at the Louvre giftshop. We had to wait 10 minutes until she finished her conversation before she'd serve us!

People in Paris are as friendly and grumpy as they are anywhere else in the world. I found the vast majority to be helpful and very accommodating. Even the manager of the little hotel I stayed at appeared to be brusque and haughty, but was in fact extremely kind and helpful once I actually talked to her. I think they're just big-city focused until you talk to them and they emerge from their bubble.

14. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Even the manager of the little hotel I stayed at appeared to be brusque and haughty, but was in fact extremely kind and helpful once I actually talked to her.

I think this is the reason they get their reputation as being rude. In general, I think the demeanour of Parisians is very distant and unobtrusive. In a restaurant or cafe, the waiter isn't constantly hanging around with friendly "how's it all going?" I think many tourists take this as being rude, but really they are just letting people take their meals and enjoy the company of their friends.

Greg

15. Posted by Zoom (Full Member 131 posts) 10y

Ah, the never ending question. Here's the deal. I'm an American (European Parents) who has a small apt. in Paris. The French are some of the greatest people on earth. They're not "Hi, Have a Nice Day" Phony superficial but if you approach them with a nice smile and a calm "Bon Jour" they will be more than happy to help you. They're very big on manners so if you go up to a kiosk and throw some coins towards the guy and DEMAND a newspaper with out a "Please" (sil vous plait) he's gonna consider you a VERY rude person and treat you as such. Be calm, use the proper greetings, and smile a bit and 9.5 times out of 10 they'll be super great to you. If you want help it's best to approach someone under 50 because a lot learned their English from 60's Rock Music (+ school of course) but even when they say they don't speak English they almost always do but just feel it's not really good enough for them to converse - they're VERY hard on themselves. Of course it almost always is fine and does the trick. Another thing is they don't hate Americans at all, they just REALLY hate Bush. If they know you hate Bush they'll probably buy you dinner and talk politics for hours - they're very well informed. BTW, my French is HORRIBLE so I almost always speak English BUT....MANNERS first. Think 50's America.........

16. Posted by cruisegirl (Respected Member 244 posts) 10y

I agree with Greg. I know in Canada we go out of our way to be friendly, it's just part of our nature. And with the French, they just let you enjoy yourself and your surroundings. So they may not come off as being the friendliest people, but they are certainly not overly rude either. You can come across a rude person in ANY country. My experiences in France (I've been to Paris, Nice, Portoferraio, and Collioure) have been nothing but wonderful.

But funny enough, when I was in CDG, my suitcase fell over and people just stepped over it, but when I landed in YYZ someone actually stopped and picked it back up for me....*sigh*....there's no place like home (and yes, I did buy new luggage after that!!!)

17. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

Quoting Zoom

Ah, the never ending question. Here's the deal. I'm an American (European Parents) who has a small apt. in Paris. The French are some of the greatest people on earth. They're not "Hi, Have a Nice Day" Phony superficial but if you approach them with a nice smile and a calm "Bon Jour" they will be more than happy to help you. They're very big on manners so if you go up to a kiosk and throw some coins towards the guy and DEMAND a newspaper with out a "Please" (sil vous plait) he's gonna consider you a VERY rude person and treat you as such. Be calm, use the proper greetings, and smile a bit and 9.5 times out of 10 they'll be super great to you. If you want help it's best to approach someone under 50 because a lot learned their English from 60's Rock Music (+ school of course) but even when they say they don't speak English they almost always do but just feel it's not really good enough for them to converse - they're VERY hard on themselves. Of course it almost always is fine and does the trick. Another thing is they don't hate Americans at all, they just REALLY hate Bush. If they know you hate Bush they'll probably buy you dinner and talk politics for hours - they're very well informed. BTW, my French is HORRIBLE so I almost always speak English BUT....MANNERS first. Think 50's America.........

Very interesting reply - thanks for that Zoom

18. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 10y

I never had a problem with rudeness in Paris...I find it's worse on the Riviera. I do speak French rather fluently, but since I have a thick anglophone accent, people can tell right away that I'm not from around there. As others have said, just try your best and you'll be fine! I had a fun time trying not to use expressions that are used in Quebec....like in Quebec, to say "you're welcome" you say "benvenue" (which is slang) but in France you use the proper "de rien." Ahhh, the simple things make me giggle. :)

Anyways, I'm a Paris-nut, so if you have any questions, I'll try and help the best I can! Just drop me a line and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

You're going to have a great time! :)

Cheers,
Katie ;)

19. Posted by k_chocolat (Budding Member 12 posts) 10y

thank u guys soo much for very informative replies :) i feel much less worried now

20. Posted by toransurf (Full Member 55 posts) 10y

Rude.. no, Proud of themself, show of and they argue all the time!!
héhé, I'm from Québec, Canada, that is what we always say about our cousins from the Hexagone.

Page

Last Post

This thread is closed