How are Americans treated in Paris?

Apr 10th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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The strange thing is, the most negative things I've heard about Parisians have been from several Quebecois. There must be a cultural reason for that.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Nadeau is far from negative about FRance and the French. He just finds them quite different.

However, it used to be that Québecois were treated at country bumpkins by the French, and their accent was often laughed at. As Nadeau points out, this is now changing, but there are certainly many from Québec who still harbour resentments from their treatment by their "cousins" in la vielle France.
laverendrye is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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"Québecois were treated at country bumpkins by the French, and their accent was often laughed at."

I learned to speak French during seven years in Montreal some 30+ years ago.

When I apologize to Parisians for speaking "patois" rather than proper French they smile and tell me the accent is "charmant."

Maybe I just don't understand when I'm being insulted but that always seemed very nice in this regard.
Rillifane is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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I recalled that when I was in Belfort, France our group was treated to a very rude Frenchman's attitude. He behaved as what some perceive the French to be. On the other hand, he had a problem obviously as the other locals were absolutely sweet.

In Paris, we were lost in the metro and this kind lady who spoke just a few words of English tried to help us. We were so grateful to her as we can't speak more than a few words of French.

Before that we approached a well-dressed young man. He shook his head 'No' and offered no help to us.

At home you open the door for someone and they walk past you as though you're a doorman.

Well, you meet both nice and rude people wherever you go as I said before.
francophile03 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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The only rudness we witnessed in France was delivered, in two different shops in two different towns, by English speaking women. I don't know if they were Canadian or American but they were very rude to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper was very polite but the ladies each accused the shopkeepers of "taking advantage" of them because they couldn't speak french.

I just shook my head at the shopkeeper (I don't apologize for other's rudness only my own) and I knew those two ladies were going to go home and tell how badly they were treated. And so the accusations against the French continue in this way.

We were treated very well. I was surprised how good everyone was to us.
Timlin is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 04:52 AM
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Did anyone notice this thread is nearly three years old?
MrGreen is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Threads like these are so boring: “How are Parisian treating Americans today? “Do the French have a sense of humor?” The answer depends so much on your individual experience. It’s not as if anyone is going to find a mass of Parisians ready to throw rocks at or bring flowers to Americans upon their arrival at CDG.

And, yeah, what’s with dredging up this old thread? Bury it forever.
wanderful is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Here are a few suggestions:

Use eye contact and smile.

If you don't speak French, then speak slowly--don't throw an entire sentence at them at once.

Don't interrupt. This may be the thing to do on FOX News, but you are in Europe.

Avoid humor unless they understand English really, really well.

If you have a question and don't speak the language, ask someone between 18 and 35 years of age.

I have been to France 11 times and I've only encountered one rude person.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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"I have been to France 11 times and I've only encountered one rude person."

That has to be a world record!
degas is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Tourists are intruders! The French and all others can be divided into two groups; in the tourist business and not in. All large cities are business oriented. Tourists interfere. Chances are that the most difficult behavior you may encounter will be at the American Embassy or Consulate! How do you welcome Morman Missionaries or the Avon Lady to your home?
GSteed is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Americans are "open and cheerful" to the extreme, so much so that many cultures think we are affected and innocent.
Don't interrupt. This may be the thing to do on FOX News, but you are in Europe.
Well-bred Frenchmen might be appalled...or amused... or merely confused by the "faux bonhomme" mateyness and the relentless personal questioning in which "friendly" Americans (are reputed to) indulge.


why do you have to put yourselves down like that? your patronising attempts to try to teach other americans that they are really the rude, ill-bred, uncultured, etc people are really tiring and belie a lack of comfort with yourself that perhaps more travel would bring.

A "well bred" person of any nation will recognise that americans are perhaps more cheerful, smile more and are more open. these differences will not be frowned upon by "well bred" people. What would you think of a an american who frowned upon a french person who came to the US and didn't smile to his waiter? would you instruct all french visitors to the US to smile and be, i'm sure you would tell them to just be themselves.

this all sounds like the talk of euro-smitten university students who have just come over here to study for a few months and return home as annoying brats who try to teach everyone how much better europe is. i suggest that you all grow up and get a more balanced and mature view of the world.
walkinaround is online now  
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Why so bitter about old threads? There's always new readers and posters (like me).

And why so bitter, Walkinaround? Honest feedback about cultural differences is exactly what people are looking for here. I for one have been embarrassed numerous times in Paris by fellow Americans speaking in loud voices in an otherwise quiet restaurant, and by Americans just assuming that the shopkeeper or waiter speaks English, and then commenting on the "typical French rudeness."

It's not a matter or breeding nor of Europe being better - or worse - than the U.S. It's a matter of being a well-informed traveler, and making a very easy effort not to perpetuate often legitimate assumptions that we are boorish, loud, and arrogant.
laughingd2 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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Paris and New York are the only places I've been where complete strangers have come up and offered help when they saw I was reading a map.

In Paris it was uncanny. As soon as I opened up the guidebook someone would come up and offer to guide us in the right direction.
cadillac1234 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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During our several trips to Paris, we've never experienced rudeness. I always state "Je ne parle pas francais, parley vous anglais" (sp) and been recieved cordially. Whenever an American asks my husband if the French really don't Americans, his pat response is "I'm a New Yorker, my own countrymen don't like me, so I should worry about the French?"
Margaretlb is offline  
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