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Old 09-03-2008, 08:23 PM
2,541 posts, read 11,334,779 times
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What is the world's perception of France?

Here in the states, they are sort of the butt of lots of jokes because they have a stereotype of not being able to win wars

A perfect example would be a skit from Conan OBrien when the insult comic dog goes to french canada and harrasses people

I personally have no stereotype against the french

but I want to know what other countries think of france
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:30 PM
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
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Well, my husband works at the North American headquarters of a huge French based company, so basically his paycheck comes from there. Strong French economy= good year for us. I would say the French do think Paris is the center of the universe and world wide culture and they are much more formal in business than Americans.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:32 PM
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World wide France is seen as a land of good food and culture.
Some informed people think it may not survive as French with the massive problems
in non-French suburbs.
Americans don't like France because they both think they are the greatest country in the world and,obviously-one of them is wrong.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:27 PM
Location: Dayton OH
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I like France, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Nearly every city and town has great architecture, civic pride and a sense that they got it right. Everything fits together so well, and most places don't look tacky or run down or trashy. It's hard to generalize about people of any country, because everyplace has it's good and bad. Many Americans say that the French they are not friendly to Americans. I rarely found that to be the case, and I don't speak French very well. I don't expect everybody I meet on the street in another country to offer me the keys to their city while speaking to me in English and invite me home for dinner. I'm just another of the millions of foreign tourists that are passing through and soaking in the beauty of their cities and towns.

France was America's first and most important ally, whose assistance led to the success of the American revolution in the 1770s and 80s. In the late 19th century France gave us the Statue of Liberty to mark success of our young nation and our revolution, and it remains today as a global symbol of hope and freedom. If you have ever walked through the US military cemeteries in Normandy, you know that the French regard those places as hallowed ground as much as any American does, and the area surrounding those grounds shows how much they care about the sacrifices made in the past. Our ties run pretty far back and run deep, those ties trump a lot of the almost petty disagreements by politicians on either side of the Atlantic that go around from time to time. And sure, people in France have seen a lot of their culture and traditions get trounced on by many things of American origin (movies, music, food, technology, etc, etc), and sure they are defensive about all that - not surprising really. On the other hand, our English language is a blend of German with a large dose of French thrown in so in a sense we all have something in common.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:20 AM
Location: CA
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I think American views of France & the French vary greatly. Some people think French people are arrogant snobs, full of themselves, have extreme liberal views, & hate Americans (and anyone not French). Others think they have really great culture and fashion and food and that France is a beautiful country, and they romanticize what it would be like to live there. Still other people have a mix of those two views.

Some negative stereotypes people have are that French people smell bad & rarely shower, and that their whole country is dirty, and that women there don't shave their legs (yes, some stupid people still think that).

People like making fun of France & French people also, but I think it's mostly in an affectionate way. Saying something with a really bad imitation French accent seems to make things funnier
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:04 AM
Location: Metro DC
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After just leaving Paris a few days ago, my views of France are nearly the same. The people are rude, the ones I encountered (and yes, I spoke French). But I will say the food and the culture of more down time, at cafes and restaurants was nice. And I definitely think the American view of France would be different if more people would visit the country.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:14 AM
Location: Brisbane
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Agreed with the above
- Beatiful Country
- Rude People

Oh and I think Paris is way overrated. Arts scene is wonderful, walking down the street dodging dog poo is not.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:17 AM
Location: in the southwest
13,395 posts, read 45,020,621 times
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There was a Very Long Thread about France here a year or so ago. Pages and pages of opinions, facts, impressions, some were insightful, some trollish.
Actually, I think it might have been before this World forum existed, so I don't know if a search would turn it up.

Isn't France one of the most touristed countries of our planet?

Orangeapple's post speaks for me.
The world's perception is probably a mixture: of respect and admiration for the scenery and culture of France, but also, exasperation with that same culture.

I must have a magical aura about me or something, because I've visited France four times now and nobody has ever been rude to me, even recently when I was traveling alone and muddled through conversations with my wretched attempt to speak the language.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:19 AM
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Well, as a French guy, but -stay calm buddies- utterly critical of my own country,(I'm not patriotic at all, I don't have that ...American virtue, and damn that old fascist saying "right or wrong my country") I'd say the stereotypes on "France losing all wars" show a damning ack of historical knowledge .
Nowadays statistics are made about nearly everything (here on US Citydata on "the number of [gender] homosexuals in [state] cities", -interesting, unthinkable in oooo sooo open-minded France), and a few years ago I read in "The Economist" statistics about the number of armed conflicts in which European countries were involved countries throurought history -and-"surprise, surprise", France was n° 1- I remember the percentage 33%- way before -guess what country?-Germany!
So contrary to common thinking, France is a warrior country which was always involved in conflicts, and often won (look at the European map a century ago and today, France-contrary to Germany, Austria, Russia-is among the territorial winners).
As a "world citizen" (well, I pride myself to be a cosmopolitan), I'm not at all proud of this state of things, I'd rather have the current thinking about the "coward French" (I don't believe in heroes, another very unamerican and unfrench feature of mine) to be true!
And to danielsa1775 : how very true this shame of dog poo in streets and parks.
As long as we will tolerate that, how can we be really called civilized?
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post

Oh and I think Paris is way overrated. Arts scene is wonderful, walking down the street dodging dog poo is not.
Just forget Paris romantic city and think Paris working crowded city of 12 million inhabitants, where only 3% of the economy are linked with the tourism.
The life in Paris is not romance and joie de vivre, the life is tough and stressfull and most people don't care of tourist.

I like my city but people should know the truth, Paris is a multicultural modern metropolis.
If paris was like the stereotype (Love, romance, only white and old building) I would not live in Paris
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