The French!

What do French people look like?

Have you ever played the game, whilst drinking a coffee outside a café in some tourist hotspot, where you watch the world walk by and try to guess different people’s nationalities?  Can you spot a Scotsman or tell the difference between a German and a Dane, a Moroccan and an Egyptian?   What about the French?  Surely that’s easy. You can tell the French by their clothes, faces, moustaches, perfumes, cigarettes.  Can’t you?

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National stereo-typing may not be quite PC, but let’s be honest and admit that we do it.  So, here’s  a physical description answering the question, ‘what do the French look like?’  that I found on the net:

Northern French people tend to look more germanic, they have brown sometimes blonde hair and lighter eyes.  Some of them look slightly nordic, but their features are very different – they tend to have quite large aquiline noses. The further south you go, most people have dark brown/black eyes, dark brown/black hair and olivy skin. French people on the whole tend to be quite short too.’

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What are the French like?’

Is that as easy to sum up?  Here are two internet descriptions?

1. ‘A typical Frenchman will be condescending or philosophical, he is easily excitable and can be quite violently forthright, he will have fulsome seductive lips usually formed in a pucker.’

2.  ‘French people are in general very courteous and they are direct too. They are accustomed to speaking their minds and being direct and to the point. If you sometime get annoyed by this, you will later realize that French people are friendly and polite if you get to know them a little better.’

You can also watch this video and find out what English and American people think the French are like:

 Real English    (click to view)

(video removed, perhaps for infringement of copyright ? If so, let me know someone, please.  Nevertheless, good site!)

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What do the French like ?

One site suggests that the French people like:  ‘Smurfs, Queen and Freddie Mercury, Jim Carey, Techtonik and comic books’.  Perhaps that’s true of the younger generation, but on the whole I wouldn’t completely agree.  But then, I’m not French.

As an Englishman living in France I list the top 5 French  likes thus:

1) Good food and drink

2) Good manners

3) Good dress sense

4) Good health and hygiene

5) Good work conditions and holidays

– see details of French culture and customs:

http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/france-country-profile.html

That’s my opinion.  Feel free to disagree.  What do you think?

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Finally, apart from some discussion on national characteristics, there is an English language purpose to this blog.  The questions forms:

1.      What do they look like?

2.      What are they like ?

3.      What do they like?

There are important distinctions between these questions.  The first one discusses physical characteristics, the second – personalities, the third – likes. More vocabulary and grammar on this subject is found on this link below.  Check it out!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/flatmates/episode01/index.shtml

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5 comments on “The French!

  1. english13 says:

    Of all my posts, this one has by far the most hits. Yet no-one has ever left a reply. Isn’t that strange? I’m not sure I understand and perhaps someone can explain?

  2. aaron says:

    I think the french are “cool” . It is a shame that no one understands what cool really is. New Orleans and Louisiana are close to being ‘french’ but, La leans to the right a bit much for my taste. The smallest amount of french sounding seduction lines will get you laid. oh and FRENCH BREAD RULES AAAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THE FOOD!!!!

    • tigercity says:

      I’m not sure I agree, I’d say the French can be “fashionable” but they don’t do “cool”.. Brits tend to be more adventurous in their clothes sense and we’ve taken on or invented many genres through the last century.. dandy, teddy boy, mod, rocker, hippy, disco, punk, new age, goth, football casual, yuppie, rave, indy, geek… the French do geek fine.. but the spur seems to be the music & I can’t think of many musical trends where the French have been the principal trailblazers.. you can add to this the London scene where it’s acceptabmle to wear what you want and this includes religious dress – nobody tut tuts or stares.. is this the case in Paris? Je ne crois pas.. 😉

  3. english13 says:

    I’d kept this as a private draft on my other blog, but since no-one ever goes there I’ve made it public just to reply to your comment. It’s cynical, yes, and maybe even offensive to any french person reading it. But just some thoughts I put down a few years back when living in France was getting my goat!

    http://rhapsodicrambles.blog.com/2010/02/23/france-has-no-soul/

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