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French people are Very Friendly

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Level Contributor
81 posts
44 reviews
French people are Very Friendly

I am just back from my first trip to France. We visited Paris and Nice. Before going I read a lot about the French people being rude if you cannot speak their language or not giving directions or being snobby towards tourists. I also read a lot of articles advising how not to look like a tourist to avoid trouble. I planned a tour where I had my parents and grandmother with me, we are budget travelers and I had very little idea about society and culture of France. So I was really worried before reaching there.

Trust me, there was no reason to worry. The French are very friendly and very helpful. We looked exactly like tourists, we are Indians, my grandmother was wearing Sari and I had a DSLR hanging around my neck and a map in my hand all the time. The only two french words we had to used were Bonjour and Merci. Apart from that we spoke in English and people mostly understood. Quite a few of them could speak English, even if that's not very good. Those who couldn't, managed to communicate with french and hand gestures. I must say they speak in a highly animated way. Two persons gave us a long road directions in Nice with hand gestures because they didn't know English and it was bang on. We shopped in local shops and departmental stores in Paris. My mother met a salesgirl in Monoprix who didn't understand English, my mother doesn't know a word of French, but she managed to get everything she needed from her without a trouble. In a cafe in Paris I couldn't understand a vegetable that was on the menu card. When I asked the waiter he couldn't explain, so he took his phone out, searched in google and showed me a picture of it. Even people voluntarily spoke to us in buses and they were really nice.

So next time you go to France don't worry about people misbehaving. They are nice and they try their best to help.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4,201 posts
44 reviews
1. Re: French people are Very Friendly

Fantastic! Thanks for posting this - it will be very helpful to so many people.

I too don't understand the 'how do I not look like a tourist' mentality... um, you are visiting world famous sites and like you said, probably have a camera around your neck. Of course there is no way to avoid looking like a tourist!!

It's always helpful (& polite) to learn a few phrases of the local language when travelling, so thanks for the reminder ;)

Hopefully you will do a trip report so we can hear about your trip more!

Pjk
Plainsboro, New...
Destination Expert
for Key West
Level Contributor
39,320 posts
129 reviews
2. Re: French people are Very Friendly

It has happened to us in Paris more than once...we'll be standing on a corner looking at a map or guidebook and someone will come up to us and ask if they can help us find our way.

Pjk

California
Level Contributor
8,831 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: French people are Very Friendly

Glad to hear you had a nice trip! We've found the same to be true.

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Level Contributor
81 posts
44 reviews
4. Re: French people are Very Friendly

Yes Chazwazza I'm going to make the trip report really soon.

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris, Montreal
Level Contributor
19,760 posts
171 reviews
5. Re: French people are Very Friendly

"The only two french words we had to used were Bonjour and Merci. "

the right words :)

thank you for posting about your experience

4 posts
6. Re: French people are Very Friendly

I don't agree at all. As i arrived to Paris for a first time i was trying to ask the way to go on the street when i got out from undergraound and nobody even answred me! Because i was asking in English. And every time i come to Paris it's all the same. Sure i met some nice people there, but mot much.

Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
965 posts
12 reviews
7. Re: French people are Very Friendly

I speak 10 French words fluently. While I enjoyed each of the 4 European countries I visited, French people radiated most warmth.

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
2,427 posts
2,850 reviews
8. Re: French people are Very Friendly

Thanks for sharing your positive experience. It is precisely what you have described that has contributed to me returning repeatedly to Paris for decades.

Kolkata (Calcutta...
Level Contributor
81 posts
44 reviews
9. Re: French people are Very Friendly

AlexeyD are you sure not being answered to was due to your speaking English? It could have been that the signs to go on the streets were clearly given right in front of you. People in most parts of the world tend to avoid being held up when they are busy, and in airport arrivals everybody is busy.

Terrigal, Australia
Level Contributor
2,704 posts
703 reviews
10. Re: French people are Very Friendly

thank you

your experience and sentiment really reflect our extensive travelling in France