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cultural difference

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:10 pm
by miumiaou
These days, I was questioning myself a lot about the cultural difference between us (in a non offensive way). So I'll directly ask you: how is the life in your country and how do you see the life in other countries? (for example in my country, the France) I ask that with the unique intention of knowing the things that is going or not to hurt you. I don't want to do what we call a boulette in France (basically saying something that some people could consider weird, offensive,shocking,...)

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:54 pm
by matt
I think that is a difficult thing to compare life in other countries since most people haven't lived in both France and the US, so it is hard to compare.

I've been to France as a tourist, and it didn't seem overly different than the US. We don't have the VAT, which is nice, and things seem more expensive in France, but perhaps that was because I was a tourist.

The main difference I noticed was that everyone was speaking French. hahaha

I would say Europe and the US are pretty similar, but I've also been to the Philippines, Japan, and China, and the cultural differences were far greater than when I went to Europe (I've only been to England and France).

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:46 am
by miumiaou
what I wanted to say is how do you see French people?
where did you go in France? Paris? I ask because in fact, a lot of people from the countryside hate Paris and don't find this town representative of our country. I was born in a region where this hatred is strong because the inhabitant of Paris treat the people from our regions like idiot (to not say another word) since a hundred years.
If you go to the countryside, you could see a lot of cultural difference, for example, in architecture, in food (the traditional meals of my region are absolutely fantastic: after eating that you don't need to eat for a week but the taste is awesome), in the personality of the inhabitant (the people from my region have the repute to be stubborn for example and it's in fact the truth :lol: )

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:00 am
by Harry Sunderland
I have never been to France, and I haven't met a lot of French people, so I can't say. I've heard a lot of U.S. people make fun of the French though, but that's because there's a joke/stereotype in the U.S. that France has a history of losing/surrendering during wars. Also, in general I've heard people make fun of the social services provided in France (long vacation times, lower hours worked per week, etc), but that's mainly delivered by politically conservative people like Bill O'Reilly (a conservative TV show host in the U.S.).

But anyone who isn't a total jerk doesn't take it seriously. I personally don't like nationalism. I think there are definitely certain cultural traits of people that define our behavior, and I like to learn about those traits, but I hate to lump an entire nation of people and say, "They all act like this." I think because I've always been kind of an outlier my whole life, so I know what it's like to not fit into the mainstream.

Just my thoughts though. I think JPrice is in the England, so by mere proximity he might have some more interesting insights if there's a general attitude about France from England. But maybe you're familiar with that sort of thing already. Another stereotype I've heard in the U.S. is that France and England hate each other, which I've always assumed was b.s. :)

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:37 pm
by matt
There is also the stereotype that French people are rude, but I didn't really find that at all in Paris. I enjoyed my time in Paris and the Parisians seemed nice.

However, in Montreal, I felt people were rude because I didn't speak French... I'm sure there are plenty of nice Québécois though.

Funny story - I was hanging out with a French indie developer at PAX East (unfortunately, I can't remember his name. He was a friend of Tim Keenan [creator of a Virus Named Tom]). He was saying he initially didn't like the rude Frenchman stereotype, but now he was okay with it because he can do whatever he wants and just chalk it up to being French. hahahaha I thought that was a pretty funny point of view.

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:25 pm
by miumiaou
well... I've heard a lot of stereotype about American, I know they're not true in a lot of case but it's always fun to compare.
What I heard is that the average American consider that you should speak English even if he's in your country (Matt you were probably victim of that stereotype), that he think he can rule you because the world belong to him and that he always eat hamburger with French fries. Personally, I find this stereotype totally wrong and ridiculous.
I don't know if my country really has that kind of history because there's so much wars in our history: ... ing_France
The France also help your country to take his independence and win some wars so certain French people think that the American people who badmouth about our country are ungrateful person (I don't think that personally after all you helped us in return)
I believe that the stereotype for the French people in england is the one involving that all French are frog eaters or something. (and to think about that I also find that eating frogs is totally disgusting).
I think I know why they say that England and France hate each other, it's probably because of our long history of wars but it's not true anymore: our countries are friends now ( or at least I think they are)
ah I did knew the stereotype that French are rude however I think it just depend on the person.
To speak about stereotype, us Breton also have a lot, in a good and in a bad way: That we are stubborn, always drunk but also hard worker, courageous and traveler. But we're joking about these stereotype, like we say we're Breton pure butter :lol:

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:49 pm
by matt
Well, I do enjoy eating hamburgers and fries! :) Before I married a Filipino, I ate them quite a lot. hahaha

I have seen some Americans assume that others speak English and when not understood, they speak slower and louder, which totally doesn't help. hahahah

It does seem strange that people think France has a history of surrendering. I guess maybe they only think about World War 2. It is also strange people forget that France helped America win their independence.

Maybe the stereotypes are unfounded. According to wikipedia:
According to a 2014 CNN/ORC International poll, 78% of Americans view France favorably. As of 2013, 64% of French people view the U.S. favorably.
So Americans on the whole think favorably about France - although it's not quite reciprocated.

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:16 am
by miumiaou
haha! I said that but quite ironically we also eat a lot of hamburger and fries (and I'm one of the rare person who don't like them)

We have a great expression in French when a foreigner try to speak to us in his language and we don't understand it, the translation is: it's chinese language (in French: c'est du chinois!) so if you hear that you'll be sure you weren't understood

I believe that if some French don't think favorably about USA it's because of the news (but it's only my point of view)

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:15 am
by Harry Sunderland
I think in like 2002 or 2003, when France did not support the US invasion of Iraq, there was a dumb counter cultural movement to change the name of French fries to freedom fries.

It was dumb.

Re: cultural difference

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:34 pm
by matt
hahaha I remember that. The best part is that French Fries refers to how they are cut and not the country. hahaahahah Freedom fries.