Jan 142013
 
And here we go!

    Ask a Frenchman‘s fourth incarnation is about to start… right now! Now this is on this blog: David + World that everything will happen:     As you will see, the blog speaks about various things, France not being the least important topic there. I just added a Ask a Frenchman! category. Here is how it’s gonna work: Little by little, I will move some posts there (sans comments unfortunately) until the day where this current address will [Read the rest]

Jan 032013
 
The future of Ask a Frenchman

  This beginning of the year (Happy New Year by the way) is a good time to start thinking about what’s ahead. So today, let’s talk a little bit about the future of this blog. If you’re a regular reader it’s not a surprise to you that I don’t write here regularly anymore. I’m sure that leaves you frustrated and it does the same to me. Things need to change, right? Truth is, that this blog – as it is [Read the rest]

Dec 032012
 
Marianne

    I’ve recently come upon a French cultural personification called “Marianne.” My simple assumption is that she is somewhat of an analogue to “Lady Liberty”, “Uncle Sam”, or “John Bull.” For the purposes of illustration, what symbols/posture/demeanor/etc. denote a female figure as Marianne? What visual symbols/posture/attitude/etc. are not acceptable, or taboo, in the depiction of Marianne? Is Marianne still relevant and recognized as a symbol of France to the French people? Is she a useable, recognizable, character If I [Read the rest]

Jul 142012
 
Are the French Capable of Electing a President of Arab or African Descent Today?

    As today is Bastille Day (although I’d rather call it “14 juillet” like 99.9% of the French do) I couldn’t not post here. However, this post doesn’t have any link to the French National Holiday, it just so happens that I got this very interesting question this morning and I told myself “why not answering it right away?” (I know some people have been waiting for an answer from my part for months if not for years, what [Read the rest]

Apr 222012
 
Do French people really use the expression "Ooh La La"?

        Something amazing is happening today! No, unfortunately, this is not Nicolas Sarkozy being kicked out of the Presidential Election (although the results won’t be in for another 12 hours or so, so we never know), it’s more modestly a new post on Ask a Frenchman! The first of 2012… and we’re late April… I should be embarrassed. I’m not. Let’s move on. So Marie, from somewhere (I suspect the US considering the question) asked the following [Read the rest]

Dec 292011
 

Hello everyone, This is a pretty full and eventful year that’s coming to an end these days, and it’s time to indulge in an usual cliché of reminiscing and ranking the year that’s ending. And here on Ask a Frenchman, I won’t do things any differently as I’m going to tell you about the 10 most popular posts of the blog for this year 2011. Here they are: 1. Of course, the most read post this year is the same as every [Read the rest]

Nov 042011
 
What do the French today think of the Huguenots back then, especially during the 16th Century War of Religions?

  (asked by Larry from Australia) I saw in a previous post another Australian was talking about Protestantism and the Reformed Church of France. Although, as you said, French are either generally ambivalent or hostile towards religion, how do they feel about the historic treatment of the Huguenots and events such as the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? Are there feelings of guilt or remorse amongst the population, apathy towards these events, or just a feeling that it was entirely the [Read the rest]

Oct 232011
 
Can you please tell us a little more of French attitudes towards Robespierre?

  (asked by Larry from Australia)   Can you please tell us a little more of French attitudes towards Robespierre? Is he generally regarded as a bloodthirsty tyrant or a great liberator these days or is the answer more nuanced than that? There are surprisingly few books about him in English and not that many websites either, given his significance as a political figure. Those resources that do exist seem to give a very incomplete picture of him and it [Read the rest]

Oct 142011
 

  (asked by Jessica from Singapore)   Your blog is great! I was wondering whether you could recommend some books by contemporary French authors? I like reading translated novels from authors of a country. I think reading could help us understand the French way of thinking! Which authors are popular in France? And do you think any of them are translated into English? What English books are popular in France?  

Sep 272011
 
What do French people think of ginger/red hair and is there any prejudice against it in France?

    (asked by Kristin from Scotland)   Bonjour Monsieur, I was just wondering what French people think of ginger/red hair and if there is any prejudice against it? I just call it Ginger hair but some people find this term offensive. Is there an offensive term in French or is roux/rousse just a descriptive word without any derogative connotations? I have seen quite a few French websites about ginger hair but what is the real attitude towards ginger hair and how [Read the rest]