Dec 302009

(asked by Sarah, from New York)

Do you think a blog in French to ask an American questions would have a lot of interest? I find it interesting that even though Americans have a lot of negative stereotypes on France, we are very nostalgic and interested in their culture. But, I don’t the impression that the French would be as interested. 
Guess what… A little while after starting this blog, I wondered the same thing, and I started that blog. Sure, the concept was a little different as I’m obviously not American, but the idea was kinda the same.
Well, as you’ll see if you visit it, it never really took off (don’t be fooled by the question from last week), to the point that I tried to change the concept with the “bumper sticker” thing at some point (a stupid idea to show the blog was still alive in order to attract questions).
The ironic thing is that it still generates traffic, not as much as here, it’s more along the lines of 10-20 hits a day. More than 90% of visitors come through one Google search and only one: “What do Americans think of the French?”
So why is that?
Not because that’s the only thing French people want to know about America and Americans.
It’s more a mix of:
-In France, we are swamped with American stuff (movies, show, in the news, etc) to the point that most French people think they know America. And any French person that lives or has lived in the US will tell you about all the trouble they have with some of their compatriots that adamantly believe they know everything about the US and that will even dismiss you when you try to make them understand that they’re wrong.
-In France, admitting ignorance is very hard for some people for many reasons (Olivier M. explains that time and again in his blog that you must read if you don’t do so yet), so French people will gladly google something they’re ignorant about (and then show off with the recently learned information as if they always knew it), but will be very reluctant to ask a question themselves on a blog with this format.
That being said, if you feel like trying, go for it, and tell us how it goes.

More Questions Answered:

  5 Responses to “Ask an American?”

  1. I was going to ask a question in French for your other blog (les américains) but can't see what link or button I should use for that. Am I hopeless or blind?

  2. OMG is that why I don't get any questions???

    Or maybe it's because people don't read the text on the right hand column.
    (just like here, you can't imagine how many "I like this French guy, please read his mind" I still get)

    So, you can ask me on the askafrenchman @ address or by leaving a comment in a post (remember, they're moderated, so if that's a question, I won't publish it as a comment)

  3. well. I can't commit to an entire blog. But I am one example of an American now living in France, who lived and traveled in the US for all of my life. I am willing to answer any questions one might have…from my unique perspective.

    I've lived in NY, Portland, Oakland and Berkeley, (I hail from the SF Bay Area) and while in the US, my work required me to travel often to Dallas & San Antonio, Miami, D.C., Des Moines, Chicago, Los Angeles, St Louis and NY City….and other points in between…..

  4. Hey — what about "Ask an Australian".

    Mmmmm - would you want to know what we think of the French and the Americans I wonder?? LOL

  5. Why not?

    Personally, I think that would be great if there were many "Ask a…" now I don't believe any national from any country can do it, as it requires a certain awareness and distance from one's own culture.

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