A huge number of people arrived on this blog today with the following query on google: “how to impress a French man”, just in the last 90 minutes, 23 people arrived this way.
I was wondering why, and then I stumbled upon that commercial that aired during the Super Bowl last night.
The funny thing being that I noticed that commercial, but didn’t really pay attention to it while it was airing (I guess I was checking my e-mail or pouring a glass of water), although I heard something in French…

So, is that why so many people are making that query? But the commercial is about a French woman, not a French man…
After checking on Google, I guess a lot more people have been typing “impress a French girl” but that query that lead here, whereas “impress a French guy” gives my blog as the first answer.
Also, note that the people who made that commercial didn’t do their homework as one doesn’t get married in Church in France (well, one can, but it has no legal value), but I guess it had to make sense for an American audience (no, I didn’t imply “dumbing it down”).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  24 Responses to “Mmmm…. Is that why?”

  1. Adorable! And yah, they did not get a native to help with localization, shame….

  2. Salut!

    I admit, I am a Super Bowl Google add victim, I thought it was cute…
    Anywho! I do have some questions for you: first, what does a french marriage imply if not a church? Second, I'm a second year high school french language student, and I was curious if you could recommend some movies that one could watch to develop knowledge about french culture/french language.

    Brilliant blog by the way!


  3. Even if the Google commercial wasn't completely correct, it was a very clever concept.
    I thought that the ad was totally effective.

  4. it's a cool ad despite the little mistake.

    i'm new to your blog and i love it. i found it through someone i follow on twitter, not through any strange googlings

    can i be really annoying though? as it's such a high quality blog and gets a lot of traffic i just wonder why you don't buy a real domain name and use wordpress? that would be much cooler! [but i don't mean that as a criticism.]

  5. -Katie: the only legal wedding ceremony in France is the one performed by a mayor (or a "mayor's assistant") in a city hall in France.
    Because, believe it or not, in some countries, "Separation of Church and State" is a real thing, not just an empty expression.
    What French movie can help you develop your understanding of the French language? Any movie that's in French basically.
    Which one of them help you develop your understanding of the French culture. Most of them, as long as they're more or less "realistic" (in the broad meaning of the term).

    -Jenny: Do I get a lot of traffic, I don't know, on normal days, I get between 200 and 400 hits, how many people actually read it from those hits, no idea. Is that a lot? No idea. Why don't I buy a real domain name? Because I don't care about having a real domain name. Why am I not on wordpress? Because I'm not. Why should I? What difference would it make? Is wordpress cooler than blogspot? I had no idea. Personally, I don't care, and even worse, I think there's something pathetic about wanting something because it's supposedly cool, and I kinda feel sad for the all the flock of sheep that will by an iPhone (or anything else) just because it's cool.
    Strangely, I have the feeling that cool products, need that "cool" factor to be attractive. Personally, I always like substance over appearance, and the same way the iPhone is maybe the coolest phone, it's also the least smart among smart phones, and one of the crappiest ones.
    And concerning wordpress, it may be cool, but it doesn't allow me to change customize the layout if I feel like it, it doesn't allow me to include the widgets I want, just the ones they decide I can have (oh, just like the iPhone, what a coincidence!) etc.

  6. yes that is a lot of hits. and when people achieve that level of success a lot of them like to become a full website. i didn't mean cool in that sense, i just meant it would be cool - or nice - for you but whatever…do what you like.

    i'm a little bit hurt actually because i'm the last person to do anything because it is cool, everything i do is because i want to. cool just happened to be a word i used.

    also, when you use wordpress with a real domain you can customise everything you want.

  7. There's a much higher level of customization with wordpress, but you'll spend a fair amount of time creating it. I don't know if it's "cooler" but it's probably more professional looking. I didn't like the time/money elements with wordpress & my owning a domain, so I went back to blogger.

  8. -Jenny: sorry for the "cool" misunderstanding, lately I've been discussing a lot with several people about those issue (esp. because of Apple that went from being a "great products but nerdy reputation" in the 90's to "coolest company in the world but very lame products for sheep and people that want to be cool" nowadays, and I had the other meaning of the term in mind when I read your comment.

    -Jenny and E: Ok, you meant wordpress.org and not wordpress.com (same company, different products for those who wonder, and if wordpress.org is better than blogspot, blogspot is better than wordpress.com). Yeah, I could, but why would I pay for something I could get for free? I mean, that blog doesn't need more customization that it already has and as previously mentioned I don't really care for custom name or looking more professional.
    If I was getting paid for it it would be different, but as I do that during my free time, just for fun, I don't see the need to make things more complicated and less free just for kicks.
    Now, if you want me to charge for access to the blog, I promise to make it professional looking and answer questions in a timely manner, with actual research, sources, and no typos.

  9. ok then…um, cool

    and i didn't mean to start a wp vs blogger debate or anything…i've had enough of that in my time

    ha, don't start charging us pleeeeease!

  10. I suppose that shows how many women are after a Frenchman, so you guys must feel very flattered …

  11. It's both flattering and sorta creepy.
    Sure, it's flattering because it's always flattering to have someone attracted to you.
    But it's some sort creepy when that girl wants to get into your pants, not because of you as a human being, but because of that strange unrealistic cliché fantasy.

  12. I thought it was cute and I have a friend in France who had a church wedding…a couple days after the "real" wedding.

    Don't be too flattered, David. People are just curious. Most people can't maintain a real relationship with an unrealistic cliche fantasy. If a real relationship happened, it would probably be for caring about the person for who they are (and maybe their culture has influenced that).

  13. Don't worry, I know…
    I was not alluding to this blog here, but to my real life experience while I lived in the US and the "unnatural" number of girls that would be interested in me (but I could easily tell apart which "category" they belonged to)

  14. I'm sure that the Superbowl commercial helped, however there is also a gay version that was put up as a response to America's failure to recognize gay partnerships, foreign or domestic.


    It's pretty cute regardless.

    I have to say I found your blog by googling "How to date a french man"

  15. I've attended weddings here in France that involved ceremonies in a church, so I would imagine many French would understand that bit. I don't think that was included because "it had to make sense for an American audience" — Google obviously just wanted to use a more romantic way of saying that this imaginary couple got married. "churches in paris" is more subtle and thus more affecting than just "wedding ceremony in paris." It's not that they didn't do their homework; they were just being clever admen.

  16. Hey D,

    Okay, just check your post… hmmm…okay.
    By the way, a "church" wedding is not a requirement in the U.S. By the same token, people must file/sign a d marriage certificate before the marriage can be considered legal. Neither of my marriages took place in a church- both in City Hall. Of course, there is ALWAYS the option to have it in a church… My parents did not have church weddings, neither did they when they both remarried… Dad got married outside in nature in Topanga Canyon and we through rice and beans for him and my Costa Rican step mom.
    Marriage is just conventional and it's more of a couple's personal preference to have a "church wedding" or a religious wedding.. BUT, it must go through the legality of the state first to be considered "legal" - like in France.
    However, it's mainly a "jugde" who authorized to marry people rather than the mayor… I can just imagine ol' Scwartzie marrying people in the office of Sacramento… Hahaha!
    If you are interested, I'm reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book- "Committed." I was thinking of you the other day as I was reading it…; )
    Take care and have a nice rest of the week…
    Or maybe I should say— "Stay warm" in this freezing weather!!!!!

  17. -Cross these oceans: "how to date a French man" must be the number one query that brings people on this blog (and I thought people would care about it because they wanted to learn cultural things).

    -Dorkbutt, it was totally included "to make sense for an American audience" have you forgotten what is the market of that commercial? They couldn't care less for accuracy. Yes, there are ceremonies in church in France too, but if you "look for a church" in France, it's definitely not wedding that comes to mind, it'll be either mass or tourism.
    And how is "a church in Paris" more romantic than "a wedding ceremony in Paris"? What's romantic about churches?
    Your answer will be "because of weddings", mine will be "there's nothing romantic to masses and tourism". See what I mean?

    -Leesa: Yeah, I know, a wedding ceremony doesn't have to be in a church in the US (the only one I've ever attended was on the beach too, but still performed by a priest though, which was even stranger for me), I was alluding to cultural references (see previous paragraph).

  18. David, I'm sure many people are only visiting cause of the commercial but I'm sure you're going to gain readers. I'm a follower now. I have some French friends but I always like to learn about different cultures and the nuances. Keep it up

  19. now now David … the french approach to marriage isn't dissimilar to america in that a church wedding is only valid when one goes to the courthouse and obtains a license.

    I've been to french weddings in churches…and in my little 'destination' village in BrantĂ´me, the church bells ring all summer with the weddings going on…

  20. OK, I guess I was not clear enough.
    Yes, in the US, you also need to fill up some legal papers and stuff to get married, but there's no official ceremony in the courthouse of any sort (you guys are really obsessed with your courthouses aren't you?) and yes in France a lot of people are ALSO getting married in church.
    But that was not my point.
    My point was that the connotation of "looking for a church" is not "wedding" in France.

  21. Hey…

    Is it true that when "looking" for a church… you have to have the ceremony performed at a church in your own community?? Just wondering…

  22. I'm not sure I understand your question Leesa, isn't the "community" in religious terms an American and/or Protestant thing?

  23. No… I mean where you live- that's your community- well, I could also say… neigbourhood… Alex told me this when I first came.. that you couldn't "choose" which church you were to get married in.. you had to go to the one in your neighbourhood (where you live locally). Does that make more sense to you now?

    Also, in the U.S. - any marriage performed outside of the city admin. building - I forget what it's called in English, sorry… can be performed by anyone basically- even your best friend.. They just have to apply for the piece of paper that allows you to marry someone- I forget what the requirements are or if you just have to fill out the paper and pay a fee- but you DON'T have to be a judge, priest, rabbi to marry someone in the U.S. - as long as you are considered "legally authorized" to marry someone…

  24. I guess it makes more sense.
    But to tell you the truth, I think that every church wedding I've been to took place in small towns and villages that usually have only one church, and I don't have the slightest idea about how those things work in bigger towns and cities that have several churches.
    But I guess what you're talking about is the "paroisses" (parishes) which were the administrative division of France before the Revolution and which depended on a church (because back in the days churches took care of registering births, deaths and such), and that's why you have parishes and not counties in Louisiana.
    Nowadays -in France- they don't really have any meaning anymore, except for the churches themselves, so maybe priests care about those things when you want to get married in church.

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

© 2007-2012 Ask a Frenchman (except for pics & graphics - Logo by F.B.) | Legal Stuff and Privacy Policy Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha