May 022011

(asked by Ismael from California) A few more just to get some perspective about your answers: How old are you? What part of France do you live in and have you lived in? I don’t mean to get too personal as I don’t want to make you uncomfortable but I think these would be useful to know.   Wow, this is quite personal indeed. Well, I value my anonymity dearly, so you won’t get many answers from me as far [Read the rest]

May 022011
Why are men capris so popular in France?

(asked by Ismael from California)   Here in America, it is very rare for men to wear capris. The only men I have seen wearing them are gay men and some rock-climber type men and even those are few. My cousin worked at Eddie Bauer in the same outlet that I work at and the French men were always asking about the capris. The funny thing is that they only had capris for women and she had to explain that [Read the rest]

May 022011
Why do a lot of French people still smoke?

(asked  by Ismael from California)   I work at an outlet in California. We attract many tourists and I have noticed that many of our French tourists smoke a lot. This makes me wonder because here in America (at least in California where I live), it is socially unacceptable to smoke in public. In fact, many people would give a negative verbal reaction to someone who lit a cigarette next to them. I have to say that I don’t appreciate [Read the rest]

Apr 252011
What's the Deal with the French and their Index Finger?

(asked by Andrea from somewhere) Someone told me that the French don’t point with their index finger, and they don’t use their index finger to indicate the number one either. Are either of these things true? If so, what’s the deal?   Well Andrea, That someone was right. At least, mostly right. Let’s see into more details. Pointing with your index finger It is considered to be rude in France (actually I thought it was in the entire Western World, [Read the rest]

Apr 122011
How is Science Fiction regarded in France?

  (asked by Larry) 2. Okay, from high literature to something a bit more populist for my second question… How is science fiction regarded in France? Is it a respected genre or something that is dismissed as juvenile or trashy? I mean this in terms of both the bigger, popular series like Star Wars and Star Trek from the USA and Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 from Britain and also the more literate aspects of the genre. Are any of [Read the rest]

Apr 122011
Is Alain-René Le Sage still widely read in France?

  (asked by Larry) I have been reading your site for a few months now and I have a few questions relating to literature that I would like to ask. 1. The works of most French writers are readily available in English but I have been having trouble finding the novels of Alain-René Le Sage, such as Gil Blas and Le Diable Boiteux (Devil on Two Sticks.) Eventually, I was lucky and found some editions that were over 50 years [Read the rest]

Mar 282011
I’m a vegetarian, will I be a pain in everybody’s ass in France?

  (asked by Lilliem from the US) I just read your blog, and I thought it was really cool and helpful! I do have one question though. I’m going on an exchange to France this summer as a student and staying with a host family. I have been a vegetarian for five years, you mentioned before that you and your friends were talking about it. I was just wondering, do you think that this would really affect my trip? I [Read the rest]

Mar 252011

  March 25, 2011: If you’re new to the blog, well, welcome… I advise you to go to the Read First page and after that, you’re free to rock and roll.   If you’re not new here, it means that everything you’re looking at right now is not the way it used to be. But don’t be too confused, not much has changed, except for the way the blog looks and the web address (don’t forget to update your bookmarks, [Read the rest]

Mar 142011

Nothing about France today. I just want to invite you to help Japan if you can. And please, no slacktivism (sharing links is a good thing, but it’s not enough - yes, this is what I’m doing here, but this is not the only thing I’m doing), no prayer (who’s the idiot that launched that “Pray for Japan” campaign? this is really the worst kind of slacktivism and it hurts more than it helps when people think they’ve done something [Read the rest]

Mar 122011

Just a quick note to announce upcoming big changes on the blog. The most important one is a technical one. Within the next few weeks I will say goodbye to Blogger and move Ask a Frenchman to a self hosted platform.. -When will that happen? I’m not totally sure. I am technically ready to do it, but I want to make sure I do it the right way. (Warning: technical terms ahead) There is no way to do a real [Read the rest]