Sep 042011
What do French people think of Portugal/Portuguese people?

(asked by Carina from Portugal)   Dear Frenchman, I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m finding your answers much more engaging than I was expecting to. In a matter of minutes you’ve managed to stimulate my curiosity concerning France in a way I didn’t think possible until this very moment and that, obviously, had as consequence an explosion of questions inside my mind, so I just couldn’t keep quiet, could I? As a well behaved reader, instead of storming into [Read the rest]

Aug 162011

  (asked by Jennifer from the US) I have been to Paris several times and I make an attempt to speak French whenever possible. Apparently, my pronunciation is very good; they are invariably surprised that I am American. However, I am terrible at comprehending anything beyond a simple response, for example “ça coûte 25€” or “les w.c. sont là.” So what happens is that I will say something, they will respond in rapid-fire French, and I freeze, because I’m not [Read the rest]

Aug 012011
How do the French view Canadians? Can they tell the difference between Canadians and Americans?

(asked by Katie from… I guess Canada)   I’d be interested to know how the French view Canadians…and if they can they tell the difference between Canadians and Americans?   Well Katie, First of all, click on the link to get a little reminder about what the French think of Québécois (that’s “French Canadian” in English, even though they’re not French, they just speak the language). Now concerning “English-speaking Canadians” or Canadians as they’re called in English, it’s going to [Read the rest]

Jul 242011

  (asked by Araminta, Oxfordshire, UK) Hi there, very interesting blog by the way. I would like to know your opinion on les Intellectuels in France. Who would you say the main intellectuels are at the moment and what is their political orientation? Some seem to claim to be de gauche (liberal) while supporting politicians de droite (conservative). How would you define un intellectuel? Is it enough for them to be intelligent and write books on science/philosophy/sociology or must they [Read the rest]

Jul 162011
Seth is moving to Paris

    Seth is moving to Paris (although to be fair, I got this e-mail months ago, he may have moved there already) and he has a few questions and concerns. Here they are: I am an American (I’m a single male, and in my mid 20’s if that helps you conceptualize me), and I have been given a great professional opportunity within the company I work for. As you might have guessed, this opportunity involves me moving to Paris. [Read the rest]

Jul 042011
Is it normal for two Frenchmen to walk around in their tighty-whiteys in the hostel room they share with two American girls they've never met before?

  (asked by Julie from Florida) Is it normal for two Frenchmen to walk around in their tighty-whiteys in the hostel room they share with two American girls they’ve never met before?   Julie, I didn’t know you were such a prude. Just kidding. 😉 (Yes I need to come clean here. I personally know Julie. And yes, I’m both flattered and highly disturbed by the fact that now I’m even getting questions from people I know) Ok, I think [Read the rest]

Jun 252011

(asked by Nicolette from California) I was in a relationship with a French guy. The relationship was very good here in CA. So, he invited me to France to spend Christmas with his family, meet his parents, etc. I was excited about this, and accepted. I arrived to meet a very wealthy family. During my seven week stay (in their secondary house) I was invited into the big house for 2 meals with them, a lunch on my 5th day [Read the rest]

Jun 202011
Single Moms in France?

  (asked by Anat from Israel) I’m a single mom of 2 boys ( twins), 6+ years old. (I’m divorced but their father isn’t active in raising them) I’ve worked in hi-tech for many years and recently was suggested to relocate from my work to Paris for 2 years. (I live in Israel) Beside the amazing work opportunity for me and the great experience for the kids, I worry about being a single mom in a foreign, maybe even hustle [Read the rest]

Jun 022011
What does it mean to hold hands for a French?

  (asked by Regina from Malaysia) I am Asian from Malaysia and have been really confused with my reaction to a French man which I cannot seem to find an answer to explain as I am not sure how French men generally respond to girls taking the initiative? The incident is as follows: Last weekend, we were at a after work party disco event. One of my french colleagues J. got really drunk, and started saying that he loves me [Read the rest]

May 262011
How this can be that so much would be borrowed from French in the English language?

I was always curious how this can be that so much would be borrowed from French if English has 1 million words and French has, what, maybe 100,000 tops? Rome invaded England before France did, and there were also the Danish, Norwegian, Greek and Dutch influences, and also English is a Germanic language itself, closest to the endangered language Frisian. (asked by Diane) Well, we’re straying away from French stuff here as we’re going to talk about the English language [Read the rest]