Tag Archives: etiquette

French Telephone Etiquette

Even after more than 19 years in France, I lift the receiver with apprehension when the phone rings. This is partly because it’s invariably a cold caller. It’s also because dealing with people on the phone in French is damn … Continue reading

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French Language Week

Apologies to subscribers via MailChimp, which has played tricks and not included the link to the post in the alert. Hopefully, you have got here by clicking on the blog title at the top of the alert.  Today is the … Continue reading

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Things I Didn’t Know When I Moved to France: Part 1, the Positives

Now, you’re all thinking I’m going to complain about everything I’ve encountered in France since moving here 17 years ago. Not so. What follows in this post is complimentary; Part 2 (to be posted later) is less so. I’ve restricted … Continue reading

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A Grave Issue

Sorry; I couldn’t resist the pun. Our local commune’s Bulletin Municipal (annual report) contains a lot of practical information. This year’s included an article about regulations relating to cemeteries. Now, none of us wants to dwell on our mortality but … Continue reading

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What Do the French Talk About at Dinner Parties?

Last night, we were invited to dinner with French friends with whom we socialise regularly. The SF and I have christened our group ‘the Gang’. There were nine of us yesterday. Some of them were born in the region and … Continue reading

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The good guest guide

‘House guests are like fish; they are only good for three days.’ This often (mis)quoted aphorism, possibly a Danish proverb but certainly immortalised by Benjamin Franklin, has a certain ring of truth about it.

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French social customs 7: tu or vous?

Another knotty problem in my French social customs series [for the others, see Customs in Topics in the right-hand sidebar].

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French social customs 6: greetings in French

For my other posts about French customs, please see Customs under Topics in the right-hand sidebar.  In theory it’s simple: to say hello it’s bonjour all day and bonsoir in the evening.  To say good-bye it’s au revoir at any time of … Continue reading

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French social customs 5: Monsieur, Madame or first names?

For my other posts about French customs, please see Customs under Topics in the right-hand sidebar.  The French are more formal than the Americans or the English and are sticklers for politeness.  Many an unsuspecting foreigner has got stuck in the swamp … Continue reading

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French social customs 4: table manners part 2

People in France eat out a lot (although somewhat less during the present crise).  On Sundays, you will often see whole families from grandparents down to babies tucking into a five-course meal.  This is the reason why French children are … Continue reading

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Language mistakes: 5 things to avoid saying in French

Translating literally from English to French is always dangerous.  Many French words change their meaning depending on how they are used or which verbs they are used with.  Also, hundreds of English and French words look similar but mean different … Continue reading

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French social customs 3: table manners part 1

For my other posts about French customs, please look in ‘Customs’ under Topics in the right-hand sidebar. For part 2 of this post, which is about eating in a French restaurant, please click here. Here are some tips for when … Continue reading

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French social customs 2: apéritifs

Apertifs are among the most enjoyable French social occasions. Here are some tips for how to conduct yourself when you’re invited. Continue reading

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French social customs 1: kissing

For my other posts about French social customs, please look in Customs under Topics in the right-hand sidebar. The issues of whom to kiss, when to kiss and how to kiss are a potential social minefield.  Here are some tips.

Posted in Customs, French life, Top tips | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments