Those that live in France have a culture all their own. Their language is especially unique, with quick, clever phrases that you won’t hear in any English-speaking country. If you’re traveling to France, know these terms and it’ll be like you’ve lived there your entire life!
Please enjoy these ‘10 Things Only Those Who Lived in France Would Understand‘.
Crédit photo : Bluefox Travel 2016
French people are fond of bread. Going to the bakery to buy bread every day is part of the culture. The standard French bread used to be round. At that time, la baguette was an elitist bread that only aristocrats had access to. Then the French Revolution happened and the people demanded equal bread for everyone. In 1793, a law commanded every baker to make the same bread for all citizens. Also, during the 18th century, bread represented 90% of the French people’s diet – no wonder French people love bread so much!
If you travel to France, be prepared to get greeted with kisses on your cheeks. En France, on se fait la bise. This is how people say hi to each other. Depending on where you are in France, you could either give 2, 3 or 4 kisses. If you are a female, you may kiss both males and females. However, if you are a male, the custom is to kiss only females.
Le déjeuner, c’est sacré ! Lunch is an important meal for French people. Taking a one-hour break for lunch is common in France. People are usually able to leave their office or school to eat either at home or in a restaurant.
Le dimanche, c’est le jour du seigneur. Sunday morning was historically dedicated to going to church. Nowadays, France is a secular society, but Sunday remains a special day. Most people do not work on Sunday, so don’t plan to go shopping on a Sunday, almost every store will be closed!
The average French worker has the right to five weeks of paid vacation. Before 1936, very few French workers could benefit from paid vacation. It all started with the first law, promulgated in June 1936, giving every employee the right to two weeks of paid vacation. But two weeks was not enough! It became three weeks in 1956, then four weeks in 1969 and finally five weeks in 1982.
Les bonnes manières
Every culture has social norms that dictate good manners. Some examples of French etiquette: don’t put your elbows on the table while eating, don’t cut lettuce but roll it with your knife and fork, saying good luck can sometimes be considered bad luck, and avoid having conversations about religion or money.
Pain au chocolat ou chocolatine ?
This is an endless debate in France — what do we call this pastry?
Le code de la route
When driving in France, it is illegal to turn right on a red light. Fun fact: there is only one stop sign in Paris and it’s on the corner of the Quai St Exupery in the 16ème. The general rule is that drivers on your right have the priority.
Canette ou bouteille ?
When ordering soda in France in a restaurant, don’t expect a free refill. You will be served either a can and a bottle, so choose wisely!
If you want to get a good deal, wait for the sales to go shopping in France. The French Commercial Code set 2 sales periods: during winter (January and February) and during summer (from the end of June to the beginning of August).
Thank you for reading ‘10 Things Only Those Who Lived in France Would Understand‘!