The best gastronomy? In France, of course. The most beautiful landscapes? In France. The richest cultural heritage? Again, in France. At least, that’s what foreigners have the impression of hearing from the French when they talk about their country. It’s rather paradoxical, since, on the other hand, the French aren’t known for being a patriotic people.

The French eat snails and frogs a lot

Aside from baguette and cheese and because we need a change, the French favorite dishes are frogs’ legs and snails. And yet, they’re not only eaten in France, they’re also historically associated with French gastronomy. Escargot, for example, became at a restaurant in Burgundy and was served the famous recipe for escargots with parsley butter. He reportedly liked the dish so much that he asked his cooks to remake the recipe on his return to Russia.

This video can explain it

French men are romantics and The French are rude

French men have a reputation for being perfect lovers. Romantic, cultured, attentive… in short, the epitome of finesse and gallantry. The origins of this stereotype are unclear, but the image of Paris as the capital of love in the imagination of tourists around the world surely plays its part. Small gestures, such as holding the door open for the person behind you, and the rules of table manners, for example, reinforce the idea of the romantic Frenchman.

This stereotype comes mainly from tourists who spend their vacations in France, and particularly in Paris. Waiters have a bad reputation: they don’t smile, they’re bad-tempered, they’re unfriendly and they’re sometimes even aggressive! All of which undermines the French reputation for welcoming tourists. In fact, Paris is considered the rudest city in Europe.

The French are heavy smokers

Cigarettes, if possible accompanied by a glass of wine on the terrace of a Parisian café, are often associated with the stereotypical image of the French. And indeed, there are more smokers in France than in other countries. In Europe, France ranks4th out of 28 member states, with 32% of the population smoking. This cliché is especially prevalent in the cinema, where French people are often seen with a cigarette in their mouth – and a drink in their hand.

French people are bad at foreign languages

This cliché has a long life, but it’s not totally unfounded. In 2015, France ranked29th out of 72 countries for English master among adults. This puts it in the average category, just 2 points above poor. The reasons are to be found in learning methods, which are highly theoretical and leave little room for oral practice. The result: abroad, the French have a reputation for being bad and/or unwilling to express themselves in another language. That said, the French make up for this with Spanish, which is a Romance language, so grammar and phonetics are much closer to the language of Molière.

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