Living with a French family is one of the best ways of learning the French language and discovering how people in France live. But how true are the clichés that people believe about the French? Let’s take a look at the myths about French people and a homestay with a family in France.
The French eat some horrible foods
If you have not been to France before you might be worried about the food a French family eats. Perhaps you have heard that frogs’ legs and snails are popular foods, and you really don’t fancy trying either.
It is true that people in France will eat frogs’ legs, as a starter, and that snails are popular served as a starter dish too, but it is very unlikely that anyone would be offended if you didn’t want to try them.
2. French people do not like Americans
That the French do not like Americans is a myth that needs laying to rest. Of course, there are some people in France who have a biased attitude against anyone from the US, but most French people welcome visitors from America. French teenagers often copy American fashions and are fans of American pop music.
3. You must be able to speak French
Naturally, it helps a lot if you at least know some basic French terms, such as “Bonjour” (good day), if you are staying with a French family, but a main reason you are there is to learn the language of France.
4. French people are always drinking wine
Many French people do drink a lot of wine and it gets served with dinners but they do not drink it all the time.
5. French people are smelly
It is hard to say where this stereotypical idea originated. Possibly it’s because garlic is an ingredient in the cooking, but no more so than in many other European countries. Most French people care about personal hygiene and France is the world centre for the perfume industry.
6. All French people are fashion conscious
There’s the myth that all French people are concerned with how fashionable they look. France is an important country for fashion, but many people just wear practical clothes.
7. The French all smoke
It is not true that all French people are smokers. In fact, there are smoking bans in public places, just like in other countries.
8. French people are rude
French people are no more likely to be rude than anyone else, and if you are polite then you can expect politeness back.
9. French toilets are terrible
Toilets in France are no better or worse than toilets elsewhere. You may find some that are in an awful state but the ones in the family house you are staying at will not be like that.
10. French people like to complain
French people are no more likely to complain about something than anyone else, but they would have good reason to complain about all these silly myths about them.
If you take one of our Ifalpes school General French Courses in Annecy you can stay with a French family in the town and see for yourself what a homestay is like.