1. Flaunt your foreign accentvxcvcxvxcvx
The French love accents so don’t be embarrassed if you have a strong one or if your French is limited. I felt self conscious with my french accent, noticing how different the pretty words come out of mouth in comparison to the Parisiens, no matter how hard I tried. A french friend told me to pretend like I was ‘singing’ over the french language to improve the harsh Australian accent.
But whilst I was self conscious, others apparently found it attractive!
2. Know your restaurants
The Frenchies love to talk about where to eat, what what they will eat, talk about what they just ate and where they would eat next, so talking about food is a safe topic! In fact, the French are now recognised by Unesco for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of gastronomy in their country. The cultural signifigance of meal time in France is massive, from the tradition of setting the table, matching the food to the wine, and the many traditional recipes that are favourites for the French. Most Frenchies could easily spend a couple of hours discussing cuisine/gastronomy, so having some good restaurant chat up your sleeve is sure to impress!
3. Spend a while on the wine lists
Frenchies consider themselves wine conossieurs and rightfully so. So don’t by any means, just ask for a house white! ‘Quelle horreur!’ Spend at least 15 minutes looking at the wine list; use emotive words such as woody, fruity to describe the wine flavours and you can easily pass this one.
4. Pretend to smoke
The health warnings don’t seem to have registered with the Frenchies yet! Nothing more French than sipping a wine in a bobo bar, whilst puffing on a little cigarette. The French still do smoke quite a bit, so hide your looks of surprise if you see alot of chain-smoking around you.
5. Get a makeover at Maje
I wandered into a Maje store in a pensive mood on a Sunday in May, the weather starting to get nice. I was casually dressed in comparison to the glamorous Maje assistants of course, when a sales assistant descended on me, intrigued to find an Australian living/working in Paris. She felt the need to educate me! “Fashion is very important in Paris,” she started, “you have to look sexy, but elegant,” she stressed.
So she asked what colours I liked, and I couldn’t help but participate. I walked out with a black leather mini skirt, boots and came back another day for the pink jumper. The gay shop assistant assured me I would meet someone in that outfit!
6. Know a little about politics
The French enjoy talking about politics and tend to have strong opinions, potentially more so than Australians, so make sure you know something or form some kind of opinion in case asked!
7. Remember some key phrases
‘Enfin, bref’, this is used alot. Translation, “you’re not getting this and I cannot be bothered explaining it either.” Use it in that situation!
“Bon, bah,” it’s an in between word, like “so” or “well” Great phrase in a nice French accent.
‘Putain,’ a swear word, but really can be used to express anything, from good to bad. Check different uses here.