Clichés: What Europeans think of the French

OSS 117, cliché français

We’re always curious to know what people think of us! What do our European neighbors have to say about the French?

Today we’d like to take a look beyond our borders, to get a better idea of what Europeans think of the French. The Shopalike website has published an interactive map showing the image of the French across Europe. The map was compiled by analyzing Google searches on our subject by Internet users in various countries. Here’s what it reveals.

The dirty nature of the French

That’s the first thing to come out of this survey. European Internet users are wondering why people in France are so arrogant, ill-mannered, rude and bad players. It would seem that our reputation abroad is well established!

Clichés sur les français en Allemagne Clichés sur les français en Autriche Clichés sur les français au Danemark Clichés sur les français en Espagne Clichés sur les français en Italie Clichés sur les français en Pologne Clichés sur les français au Portugal Clichés sur les français au Royaume-Uni Clichés sur les français en Russie Clichés sur les français en Suisse Clichés sur les français en Turquie

Fitness, hygiene and eating habits

While European cybernauts don’t seem to be seduced by the character of the French, they are more attracted by their appearance. Many countries would like to know our secret to keeping in shape. Snails, perhaps? Russians and Norwegians would certainly like to know why we’re so fond of them. Hygiene is another story. The French are still widely perceived as people who don’t know the way to the bathroom.

Foreign language dunces

The stereotype of the French who speak only their mother tongue is a hard one. Many countries would like to know why we speak English so poorly. Our population is even said to be downright hostile to the English people. At least, that’s what Internet users in Italy and Russia seem to think. Yet another indication that these clichés have something to do with France’s past and history.

Incongruous questions

While Greece wonders why the French want to demolish the Eiffel Tower, the Germans are concerned about our yellow and white license plates and the origin of our big noses. As for the Turks, it’s our invention of perfume that makes them wonder. Our lack of hygiene must have something to do with it!

Rest assured, the French do have a few good points, particularly when it comes to raising children. The Poles and Bosnians would like to understand how we manage to bring them up so well. According to some Slovaks, French children don’t even suffer from hyperactivity. In Finland, they wonder how the little Gauls manage to eat everything.

An amusing analysis which proves that it will still take us a number of years to change our image of the French. Unless European Internet users are telling the truth?