Christine Owens

Why do the French hate us...Americans, that is? My guess is that its our manners, but is there more to it?

Asked by Christine Owens 5 years ago why hate americans

Coutant Katherine

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Hello guys I'm french and i'll try to explain (I'm really bad at english so don't judge me please!). In fact, french don't really hate Americans, for example more than 90% of french like Obama... 
But it's true there is a kind of dislike: French are proud of their country, we like who we are, our history, and we think we are an important state. The problem is that a lot of americans (in the french vision, maybe it's not true) are thinking that french are jealous, and just say "Oh you are french? Where is you baguette and your wine?" or are thinking that we are poor, that's not true
 And french people have a bad vision of Americans for many reason (they are probably wrong). First, when we talk about americans, the words used are "rich", "fat", "Iraq", "stupid". Sorry guys, but that are THE stereotype. People in France are thinking that a normal american have been in a not interesting school, don't know anything at physic, maths or history, and eat at Macdonald's everyday. So you can understand that twhen we heard some Americans saying "we are better, you are jealous", yes we dislike you.
 However, french love a part of your culture (music, movies, people, food -yeah we're not eating only cheese-) , but they really hate an other part, like arms, wars, the fact that if you don't have rich parents, it's harsh to do good studies, or the fact that you pay for doctors. It is the american system, and for that you can't do anything. And one more thing, as I said french are proud of them, and they are thinking you are a very young nation, with no history. An other last thing, french don't like when religion and political power are mixed, or private life with public life, and most of them are thinking: How can you live normaly if you are atheist, or musulman or anything else in a state where it's always said "god bless America"? 
To conclude, we have bad vision of you, but we still like your culture or your country (there are many french tourist), but some things who are difinying you as americans are bad things for us. Thanks for reading alll this long message, i hope you understood what I tried to explain ;) 

by Coutant Katheri...  1 year ago

I'm french and i can say that's totally wrong!French people also think you hate us...In fact,most of us love american culture and people,but some of you guys just insult us because you think we hate you and i don't know why you do

by Victor 3 years ago

French don't hate at all American.They don't like the American feeling of superiority they seem to have on everything, convinced of their pre-eminence on every nation in the world.
I agree with Brandon when he's talking about "the distortion of a lot of views affecting viewpoints" on both sides. However, and this is exactly what irritates french, the rest of is analysis exemplified what I said in the beginning: Brandon explains the bitterness of french people that would be jealous of US for many reasons (industry, language etc.): France is one of the leader nation in aerospace industry, both for satellites and rocket launchers but also for planes), has a good car industry giving some of the best cars of the world (both for sport and everyday life), produced a highly ranked science. BTW China is not a car making country; a big market perhaps but their cars are crappy for the moment ! French has been for a loooooong time THE European language and more particularly regarding the diplomacy (middle age to the end of the 19th century) and about 30% of english words come from french. It is still one of the UN official language and Olympic games also.
What irritates french is this kind of peremptory affirmations that tend to underestimated the french society and its influence and which is based on a superiority complex and a large dose of ignorance. But french do love american and american culture, movies, music, litterature, way of life, food (yes we don't think that american food is only a big mac and a large coke even if we also love it whatever we say), enthusiasm, diversity and so many other things.

by Guilhem 1 year ago

Actually you only have to be 18 in the U.S. To smoke. Also by making the assumption that all American's are racist is a stereotype. People believe that we are all the same, when really it is quite the opposite. Everyone is different, it is known as a melting pot of culture, you can't really say american culture because it's really a bunch of different cultures combined which is what makes it the American culture. I would feel honored visiting France, it is the country that inspired our own independence and constitution. It has rich culture & history, good food, gorgeous women.  My only fear is that I would be looked down upon for being American. Does anyone have any good tips about being a tourist in France? 

To answer Christine's question, I do not believe that every French person hates America and Americans, and vice versa. I believe media and misconception distort a lot of views and also affect a lot of viewpoints. From what I've heard French people consider us rude because we do not immerse ourselves in any culture enough, and expect it to brought to us. Which is not always true, but it could be the case. There is also argument that speculates that French are bitter towards us because there technology and cars were never as valued as American, Chinese, German, or Japanese. French never became a world language. But also because of our poor healthcare system and our obesity rates. Though let me point out that America is also the largest body builder/weight lifting country, so do not assume we are all fat. I believe getting a taste of a different culture can be refreshing, adventurous, and a lot of fun. 

by Brandon 1 year ago

Hi Christine,Originally from the SFBA, I've lived here in France for over forty years - ten of them in Paris and the rest in Burgundy.  The French don't hate us, but they do have a very sensitive and sometimes complex, not to say complicated, or realistic? Relationship to history.  The war and the Normandy invasion was welcomed as a liberation, but it does not always leave the best of memories. When one culture meets another and thrives on stereotypes (ex concerning French women) I think you will understand the errors possible. There was also the problem of Staline and what was to lead to the Cold War. People like Klaus Barbie, the "Lyon Butcher" were give a free one way ticket to Bolivia in exchange for information about the USSR instead of being tried at Nurembourg.  Those who suffered or lost loved ones tend not to forget these details.  Most often when Americans arrive for a few days in Paris they only meet the people who deal all day with tourists and are there to make their living.  This has nothing to do with deeper meaning when it comes to French culture.  I teach and most young people are wild about the US.I agree totally with J. Benoit in his advice to you.  The French always start a conversation with "Bonjour", even if they are just asking a clerk in a store where to find something on the shelves.

by Becquiot 2 years ago

I am French and I know that all people dream of going to the United States.Even me! I really want to live in the USA one day ...So I think you got the wrong crowd to Paris.Because it's unusual that the French hating American peoples.Sorry for my bad english.

by Louan 2 years ago

J. Benoit
It is interesting that you should ask this.  My husband and I were recently visiting in Normandy with our UK friends.  We were in a musee and an American woman that we struck up a conversation with asked the same question to my French husband.  My husband was flabbergasted.  As Karen said above, he reitterated that the French like the Americans and in fact, and especially in Normandy, don't forget that Les Americans liberated France.  

Now that we live in the US and France, I think it is the American media that has feed this reputation.  And perhaps the unfortunate fact that we had George Bush for President for 8 years.  The French didn't like us too much during that period.  Also when the French didn't participate in Irak there was a lot of French bashing in the US and ideas that the French hate Americans.  But we have "turned the corner" on all of this now, thank goodness.

The French, however, don't like when we display bad manners.  Examples:  Always assuming someone speaks English in Paris.  Not saying "Bonjour" when you walk into a shop and "merci au revoir" when you leave.  The minimal niceties should always be learned when going to a foreign country.  Also, Americans tend to be loud and the French don't like that.

So my advice is if you want to travel to France (or in any foreign country), try to learn some of the customs.

by J. Benoit 5 years ago
You're ever so wrong.  The French don't hate Americans.  Quite to the contrary.  But everyone should always use good manners - no matter their nationality.

by  5 years ago

Media seems to be the biggest problem. I am an American and I see more of aCanadian French battle. Paris is a tourist haven and people will get tired of the lack of mannerisms coming from tourists.... Just llike New Yorkers get with tourists. The truth of Americans global ignorance comes from our history books and teachings of countries over seas. Granted being prideful of ones country shouldn't be a bad thing but there are bounds that are crossed by both French and Americans. I see a new America coming around and with that I see a better chance of getting rid of a few stereotypes knocked off our profile. I will never forget the fact that all Americans came from somewhere else, that keeps me content with my view on other countries. All I hope for is a better relationship with other countries where the stereotypes will be null.

by  12 months ago

You seem crazy to us , nothing against you , we are the same conservative afterall but here is an example :
-You can drive a car at 15-16 but cannot rent a car or a hotel room until at least 21 and for the rent it is more 23-25 . Is it more dangerous a hotel room than driving a car ?
Then , there is no hate toward Americans ,generally you dont speak foreign languages nor do we but it is just simply words which people will appreciate .
Another thing , to get friends it is more difficult , dont see this with hate , but in Anglo-saxon countries there is easier first talk but it is more of curiousity .

by Dodo 1 year ago

I'm French I will try to answer the question: Why many French hates Americans ? (So not specially my opinion)

- Cause Americans are fat ( 2 people out of 3 are overweight, 1 person out of 3 is obese in USA)
- Cause American food is disgusting
- because the Americans were able to elect george w bush
- due to an ultra-conservative mentality( For example firearms legal, death penalty, a disproportionate military budget, even reported a huge GDP) (this mentality probably not exist in the North of the Country I suppose)
- Because of the Tea party
- Because America has no social welfare
- because you must be 21 years old for drinking and smoking (But you can drive at sixteen)
- because American sports are concerned that U.S.
- In general, the influence of American popular culture on the noble French culture
- Cause American are racists

These are the things that come up, However, many are unfounded I think.

For example in my opinion, we are more racist than American. In my opinion, French is the most unpleasant with all the tourists, not especially American. (However, we are very proud to be the most visited country in the world) ...

by Talleyrand 2 years ago

Joe Diprimio
Hi Christine  -  In my experience, that has not been the case. I have found Parisians to be friendly and helpful during my different stays there. Just like in any large city, they can be preoccupied with their daily tasks, work or problems. So they might not present themselves as "friendly" but will be willing to assist you as long as they understand what you are asking. Parisians rarely walk around smiling saying bonjour to strangers. If you feel the need to do so, a simple head nod will suffice but don't be offended if you don't get one in return. If you frequent a cafe or other establishment, you will be recognized. At boulangeries/patisseries  put your money into the dish on the counter and retrieve your change the same way. France was a great global nation for centuries before the US was founded. Until recently, French was the international language, not English. France has long been living with global terrorism and they appreciate that the US and its allies liberated France during WW II. Even though there have been political differences, there continues to be affection between the people. And remember to always say bonjour when greeted at the airport by the French Customs/immigrations  officers, entering a shop, store, cafe, or bus, when buying a train, metro or museum ticket, and to say "merci au revoir" when leaving. And never touch the produce at a market. It is against the law and is viewed as impolite. If you make the mistake rather then become defensive, simply say "desolie (sorry) madame/monsieur". When in line, waiting your turn is also considered polite.

by Joe Diprimio 5 years ago

Yo Mama
Bc they jelly.


by Yo Mama 3 months ago

We have potato chips....


by Corndog13 3 months ago

Not all Americans are ignorant and self-righteous. Some of us think a lot of France and know there's more to the world than the US.

by Niki  3 months ago

We hate americans because americans are arrogant, moralist and think they are heroes. Americans have not liberated France for friendship but to stop Sta line. Americans killed many french civilians (100 000 french childrens, women, old man assassinated by U.S Bombing) and destroyed many cities (Caen, Le Havre, Rouen, Cherbourg, Saint Lo, Saint Malo, Brest, Saint Germain en Laye, and thousands villages was completely destroyed by US Bombing).

If an foreign army of so called liberation destroyed New York, Los Angeles, Atlantas ... And killed they killed thousands of American civilians, what do you thinks ?

US killed more french civilians than the german occupation. Ps : My grandfather died fighting against Nazis

by Hachmey 3 months ago

As a french girl, I'd like to say something. I noticed all the hateful comments about France, and those against America. I wish to explain you some things. Neither of our countries are great anymore, stop fighting over that. The crisis, the wars, everything is made to tell us that our time is gone. Now, instead of insulting each other,we should just stick up together, to bring everyone up again. Yeah, sure, most of the things we possess are from America. So what? Would it be different if they were from France? We were all born in lands that used to be great, and now competiting each other, drowning in dumb stereotypes. From the American side, we're arrogant, we eat baguettes and cheese all the time, we stink, and so on. From the french side, Americans are fat, eat Mc Donalds all the time, are lazy and obnoxious, and shoot people for no reason. Okay, fine. Those stereotypes are based on few insignifiant elements of both of our cultures. But there is so much beautiful things to say to face those idiotics stereotypes. America is a beautiful country, with huge cities, contrasting with gorgeous and untouched landscapes, it's a majestic nation, as well as it's symbol, the eagle. And France has great architecture, famous castles, paradisiac mountains and lakes, a famous gastronomy, beautiful monuments. And, look! We also have some points in common!! We both have a really rich culture and history, our past is full of treasures not yet all discovered, we are great countries, and maybe not as great as we wish we would, or as we used to be, but we're known for all our qualities!!!
But, at the same time, we all have some drawbacks in common. Our people are overwhelmed with stereotypes about each other, ruining any chances of contact. I know that some people in Paris are rude, but so are some in America as well. Let's not judge a country on few people that are behaving a way that our society is hating itself. 

by Heaveneather 4 months ago

I am a soft spoken American and found that I made friends easily in Paris.I did get strip searched and had to take a piss test when leaving paris on train. That was very humiliating. I also had some people that were french make fun of me on the train after I showed my american passport to a police officer on the train. They said "America no job! No job!" Since I did not get mad they said I was too proud, because I was american. At first I didn't understand them and when they realised this thats when they spoke english about me. The truth was I was traveling alone which made me a easy target for abuse. I did not get mad because I believed this was a very ignorant way of thinking. There is good peopleeverywhere in this world and if they did not know that I just felt sorry for them. I even stopped at where they were sitting on the train before I got off the train and smiled at them all. :)

by Kristy 2 years ago

Oh wow ^Ingrid^ that is very hurtful.
America is very different and many understand that the world does not like us.
From traveling to a few European nations and living in Italy for four months,  I can see why; the first thing is that America loves to travel, especially in Europe. So, when Europeans experience American people, it is usually as tourists, who don't know where they are going since the land is unfamiliar , but it can definitely seem stupid. But yes, I've seen rude behavior from Americans-- it's really just being ignorant. I saw that most people who immediately speak or ask a question in English. That's rude, I agree. Why Americans talk loudly... I don't know! I think it's maybeeee because there is more space in the US, physically. If I talked loudly (or yelled even) right now where I'm typing this in this house, no one would hear me... Not my siblings in the other room.. Not my neighbors. As far as America thinking the world is America, I think there are several reasons. I live in LA; if I drive thousands of miles (or kilometers) to the east coast, I'm still in America. Then I can drive a couple thousand up still be in Maine, I can cut back west and then go up to Alaska... There's just... A lot of America, everywhere on this continent. To travel and become "worldly" one needs money. My family vacation growing up was camping in the desert every year. So cultured. I know.
And the there's the media.... It's exported to the world, but how are you supposed to know that unless you go to another country, sit on someone's couch, and watch an American movie? The first thing I did when I came to Italy was sit on my host family's couch, and at the request of the kids, watch Frozen. Whaaat??? The Disney songs are translated into other languages?? I had no idea.
I also was surprised to learn how many people know about American culture, but at this point that's obvious why. I met Italian guys who kept telling me American tv makes makes America look bad, like Jersey Shore! Of course!! That's how TV works: You make people look like idiots so the people at home watching it feel better about themselves, and then they keep watching it. It's how money is made. My cousin has been on "reality" MTV shows where she is given a script and her "friends" and "mom" where people she didn't know until filming...  Basically what I'm saying is that you can't judge American people through media because it's fake! And to tie this to the original topic, the only actual knowledge about rudeness from French people is also from TV... But yes, I don't know anyone that actually hates the French.

by Hayley 4 months ago

Chris Hanson
Been to Paris three times and all three times we had terrible experiences with the local Parisians.  Bunch of assholes.  Also don't expect us to learn French just to visit your country.

by Chris Hanson 5 months ago

The problem is that Americans (and other countries of course) think like ; France = Paris. No ! I live in the North, we like to welcome ! We are friendly and we don't mind to welcome you with a shot of beer !  
Parisians are arrogants, always working-minded, self-concentred and not only with strangers ! BUT anyways, it's just a point of view, I know a lot of parisians who are always happy, polites, smiling.
Don't think we hate you, omg. It'll be totaly false. Your movies, your music, your sens of humour and a lot of your culture amaze us !
Oh and,  your accent when you try to speak french, it's sure is a good way to flirt with a french girl or boy. It's cute, really.

by Océane 8 months ago

Okay so I don't know the answer to this exactly. But either way hating or not. Not all americans think all these things about the french and to prove that. Im one, I think french are so cool. They're culture and their living essentials are very interesting. I would love to visit Paris one day. Your history is very amazing and your an amazing city ( I don't know exactly what you would call it.? A city, state, or what?) Im 12; Yes I have a few years to go but One day. Im going to go to France.!

by  10 months ago

Because you are American! Period

by Jamessong 1 year ago

Milly, "When I traveled to France with 2 of my friends we were flipped off when we wore american flag t-shirts" do you realize you are the only nation in the world that would ever dream of going to another country wearing a shirt with your own country's flag on it? Humbleness is a trait a lot of American tourists miss.

by Helena 1 year ago

When I traveled to France with 2 of my friends we were flipped off when we wore american flag t-shirts and the waiter at a restraint that same day refused to take our orders and serve us! But there nice French people too! But it was a little bit offending when some people flipped us off and refused to help us.

by Milly 1 year ago

I had a long chat with a French national in a slow day at a Macaroni Grill restaurant. He clarified it for me perfectly. He was my waiter. He said that this myth was created by waiters in France. This is the greatest contact Americans have with the "French," or so we think. Most of the waiters in France are foreigners. The majority are from Northern Africa, many of them are Muslims. It is they who hate Americans, and they express it in French. We don't know. They sound French to us. We can't tell where they come from or if they have any foreign accent when they speak in French.

by  1 year ago

Hello ! , to answer this question , this answer is very simple , the french is just jealous , proud , lazy , think the best in the world , he does respect nothing , i was in french air force for several years , and i leave them in 2012 , by lack of recognition a simple << Welcome back home guys ! >> would suffice for warm and make us feel well at home ...
but it's not in French mentality .

I understand why the world have a bad idea of French people

by Pef35 1 year ago

I was in France and noticed some people would up and walk away when they learned I was American.  There's definitely something to it.  I had no idea they hated us until I got home.  Then it all made sense. 

by J 2 years ago

Oh, and I adore the French! I'm making my fifth trip this summer! I always do my best to be a good ambassador. Sometimes I am laughed at for my bad French but it is France and I must try. What I am asking about is the old stigma that still exists as commented on above. Where did that come from in our history together?

by Christine  2 years ago

If you come to Boston we have a little neighborhood called North End, you can buy a T-Shirt there that says "France Sucks" and you know what amigos? They really do and that is the bottom line. "God Bless America"

by Loco 12 months ago

Dear, where we feel 'unwelcome'... We don't go:-) we have a beautiful country ! Instead I decided to take my family to Manchester -  the region most popular ski areas, scenic seacoast beaches and peaceful lakefront resorts... Landed at Manchester Boston Regional Airport which is great and had a wonderful time!

by Nana 3 years ago

Its not only the French that hate Americans, its the rest of the world too.  I am from South Africa and in my opinion I would rather die than live in a country full of selfish, sick people, who only care about what happens in their own country, oh yea and how many people they can kill in the war for oil.  I am white, not even Indian lol.  Your country is going down, you know that I didn't feel one bit sad about the twin towers, you are not God, and your country doesn't own the whole world, but you think you do.  I am not jealous at all, we still have better untouched beaches than you will ever have.  (been to your country will never set foot in it again, was a total waste of money)

by Ingrid 1 year ago

Samuel Clemons
Because they are jealous little twits whom will never be able to compete w out great Nation. Hey Pierre! Look at your clothes tag or your phone. They are American products, so suck it and get used to last place. BTW, love your fries... Oh wait, those are ours too.

by Samuel Clemons 1 year ago

Answer this question

Why do the French hate us...Americans, that is? My guess is that its our manners, but is there more to it?

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