There are lots of stereotypes about France which are known to everybody: the French are seducers, lazy and speak only French. But in reality how much do we know about them what is not a cliché?
Don’t waste your time on the snob etiquette because it will only make you look like strange and old-fashioned. The young people in France (under 30) are easygoing and simple. The young generation won’t appreciate you saying “vous (you)”, not “tu” (“you” to unknown people), and addressing people as Monsieur or Madame. They will most likely use “tu” and addressing everyone by first names.
You have to be aware of the fact that French often talk indirectly. For example:
US: Cheese please.
UK: I am terribly sorry, but would you be so kind bringing me some cheese please.
FR: I’d say that cheese would have brought more flavor in this dish.
The French not always will tell you what they want in direct words. They have a tendency to speak in diplomatic and indirect phrases.
Making mistakes in France
You will rarely hear a Frenchman admit he made a mistake, and even more rarely apologize for a mistake. According to the French culture admitting your mistake would have been a sign of weakness. The other thing is that French people are always minimalistic about the information they give.
Don’t use sarcasm
Another fact that is worth to be mentioned is that French do not accept sarcasm and irony so you should better avoid making jokes until you understand the French humor. They tend to understand everything literally, directly and seriously.
The French are among the world’s most prolific consumers of alcohol (only the Luxembourgers drink more). So it is not surprise that they are obsessed with their health. Also it is a nation of hypochondriacs and when they are not eating, they popping pills.
Do not take seriously the promises of the French people, because it is just a statement of intention that they feel free to change if they feel they have a reason to do so. You need to take some precautions and not trust that French person will do what he promised to do; he or she might as well do the opposite.
It is not without reason that France and the French have a reputation for a complicated administration. There is so much detail and so many exceptions in French laws, regulations, circulars and other more or less official text that no human being can understand it all. As a result, the application of these laws is often incorrect or even arbitrary.