People Differ: the French

People Differ: the French

People differ. The thing which we find normal can seem really strange to a French or German. 

People Differ is a series about different nations and their peculiarities. 
This episode is all about the French.


Voiced by Vera Sokolova

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People Differ: the French

The French see splendor and brilliance in everything they do. During the days of the Renaissance, the days of de Gaulle and even the days of Chirac, French statesmen likened their country to the brightest shining star.

Population of France is about 58 million people. Their primary concern is to remain truly French.

They are absolutely convinced of their social, individual and moral pre-eminence over the rest of the world.

The French enjoy life, its movement, magnificence and beauty. They always look well-groomed and kind of dandyish. However, there are passionate hearts under this outer luster.

The French are very communicative, and it's hard to embarrass them. It's like they were born for different fetes – banquets, weddings, festivals. They turn their fetes to real performances, where they happily act and are delighted with their own roles and costumes. They are cramped in their homes. They feel like prisoners, locked up in gloomy dungeons. Instead, the French feel and look great in such places like offices, restaurants, opera houses or boulevards.

What do the French think of themselves? They believe they are the only truly civilized nation in the world. They think their main task is to lead the rest of the world and to illuminate the way with the halo of their own selectness.

The French are experts in any questions of vital importance. And those fields where they don't feel like experts aren't of the slightest interest to them.

Speaking about their attitude to other nations, the French consider English people mean-spirited, bad-mannered, ridiculous and ill-dressed.

Even though the French don't hate the Germans anymore, they don't really like them either. The French believe that the Germans have much lower standards of culture. The French know that Germans excel them in industrial development. And French happily acknowledge it. No matter how upsetting it is for the French, they have a lot in common with Germans, namely, pedantry in following rules and regulations, excessive dryness in communication, the belief in their own historical distinction and the conception of racial purity. The French consider Spanish people proud, but too noisy. Swiss people are the object of constant merciless jokes in commercials on French TV. Why? The efficient succession of operations is perceived as something extremely boring. And according to the French, to be boring is absolutely impermissible.

Generally, this attitude is applicable to the rest of their life. For instance, French women feel sympathy for feminists and could even join them. But they can't sacrifice their femininity, which they are famous for. French artists created truly wonderful masterpieces, but on the other hand, French wallpaper is the most hideous ever. The French work a lot, but it's almost impossible to see how they do it. You can travel around France at any time of the day, month or year and 95 % of the cities and villages will seem uninhabited.

Speaking of how the French want to appear to the rest of the world, we can say, that since they are absolutely convinced of their own pre-eminence, they couldn't care less about that.