France is home to approximately 4.5 million foreigners, many of whom are from
other European countries or former Communist countries.
Education is of great importance to the French. This is demonstrated by the fact
that the educational system is almost free of charge from the primary school through
the Ph.D. level, for French citizens. </li></ul>
Fun Fact <ul><li>The French are very aware of their presence, and are extremely proud of their </li></ul>heritage. <ul><li>They boast of their long history and their important roles in world affairs, as well </li></ul>as being known as a world center for culture.
Dress Etiquette <ul><li>The French are very conscientious of their appearance. </li></ul><ul><li>Dress conservative and invest in well-tailored clothing. </li></ul><ul><li>Patterned fabrics and dark colors are most acceptable, but avoid bright colors. </li></ul><ul><li>French businessmen do not loosen their ties or take off their jackets in the office. </li></ul><ul><li>Women should also dress conservatively. Avoiding bright
or gaudy colors is recommended. </li></ul><ul><li>Women should also avoid any glitzy or overpowering objects, such as flashy jewelry. </li></ul>
Behavior <ul><li>Punctuality is treated very casually in France. </li></ul><ul><li>France is a highly stratified society, with strong definition and competition between classes. </li></ul><ul><li>The French handshake is brief, and is accompanied by a short span of eye contact. </li></ul><ul><li> Always shake hands when meeting someone, as well as when leaving. French handshakes are not as firm as in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>The French have a great respect for privacy. Knock and wait before entering into a room. Additionally, do not "drop in" unannounced. Always give notice before your arrival. </li></ul><ul><li>Business can be conducted during any meal, but lunch is best. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid drinking hard liquor before meals or smoking cigars between courses. The </li></ul>French believe this permeates the taste buds, compromising the taste of the meal. <ul><li>Gift giving is left to the foreigner’s discretion. Good gifts to present include books </li><ul><li>or music, as they demonstrate interest in intellectual pursuits. </li></ul></ul>
Communications <ul><li>French is the official language in France. </li></ul><ul><li>If you do not speak French, it is very important that you apologize for your </li><ul><ul><ul><li>lack of knowledge. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Most individuals in business speak English. </li></ul><ul><li> The French have a great appreciation for the art of conversation. </li></ul><ul><li> The French frequently interrupt each other, as the argument is a form of entertainment.
The French often complain that North Americans lecture rather than converse. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sensitive to the volume of your voice. Americans are known to offend everyone </li><ul><ul><ul><li>in a restaurant, meeting, or on the street with their loud voices and braying laughter. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> Eye contact is frequent and intense, and can often be intimidating to North Americans. </li></ul>
Foods for Which the French are Famous There are some foods and beverages that are quintessentially French. While you may find them all over the world, you will always associate these foods with France. * Coq au vin--(pronounced co co van) is a chicken frickasee cooked in red wine with mushrooms and sometimes garlic. * Crêpes--(pronounced crehp) is a very flat pancake typically stuffed with fruit or cream. * Baguette--(pronounced like it appears) is a long French bread loaf. * Chocolate mousse--this lighter than air dessert originated in France. * Éclair--(pronounced ay clair) is a pastry stuffed with cream and topped with icing * Crème Brûlée--(pronounced crehm broo lay) is a custard topped with hard caramel.
Bread, Cheese and Wine While French dishes are known for their complex, and rich flavors, most French people eat bread, wine and cheese daily.
Artisan Cheese The French consume an average of 45 pounds per person of cheese per year! It is safe to say that cheese is a major staple of the French diet and should you be visiting France, you would be remiss not to sample the region's cheese. There are some 400 different types of French cheeses , all classified by the type of milk they are made with (cow, goat, or ewe), whether or not the milk was pasteurized, how they were pressed. . .and so on. What's more, every region is known for particular kinds of cheese. Bread and Pastry Who hasn't eaten a French baguette before? In France, most people go to the boulangerie, and get their bread fresh or bake it fresh on a daily basis. Bread is eaten with chocolate or with cheese. In the morning, you might have pain au chocolat avec café (bread with chocolate and coffee) or in the evening you might take your bread with wine at your meal.
Wine There is not a region in France that is NOT known for some type of wine. Wine is commonly served with dinner along with water or carbonated mineral water. If you were to think about all the wines that have French names, it would soon become clear that the wine industry is quite large in France. For example: * Champagne comes from the Champagne region in France. * Chardonnay (believed to have originated in France) * Merlot * Burgundy wine These are just a small sampling of the wines that are produced in France. France reportedly makes close to 900 million dollars off of the wine industry.
Transportation in France Air Bus A-380 Fastest Bullet Train -TGV Luxary Buses
Bastille Day Bastille Day is the French national holiday which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress -prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution. Festivities are held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic.
# Avoid exaggeration, which French businesspeople interpret as naïve, boasting or flat-out rude. # Don't be afraid to debate. The French value business partners who make logical arguments and display an understanding of all of the "sides" or perspectives of a subject. If you and your colleagues don't share a common language, plan ahead and hire a French interpreter for your business meetings. # Exchange business cards after initial introductions. Although the French don't have a set formality to exchange business cards, doing so after your initial meeting is considered to be most appropriate time. As an added gesture of your good taste and respect for French business etiquette, include a French translation of your business card on its flipside. Business Etiquette
# Write up agendas and decisions in a formal matter. Use precision and details when drawing up contracts, agendas or other business documents to be used by all the parties. Impress your French colleagues and show them that you value their business by obtaining French translations of your business documents.
* Apologizing for not knowing the French language (if you don't speak it) * Avoiding overly friendly behavior, as the French make a clear distinction between business and personal/social lives; * Dressing conservatively (men should dress in darker colors, though it's more appropriate for women to dress in softer colors); * Maintaining eye contact during discussions; * Waiting to be instructed where to sit.