French Travel Guide

The Different Types of Cultures

There are many different types of cultures in the world. Cultural groups have different beliefs hence creating different cultures. Cultures can be different because of thelocation they were created in, and their different beliefs. One cultural group that lives in the forest might think that the sky is blue, because of all the blue flowers on the land, whereas someone living in a desert might believe that the sky is blue, because all the water is up there. 

What is culture?

Culture is the characteristics and knowledge we have about a particular group of people. Culture can be defined by everything from language, religion cuisine, social habits, music, art, and more. 

 

This pamphlet is made to help you know and understand more about the french culture and what you should expect while visiting France.

About the pamphlet

          • Here are some coversation starters:

Bonjour! = Hello (formal, also means Good Morning!)

Salut! = Hi (informal)

      • How to introduce yourself or ask someone for an introduction

1. Je m'appelle... = My name is...

2. Comment vous appelez-vous? = What is your name? (formal)

3. Comment tu t'appelles? = What is your name? (informal)

              •  Survival Skills

1. Ou sont les toilettes? = Where are the toilets?

2. Ou se trouve le restaurant? = Where is the restaurant?

3. Quelle heure est-il? = What is the time?

            • Don't forget to be polite!

1. Merci! = Thank You

2. De Rien = You're welcome

3. Pardon? = Excuse me?/ Sorry?

4. S'il vous plait! = Please!

          • Converstaion ending words/ phrases: 

1. Au revoir! = Goodbye!

2. A beintot! = See you soon!

3. A demain! = See you tomorrow!

 

 

What do I say?

When you are in a new country that has a different language it can be quite hard to travel around, find a good place to eat, use the restroom, or any other thing that you might wanna know. Here are a few tips/ words that might help you with a smooth travel

 

                • La Toussaint

La Toussaint is at the 1st of November. At this day people commemorate their dead. The family and/or friends of this a person gather around their grave and put chrysanthamums flowers and light candles to symbolize happiness in afterlife.

 

 

                • WWII Victory day 

People attend parades and church services on May 8 each year to celebrate the end of World War II and the freedom of France from Nazi oppression. They also sing patriotic songs and display the French national flag on their homes and public buildings.

 

 

 

                • Bastille Day

Bastille day was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. During this event troops stormed the Bastille prison in Paris. 

Many people attend large-scale public celebrations, like:

              • Military and civilian parades.
              • Musical performances.
              • Communal meals.
              • Dances.
              • Balls.
              • Spectacular fireworks displays

 

 

                • Christmas Day

People in France put up a Christmas tree, visit a special church service, eat an elaborate meal and open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. There are some special Christmas meals that are very popular, like:

              • Rabbit terrine.
              • Brouillade de truffes (omelet with truffles).
              • Roasted capon (a small bird).
              • Salad, peas, green beans, carrots and potatoes.
              • Aigo-boulido (garlic soup).
              • Papillottes (small chocolate candies wrapped in shiny paper).

 

 

Holidays And Traditions

 Just like the Unisted States, France offers a free education system.

After nursery school or kindergarten (école maternelle), which is optional, the French compulsory education system is divided into three stages:

  • primary school : called 'école' in French. There are five levels in at this stage: 
    • Cours préparatoire (CP) or 11ème  – age 6 to 7 years old
    • Cours élémentaire (CE1) or 10ème – age 7 to 8 years old
    • Cours élémentaire (CE2) or 9ème – age 8 to 9 years old
    • Cours moyen 1 (CM1) or 8ème – 9 to 10 years old
    • Cours moyen 2 (CM2) or 7ème – 10 to 11 years old
  • middle school : called 'collège' in French. There are four levels at this stage:
    • 6ème – 11 to 12 years old
    • 5ème – 12 to 13 years old
    • 4ème – 13 to 14 years old
    • 3ème – 14 to 15 years old 
  • high school : called 'lycée' in French. There arethree levels at this stage:
    • Seconde (CAP, BEP) – 15 to 16 years old
    • Première (CAP, BEP) – 16 to 17 years old
    • Terminale (BAC) – 17 to 18 years old

 

French Educational System

 

French food is known world wide and is intrinsically tied with their culture. The french are known for lingering on their meals, taking their time and enjoying their food. Even though the American- style supermarket is well-established in France, amny still like to purchasetheir bread from a baker, and their meat froma local butcher. The french eat three meals a day. Those three meals include:

  •  Breakfast, also known as Le petit déjeuner in french. The French prefer their breakfast to be on the lighter side, with coffee playing an especially important role in the meal. Some examples include: Toast with jam, croissants, etc.

 

 

 

 

  • Lunch, also known as Le déjeuner in french. Served between 11 A.M. and one in the afternoon at restaurants, lunch can last anywhere from a quick bite on the street, to a two-hour meal in a restaurant. Restaurant or Home Lunches eaten at restaurants and at home tend to be extravagant, and consists of several courses. Some examples include:
      • Appetizer: soup, salad
      • Main course: Meat with vegetables 
      • Dessert: Fruit tart
      • Beverage: wine

 

 

 

  • Dinner, also known as Le diner in french. French dinner is a multi-course meal, and is relished and savored, rather than rushed through. The specifics of what is served depends on what’s in season, so a meal in Winter would be different than a Summer meal, and there is no typical French dinner. Some examples include:
      • Apertif: small alcohol beverage
      • Appetizer: French onion soup
      • Main course: Fish with pasta
      • Cheese + Dessert: Brie and Mousse

Food!

Food Culture

 

In Normandy, the food is influenced by butter, crème fraiche and apples. The Alps region is known for its cheese dishes, including fondue and raclette, while the Alsace region has a strong German influence which includes beer and sauerkraut. The French buy thier breads and meats from the local baker and local butcher, and sometimes they may also go to the supermarkets to buy breads and meats. Many people think that the French do most of their grocery shop in open markets with local vender, but that not true in all cases. People use the supermarkets as much as they use the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on different families, grocery shopping is done accordingly. People in France tend to go a little grocery shopping every day. They do not buy foodin bulks as we, here in america do. They like to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, bread, and meat.

Cities and Towns

Metropolitan France and overseas Territories are today divided in 18 regions. Each region is administered by a Conseil de Région – Regional Council, whose members are elected by direct universal suffrage for 6 years. The regions are organized like a snail's shell. The regions start in the middle making their way out in circles. There are many kinds of store you will find a French city/region. Some types of stores include:

  • National Chains:
    • Carrefour
    • Auchan
    • E.Leclerc
    • Géant Casino
  • Department Stores
    • Monoprix
    • Galeries Lafayette
  • Sportswear
    • Decathlon
    • Sport 2000
  • Computer equipment
    • Boulanger
  • Clothing
    • la Halle aux Vêtements

 

 French cities are bustling vibrant places where real communities live, as well as work. There are plenty of parks and playgrounds, plus good schools; activities, doctors and dentists will also all be within walking distance. People live in an apartment blocks with neighbours and a concierge (caretaker); this enables them to leave tthe children alone for an hour or so, knowing there is help nearby should anything go wrong. Public transport can be very helpful for adults as well as for kids. Some public transportations include: Metro, Bus, Boats, Trains, Biking, etc.

 

Houses

 

Houses are a very important part of France. There are alot of people, French or not, living in this country. There are many kinds of houses and properties that people have in France. Some of them include:

  • Bastide

 

  • Longere

 

  • Maison de Maitre

 

  • Mas

 

  • Chalet

 The French believe that children should help out with house work. They believe so, because learning all these chores at a young will help them be responsible for themselves as the grow up. They also believe that every child matures at a different pace. Not all children can do what a certain friend or website suggests you make the kid do. Here are some chores and at around what age they are performed:

  • Ages 2-3
    • Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
    • Assist in making their beds
  • Ages 4-5
    • Get dressed with minimal parental help
    • Set the table with supervision
    • Clear the table with supervision
  • Ages 6-7
    • Make their bed every day
    • Be responsible for a pet's food, water and exercise
  • Ages 8-11
    • Take care of personal hygiene
    • Wash dishes
  • Ages 12-13
    • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
    • Mow the lawn with supervision
  • Ages 14-15
    • Responsible for library card and books
    • Do yard work as needed

From the follwing questions pick either A or B. Record you answers as you proceed.

  • Do you prefer:

 A. Lunch                       B. Breakfast

 A. Baguette                   B. Toast

 A. Wine                         B. Coffee

 A. Public Transportation        B. Personal Vehicle

 A. Cheese                       B. Dessert

 A. Chores                       B. No chores

 A. Fish                            B. Burger

 A. 3 meals a day             B. Snacks

 A. Apartments                B. Houses

 A. Bastille Day               B.  Christmas

 

Record your answer and see the next page for the results.

How French Are You?

 

If most of your answers on the last page were 'A's, you are more French than American.

 

If most of your answers on the last page were 'B's, you are more American than French.

 

Some of the resources I used were:

 

www.livescience.com

 

www.answer.com

 

Frenchmoments.eu

 

www.timeanddate.com

 

http://www.expatica.com

 

Astoldbydana.com

 

Travelfranceonline.com

 

http://about-france.com/

 

http://www.survivefrance.com/

 

http://www.completefrance.com/

 

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/