Practical Tips About Some Things Not to Do in France

When travelling to France, there are a few things that you should avoid doing in order to not cause offence. Firstly, do not assume that everyone speaks English – while a lot of people in France do speak English, it is considered impolite to assume that they do and you may come across as arrogant. Secondly, try to avoid talking about the Second World War or about French history in general – these topics can be sensitive for some people and it is best not to broach them unless you are sure that the person you are speaking to is comfortable with discussing them. Finally, be careful not to litter or make too much noise when out and about – both of these things can be viewed as disrespectful by locals.

Never Underestimate How Far a Few French Words Can Go

If you’re planning a trip to France, or even just spending time in a French-speaking country, there’s one thing you should never do: underestimate how far a few French words can go.

Sure, English is the lingua franca of the modern world and you’ll probably be able to get by without speaking any French at all. But learning even just a few basic phrases will make your experience so much better.

For starters, it will help you connect with the locals. A simple “bonjour” (hello) or “merci” (thank you) goes a long way in France. People will appreciate your effort to speak their language and may even be more likely to help you out if you need directions or advice.

In addition, using some basic French will also help ensure that you get what you want when ordering food or shopping for souvenirs. Many shopkeepers and waiters appreciate it when customers make an effort to speak their language, and they’re often more willing to give discounts or special treatment if they do.

So don’t be afraid to give it a try – even if your French isn’t perfect, every little bit counts!

Never Wave Wildly at a Waiter to Get Their Attention

When in France, never wave wildly at a waiter to get their attention. This is considered very impolite and will only result in the waiter ignoring you. If you need to get a waiter’s attention, simply raise your hand and make eye contact.

Try Not to Speak Louder Than Everyone Else, Particularly at Night

If you want to avoid speaking louder than everyone else, particularly at night, try to keep your voice down. In France, people tend to speak more quietly than in other countries and it is considered impolite to speak loudly in public. If you need to raise your voice, do so only briefly and then lower it again.

Never Leave Your Cell Phone Out When Having a Coffee Meal With Friends

If you’re out to lunch with a group of friends, for example, and you pull out your cell phone to check a text or answer a call, you’re basically saying that you don’t care about the conversation happening at the table. And believe me, your French friends will notice. They might not say anything, but they’ll definitely be thinking it.

So next time you’re in France (or really, anywhere else), make sure to keep your cell phone tucked away until after the meal is over. Trust me, your friends will appreciate it!

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