Speaking French and Cultural Norms by Frannie Cohen-Dumani

Growing up with a French speaking father, my siblings and I learned French at a young age so that we would be able to communicate with my extended family. When I found out about this opportunity to go abroad to a French-speaking country, I could not pass up the chance to immerse myself in a different culture and continue to further my French skills. I made it a solid point to make sure I spoke French to our program staff, and also to any stores or places I went into, even when I was with a group of all Americans. Being surrounded by French-speaking people, I was able to continue to learn more about the language and even learn some more casual conversational phrases that allowed me to really expand my vocabulary. Growing up speaking French with my family in America was never really authentic, and we didn’t get to fully experience all the culture has to offer. Instead, traveling to France allowed me to meet other French-speaking people who helped me learn and expand my language skills. During my time abroad, I learned a lot of cultural norms that differ a lot from American norms. For example, whenever walking into a store make sure to say “Bonjour” as it is a sign of respect to others. Another cultural difference we learned to love was dining for hours since in America we often don’t spend much time at the dinner table. These long hours of dining together and just enjoying each other’s company allowed us to really slow down and enjoy the present time. One thing I would love to personally adopt in America is to be more in the present, especially during meals so we can take much needed breaks throughout the day, as the Parisians.

Processed with VSCO with dog3 preset

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *