Reddit Reddit reviews Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French

We found 7 Reddit comments about Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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7 Reddit comments about Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French:

u/Vovicon · 18 pointsr/TrueReddit

This book: Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong says more or less the same thing.

It's a very interesting read, a quite thorough analysis done by a team of Canadians about the cultural differences between French and North Americans and the misunderstandings it creates.

Their main point is that, the cultural differences between these to countries are exacerbated by the fact most assume these culture should be very similar because "Western".

u/JaseAndrews · 9 pointsr/france

To provide you a serious answer, I recommend this book:

I read it before coming to France and it gave me a surprising amount of insight into the French mindset. It helped me understand how to interpret certain actions and behaviors that I wasn't accustomed to.

u/hateur · 4 pointsr/AskReddit

A few points from Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, a book about cultural differences between Americans (and English-speaking nations in general) and the French:

  1. The French appreciate arguing and polemic in conversation. This is in contrast to English speakers, who try to emphasize what they have in common with the other person's point of view. This can easily be misinterpreted in inter-cultural situations: Americans will think the French are being agressively argumentative and rude, when they are actually just trying to make interesting conversation, the way they're used to. The French, on the other hand, will find the Americans conventional-thinking and prone to agree with anything, when they're just trying to be "nice" and keep things smooth (of course their opinions can be just as strong as anyone else's, and they can be eloquent in expressing them--they just don't make casual conversation that way; for Americans, it's all about "greasing the wheels" of social interaction).This probably doesn't come as complete news to most Americans (or French), but it still comes as a shock when they first experience it first hand.

  2. The French will correct a foreigner's mispronunciation of French words (or slips in grammar) as a matter of politely helping that person improve themselves. Another big no-no with Americans: such a person would be called a "grammar Nazi" by Internet geeks, but in casual conversation among non-geek Americans, it would be seen as gratuitous arrogance. A (somewhat extreme) example from the book: one of the authors, a native English-speaker from Ontario (the other being a native French-speaker from Montreal, both having had lived two years in France), asks for a bottle of ice tea in a grocery store, in good French, but pronouncing Ice Tea in English (since that's what's written on the bottle). The saleswoman corrects her pronunciation: EES-TEH. So a native English-speaker is corrected about pronouncing two words of their own language by a French person speaking only basic English, with no self-consciousness at all. Amazing as it may seem, the intention was to be helpful, not arrogant. (Not really a reason for Americans to hate the French, but an illustration of how easily cultural impedance mismatch can distort image.)

    (I don't have the book at hand right now, this is just what I could remember from reading it a few years ago.)
u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/paris

I didn't go there, but a book I read recently describes a lot of the traditions, the entrance processes, etc. Maybe it will be new to you? "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" covers the systems and cultural aspects that make France so French, and has an entire chapter and many other stories about the Grandes Ecoles, including ENS. If you're starting from zero, I would look there!

u/chub79 · 2 pointsr/books
u/lestratege · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Found the book that'd answer some of your questions: