It seems the French get quite irritated by tourists!

I’ve just been sent this press release - it’s in French so consider that your ‘language improvement’ task of the day (!) but it makes for quite interesting reading…



Les Français Irrités Par Les Touristes Qui ne Parlent Pas Français et Ne Mangent Pas la Cuisine Locale

· Presque la moitié des Français trouvent les touristes frustrants, avec un sondé sur six admettant d’être déjà senti offensé

· Ne pas parler un mot de Français et ne pas vouloir gouter aux plats locaux, tels que les escargots ou le foie gras, ont été cité comme les raisons principales qui agacent les français

· Malgré le fait que les Français se sentent offensé lorsque les touristes n’essayent pas la cuisine locale, 19% ont confessé ne pas essayer la cuisine locale lorsqu’ils sont eux même à l’étranger

Un sondage réalisé par l’équipe du site de comparaison de vols, a sondé 2,350 Français sur leurs expériences avec les touristes en France. Les résultats de leur sondage ont dévoilé que les Français se sentent frustrés par les touristes lorsqu’ils ne font pas l’effort de parler français, ou d’essayer la nourriture locale, tel que les escargots ou le foie gras.

Les premiers résultats du sondage ont révélé que 47% des Français se sentent régulièrement (au moins une fois par semaine) frustrés par l’attitude des touristes en France. 15% d’entre eux ont déclaré leur parler dans leur propre langue, tandis que la majorité (61%) ont admis parler des touristes, en Français, avec leurs amis, en assumant que c’est une langue qu’ils ne parlent pas.

De plus, un sondé sur six (17%) a admis se sentir de manière générale offensé par les touristes, en particulier par les touristes américains (9%), les touristes allemands (9%) et les anglais (7%).

Les raisons pour lesquelles les français trouvent les touristes frustrants se sont avérées être les suivantes :

· Ne pas parler un mot de Français - 27%

· Ne pas manger la cuisine locale - 20%

· Parler trop fort dans leur langue maternelle - 18%

· Parler excessivement avec les mains - 14%

· Être trop bruyant après quelques verres d’alcool - 6%

Parmi les sondés qui ont admis se sentir offensé par le fait que les touristes ne parlent pas un mot de Français, lorsqu’ils sont en France, la majorité (73%) ont admis être capable d’échanger un minimum dans une autre langue lorsqu’ils vont eux même en vacances à l’étranger.

De plus, les sondés qui ont admis se sentir offensé par le fait que les touristes ne veulent pas essayer la cuisine locale ont admis « ne pas comprendre » pourquoi les les touristes ne veulent pas gouter aux traditions locales telles que les escargots ou le foie gras (58%).

Enfin, lorsqu’on leur a demandé s’ils essayaient eux même la cuisine locale lorsqu’ils partaient en vacances à l’étranger, presqu’un sondé sur cinq (19%) a avoué ne pas jouer eux même le jeu. Lorsqu’on leur a demandé d’expliquer pourquoi ils ne voulaient pas essayer la cuisine locale, 27% ont déclaré qu’ils trouvaient que la nourriture n’avait pas l’air comestible tandis qu’un quart des sondés (25%) ont admis qu’ils pensaient que la nourriture ne serait pas aussi bonne qu’en France.

Un représentant pour a commenté les résultats :

“Il y a clairement un certain niveau d’hypocrisie en voyant les résultats de ce sondage. Les Français admettent qu’ils se sentent frustrés face aux touristes qui ne veulent pas essayer la cuisine locale Française mais ne suivent eux même pas leur ligne de conduit lorsqu’ils se trouvent en vacances à l’étranger. Pour trouver un bon équilibre, les touristes devraient surement faire un effort et se fonder dans la masse et au sein des cultures locales des pays qu’ils visitent tandis que les locaux pourraient eux aussi faire preuve d’un peu plus de patience.”

If this for real?

I could understand frustration with tourists who do not speak French, but not eating the local cuisine? That comes across as a bit precious. Does it matter as long as people are visiting and spending money on your country/region?

And what the heck is “talking excessively with their hands” about?? It seems ironic for the French to complain about that.


Same issue in Spain, I guess. The expat community seem to have an unhealthy liking for “the all day breakfast”…

“Parler excessivement avec les mains - 14%”

I’m guessing here, @anon88169868, but I wonder if this might mean a wider discomfiture by that minority of French people with broader aspects of ‘foreign’ non-verbal communication?

For example different usages in body proximity, eye contact, smiles, pouts and frowns, facial expression, eye-brow lifts, hand shakes, shrugs, head movements, bisous etc.

These seem to me to be as distinctly different from Anglo-Saxon as is the spoken language different from French, and can be something of a barrier to communication, and to relationships. I’ve become aware since that the elbow-nudge is quite common amongst French men, but might be misinterpreted by some Brits.

An example: having formed quite a warm and close relationship with my neighbour I have noticed that he often gives me what l sense are friendly nudges with his elbow against my upper arm, not once but several times, and with a broad smile.

He started doing this about a year ago after an acquaintance going back four years. It’s not something I’ve often (or ever) experienced from British men, but I think it may be a familiar thing in France.

I now recognise it as common sign of affectionate friendship amongst men.

Maybe it’s British hugs, shoulder-pats or back-slaps etc that concern the French when they refer to “parler excessivement avec les mains”?

1 Like

My guess that speaking too much with hands is that non- french speakers often try to communicate using hand gestures to accompany speaking their own language VERY slowly and VERY loudly.

And I have often seen tourists being very rude about refusing to eat local dishes that are suggested to them, rather than just politely saying no thank you. I don’t eat foie gras for obvious reasons, but have found that a polite no is all that’s needed.

I find these things equally irritating - does that make me French now and can I have an European passport please?


I certainly assumed that talking loudly and slowly in their own language was Brits or Yanks.

I note that a certain lack of consistency was noted even within the report - since many French admit to the same behaviour when they are abroad.

I guess it boils down to a fairly large % of tourists, of any ilk, being insensitive and boorish.

It is interestingly written, but I don’t think it was in French to start with,

or else it was written by someone whose French isn’t quite spot on, judging by the mistakes and weird choice of vocab (faux amis!).


Ha ha - I thought you would spot that! Yes, it came from a PR agency who are UK based I think, but there was no English version so as I’m on a deadline today, I just posted away.

Probably written as most of us speak anyway :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

1 Like

If I deem it necessary I can communicate predominantly with my hands - well mainly my fingers!

(my feelings seem to be understood!)


Couple of useful exposures of temptingly sly faux amis there, Véro :+1:

1 Like

I wonder if the Dutch got a mention - I know French people from Corsica to Normandy and they all complain about Dutch tourists. They have the reputation of bringing all their food with them and seldom spending in France.

I’ve no idea how true that is but it has come from people working in the tourist and hospitality industry and is only levelled against those from the Netherlands

1 Like

Well when we have dutch families in our gite the recycling bin is usually full of dutch food packaging. We know owner of local campsite who also says same thing.

Half is equal to one sixth? This article is approximation and nonsense.

1 Like

On one of my many visits to Greece, I apologised to the waiter for not speaking more Greek, but he just smiled and said that that was OK because he understood we were tourists and only there for a couple of weeks.

Perhaps the French who object to anglo tourists who don’t speak French should bear in mind that said tourists are voluntarily spending quite a lot of money in their country.

Ex-pats who don’t speak French - well, that’s a different matter.

Not expats, immigrants


The examples of local foods given are interesting - I wonder what my very French and very vegan next-door neighbour would make of them?

At the end of the day the french dont like anyone who’s not french and white french at that.
They are more than happy to sell you what you want to eat, even though it’s overpriced for what you get and difficult to get a de ent meal here.

Yup, you are right, we are all meretricious xenophobic racist rip-off merchants with an eye for the main chance and no taste buds.

And as we all love correcting people because we’re all supercilious twats : French needs a capital letter.


Always a mistake to caricature a whole nation - which in reality is full of all kinds of different people - especially in negative terms; but I guess the survey also reduced an actually disparate group - ‘tourists’ - to simplistic terms.
In my own experience there is always some tension between tourists and locals, and it has little to do with nationality - I lived in a very touristy village in the UK, where nearly all locals and visitors were English, but there was a lot of resentment, even among locals that depended on visitors for their income. That being the UK, parking was the most common stress point.
Overtourism is a recognised problem in many places now - there are anti-tourism movements in cities like Barcelona and Venice - serious environmental impact concerns - moves to control the most destructive forms like cruises and AirB&B - increasing tourist taxes, etc. As (I believe) the most visited country in the world, it’s not surprising such tensions also exist in France.


You get what you give.

Love us, hate us, blame us, we stopped caring a long time ago, that’s why you find us arrogants. We live our lives.