32 Differences between French People in the U.S. and France

A statue of a person with Statue of Liberty in the background

French expatriates suddenly realize when they return to France from the U.S.: they aren’t the same as their French friends in France. Here’s how we’re extra-terrestrial:

32. French expatriates don’t understand obscure acronyms like RSA, CFDT, CNAV, etc. 

Confused Glee animated GIF

31. And a “large Coke” in France seems minuscule:

Gladiator Joaquin Phoenix animated GIF

30. You complain less about French television…

French French TV animated GIF

29. …than the decline of France.

Excited Friends animated GIF

28. Besides, France isn’t so bad.

Everything Is Ok Mountain animated GIF

27. For a long time, you don’t think your French is retreating…

Harry Potter I Dont Care animated GIF

26. And you make fewer mistakes in English.

Hamlet Invader Zim animated GIF

24. For you, La Sécu is a treasure compared to Social Security and U.S. healthcare:

Han Solo animated GIF Couple

23. As is the baguette.

Baking animated GIF wand

22. You’re more optimistic…

College Problems Dying animated GIF

21. …and less grumpy.

10 Reason Be Happy animated GIF

20. You can wear hoodies in the street.

8 Mile Battle animated GIF

19. And respond to emails quickly.

Emails Lecturer animated GIF

18. You know every single series that’s going to be broadcast in France the next year.

Homeland animated GIF

17. But you get no vacation.

vintage animated GIF

16. Which is okay, since that’s part of the American dream.

Big Apple Empire State Building animated GIF

15. You start to think the French in France don’t care about anything.

animated GIF the office

14. And don’t understand how anyone can be against Netflix.

Faint Shocked animated GIF

13. Or against Starbucks.

shocked animated GIF

12. Or against brands in general.

Confused Glee animated GIF

11. You don’t understand the inaction in France.

30 Rock Frustrated animated GIF

10. Shops being closed on Sundays.

angry animated GIF

9. The waitstaffs in Paris.

slapping animated GIF

8. You’re a little scandalized when there’s no vegetarian menu at a restaurant in France.

the simpsons animated GIF

7. And you get uncomfortable when the waiter hasn’t checked on you in the last five minutes.

awkward animated GIF

6. You’ve completely lost the habit of waiting before asking for the check.

Spongebob Squarepants animated GIF

5. You don’t get lost in airports. 

animated GIF security

4. You shake hands with women.

olivia wilde animated GIF

3. And hug men.

hug animated GIF

2. You annoy the French in France with your “Franglais.”

shut up animated GIF

1. But you appreciate your friends all the more when you come back home.

friendship animated GIF

A close up of a sign


Get your weekly dose of Frenchly’s news.

Read more

Frenchly newsletter.

A close up of a sign

Get your weekly dose of Frenchly’s news.

Frenchly Newsletter.

A close up of a sign

Get your weekly dose of Frenchly stuff.