Google’s auto fill is a wonderful tool. It’s a bit like a friend walking you home when you’ve had a little too much to drink. It corrects typos, it saves time, it presents interesting ideas that we haven’t thought of.
This tool also allows us to learn a lot about the questions that the French ask themselves about the English, such as “Is England a country,” the first suggestion when you type “Is England”. (It’s not, it’s a constituent nation.)
Here are the top questions the French are googling about the English.
The left-side driving raises many questions, as does tea. The French also want to know about the absence of shutters and some political matters like why the English vote on Thursdays and why do they want to leave Europe (which is a weird question because they want to leave the European Union, not Europe entirely).
Relating to “how the English,” the French want to know about themselves. For example, how do the English see the French, what do they call the French, and how do they perceive the French language. They also want to know how the English live, including how they celebrate Easter, how they say hello, and how they have sex. The lone history question, the French want to know how the English colonized India.
The “are the English” question is supremely revealing. The French aren’t sure if the English are left-handed, owners of their houses, Catholic, welcoming, European, Celtic, Protestant, romantic, attractive, or good lovers.
Apparently the French are very confused about what England even is. Is England a country or an island? They also need to know if they can travel freely to it: Is it in Europe, the Euro Zone, or Schengen?
The French are also concerned about the status of migrants in England, whether the country is taking them or not. They’d like to know why England insists on having its own currency and leaving the E.U. And of course there are the very basics of why is England called England, why does England have a Queen, and why is England called Great Britain.
Questions on France
The proof that the French can sometimes be a little self centered is here in auto-fill. The top fill-in for “what do the English” is what do the English think of France. They also want to know what the English like in France, think of French women, and like to eat in France. As for the question about what did the English do with Mathilde, that’s in reference to the English Empress Mathilda, who was married to a French count and lived in France. She was the heir to the English throne, but not all the English wanted her to rule and a war broke while she was in England… hence the question, what did the English do with Mathilde.
The French are concerned about where the English are — in France, on vacation, getting crowned as royalty. A special shout-out is owed to the genius question where do the English stand. On what matter, we don’t know, but the French are concerned none the less.