French Culture

Do's and Don'ts


  • French people prefer engaging in the French language. Showing an effort to speak French through simple phrases such as ‘bonjour’ (‘hello’) or ‘parlez-vous Anglais’ (‘do you speak English?’) will help build rapport with your French counterpart.
  • Try to demonstrate some knowledge of history, politics and French culture. The French take great pride in their history and culture.
  • Observe social etiquette. Address people by their appropriate title and talk to them in a polite manner to avoid committing a ‘faux pas’ (see ‘Demeanour and Interactions’ under Core Concepts).
  • Expect discussion to be well thought out. French generally express opinions when they are fully formed and refined.

Do Not’s

  • Avoid asking personal questions relating to one’s age, sexual orientation, family or children unless you have a well-established friendship. The French highly value their privacy and the privacy of others.
  • Inquiring about one’s salary and finances is taboo. To do so is considered highly inappropriate, regardless of how close the relationship is between those conversing. Allow for your French counterpart to reveal this information if they wish. In some contexts, it is also considered rude to reveal your salary if it is significantly high due to social perceptions of the upper class (see ‘Economic and Geographic Distinctions’ in Core Concepts). If you do inquire about one’s financial situation or salary, any questions should be preceded by the phrase ‘si ce n’est pas indiscret’ (‘If it is not a rude question’).
  • French people take great pride in their nation and language. Although the French tend to be quite critical, negative comments or criticisms about the French nation or identity from foreigners may offend your French counterpart.
  • Avoid shouting or drawing attention to yourself in public as this is viewed as a lack of self-control and manners.
  • Do not become frustrated if things take time. The French place a greater value on quality than convenience.
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  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    French (official) (100%)
  • Religion
    Christianity (63-66%)
    Islam (7-9%)
    Buddhism (0.5-0.75%)
    Judaism (0.5-0.75%)
    Other (0.5-1.0%)
    No Religion (23-28%)
    [2015 est.]
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' religious beliefs.
  • Ethnicity
    Celtic and Latin
    North African
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with French Ancestry
    135,382 [Census, 2016]
French in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in France.
  • Median Age
    [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (51.4%)
    Female (48.7%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    No Religion (46.9%)
    Catholic Christianity (36.0%)
    Judaism (1.3%)
    Buddhism (1.2%%)
    Other Religion (7.7%)
    Not Stated (6.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    French (63.7%)
    Italian (6.3%)
    English (3.3%)
    Spanish (3.2%)
    Other Ancestry (23.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    French (65.6%)
    English (28.0%)
    Italian (1.2%)
    Other Languages (4.5%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 95.5% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (37.1%)
    Victoria (23.0%)
    Queensland (18.8%)
    Western Australia (12.3%)
    Other (8.8%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (50.3%)
    2007 - 2011 (17.0%)
    2012 - 2016 (28.8%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country France