French Culture

Naming

  • Most French names have versions in other languages. For example, the name ‘Guillaume’ translates into English as ‘William’.
  • Many traditional French names are gender-specific, meaning that masculine names can be made feminine and vice versa by adding or omitting a few letters. For example, the masculine name ‘Jean’ in its feminine form is ‘Jeanne’.
  • Hyphenated names are quite popular. The names are usually combined from two names of the same gender (e.g. ‘Jean-Marc)’. Hyphenated names are considered to be a single unit rather than two separate names.
  • Traditionally, many French names were based on saints from Roman Catholicism. It is common to find members of older generations with names relating to saints (e.g. ‘Pierre’ for Saint Peter).
  • Women cannot legally change their surname after marriage, but both men and women can accept the other’s surname for social and colloquial purposes.
  • Children usually adopt their father’s surname. They may, however, adopt their mother’s surname or both parents’, depending on what the parents agree on.
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

France
  • Population
    62,814,233
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    French (official) (100%)
  • Religions
    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.
  • Ethnicities
    Celtic and Latin
    Salvic
    North African
    Indochinese
    Basque
    Note: France prohibits state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity
  • Cultural Dimensions
    68
    71
    43
    86
    63
    48
  • Australians with French Ancestry
    135,382 [2016 census]
French in Australia
  • Population
    31,120
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in France.
  • Average Age
    41
  • Gender
    Male (50.9%)
    Female (49.1%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (45.0%)
    Judaism (1.9%)
    Other (11.9%)
    No Religion (35.6%)
    Not stated (5.7%)
  • Ancestry
    French (67.2%)
    Italian (5.1%)
    English (3.4%)
    Australian (3.1%)
    Other (21.2%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    French (61.3%)
    English (31.1%)
    Italian (1.9%)
    Other (5.1%)
    Not stated (0.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 94.0% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (36.2%)
    Victoria (22.8%)
    Queensland (20.2%)
    Western Australia (11.3%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (54.4%)
    2001-2006 (13.9%)
    2007-2011 (26.7%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/81/fr.svg Flag Country France