Cultural differences dating france
The president of a company or institution should be addressed as monsieur ( madame) le président ( la présidente), a courtesy title usually retained in retirement. It’s best to take it slowly when negotiating this social minefield and to take your cue from the French.The mayor must be addressed as Monsieur/Madame le Maire (even female mayors are le Maire! You shouldn’t kiss ( faire la bise) when first introduced to an adult, although young children will expect to be kissed.These include money, which is generally avoided by the French; it’s a major faux pas to ask a new acquaintance what he does for a living, as his job title will often give an indication of his salary.Far safer to stick to discussions of food and drink.The standard and automatic reply to merci is je vous en prie (‘you’re welcome’).Titles should generally be used when addressing or writing to people, particularly when the holder is elderly.
Some people say you must never take wine, as this implies that your hosts don’t know what wine to buy, although this obviously depends on your hosts and how well you know them.The French say bon appétit before starting a meal and you shouldn’t start eating until your hosts do.It’s polite to eat everything that’s put on your plate. The French love detailed and often heated discussions, but there are certain topics of conversation that need handling with care.(It’s also customary to kiss everyone in sight – including the men if you’re a man – at midnight on New Year’s Eve!) When talking to a stranger, use the formal form of address ( vous).