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Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics

May 06, 2024
2024-05-06
If you're watching the Paris 2024 Olympics live, then you better brush up on your French social customs. Don't forget that you'll be visiting Paris, the capital city of France. Though you may be one of the millions of tourists who will descend on the city for the global sports event, ignorance won't be bliss here. Many Parisians will still expect you to at least know and practice a few local customs during your stay in their city. Think of it as representing your country the way the national athletes are in the Olympic Games. Speaking a bit of French, keeping your voice down, and knowing proper table manners will make you (and in turn, your country too) look good.

Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics


Learn Some French

First things first, you'd do well to learn a little bit of French. This isn't to say that it's a requirement, but will truly help you when you get to Paris. Even you have to admit that it can get annoying when tourists visit your hometown without even attempting to speak your local language. So how do you think the French will feel when millions of tourists descend on the city for the 2024 Summer Olympics? While they expect many to not know a spec of French, they'll better appreciate those who do. And if you're already in the city, why not enroll in the best language schools in Paris now?


Always Say Hello & Goodbye

It's good manners in France to always say hello (“bonjour”) and goodbye (“au revoir”). When you enter a room, greet as many people as you can. And before you leave, make sure to say goodbye to everyone too. It doesn't have to be in social settings either. Something as simple as going to the store encourages this norm too. When you go to a nearby boulangerie to buy a pastry, for example, it's only natural to say hello to the cashier as you pay for your treat. You also don't need anyone to tell you how rude it is not to say goodbye to them after the transaction.

Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics



Don't Just Come in For The Kiss

Speaking of greeting, you'd naturally want to do it the French way, right? You've seen it in countless TV series or movies set in Paris—kissing both cheeks. For the French, it's a common and affectionate greeting, but for foreigners, you're probably too shy to do it at first, aren't you? Well, you don't have to. At least, not when you don't know the person all that well. When you greet strangers in Paris, especially fellow tourists who are there for the Paris 2024 Olympics too, a firm handshake is enough. You only truly do “la bise” to people you know or if they're doing it to you.


Avoid Going Overboard with Your Patriotism

Now, let's talk patriotism. When you travel to Paris to watch the 2024 Olympics live, you naturally want to show off your national pride, right? You're there to cheer for your country's team, after all. Why shouldn't you exert all your energy rooting for them? Well, it's good to exert all that patriotic energy in the game venues—which will be set in famous spots in Paris, no less!—but not outside. The best that Parisians can stomach is when you wear your national colors with pride. But if you annoy them with further cheering and boasting about your team, you risk turning everyone off.

Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics



Keep Your Voice Low in Crowded Places

If you haven't realized it yet, Parisians are understated. They keep to themselves and rarely make a ruckus that will annoy others around them. Of course, they expect you to extend the same courtesy back when you're in their city. So if you're in public, it's best to tone it down and lower your volume when you speak. Nothing is more annoying to Parisians than loud tourists who aren't aware of how much they're disturbing those around them. Whether you're dining in one of the best cafes in Paris or you're riding the Paris Métro with friends, don't speak too loudly!


Clean Up After Yourself

Going to the Paris 2024 Olympics means you'll be a visitor to the Parisians' hometown. And what do you do when you visit someone else's home? Clean up after yourself! Pick up your own litter and put them in the proper bins. Paris may be notorious for its garbage problems, but that doesn't mean you're free to leave your own trash behind. It's common courtesy, not just in Paris but all around the world too, that people pick up after themselves in stadiums and arenas. No matter how wild you get watching the games, you're still responsible for your own trash.

Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics



Don't Drink Before Everyone Else

If you're ever invited over to someone's luxury apartment in Paris during your free days in between watching the Olympic Games, one cardinal rule is to never drink before everyone else. At the very least, not before the person who's hosting the soirée. Let's set the scene: you're in someone's home to enjoy some cheese and wine. You're the first one the host pours wine into their glass and the others are waiting their turn. Do you know just how rude and taboo it is to start drinking before anyone else has had their glasses filled? This is one of the biggest faux pas you could ever commit in France, not just in Paris.


Slow Down The Compliments

The French are not exactly shy, but they're averse to over-complimenting. Tone down your praises when you talk to locals in Paris. They appreciate any nice thing you say, but going overboard won't bode well either. At most, you can say hand out a couple of compliments, at least one per person, and you're done! Doing too much will make them feel uncomfortable, no matter how much you're praising them. Or worse, they'll think you're being insincere and won't want to hang out with you afterward. Avoid both instances by slowing down your compliments.

Learn These French Customs When You Go to The Paris 2024 Olympics


You'd do well to learn a few French customs before you travel to Paris to watch the 2024 Summer Olympics live. It'll make it easier for you to avoid committing any faux pas that might offend the locals.



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