French Language Blog

Americans and their Love-Hate Relationship with France Posted by on Sep 29, 2008 in Culture

According to a March 2008 Gallup poll, Americans have a more positive attitude towards France than a few years back.  69% of Americans say they have a favorable view of France as opposed to only 57% in February 2007.  Well, I for one, have always had a favorable view of France and I’ll give you some reasons why (not in any particular order and certainly not an exhaustive list as I could go on and on)…

1 – The country gave me two wonderful, intelligent boyfriends (wonderful when I was dating them at least) who helped me immensely with learning the language.
2-  Some of my favorite singers include Jean-Jacques Goldman and Francis Cabrel.
3-  I love French wine, especially the reds from Bordeaux.
4-  I love Mumm champagne…just not the same as plain old sparkling wine and after all, they let me taste several when I toured their cellars in Rheims.
5-  French food…from crepes to Dijon mustard to foie gras, I love it all!
6- Fondue parties.
7- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
8- Disneyland Paris
9- For providing me with places like the palaces of Versailles, Fontainebleau and Chantilly to stroll about and dream away…
10- Many of their museums are free on the 1st Sunday of the month and for budget students, that’s a big plus!

Now, here are my top ten reasons why I think Americans in general should have a favorable view of France:

#10 Where do you think the idea of the ‘French kiss’ came from?
#9 The origins of one of our most cherished Sunday breakfasts -French toast- lie in pain perdu .
#8 The French flag incorporates the same colors as ours (red, white and blue).
#7 How many of you out there have ever used L’Oréal products?
#6 Besides the American embassy, there are several other American buildings in Paris including the American Library of Paris and the American Hospital of Paris.
#5 About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of French origin.
#4 Many treaties have been negotiated and signed in Paris including the Treaty of Paris in 1783 ending the American Revolutionary War or the American War for Independence, the Treaty of Paris of 1898 ending the Spanish-American War and the 1973 Paris Peace Accords which formally ended American involvement in Vietnam.
#3 After the September 11th terrorist attack on the United States, French President Jacques Chirac said, “Today, we are all Americans” as he gave his sincere condolences and expressed his country’s solidarity with Americans.
#2 France has reserved part of its territory to honor the Americans who died in World War II and thus, that land (the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial) is officially considered American territory.

and the #1 reason Americans should have a favorable view of France:

They gave us the Statue of Liberty as an international gift of friendship.

Est-ce que vous avez des raisons pour aimer la France ? Partagez-les avec nous !

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  1. Valerie:

    I, too, have never stopped loving France. I spent several summers there in my youth when my dad lived there. He lived in Vaucresson in the Environs de Paris, and I loved walking around that scenic town. I had great fun exploring Paris. There is nothing I didn’t like about France. I long to return, and take my children.

  2. Zanil Hyder:

    I like your reasons….

    But try to get them done in french.

  3. Connie:


    J’adore votre raisons pour aimer la France. Moi aussi. Your reasons were right on target. Americans have a very important bond with France that began at the very birth of our nation. My reasons for loving France are very personal. My late sister Carole lived in France for 22 years. Carole emigrated to France in 1979 to pursue a singing career. Staring in 1994 I would visit her on an annual basis. These visits were an excursion of a lifetime. Each visit introduced me to something new about the country and its culture – les trois Dumas, le Chevalier de St George, how to buy a ripe camenbert cheese for the evening meal. To this day I sleep on vintage linen sheets and I have decorated my home with treasures found in the marche aux pouces. I fell head over heels in love with Paris (my New York city), the culture and most especially the French people. I met musician Jean-Jacques Goldman on many of my visits because Carole, Jean-Jacques and Micheal Jones at that time were the reigning music group in France, Fredericks Goldman Jones. Carole passed away in 2001. She is buried in Montmartre Cemetery. My sister’s life and successful career in France created a bond with the city of light and France that my family and I will cherish forever. Congratulations to you and Transparent Language for launching the French Blog. I so look forward to reading your blog and hearing from others about the country that has given all of us so much.

  4. chanda:

    I commend you for wanting to take your children to France someday…I really think that it is super important to instill international values in children from the time they are very young.

    I’m glad you like the blog and I will think about writing my reasons in French.

    Connie, I am truly honored that you like my reasons for loving France. My first French boyfriend (and still good friend) is a huge fan of Goldman and I often listened to your sister’s music with him. We love it!

  5. Valerie:

    Well, if you decide to write anything in French, please write them in English as well. LOL. Although I can sort of get the jist of a couple of sentences, I would balk at trying to read the entire blog in French! My French is just way too rusty.

  6. chanda:

    Don’t worry Valerie. This really is an English-language blog about French language and culture. Happy Reading!

  7. Allison Bragdon:

    Just so you know, Chandra, there are actually 11 American cemeteries in France. They can be found online at All of them are considered US territory.

    I happen to love the French – they are wonderful. I lived in and around Nancy, in Meurthe et Moselle, for 7 years and met some absolutely wonderful people there and some lifelong friends. Yes, I heard about what they didn’t like about American, but I mostly heard about what they loved about our country and us. I am a French teacher trying to impart this love of the French, their language and culture to our children in our public schools. Some days it is easier than others, but I am glad to see that public opinion is changing from the days of “freedom fries” and all that other garbage.

    One thing you didn’t mention in your top 10 is the fact that the French saved our proverbial behinds in the Revolutionary War (for which we did not pay them as we had promised, therefore contributing to the French Revolution). L’Enfant designed our capitol city – Washington, and our founding fathers took many of their ideas for the Declaration of Independance and for the Constitution of the United States from the ideas of Rousseau.

  8. Allison Bragdon:

    Connie – I hope that you read this. I was in France when Carole came on the scene with Goldman Fredricks, Jones. I was absolutely blown away by their music. I have their first two CDs. When we had to leave France in 96 I lost touch a bit, then recently found out that Carole had passed away. I cried that the world had lost such a beautiful soul. Please accept my condoleances.

    On a brighter note, I discovered Carole’s website about teaching French in song – and being a french teacher – I am excited. Thank you for including a link to get me to that wonderful site. I will be sure to use it to try to reach my students. Merci Beaucoup!

  9. chanda:

    Thanks Allison for your insight. As many of us who have had some kind of experience with France, its language or culture know – there are obviously more than 10 reasons to love the country and even more so, the French people, but I couldn’t mention all of them in my top 10 lists, so I am thrilled that you offered some more!

  10. Alex Appleton:

    So sorry that why the people thinking so that.We are one and live in one globe and also one blood….Why this is going on our mind…

  11. Peyton:

    France is an awesome country. I love their unique values and culture. I think that whole anti-French thing in America was really dumb. Now I hope that the French give me a chance even though I’m American. (I NEVER asked to be born American !!!! )

  12. Marine:

    Hey! My name is Marine (18 years old) and I’m french. I’m from Nancy. It’s funny to see what you’re thinking of us ^^. I don’t speak very well english but I’m learning it. My dream is to speak English fluently and go to U.S.A, especially to Seattle, Chicago and New York!!! ^^
    And in the future, I would like to live in the State of Washington.
    I have friends who have gone to U.S.A. They found the landscape beautiful and people was very nice and friendly. I look forward to coming and discovering more things on the United States !!! =D

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