French Language Blog

Stereotypes Posted by on May 3, 2022 in Culture, Language, Politics

Prejudice and stereotypes (les préjugés et les stéréotypes) are almost always bad … except when they are the source of a humorous campagne publicitaire1ad campaign from the French financial company Cofidis. This week we look at some pubs2tv commercials that highlight common misconceptions that people make about other people.

Photo CC0 from

Don’t judge …

A book by it’s cover! In French we would say “L’habit ne fait pas le moine.” However you say it, the meaning is the same: don’t assume you know a person based on age, race, gender, or other superficial categories.

Cofidis, a company which lends money/provides credit to people, played up this idea for effect in a recent ad campaign3I’ve included a select few here, but you can see all the ads from the campaign here..

Préjugé: Les Papis roulent toujours à deux à l’heure4Stereotype: Grandpas always drive two miles an hour

Préjugé: Les Mamies paient toujours avec des petites pièces5Stereotype: Grannies always pay with change

Préjugé: Les hommes ne supportent pas la douleur6Stereotype: men can’t handle pain

Vous trouvez ça absurde? Nous aussi!7You find that absurd? Us too!

Here are three more, featuring real people, that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Les gens ne lissent plus de livres?8People don’t read books anymore

Les Français font toujours la tranche?9French people always look mad

La techno c’est que pour les jeunes?10Techno music is just for young people

It’s official!

You’ve undoubtedly seen the news, but just to close the loop: Emmanuel Macron won the second round of the French Presidential elections last month and will be President of France for another 5 years.

Despite his seemingly solid victory (~59% of votes cast to ~41% for Marine Le Pen), the newly (re)elected President will begin his next quinquennat11five year term without a clear mandate. A higher-than-normal number of people simply chose not to vote for either candidate (Macron only received ~38% of the votes of all those eligible to vote) and France remains very divided.

The outcome of the upcoming legislative elections will determine just how much Macron will be able to accomplish with his next quinquennat.

N’oubliez pas

The Eurovision Song Contest is la semaine prochaine12next week. Semifinal rounds (le 10 et le 12 mai13May 10th and 12th) as well as the Grand Finale (le 14) will be streamed live on the Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel (and for those of you in the US, will also be aviable for viewing on the Peacock streaming platform).

Pop and Politics

Le Jardinage

  • 1
    ad campaign
  • 2
    tv commercials
  • 3
    I’ve included a select few here, but you can see all the ads from the campaign here.
  • 4
    Stereotype: Grandpas always drive two miles an hour
  • 5
    Stereotype: Grannies always pay with change
  • 6
    Stereotype: men can’t handle pain
  • 7
    You find that absurd? Us too!
  • 8
    People don’t read books anymore
  • 9
    French people always look mad
  • 10
    Techno music is just for young people
  • 11
    five year term
  • 12
    next week
  • 13
    May 10th and 12th
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


  1. anand:

    I would have preferred a French translation of the texts side by side their English version.

    • Tim Hildreth:

      @anand Thank you for reading and for sharing your feedback! I like to mix the format up from time to time, so it’s good to know what the readers are looking for.