You know you’re becoming more French when…


If you’re reading this article, there’s a high probability that you’ve welcomed une vie française with open arms.

For those who’ve had the luxury of spending time (perhaps even too much!) in l’Hexagone, you may have unknowingly taken on lots of little quirks and attitudes from the Francophone world and adopted them when switching back to speaking English. You no longer think of them as odd – you know you’re just becoming a little more French.

So without further ado, may I present to you 30 ways you know you’re becoming more French.

Cliquez ici pour lire cet article en français.


MyfrenchLife™ -becoming more french - cursive writing1. You change your handwriting.
French handwriting is beautifully cursive and you can’t help but want to emulate it.

2. You no longer consider that grid paper so strange.
You see it as a neatness challenge.

3. You know penning a letter is a mind game in itself.
Formal sign-offs are torture.

4. You have issues typing on a QWERTY keyboard.
Exclamation marks and question marks look wrong without spaces. The ‘M’ key just doesn’t feel right in the last row of letters.


5. You say ‘bonjour’ and ‘au revoir’ to everyone, including the bus driver.
Politeness isn’t extinct, you know.

6. You consider 5pm ‘evening’.
Bonsoir is perfectly acceptable at this time of day.

7. You stop hugging and understand the importance of multiple cheek kisses.
You’ll drag that habit back into your Anglophone world.

8. You know that if you want something from someone, you’ll start your query with “excusez-moi”.

9. You don’t giggle when men kiss one another hello.


10. You believe a 6.30pm dinnertime is an atrocity.
How did you ever eat so early before?

MyFrenchLife™ - becoming more French - cheese

11. You consider bread a utensil to eat with other foods.
Because you’re such a multi-tasker.

12. You need cheese like it’s oxygen.

13. You believe in long lunches with multiple courses.

14. You know you can’t get white coffee.
Rookie error: unknowingly ordering an espresso when all you really wanted was un café au lait resembling your humble flat white back home.


15. You believe driving more than a few kilometres anywhere requires a weekend.

16. You walk on the right hand side of the footpath.
It just feels natural.

17. You now look right to left when crossing roads.
It’s a dangerous new habit of yours.

18. You are an expert at locating street signs pinned to buildings.

19. You don’t batt an eye when there’s yet another (métro) strike.



20. You no longer hesitate when discussing the equivalent grades of schooling.

21. Your English no longer sounds correct.
You find nothing wrong with saying “close the light” and “I’m here since three years”.

22. You even dream in French.

23. You know French slang or verlan.
And not just McDo for McDonald’s – because you’re so chébran.

24. You find yourself swearing more.
And it carries across into your English.

25. You catch yourself saying “trop bien” unnecessarily.
Comme un(e) vrai(e) Français(e) !

26. You drop mots anglais into your sentences with a French accent.
You just want to blend in.

27. You know that the word terrible is a slippery slope.

28. You know an acceptable response to a question is a shrug and bof with pursed lips.
You can have a whole conversation in French without saying a word.

29. You think calling someone a flea or a cabbage is cute.

30. You stop laughing at the French name Fanny.

Alors, have you picked up on any of our 30 habits? In what ways have YOU become more French? Tell us below! 

Image credits:
1. & 4. © Hannah Duke.
2. IMG_5339 by Pascal Klein, via Flickr.
3. Via Unsplash.

About the Contributor

Julia Greenhalf

I'm a Melbourne based intern, editor, blogger and language lover. I indulge in too much social networking, often finding myself behind a camera lens. During my studies I have been lucky enough to combine my craving for all things French with a desire to let it all unfold out into the online world. Find me on Twitter and Google+!

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  1. Gemma King Apr 17, 2015 at 10:26 PM - Reply

    Great read, Julia! Though, can I ask why the word ‘terrible’ is a slippery slope?

    • Kathy Douthit Apr 18, 2015 at 5:52 AM - Reply

      It is used colloquially to mean something is either a force to be reckoned with (elle est terrible !), as a negative description (pas terrible, ce melon), or finally in the English meaning of the word (synonym: awful, bad).

  2. Kathy Douthit Apr 18, 2015 at 6:02 AM - Reply

    Interesting article, however I will never understand why living in France should be equated with “becoming French”. I live in France. I am American. There are many French customs…as listed here… that are quite commendable. But also many that are not. I do not want to “become” French, but I do want to adopt the positive traits I find in France, as well as retain my positive American traits. I am American and that cannot change.

    • Julia Greenhalf Apr 18, 2015 at 12:12 PM - Reply

      I totally agree with you here, Kathy. We are the product of our environments, so why not have the best of both worlds and have an awesome cultural mix?

  3. Tracy Nuzzo Apr 20, 2015 at 4:22 AM - Reply

    I found this to be a great article; after a year of living in France, I HAVE changed: my handwriting has improved, I’ve a new-found appreciation for grid paper, and I find that I occasionally construct english sentences À la française (ie, incorrectly)
    But mostly- I no longer laugh at the name Fanny!

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