With the development of the technology and the economic, more and more Chinese are studying at France. More or less we have known something about France when I was in China. But discover the differences between France and China through book is unilateral. The best way to explore the cultural differences is to experience them and compare them by your own. After came to France for almost three months, I’ve explored many cultural differences between this two countries. So let’s see what are these differences I have found. The Differences on NAMEs
The first difference I found is that in France, people’s first name comes first, followed by their family name. While in China it is on the contrary, our family name should be in front of people’s first. I think the difference is because French people are more focus on themselves, they are more focus on individuals. Chinese people put family name first is because we think our ancestor and our family are more important. The second difference on names is that we could know the sexuality of French just through his or her first name. Normally, girls’ first names end with an “e” while boys’ first name without it. If you want to judge a Chinese sexuality through his or her name, it will impossible or very difficult. Because in the past, most parents want to have boys more than girls, and if their wish couldn’t come true, they will give their daughter(s) a male name to hope they could have a boy. The Differences on Courtesy
In France, when people met those who are not familiar they will say “Bonjour”, while in China people will say “吃了吗”, the literal meaning is “did you ate something”. Besides, when French meet their friends, they’ll say “Salut” or “ça va” to their friends. Say “Goodbye.”
It’s interesting that when French people to say goodbye. Because they have many different kinds of “goodbye”：au revoir, salut and ciao. And in China, we only have one expression of goodbye. The appellations on elder
In France, children might call their parents’ or grand-parents’ name to show their intimation of their family. But in China, it is totally forbidden to call your parents’ name. While calling your parents’ name means you are not respect for your parents. This is a tradition we kept five thousand years ago. The Differences on Repast
Around all the traditional cultural differences between France and China, the most distinctive one is the differences on eating habits. There are three symbolic of France: fashion, perfume and food. I’ve heard a famous sentence – if you don’t eat French food you will not understand French people. From this we could know that the foods’ importance to French people. But China is also a country with endless delicious foods. After observation, I have found the following differences on eating habits: a) The first difference we must talk about is the different tableware. In China, while eating we use chopsticks or spoon sometimes. In France, people use folk, spoon and knife if it is a casual meal. But if you eat in a formal meal, there will be different folks, spoons and knives with different sizes and functions. I think it is difficult for me, I didn’t know the differences between these folks, spoons and knives until now. b) The second difference I found is that in France, everyone decides what they want and everyone have their own dishes.
They eat dishes one by one, they just eat what they have and never offer food to each other. In China, people will eat together, we share every dishes after all the foods prepared on the table. Besides, we will offer foods to others to show our enthusiasm. This is our tradition and our politeness. c) The last difference on eating habits I found is that when French people eating different foods they will drink different water or wines. If they are eating meat like beef and pork, they will drink red wine; if they are eating fish or seafood, they will choose white wine. Besides, like tableware, there are many different glasses for different wine. In China, we have no specific drinks for different foods. We could drink anything as we wish. Drinking habit
French wine is the best wine in the world, and French people like wine, beer, and champagne… they like all kinds of alcohol. When walking on streets, I saw many people drinking wine, beer and talking with their friends. I think French have no regular time to drink, they could drink at any time as they wish. French like drink, but they don’t drunk very often. But in China, if you drink alcohol in noon people will think you are an alcoholic. Also, I found there is a law in France that people cannot take an opened wine or beer while they are walking on street. I don’t know the reason to set this law, for me, it seems strange and we don’t have this kind of law in China.
When I drink with my French friends, they told me that when people want to have a toast, they must watch their eyes. That’s because that brings good luck to us. But I think there is also another reason for this behavior, in the history of France, when people make a toast they watch each other’s eyes to judge whether their wine was poisoned. In China, when people make a toast, we usually put the rim of glass under the other one’s glass to show respect. If people want to show their apologize or their good relation with this people, they will drink the whole glass of wine or beer. The Differences on Living Habits
When paying bills
When I hang out or eating with my French friends, we usually pay our bills separately. Actually I’m not used of this. When I was in China, my friends and I pay our bills by two ways: firstly, we eat or hang out together and we share everything and pay our bills together – we divided our bills into same amount and everyone pay one part; secondly, I pay the bills for this time and others will pay for other times. And in China, it is impossible to pay bills separately. While crossing the road
When I’m crossing the road in France, the driver will let me across whether I’m obeying or disobeying the traffic lights. I think it’s a very good habit. But in China, people have to avoid cars. In many years before, if a car hit the passengers, the police will decide whose fault first according to the traffic rules. But now, if cars hit the passengers, the fault will always belongs to the car, because compared to the car, passenger is weaker. Thanks to this new rule, maybe few years’ later cars will be polite to every passenger. Working hours
There is another different thing that I cannot get used to, that is in France people don’t work on Sunday. In China, we usually go to shopping on Saturday and Sunday, and usually shopping mall will work until 22 o’clock. But in France, I can’t go shopping after 20 o’clock, I can’t go shopping on Sunday, I can’t go shopping at any time as I want! Besides, bank will not open on Sunday and Monday also. This always annoys me. I know there are laws protect French people’s rights, it is good. Because that’s represent French government think human rights are important. But I still cannot accept shopping malls and banks don’t work on Sunday, it brought so many problems to me. Taxi
After arriving Dijon by train, I got a lot of luggage with me and I don’t know how to get my residence, so I decided to take a taxi. But after I came out of the train station, I don’t see any taxi at the entrance of the train station. It was weird. After asking my friends, I knew that in this city, if you want to take a taxi, you have to make an appointment first. But in China it is more convenient: you could just stand beside the road, when you see a car with the sign of taxi, just wave your one hand, when the taxi stopped in front of you, you could take the taxi. And you could take a taxi at any place at any time. It’s so convenient! But one thing I prefer in France is that sometimes you could take a “Mercedes Benz taxi”. The number of floors
The first day I went to our school to have lessons I went to the wrong class. In my schedule, it was written the classroom should be on the 2nd floor, so I went to the 2nd floor. But other Chinese students told me that I should go to the 3rd floor. Because in France, people count floor begin with zero and that’s different from China, we count floor begin with number one. Living styles
Another difference is that I found that students in France could leave without their parents during their college. In France, most students in their 18 year-old live by themselves. They rent apartment by themselves, they even live with their boyfriend or girlfriend. In China, it is impossible to live by themselves at 18 years old or live with their boyfriend or girlfriend! Usually, children will live by themselves until the getting married. I think one of the reasons is because most families in China only have one single child, and parents would spoil their child and put all their attention on their only child. The Differences on Personalities
Good at talking compared to silence
When going out my French friends, we talked a lot and I could say anything as I want. Compared to them, I was quite silence. They are always good at talking and they like to talk with their friends. They are humorous, they like to joke with their friends and they will express their opinions directly, even they have opposite opinions. While it is not good to express opposite opinions in a public occasion and it is not good for your relationship of the two people. In China, we are educated to be “if you talk too much, there will be mistakes.” Independent and dependent
Compared to Chinese, French people are more independent. Chinese are more like to do things by groups, and if you are different from the most people in china, it is not accepted by society. On the contrary, French people like to have private. Even with their family, their privacy should be respected. Besides, the privacy of time and space are also important to them. CONCLUTION
The differences between France and China originated form the different history and culture of the two countries. After experienced the differences I cannot define which one is better. I think every country’s culture should be respected and that is vital to the global harmony.