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The Dos And Don'ts Of Etiquette In France - A Guide For Gambian Expats

The Dos And Don'ts Of Etiquette In France - A Guide For Gambian Expats

24 May 2023

If you're a Gambian expat in France who went there for work purposes to send money to Gambia, this guide is for you. Crispy baguettes, delectable pastries, and fine wine can all be found in France. Many of the cultural do's and don'ts are related to food since France is known for appreciating the finer things in life. Even in informal social settings, it is critical to comprehend the value of French manners and etiquette. In contrast to what they're used to, they can seem extremely rigid to some foreigners. 


However overly formal they may seem, greetings are a sign of courtesy in France and should be observed as such. But that doesn't mean that the French don't have fun with their close friends and family. Although more so in Paris than in rural villages, not everyone in France is a close friend or family member, and street conversations generally remain formal. Read on for some guidelines and traditions that will help you blend in and be a hit at Parisian parties.


Learning French Culture - What to Do and What Not to Do in France

Practising the following will help you better understand the people in France and quickly adjust to their culture for better and smooth expat life.


Don't Take "Non!" For An Answer

The French pride themselves on being honest, open-minded, and ready for a challenge. Therefore, if you're offered a table at a restaurant close to the entrance but would prefer to sit somewhere warmer, make some cheery but dramatic gestures to convey that you're cold, and your request might be granted. Accept the eccentricity and play along. 


Don't Expect Quick Service

New Yorkers with short attention spans note that shop assistants won't approach you as they would back home. Even though they may appear to be providing poor customer service, they are simply giving you room to browse. Many believe that anything worth doing should be done well and thoughtfully, making taking your time an important part of French culture. 

In a restaurant, the server will give you plenty of time to browse the menu (remember to close it when you're ready to order, or they won't come at all). You can unwind and have fun after the meal because French servers won't yell at you to leave as soon as you've finished your coffee. You can only expect quick services if you choose ACE for your online money transfer to Gambia


You Need To Be Quiet And Moderate Your Voice

You can imagine the culture shock one would experience upon moving to a place where expressing one's emotions loudly is perfectly acceptable and where the level of street noise is frequently much higher than in my home country. If you violate this rule by being too loud in their streets, it will shock the French just as much.

Maintaining a low voice—not a whisper, but to what we would deem a reasonable level—is good manners and etiquette in France. When you're outside, look around you and take your friends' advice; you'll get it right.


Don't Lose It If Someone Skips Ahead Of You In Line

You'll quickly realise that in France, waiting in line is not customary if you find yourself at a train station, airport, market, or any other place where you might anticipate people to gather in a line. The French would take gold in a line-jumping competition at the Olympics. If their own grandmother weren't already shoving past them, people would push past her just to be the first on a bus. 

Oddly enough, once everyone is on board, people start acting more politely and offering seats to those who need them. You should choose ACE's services if you hate standing in long lines while making a money transfer to Gambia


A Proper, Formal Friendly Greeting Is Always Appreciated

Speak French while you're there. Even if it's just a few simple words, try to make an effort, at least when starting a conversation. Many French people will end your suffering and immediately switch to speaking English.

Also, err on the side of formality; always start conversations with a cordial "Bonjour Madame/Monsieur" (or "Bonsoir" in the evening). This includes waiters, salespeople, tour guides, and hotel employees. Most likely, the service will be better.


Avoid Making Small Talk With French People

In France, a peaceful silence is much preferable to idle chatter. Small-talking foreigners might find this awkward. Whatever you do, avoid asking questions about someone's personal life, such as their jobs, families, or even what they did over the weekend to someone you just met. French people will clam up if you seem to be getting too personal too soon, even though you're just having a polite conversation with them. Remain focused on current affairs, sports, the arts, and food.

You may have heard the saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" frequently without realizing it. It rings truer than ever in today's world of globalisation. Being diplomatic and adjusting to French etiquette is necessary when living or travelling in France. You should be familiar with all of the basic French etiquette as a Gambian expat.


Bottom Line 

Talking to people from other countries online is one thing, but living abroad necessitates tact and an understanding of local culture. These dos and don'ts will help you steer clear of some of the more typical faux pas, but the only way to avoid blunders is to keep an open mind and respect local customs and manners. 

If you are a Gambian expat in France, then there can be no better money transfer service provider than ACE to send money to Gambia online.


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