Tuesday, 4 November 2008

French Facts: Shopping Etiquette

Merci  

The French can be quite sticky when it comes to manners and etiquette.  The rules and protocol are a challenge for most visitors and we were no exception.

On entering a small shop it is considered polite to greet the shop assistant and in some cases even other customers. Otherwise you always exchange greetings when you get to "the till".

It is considered impolite to say "bonjour" without following it with "monsieur" or "madame". The french equivalent of "Have a Nice Day" is another interesting little etiquette minefield. 

  • The common phrase is "Bonne journée",
  • unless it is evening, in which case it will be "Bonne soirée"
  • except for a Friday afternoon or evening this expression changes to "Bon week-end"
  • However on Sunday morning it would be best to go with "Bon Dimanche"

1 comment:

  1. and don't make the same mistake I made, that is, addressing a 16-year girl with "Bonjour Madame".. she didn't look that pleased.

    "Mademoiselle" would have been more appropriate, even though there is a movement in France to drop this reference as it can be contrived as sexist.

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