Parlez Vous Francais?

It’s always important to remember that the Internet is truly a global audience.   I was reminded of this when I noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from a site written in French www.fredcavazza.net.   Seems mon ami Fred found the site and wanted to know what his readers thought about it.   

Now – my French is a little rusty.  So I pulled in my sister to help with the translation.  She is more proficient due to more schooling and a recent two year relationship with a French bartender.  However her new-found phrases of “please make my martini extra dry”, “do you have any Mrs. Robinson fantasies?” (she was dangerously close to cradle robbing) and “nice ass” did not come in particularly helpful when translating the site. (though did you know there’s no word in French for French Kiss?)

We struggled a little, and I specifically asked if the comments were bad that she NOT translate them, but there were some interesting viewpoints.   One reader took offense to the post about Lands End towels feeling she did not define herself by doing laundry, and that I was stereotyping women myself in that post.  She did have a point.   I used age and number of children to describe the woman – the very thing I say not to do.   A definite faux pas.  I will be more careful in the future.

What do les femmes francaises want?   How do they see themselves?   I would imagine it’s different from how American women define themselves.  Do they feel as misunderstood as we do?  Or do advertisers in France do a better job of understanding women?   An interesting question, n’est-ce pas?   

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2 Responses to Parlez Vous Francais?

  1. Karen Kane says:

    Andrea Learned http://www.learnedonwomen.com told me about this très interesting blog discussion, and I just had to post.
    France is my profession and my passion. And I have a lot of French women friends.
    My experience is that they want the same things that American women want: more time, more energy, and good value for their money. They’re not heavy consumers, tending to value experience – vacation, good food, time with friends, etc. – over objects.
    The biggest difference I see between French and American women is that the French, regardless of age or gender, are used to deconstructing and debating just about everything. This spirit is part of family life, it’s the basis of social life, and school. It informs their views on politics, literature, film, and extends to advertising. A propos of Flo’s response to your Lands End post http://www.fredcavazza.net/index.php?2005/07/27/782-savez-vous-parler-aux-femmes , French women can spot a stereotype a few kilometers away.

  2. Fred Cavazza says:

    Hi Holly,
    I am really surprised that my post send you so much traffic !
    I wish to congratulate you for this blogging initiative. Even if somme comments in my post are not so clever I DO think it is really essential to dig deeper in customers’ mind and buying habits.
    Moreover, women (as French people !) suffers from the ‘cliché’ effect, i.e. not so many people understand how they really thinks and behave.
    Long live to your blog,
    /Fred

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