Notes Culturelle

Chapitre 2


When invited to a meal in a French home, it is customary to bring a gift to your host(s). Candy and flowers (anything other than chrysanthemums, that is) are always acceptable to bring. When engaging in dinner conversation, topics to avoid include asking about someone's age, profession, salary, or political affiliation.


Some French homes don't have closets in the bedrooms, so clothing is hung in an armoire. Most families have only television, and it it usually located in a room where everyone can watch it. In most French homes, the toilets and bathroom are two separate rooms (the bathroom consists of a sink and a shower or bath). On many French beds, you will find a long pillow called a traversin that covers the width of the bed. Having a phone in France is expensive, so most teens do not have a phone in their rooms.


When complimenting a French person's home or possessions, the response will be the same as if you complimented their clothes or appearance. "Tu trouves?", "C'est vrai?", "Vraiment?", and "C'est gentil!" are standard responses to compliments. Sometimes a simple "Merci" just won't do it.


Notre-Dame de Chartes, one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals, was built in the thirteenth century on a site where a cathedral had stood since the sixth century. The cathedral can be recognized by its many towers, such as the plain Romanesque tower on the left, and the more ornate Gothic tower on the right. Spared in all major wars and conflicts, Chartes still has most of its original stained-glass windows that are famous for their rich colors. The cathedral's flying buttresses, its massive size, and its light-filled interior clearly illustrate the genius of Gothic construction.