Despite many similarities, there are significant cultural differences between France and the anglophone countries. This list covers the differences most important to remember:
Uncertainty: Uncertainty and ambiguity aren't well tolerated in French society, and many French try to minimize risks and uncertainty by controlling details;
Politeness: Courtesy and politeness are extremely important in French culture. You can gain the trust of the French by following expected standards of politeness;
Formality and hierarchy: French society is more hierarchical than Anglophone societies, and this should be respected and reflected in your communications, by using formal language;
Heritage and the English language: the French are proud of their culture, heritage and language. Begin your communications in French using the « right » phrases before asking the homeowners if he speaks English;
Context: The French assume they hold common knowledge, understanding and norms with others. Therefore the responsibility to learn and follow cultural « rules » falls to you...;
Directness: While still being polite, the French don’t hesitate to be direct when something isn’t to their liking. This directness can often be interpreted as rudeness.