Where are all of the Frenchmen?

Where are all of the French people? I have run into people from virtually every part of the globe while online. Many English, Canadians, Norwegians, Africans, many Germans (Ironically while playing FPS that are banned in Germany), etc, etc… But never a French person.

Is it just not popular there? Did their courts ban it for fear they might see a swastika? Do they consider themselves to good for the Internet?

What language is this board? Is it a civilized language?

I’d say that the vast majority of frenchmen would tend to be in France. Just my observation.

Try some sites. chats, searches in French, like Nomade.com or Wanadoo.com . Yes, there are French people online!

But as a whole I think France is still not as online as Germany, Australia or especially the Scandinavian countries.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if some economic factor (hourly phone charges) add to this.

The French were a bit late to accept the internet, but as they had started a lot earlier with their ‘minitel’ the national ‘on-line awareness’ is still pretty good.
On the other hand they’re (in general) very bad at English (at least compared to the Dutch, Scandinavian and even the Germans).

Ergo, most of the French hang out in the francophone part of cyberspace.

Or to put it another way - to speak English is beneath many Frenchmen :wink:


There are lots of French people on-line. For some mysterious reason, they insist on talking French and avoid sites which use English.

How unreasonable of them not to email in a foreign language. Some people are just SO inconsiderate.


I hang out on an IRC channel for audio professionals like myself and one of the larger minorities on the channel is the group of audio engineers from France. Many of them speak English very well and I have yet to see any of them fit the typical ‘rude anti-English speaking Frenchy’ stereotype. They tend to be among friendlier, funnier and more thoughtful people I have met on the internet.

Do French Canadians count? Cuz I’m one! :slight_smile: But I agree, that they are likely not on these boards simply because the boards aren’t French, just like many Chinese and Japanese people might not be here because the boards are not Chinese or Japanese. IIRC, and its quite possible that I don’t, a lot of the people here who have China or Japan listed for their location are actually former residents of other english-speaking countries, now living there. Or they had the luck to have learned enough English AND to stumble across the SDMB (I doubt its advertised much in other languages) and get hooked like the rest of us.


All I know is that chick from Amilee was very hot.


Doesn’t France have it’s own computer network that they set up back in the early/mid 80s? I would not expect it to be compatible with the Internet without some major mods.

as Popup mentioned, France has a centralized, closed network accessible by dumb terminals called Minitel (as opposed to the decentralized, node based, open network we call the Internet). It was originally intended for use as an interactive yellow pages of sorts - but many other services were later added (ive read that sex chatting was among those most common :)) Mintel was a very forward thinking idea, kudos to France.

Its funny that this question was asked, I was just wondering to myself why I haven’t met more French netizens.

Well…some reasons :

1)The percentage of french people speaking english is way lower than in scandinavian countries and Netherlands. It’s significantly lower than in Germany

2)Until some years ago at least, for some reason, France was the western country with the lowest number (relatively to the population) of home computers. Even more true for internet access.

3)As stated above, French people have been using the “minitel” for twenty years or so. It’s certainly way less performing than internet (basically it didn’t change since the early 80’s), but people are accustomed to it, and also it’s sufficient for the basic needs of many people (like finding a train schedule, or, as mentionned, having a sex chat). Also, these terminals were handed for free and immediatly usable, while one has to pay for his computer, find a provider, understand at least at a very basic level how a computer works, etc…)
That said, if one spend some time on a french speaking but international chat (like the french rooms on yahoo.com), it’s obvious that Quebecois are, if one takes into account the relative population of France and Quebec, way more present than french people. Though perhaps it could be explained by french people actually using french chats (but on the other hand, Quebecois probably use Quebecois chats too).
Personnally, I’ve been surprised by the lack of japanese people online. I saw more Chinese, Iranian, Indonesian, etc… people than Japanese people. Which surprises me a lot, given that Japan is a rich country with a large population. How comes I see more Iranians online? It puzzles me…

I’m currently living in Japan (though from the U.S. originally) and I can offer some explanation for the perceived absence of Japanese people online. First of all, the Net was slow to become popular in Japan because local phone calls were metered (charged per minute). Recently, phone companies here are offering unmetered Internet-friendly phone rates, and more and more people here are getting online (it’s only in the past couple of years that Internet cafes, for example, have become really common).
Additionally, the reason you’re still not seeing this Japanese presence online is because the majority of Japanese people are not that comfortable in English, and tend to stick to Japanese-language web sites, chat rooms, etc.

BTW, this is my first post on TSDMB. Do I get a welcoming party or something?

Way to go mnemosyne ( i’m a french canadian too! )

Les francais sont sur le ouaib mais il ne veulent pas que leurs conversations soit lue par nos ami-ricains :slight_smile:

Ok, i’m just joking. Seriously, i think most people prefer to communicate in their native language and that’s why we see so much french, japanese, german web page and discussion board on the internet. That’s a shame in my opinion because it defeat the purpose of the internet.

I’m going to make a statement here ( don’t worry i’m fully prepared to get flammed for this :wink: ) I think we all should change to an easy learning language and make it the rule on the internet. I would like esperanto. Almost nobody no this language so everybody would have to make an effort to learn it. It’s a joke to learn it since it’s phonetic ( about 6 month part time will get anyone at good level in esperanto ) And one can get the course right from the internet for free in almost any language. We canadian french are tough english from childhood so it’s not this bad for us but for some folks from siberia it can be a lot more difficult ( and let’s not talk about learning french or japanese here ).

anyway, just my 2 cents!!

*pocketing your two cents I * am * Dutch :smiley: *

We already speak an easy learning language; English.

It’s the world language. Some people are too dumb to learn another language. Their loss.

It’s great to meet different cultures on the net. Difficult though, if you only speak your native tongue.

je parle un peu Français, billig Deutsch & goed Nederlands, but why not speak the computer language?

I live in South Florida in the USA. I speak Spanish and English and don’t need to learn French, Esperanto or any other language. I am happy with what I know. If it becomes necessary for me to learn another language, I will learn it. Until then I remain happy with the languages that I speak. :slight_smile:

English isn’t particulary easy to learn (perhaps more so for a native dutch speaker, since both are closely related). Spanish, for instance, is much more regular and words are usually pronounced the way they are spelled (contrarily to english). For the little arabic I learnt, it seems to me this one too is actually more regular than english. And anyway, how is english
“easy learning” for a Mandarin native speaker, for instance?

It’s the world language.

What’s your definition of “world language”?

Yes many people are too dumb to know whatever I happen to be interested in or have an use for. For instance, many people are too dumb to know how to cook, repair a car or fly a plane (including myself). And “another language” isn’t the same thing that “english”.


Because like roberco pointed out, many people see no compelling reason to learn another language. Most french people have no practical use for english. For a lot of people, being able to meet foreigners on the net isn’t really a high priority.
Speaking french and some spanish I can meet many people from Senegal, Algeria or Chile. English speakers can’t. Their loss.
Sorry (well…actually not really) for the tone of my post but your “I’m cool because I speak english and people who don’t are dumb losers” pissed me off, somehow.

[quoteFirst of all, the Net was slow to become popular in Japan because local phone calls were metered (charged per minute). Recently, phone companies here are offering unmetered Internet-friendly phone rates, and more and more people here are getting online [/quote]

It’s the same situation here. That also could explain why there are less french people online, indeed.
And thanks fot your answer about Japanese people, by the way.