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Russian general attitude toward French speaking person.

Hey guys,

I have recently started to learn Russian Cyrillic alphabet and Russian basic and since I've started I always wondered what was the Russian typical attitude toward French speaking person.

Russia is kind of exotic for me and even after a lot of research on Google, I'm still searching for my answers..

Please don't judge me badly for this, but russians have a xenophobic reputation and It's worrying me for my future traveling plans :|

November 27, 2015



As a Russian who has spent a few years in France, I must say that French are not the most friendly nation either, especially to somebody who doesn't speak French well ;)

Russians are certainly less aware of the modern western notions about political correctness. And some may be suspicious of foreigners. But more or less educated people would likely have a soft spot for the French. After all, French have a reputation for their fine food and beautiful women. And Russian culture and language were greatly influenced by the French. This attitude was in full swing even at the peak of the Cold War: we love Joe Dassin, Pierre Richard, Alain Delon, Patricia Kaas, Fantomas, and, of course, Gerard Depardieu ;)

And we beat the Napoleon!


I can believe you when you say that French are not the most friendly people hehe! I'm french Canadian, so I guess we're more enthusiastic toward people learning french generally ( I can be wrong tho ) ! But as what I lived in Germany, I guess a French Canadian would be labelled as French due to his accent ( Frenchs are so easy to spot I think haha). It's always amazing to see how the French culture influenced that much so much different society ! I think that here, we get like a ''American View'' of Russia, so that's why I was kind of septic/curious to the point to make this post.. But really, thank you very much for this good developped answer :)!


Not all of us Russians are like that. I'm sure that if you visit Russia or any other Russian-speaking country, you will probably meet at least a few people who find it really cool that you can speak French. Personally, I love spending time with people from other cultures. There is so much to talk about with them and it's very fun. Don't worry about it. :)


Спасибо for the answer :)! I share the same point view than you (I'm passionated about cultural differance and language heh). My post was just really a fancy way to tell if there's high possibility to get harassed due to the fact that I'm french.. It happened to me before and so it is the reason why I made this post ( Even if It wasn't thaaat bad haha). Heard stories of people getting stabbed in the Метро so.. :|


Oh my, that's terrible! It's sad that people can be so horrid to each other. I think I know how you feel...people tend to think of us as rude and unfriendly, but most are actually very nice when you get know them. :/


Don't think I consider you guys like Rude or something ! I met a couple of slav and all of them were really friendly :)! But there's always an intolerant minority everywhere, but I think I'll be welcomed to visit ( I guess haha!)


You definitely should, it's a very unique country. I would love to visit it myself, as I was born in the U.S. and I've never been there before. I hope I can, someday when the time is right. :)


I hope for you! Especially since ( I guess) you have ancestry there :p


Your chance of getting stabbed in metro is the same as mine. It's even less, actually, 'cause I use the metro everyday. Don't be afraid of that, really. Never been to Paris, but from what I read and saw in movies and TV, Moscow metro is much safer.

Do you live somewhere where is no crime? Where people are not stabbed, killed, maimed, raped? If yes, please tell me, where it is, I'll move there :)


I've never been to Paris too, Im french Canadian and living in Quebec city, and the city itself has the lowest crime rate in the whole Canada. (Source: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/quebec/2015/07/22/002-taux-criminalite-quebec-toronto-les-plus-faibles-pays.shtml) I'm aware that you can be killed or whatever everywhere, but for Russia, I read tons of stuff on Russians being really Xenophobic.

I made this thread to get rid off these false statement and I'm happy with the answers I got.


But if you're so concerned about the reactions of the Russian, you probably should learn something about the cultural differences.

Like, that when Russian calls a black person "негр", it's not because he is a racist or insensitive, it's just because this is a word in our language that we use to designate a black person. Never been offensive.

Or, for example, I've been asked more than once, why Russian people don't smile a lot, why are we so grumpy and sullen. We are not. It's just that we don't yet used to fake emotions such as joy or friendliness. If a Russian smiles when he meets you, you can be sure he is genuinely glad to see you. If he doesn't smile when suddenly making eye-contact, that's OK. He doesn't hate you, he just doesn't care.

But I don't think that here is the best place to discuss such things.


Yeah, I've heard a lot of good things about Canada in general. Lucky you.

If you're getting your information from the general media, then you should be aware that there is a lot of ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ being published, not unlike the stuff westerners were fed in the Cold War era. I read US, English and German papers (no Canadian ones, though) online and almost always I feel the mix of bewilderment and desire to laugh my ass off. Just keep that in mind.


If you read War and Peace you will see that a lot of it is mixed in with French, which was sort of a must have second language at least for aristocratic Russians for quite a long time. I never noticed any disrespect for the French when I was living in Moscow. I don't think you have much to worry about unless you are black. Racism against blacks seemed somewhat common when I was there in the early 2000s, judging from newspaper articles I read.

The safest places in Russia are in the big cities because there are a lot of police everywhere, it seemed to me. Most incidents of thugs beating people up seemed to happen at deserted metro stations late at night, although in Moscow I often walked long distances after midnight when it was deserted and never ran into any real problems.

I found most Russians to be very friendly to all nationalities.


I'll certainly put that Book on my to-buy book! (When I'll get better with the Cyrillic alphabet, which is going well!) I'm white and black discrimination is common I think in every occidental country, which is sad..

Thanks for the info ! I'll keep myself away from these metro station late at night for sure haha :)


Why do you think that Russians have any typical attitude towards anything at all? Especially towards French speaking person. Do you think that we can't sleep at night, rolling in our beds, thinking about those French speaking persons? That's ridiculous. Most Russians can't even tell if you're French speaking or Klingon speaking. So, that will really be the least of your problems.

But if you will start your conversation with telling any person (Russian or not) how xenophobic he is, the rest of conversation might well not be very pleasant, that's true.


I do, and thank you! I hope you get to visit it someday too. :D


Thank you, I hope I will too!

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