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hsrsmith's avatar

In France, do women think American accents are sexy?

Asked by hsrsmith (121points) June 4th, 2008

If I am speaking French, will the women think my American accent is sexy, like how I think European accents are sexy when they speak English?

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36 Answers

Melonking's avatar

I don’t see how any one could find any thing about americans sexy.

wildflower's avatar

I doubt it. In my experience, the French aren’t all that appreciative of other languages.

DeezerQueue's avatar

I think it depends on how you come across. They certainly aren’t going to like an American accent when it’s being spoken by someone who’s smarmy. Most foreigners are grateful if you can speak their language, and as wildflower has already stated, the French aren’t always very appreciative of other languages.

But if you’re a decent guy, aren’t obnoxious or flouting about your Americanism, you’ll probably be fine. There’s no doubt that there are people who are decent enough to find it cute, although I’m not sure that’s what you’re aiming for.

I know France has a negative image with regard to anyone not speaking French, but I’ve been there three times vacationing, four weeks each time, and found that every single person with whom I attempted to speak tried their absolute best to speak English with me. My husband hated to admit it, and he told me not to bother speaking to them, because they wouldn’t even try, I never had a single person refuse. That’s not to say that it always went smoothly, at times I had to resort to using my hands, but they were all decent about it.

In the end, finding someone sexy has a lot less to do with accent than it has to do with personal charm.

osakarob's avatar

American accents are pretty universally derided as sounding uneducated and rather blusterous.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@osakarob Although I think Americans are universally disliked, I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they like my accent. That’s not entirely what you’re saying, and I do understand what you’re saying, but I’ve never gotten feedback like you’re expressing.

wizard's avatar

See Melonkings response (first one)

wildflower's avatar

As a European (not French though) woman, I don’t agree with melonking. It can go both ways. I’ve come across American accents that initially made me think the person might be gay and those that seemed a bit slow. I’ve also come across American accents that I just find adoring, friendly or pleasant.

osakarob's avatar

@Deezer. I have lived my entire adult life abroad and so my comment was simply my experience, but it is an experience which is well established though personal relations with Europeans, Asians, and other English speakers such as Australians and the Brits. My closest friend is Japanese and half of my relations are Moroccan.

You may have never gotten feedback like the kind I mentioned because who in the their right mind would say to you, “Your accent sounds uneducated” or “You Americans certainly are blusterous.” Most people have better manners than that.
However, the stereotypes of the “talkative American” and the “uninformed Yank” are internationally held. Right or wrong, certain American social dialects as well as geographic accents have been labeled as such. It is not so much the accent that they are responding to as the personality association that goes with it.

I suppose that if HSRSMITH speaks in the hushed tones of Jack Bauer or Indiana Jones he may defy the stereotype. However, ask most foreigners what an American sounds like and I think they would say it is somewhere near Stephen Colbert or perhaps the character Michael, from the Office.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@wildflower I interpreted his answer as generally insulting Americans, and not specifically accents.

wildflower's avatar

Well, yes, but I chose to disregard further opinions since the question is about accents. And I for one think American accents can be sexy – although to be honest, not so much when coming through another language.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@osakarob I know it’s your personal experience and I know in general how the rest of the world feels about Americans. That being said, I agree that most will not share negative opinions of you to your face. But I have in fact been in the presence of others where it has been done, and quite callously. Unfortunately. It pains me even recalling those times to be honest, these people were just treated brutally.

I do understand what you’re saying, really, I don’t think we’re in disagreement. I believe it’s because most of the Americans here have come for work and don’t have the time to learn the language, that they rarely hear their language with an American accent.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@wildflower Thanks for clarifying and sticking to the actual question being asked. Appreciated.

Harp's avatar

The one context in which an American accent may still carry some positive cachet in France is among the young “rocker” culture. The French rock music scene has embraced English as its lingua franca, so if you’re comfortable in the role of cultural emmissary, can adopt an air of jaded indifference and look good in leather, your accent might actually win you some points in that milleu. Apart from that, I’m afraid the best you can hope for is benign tolerance of your accent.

hsrsmith's avatar

I know that many people don’t exactly appreciate Americans, but I just wanted to see how the American accent appeals to foreigners. When I hear a southern accent, it can come across as sexy or redneck, depending on the person. I wonder if that’s similar in Europe?

wildflower's avatar

It depends on the accent, tone and vocabulary.

Melonking's avatar

quote “I know that many people don’t exactly appreciate Americans”

Well, I can say form personal experience that that is an understatement.

wildflower's avatar

Where are you from, melonking?

Melonking's avatar

The good republic of Ireland.

wildflower's avatar

And do you feel this way about all foreigners, or just Americans?

Melonking's avatar

Well, I can solidly say no… but there are other countries Im not so fond of, and any way just the same I never stated that I don’t like America….. I just don’t like some bits of it.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@hsrsmith Yes, that would apply to Europe, as well. People have different tastes.

wildflower's avatar

It’s a bit of a jump from “any thing” to “some bits”. This new statement I can kind of go along with – there’s aspect of every culture/nationality, that I’ve been exposed to, that I dislike – including Irish (and I’m a foreign national living here – still don’t see what’s wrong with just calling people “foreigners”)

Melonking's avatar

What I said is that I don’t find any thing sexy about americans. I believe that that is as I say one bit. And I can say that there is allot to dislike about the Irish culture I do not deny that. As for calling ppl foreigners I don’t see any thing wrong with that.

wildflower's avatar

Fair enough….still think it’s a fairly big bit to say there’s nothing sexy about the entire population of the U.S.

Melonking's avatar

Yes, its easy to see your point, its just I’m thinking of every bit of info I know about America I can and nothing is springing to mind.

wildflower's avatar

For my part, almost every American I’ve met has contributed to eliminating my anti-Americanism. I rather like those folks. They’ve got quirks – but who doesn’t. And as for the sexy accents: A well-spoken, polite Texan accent (“howdy ma’am”) = swoon!

Melonking's avatar

Hahahaha well I dont really have a clue what that last sentence meant but I do know that it seems to almost me a fashion to be anti-Americanism.

P.S. nice great answer score.

wildflower's avatar

yes, it does seem that way.
and thanks, it seems even a broken clock is right twice a day

judochop's avatar

wow! All the anti-American talk. Simple fact of the matter is that there are “redneck” and such in every country. Americans just get it more because of our governent. The people here are more friendly than most people I have meet abroad.
Infact the most pompous people I have met have all been Europeans.

DS's avatar

As a French woman I do think American accent is mostly sexy. Even though the Texas accent is cutely funny. That’s my own opinion the majority of French people I’ve spoken to thinks the Americans are way too loud.?!

hsrsmith's avatar

You can’t distinguish my location from my accent – I have an accent similar to actors or news people. You can’t pinpoint my location like “Oh he’s from Texas” or “Oh he’s from the south” because of my accent.

gooch's avatar

I am from the southern US and I have been told my accent is sexy by people from England

Ort's avatar

I think parts of the US are definitely friendlier/more open/international than others and that there’s often a prejudice in urban areas against rural people (i.e. “rednecks”). Preconceptions count a lot when it comes to accents but the individual’s own character makes all the difference in how they are perceived. Some French, New York or Texas accents and people are sexy and some aren’t so much. The accent triggers associations and assumptions about compatibility (I’m upset at US foreign policy and it bothers me when people talk loudly), but what you say and how you carry yourself is something else. Sexy is a state of being.

TheBot's avatar

As a Frenchman, I believe that most women here are much more into the “Southern” European accents, namely Spanish and Italian (with the upper hand for Italians, who seem to remain the stereotypical “players” in French culture). I think British people may have something going for them in France as well, although to a much lesser extent and depending on the context. To get back to the question, I don’t think an American accent will have the impact in France that a French accent will have in the US (in a flirting context). We just don’t really associate the US with passion and romance the way Americans seem to picture French people. Just my two cents as a guy, guesstimating what French women might think…

SoldiersHome's avatar

I have a southern American accent and receive complements from many foreigners on my “unique” accent. As for the global dislike of Americans, I believe that is due to our politeness. Many foriengers are extremely rude and don’t expect politeness; This politeness gives Americans a slightly stupid appearance, but the truth of the
matter is if we are so stupid how have we propelled ourselves amongst the strongest nations in the world?

badmanda_navy's avatar

I’m french and for me the american accent is very cute.

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