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Surviving Cannes Lions: Tips on French Etiquette

Parlez-vous français ? If your reaction to that sentence was “Oh, I know this one too” or “umm… what?”, this means you need to brush up on your French etiquette before going to Cannes Lions. Akommo happily presents your Survival Guide to French Etiquette to help you get by in Cannes!French Tips Cannes

1) French- Basic Words and Phrases

Here are a few words to get you started:

Bonjour – Hello

Merci – Thank you

De rien – You’re welcome

Ca va ? Ca va et toi ? – How are you? Well and you?

Un café s’il vous plaît – Coffee please

Pardon / Excusez-moi – Sorry

Oui / Non – Yes / No

Combien je vous dois ? – How much is it?

Je vais à l’aéroport / la gare – I’m going to the airport / train station

Où est la soirée / conférence ? – Where is the party / conference?

Quel vin me recommandez-vous avec ce fromage / ce plat de viande / poisson ? – Which wine would you recommend with this cheese / dish of meat / fish?

Les toilettes sont au fond à droite / gauche – The restroom is at the end to your right / left

Holala / Putain – Use it for any reaction in a conversation, (YES, French people actually say “Oo lala”) but make sure to use “Putain” with caution (it’s a swear word, but they will probably laugh at a non-native saying this)

2) Cannes Cuisine

You’ve heard about it, you’ve dreamt about it and now it’s time to pick the right dish and finally try it! We all know summer in Cannes is hot, so you will probably eat a very light meal at lunchtime, such as:

Une salade césar / niçoise / parisienne / périgourdine  – Ingredients change depending on the restaurant, and if you have allergies ask exactly what’s inside!

Un croque monsieur – basically ham and cheese sandwich but with the fancy french touch / you can have the same with an egg (Un croque madame),

Une quiche lorraine – an open pie with a filling of custard and again cheese, ham or bacon (called lardons in french), ideal with a simple salad.

Bouillabaissea traditional Provencal fish stew, (prepared hot) so not the best choice in summer, but it’s a real must-try in the French Riviera so maybe save it for dinner!

Croissant, pain au chocolat, macaron, mille-feuille, éclair au café – clearly the ideal breakfast and coffee break snack you can have in France so try them all, we won’t judge.

You probably won’t have enough time to taste all that the French cuisine has to offer while networking and jumping from one Cannes Lions conference to the other. When you come back next year, we’ll be happy to help with food recommendations, as well as Akommodations.

3) French Stereotypes- True or False?

French people are arrogant – True and False, ok ok our littles frogs are not always nice and smiling. But always keep in mind that, they can be having a bad day and this happens to everyone… A few words in French from you can be a better start to a polite conversation (Merci beaucoup goes a long way).

French people don’t speak english – True and False, like everywhere in the world, you will find people that know how to speak english and others that don’t. But especially in Cannes, between tourism and big congresses, pretty much everyone around you will understand you.

French people love to complain – True for the majority, but don’t generalize! Yes, they complain about the weather, politics (especially this weekend), rights (yes they do strike but that also means they fight for their rights)… All you have to do is give them cheese and wine (and cigarettes probably) to ease their pain!

French people eat snails, frogs, baguette, cheese, drink wine and smoke a lot – True for the most part. Snails and frogs are not a very common dish to be honest, but give it a try if you dare. Baguettes, cheese and wine, you cannot leave the country without trying, you’ll regret it. And about smoking… well it gives the vintage, mysterious charm and romantic style to these Frenchies, maybe?


Celebrate La Fête de la Musique (Music Festival) on June 21st! The city of Cannes and participating bars are offering free concerts everywhere, especially in Rue des Frères Pradignac, the party is insane!

Still searching for somewhere to stay? We’re happy to present you to your free account manager who will take care of all of your event accommodation needs.

Il ne nous reste plus qu’à vous souhaiter un bon voyage et si vous êtes perdus avec les Francais, appelez-nous au +33420880130.

(Have a safe flight and if you are lost in translation with us Frenchies, call us at  +33420880130.)

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