French Time : Many Things at Once

In a book by Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall : "Understanding Cultural Differences" , it is said that "French Time (is) : doing many things at once

The most important thing to know about the French is that they are high on the polychronic scale. This means they do many things at once; they can tolerate constant interruptions and are totally involved with people; they maintain direct eye contact and use all their senses: visual, auditory, and olfactory...

The French don't always adhere to schedules or appointments, delivery dates or deadlines...

The polychronic French also think nothing of changing plans at the last minute. This is very unsetting to most Americans or Germans, who consider this behavior irresponsible." And, that was written long before social networks had become so pregnant on daily lives. Watching some of the people I had to work

with in France, they always seemed to be doing at least 2 other things beside speaking to me, such as answering the phone, chatting on the web. In Germany, when the book was written, people used to do one thing after the other, one thing at a time, but now, watching young people using their handheld devices, I don't see much difference. Are Germans becoming polychronic too, are we all?

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  • #1

    Chris (Freitag, 18 September 2015 16:17)

    Quand je suis venu en Allemagne pour la première fois, il y a maintenant près de 50 ans, cette relation au temps m'avait déjà sauté aux yeux. Aujourd'hui, je vois toujours des différences avec la culture française. La ponctualité est toujours une exigence. Arriver en retard à un Rendez-vous d'affaire n'est pas recommandé, arriver en avance, non plus...