French in France

Greetings and Partings

Friends greeting each other in front of a train

Greetings between friends and relatives vary from region to region in France. In Southern France, three kisses are given on alternate checks. In Northern France, four kisses are given and in Paris, simply two kisses from one cheek to another. These kisses are used as ways of parting as well. One does not offer a hug along with the kisses.

When a younger person greets an elder, a handshake is appropriate as well as the formal use of the second person. When meeting for business, a handshake is appropriate.