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When it comes to being a weird mob, the French are gold medallists

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An interesting yarn out of the ABC this week noted the many cultural clashes between the French and the Australians thrown together in the $50 billion exercise underway in the Adelaide shipyards to build Australia’s future submarine fleet of a dozen Shortfin Barracudas using Francais savoir-faire and good ol’ Aussie grunt.

For you see, when the French display a little je-ne-sais-quoi, the mystified Australians talk something about raw prawns to their stunned French counterparts.

On that subject, the Australians have no clue why, for the French, meal times are so sacrosanct. And the French can’t get their head around the fact that Australians think burning some snags on a hot top can be called a meal at all.

The French don't think like Australians.Credit:FDC

For the life of them our Gallic friends cannot comprenez-vous why the Australians get a bit chemise-ey, or shirty, when they turn up for meetings 15 minutes later than the scheduled time, and so it goes . . .

“Not everyone thinks like the French,” the French company Naval Group’s program director Jean-Michel Billig, is quoted as saying. “We have to make a necessary effort to understand that an Australian does not think like a French person, and that it's not better or worse, it's just Australian.”

They’re bringing in courses “in a bid to smooth out cultural differences between French and Australian staff”, and I am here to say, Monsieur Billig, that in terms of teaching the Australians about the........

© The Age