My greatest fears are...

Mes plus grandes craintes sont...

amounting to nothing in this world, running out of new places to explore, and being posthumously misunderstood.

being helpless, running out of money, being alone

being murdered, dying tragically.

being poor or not falling in love

crippling physical injury and harm to my loved ones.

death, spiders, snakes, alligators

finally growing up

ghosts, celibacy, and mice.

having a boring life, getting old quickly without achieving or doing certain things, bad things happening to the people i care about

insects, war, death, loneliness, abandonment

not finding a job, love, or happiness.

not reaching my fullest potential, not giving enough back to the world, looking back on my life and realizing i should've lived it differently



spiders and snakes on a plane.

that I would not achieve my goals.

that the world will fall apart due to escalating conflicts between countries.

the dark, failure, heights

thinking about the future and dying prematurely.

thinking I have no control over my actions

to be lonely.

d'avoir Bush comme président et qu'il y ait encore des attentats

d'être en guerre, la pauvreté

de faire du mal à des gens qui ne le méritent pas et aussi ne pas atteindre mes objectifs.

de ne pas accomplir les rêves que j'ai formés

de ne pas trouver un travail dans lequel je m'épanouisse et qui me permette de subvenir aux besoins de ma famille

de perdre les êtres qui me sont chers.

l'injustice, l'échec, la solitude (surtout famille)

l'isolement et l'échec

la dégradation du climat, l'insécurité, la dégradation des conditions du vie

la folie humaine, la bêtise humaine et je suis un humain.

la guerre, la discrimination, la pollution

la maladie, le viol, la fin du monde, ne pas réaliser ses rêves.

la maladie, perdre mes proches

la perte d'un proche, une agression, une guerre

la perte du respect des autres, de trouver la bonne mariée, de trouver le bon emploi, la santé de ma famille

le viol, une mort en souffrance, une troisième guerre mondiale

les échecs et mon esprit perfectionniste qui me donne un retard dans la prise de décision.

trouver un bon emploi


I found that both the French and the Americans were concerned with becoming
failures or the idea of failure. This makes sense to me because personal success
or acheivement has seemed to be apart of western culture from at least the
renaissance to our current day. The French, however, seemed to be much more
concerned with global social problems or the end of the world while the
Americans seem to be more afraid of typically dangerous animals, pain, and being
physically injured. This isn't shocking to me in the least as it seems that the
trend is that Americans are becoming less progressive and haven't been passing
as many laws and bills to prevent global catastrophe (such as global warming
or nuclear disarmament) as the French and other European countries have. Is this
shocking at all to anyone else?

I noticed that war was one of the French's greatest fears. I think it is interesting that someone(french) mentioned a Third World War as his greatest fear. I think this makes sense for someone french considering how terrible were the first and second World Wars in Europe, but it doesn't make as much sense for an American because there has not been a war on American soil for a long time. Does everyone think this way or am I the only one?

Javier, I agree with you. America has not been attacked on its own soil by another country's militia since WWII. Even then, Pearl Harbor is not a part of the American continent. Americans, in general I think, carry a great feeling of invincibility. Even after September 11th, I still think most Americans have a greater sense of security than many other nation's citizens. How do you feel about this statement? What is the general atmosphere over in France?

Additionally, I already alluded to this in another post, but I feel there to be a gap in life experiences between our two groups. A lot of your answers seem more mature than ours. This is not to say that Americans are an immature people. I think it's simply derived from the fact that we've lived less, experienced less, and learned less. How old are you? What degree are you working towards?


I noticed that many of the fears mentioned by Americans were childhood fears or fears of tangible objects. The French focused more on social injusticess: sickness, death, war. To the French, are your typical childhood fears the same as the American's?

In the heat of the moment, when a person asks me what I fear most my mind instantly jumps to things that have scared me in the past. Sure I've thought about failure before and it is also terrible fear of mine (probably one of my worst fears), but first and foremost, my thoughts jump to death, and things that might cause me to die!—like snakes or alligators or spiders. As Aline mentioned, the American points were often more tangible and almost more shallow then those of the French. I think that a big part of this question had to do with your interpretation and the mood you were in. My question to you is: do you feel as if it was the way the question was phrased that it carries a different connotation in French, and thus you immediately jumped to deeper more well thought out responses? or would it be a fair statement to say that the French (initially at least) fear loss of their pride more so than loss of their life?

Il est vrai que vous donnez parfois l’impression d’être invincible mais depuis les attentats du 11 septembre, qui ont secoué le monde entier, il semblerait que ce sentiment soit un peu moins fort. Je ne pense pas que ce soit dû à un manque de maturité (d’autant que je pense que nous avons sensiblement le même âge : moi j’ai 25 ans et la moyenne dans ma classe doit être de 23 ou 24 ans) mais plus à une raison culturelle : en effet certains pays comme la France ont subi des conflits ou des attentats et même une occupation sur leur propre territoire ce qui je pense a forgé le caractère des gens à redouter un retour de la violence et que l’histoire ne se répète. Aux Etats-Unis, vous avez la chance de n’avoir jamais connu ce genre d’évènements ce qui donne le sentiment d’être à l’abri. Par exemple en France on a pratiquement jamais de tornade (contrairement à certaines régions aux USA) ou de tremblements de terre, ce qui nous donne l’impression d’être épargné, jusqu’au jour où…….et là on ne sera pas préparé.

I feel that both countries have always feared the actions of other countries. The French, as a result, decided to avoid all conflict, which makes sense considering how many countries and immediate conflicts could arise if a situation developed. The Americans, on the other hand, decided to situate themselves into a position of power in which other countries can't afford to fight us. This strategy was challenged September 11th, which led some Americans to more fervently carry out this strategy and irritate others.

En relisant les mots, je ne trouve pas nos peurs si différentes, ça touche un peu à tous les domaines…même si les animaux ne semblent pas nous faire peur…je connais des gens qu’ils faut voir en compagnie du moindre insecte….lol
Juste une petite chose qui m’a marqué…les serpents…J’ai tout de suite pensé au film « les serpents dans l’avion ». Il y a-t-il une relation ? Ou alors Est que dans votre pays les serpents sont en nombre et dangereux ? Parce que en France, on peut avoir peur des serpents, mais pas parce qu’ils peuvent causer notre mort…Il a principalement des petites vipères ici…rien de mortel…

I really don't know about snakes in the USA, but my opinion is that movies play an important role in the American life. This society is in charge of a mass production of films that evoke different feelings on the audience. It wouldn't surprise me that for some people, the only thing they know about snakes is what they saw in that movie.