bitterness, friendship, sharing, similarity

close, connections, forever

closeness, food, vacation

extremely important, mother, home

friends, siblings, mother, father

home, children, unit

home, comfort, love

home, siblings, parents, comfort

important, essential, support

important, everything, love

important, love, supportive

Important, loving, essential.

large families, help if needed, strong ties


love, children, trust, divorce

love, support, comfort

love, support, happiness

mom, sister, grandmother

parents, love, support

parents, siblings, aunts, uncles

security, parents, love

Sisters, Parents, Security

vacation, trips, picknicks

affection, parents

amour, tendresse, équilibre, personalité, société

éducation, enseignement, aide, séparation, conflits

beau, forte, présence, soutien, amour

cocon, protection

enfant, parent, sécurité, tendresse,

important, tradition, dimanche, joie, détente, soutien


papa, maman, amour

papa, maman, benoît, nicolas, marie, ségolène, antoine, grand-pout', grand-mout', grand-père, grand-mère.


père, mère, frère, soeur


For both Americans and French people, family means parents, childrens, brothers and sisters, siblings etc. But Americans use many more times the word "love" and "loving" than "amour" and "affection" used by the French people. Perhaps the Americans talk more about love orally while for the French people, "amour" is more or less represented by concret persons such as "papa" "maman" and "frere et soeur"?

As to the general idea of familly, both think it is important but the Americans say simply that it is "extremely important" or "essential" while the French people talk more about in which aspects it is important. For example, Frenches talk about "vie" "valeurs" "avenir" and "honneur". Besides, for French people, family is a more traditonal idea that is "sacre" "sainte". On contary, for the Americans, family represents all those happy moments, especially leisure times that we have together, such as "vacation" "trips" "picknicks" and "thanksgiving", while for the Frech people, "dimanch" is more traditionally religeous.

For example, in France, it seems that a family plays an important role in education because the words "education" "enseignement" "tuteurs" "societe" "avenir" appears in the French word list. As to the Americans, its fonction is less serious. But for both two people, a family is essentially a place whick gives you warmth, supports, comforts and sense of security.

What is intersting to me is that the word "home" appears a great number of times in the American list and in the French list, I found only "foyer" for one time in last year's list and since I am no American or French, I cannot tell if the two words descript exactly the same thing. Perhaps "maison" is also an interpretion of "home" in French? Anyway, it seems that familly equals "home" to some extente for the Americans, I ask myself what it means in English, a house or a abstract idea of a unit where the people are connected by love?

I thought that there were considerable differences between the French responses and the American responses. For example, I noticed that the French responses were a lot of lists of family members. I do have to admit, though, that the words used to describe family by the French were more diverse. On the American side, the same words showed up time after time. For example, love and important seemed to be two of the most popular. Some of the more interesting were "vacation" on the American side. I guess I found that one especially interesting since it is unique. Also, I found that the words like comfort, food and home seemed especially significant. One of the more interesting was the word divorce which mirrored one French response of separation or conflicts. I was curious also about the fact that Americans seem to see family as security. What are some of the views that you have about this? How would you describe your families?

I think that there were some differences to what the French and to what the Americans said. Both used mostly positive words like love and support. However, like Renee pointed out, there were people that saw problems. One person on the American side said "bitterness" and "divorce" while another on the French said "cocon" and "conflits." To both Renee and Cheng, I think that many people in America see family as their backbone. They are the people that are always there, always supporting you, always pushing you to be the best that you can. That's where the word love comes in. To some, love within a family is stronger than all other love. <br><br>

Cheng, there's a saying "Home is where the heart is." So, yes, a home is more than just a house. It's inside those walls that you're allowed to grow and where you're nourished and nurtured. It's where you usually find peace. The reason I used the word usually is because of the problems - divorce, conflicts. It can tear a family apart and some people go as far as saying that it can cause psychological issues for the child. Therefore, family is almost all about the love that helps shape a person.

Renee, as to how I would describe my family, nobody is perfect. My parents argue but I know that they are this permanent support group for my sister and me. Our larger family tries to stay close. Thanksgiving is spent at my aunt’s house, Christmas at my parent’s, and we will travel whatever distance for birthday parties, weddings, funerals, etc. Sunday used to be family days – it’s not always associated with religion. On Sundays, we’d make sure to eat dinner as a family or go out to the movies. It was our day together.

It’s hard to describe my family but I know that without them, I would not be where I am today.

I have a question: What is the relationship like between you and your parents or you and your aunts, uncles, etc? Would you say you’re close with anyone in your family to the point that you would call them your best friends?

The differences between the French and American responses didn't seem as apparent to me with this word. Everything seemed to fall under two general categories: people and feelings. Though there were those few differences, they're really just deviations from the norm. Everybody seems to generally have a positive image of what family is or should be. Does the American opinion seem a little too idealistic?

I felt that both sides had a very positive outlook on family. I also thought everything felt into two catagories. Many people listed typical family member names and generally accepted feelings about family. I think many people in America think of family as part of the great American dream to settle down by getting married and have kids. Is it like that in France? Back in my home state of Texas, most families spent a lot of time together and went on trips often. Is family typically a big part of one's life?

I also felt that both the Americans and the French have a generally positive outlook on family. Both also found family to be extremely important. I found it interesting that most of the family members listed were the immediate family - mother, father, sister, brother. How close are people to the other members of their families? Why don't we see aunts and uncles on the lists?