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You have to know, that, in the official French doctrine (in metropolitan France), there are no races, and skin colours should be officially ignored. I´d avoid referring to races and skin colours in Metropolitan France when it´s not related to the topic of the current conversation. Asians (Chinese, Vietnames, Thai, Japanese etc looking people) can be ...


There are offensive term for various groups (i.e. Jews, Brits, Germans, North Africans, probably Eastern Europeans...), but I'm not familiar with European terms besides rital (Italian), which I'm pretty sure is offensive. Generally, Alexandre's comment is sound. On this side of the Atlantic (I'm from Quebec), a recent pejorative term has arisen to describe ...


I would personally try to avoid referring to people by the colour of their skin. That alone can be considered a bit rude both in French and English. The basic "non-offensive" way would be to use the colour for black/white and the region for others (noirs, blancs, latinos, asiatiques). It would still be better to call people by their nationality but I ...


In academic e-mails, I always just start with "Bonjour/soir" (and end with "Cordialement"). Never been a problem, but I guess it could be context-dependent. (And related to Laure's answer, it always makes me cringe when people address me by my name. Yes, I know my own name, thank you very much.)

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