Islam is the predominant religion in Algeria, and with the current outbursts of Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and civil war, it would be quite awkward to start up a conversation about religion and its place in society, or about secularism. The Berber minority tries to get by and push for its own identity and space in a predominantly Arab country.Arabs and other leaders find such behaviour disruptive and perceive it as creating regionalism in Algeria.Therefore, it would not be advisable to ask the ethnicity of the person you are meeting.

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It is considered impolite to talk or joke about this as it infringes on personal, religious and cultural intimacy, so leave it up to the other person to bring up this topic.

With women, the same subjects should be avoided; however, females will willingly talk about their children, husband, parents, and extended family.

A distinction should be made between two basic situations: official meetings (in the workplace or during official social activities) and informal introductions in a relaxed environment where nothing is at stake.

When first meeting, the following are good subjects to help direct your conversation and make a good impression: You can ask questions about her marital status, and if she is married, ask questions about her husband, children and or other family members including their education, work, ages, and interests. Mutual trust can be built up during casual conversation.

Subjects to be avoided depend on the people you are meeting and their gender.

With men, avoid the following topics: Generally, Algerians like to keep their private lives to themselves and do not like to be asked about their family, and particularly their wives.

It is the man’s responsibility to keep his family safe and protected and when asked, men may reply with a rather superficial response such as "Yes, I have two children and they attend such and such a school...", but they will never talk about their wives.

Even if Arabic is the official language in Algeria, French is most commonly used in the workplace.

As a result of 132 years of colonization, Algerians speak and understand French.