The 30-year-old, who joined the Ligue 1 club from Queens Park Rangers on loan last summer, believes that in France working hard means compensating for the lack of talent.
"In France, when you work hard, it's taken as meaning you have no talent," he told L'Equipe. "They don't believe in work, in making an effort.
"I don't understand that. The number of discussions I've had on the subject! French players don't like working. They don't like getting themselves dirty.
"If you push yourself in training, for them it means you don't have any talent. But if you have talent and you also work really hard, you get even better, don't you? Anyway, I don't have any talent, so I have to work."
Barton added that he thinks that French players perform to their best when they are "angry".
"I get the impression that they have to be angry to really push themselves," he said.
"It's the same with the national teams: rugby, football. If you tell them, 'You're rubbish, you're a bunch of losers' they'll play really well.
"If you tell them, 'You're brilliant', they're going to stop working. So I suppose you have to try and annoy them."
Marseille will take on Paris Saint-Germain away from home in Ligue 1 on Sunday.