From discovering that French toast and fries weren’t created in France to being allowed to kiss on train platforms (so long as you don’t have a ticket), France has plenty of surprises in store for you.
French is one of two global languages taught in all nations on earth – alongside English.
1. It is the official language of France
French is the official language of France and used widely throughout former French colonies such as Canada. Additionally, French serves as one of six official UN languages as well as being used in international organizations like the International Olympic Committee, European Union, and International Red Cross.
French originated in Gaul from Vulgar Latin and later developed its own distinct form through Germanic tribe influences in the 17th century. One of the first written documents in French may have been Strasbourg Oaths which purports to be written transcripts of oral vows taken by two grandsons of Charlemagne sworn under oath during an oral ceremony in Strasbourg in 1275.
Today, French is spoken as either the native or official language in 33 countries worldwide, including Belgium, Canada and Switzerland as well as many of its former colonies. French has long been used for diplomacy purposes as well as being used for science and literature purposes.
2. It is the most spoken language in the world
French is one of the world’s five most-spoken languages with over 320 million speakers worldwide and one of the only global languages that span all five continents thanks to France’s colonial past and its influence over time in other nations – Canada and Louisiana in North America as well as many African countries such as Mali and Niger speak French as do numerous others worldwide. Furthermore, French is also among the top two taught foreign languages around the globe.
But determining the world’s most spoken languages can be tricky. Linguists debate over how many people actually speak each language, while reliable census data may not always be available. Furthermore, French is notoriously difficult to determine its precise number of speakers due to idiosyncrasies like its silent letters and pronunciation rules which make learning it challenging; yet French remains a popular choice for learners around the globe and an invaluable asset in higher education institutions worldwide.
3. It is the language of love
French is widely considered to be one of the world’s most romantic languages, thanks to its gentle lilt. Poets often use French in poetry because it is easy to pronounce; indeed many English words derive their roots from French language, such as amicable (ami) and friend (amie).
The Mona Lisa is one of the world’s most recognizable paintings and Louvre Museum is the world’s most visited museum. France is well known for their cuisine and fashion with designers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent being well known globally; additionally they consume over 26 kilograms of cheese each year!
Although French may not be one of the more difficult languages to learn, its pronunciation rules and conjugations can prove challenging for newcomers. Furthermore, some of French slang is bizarre – for instance some words like bah and pff may just be sounds or phrases! Furthermore, it’s essential that newcomers become aware of any taboos associated with its culture, such as no kissing in public spaces.
4. It is the language of literature
French is an elegant language widely admired for its beauty and romance. People fall deeply in love with French; indeed it has an allure which draws them in. Additionally, French has long been used in literature as well as inspiring many other tongues around the globe.
French flourished into an exquisite literary language during the Renaissance, becoming rich with words from Arabic and Occitan as well as offering wide phonetic range and syntactic flexibility. Many writers also encouraged using French over Latin in poetry and prose composition during this era.
One of France’s most iconic landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. Another is Versailles Palace, home to numerous works of art like Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Additionally, France was the place where cinematography first came about with Lumiere brothers’ debuting their first film in 1895.
5. It is the language of diplomacy
French has long been considered a language of diplomacy and its government has taken great strides to promote it abroad by funding language schools specifically tailored for expatriates wanting to learn French.
French has an elegant sound that many find charming. The French language boasts many vowels and uses the liaison technique to link words together, while its system of elision removes an unstressed syllable from words altogether.
French is one of the world’s most spoken and widely read languages, boasting a vast literature. Additionally, French serves an integral role in international affairs as one of the official languages for both United Nations and International Olympic Committee.
French is widely revered for its beauty and elegance. Boasting a diverse vocabulary with features such as liaison and elision, its cuisine has earned global acclaim.
6. It is the language of fashion
French designers are widely revered for their style and elegance. Designers such as Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent have become household names worldwide due to their impeccable fashion sense and timeless styles. Furthermore, France is home to legendary cuisine like coq au vin and bouillabaisse that are so widely enjoyed around the globe.
The French have their own slang, including an unusual way of spelling words by inverting letters, such as the popular example “Jourbon”, meaning hello or to greet someone. Additionally, France is famous for its literature; great works like Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince have contributed immensely to its legacy.
An incredible 45% of English words originate in French. This can be traced back to William the Conqueror who introduced French into England via William of Normandy; even today the British Royal Family still utilizes a French motto as part of their mottos.
7. It is the language of music
French musical culture boasts a rich legacy dating back to eighteenth century opera performances and nineteenth century Philharmonie de Paris to modern street musicians and electronic pioneers such as Depeche Mode; France has an unparalleled musical legacy.
Music can be an excellent way to practice French and discover more about French culture, while making you better able to converse about music with your French peers and exchange partners.
The French alphabet contains 26 letters, four diacritics (circumflex, acute accent, grave accent and cedilla), two ligatures (oe and ae), one rhotic sound whose pronunciation may differ depending on context and speaker; this rhotic is typically voiced uvular fricative (pronounced as voiced uvular fricative in word-final positions) but can sometimes become approximant or even dropped entirely; there may also be regional variations of sound variations between regions.
8. It is the language of art
France is widely recognized for its art, from Mona Lisa paintings to the Louvre collections. French artists have an ancient tradition in painting and sculpture that goes back centuries; during the 17th century French artists favored more subdued subjects that differed from baroque works popular across Europe.
French literature boasts a vibrant heritage. From Victor Hugo and Moliere to Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince), French writers have left a rich body of work to enjoy today.
As with any language, French has its own set of slang and colloquialisms, such as Verlan. Used by some celebrities and learners of French alike. Additionally, learning French may present some unique challenges; luckily there are online resources that can make this easier for newcomers to the language.
9. It is the language of food
France is widely revered for their cuisine. Dishes like escargot, ratatouille and coq au vin have gained worldwide acclaim, while over 1,000 varieties of cheeses are produced throughout France alone!
The Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum are among the world’s most iconic landmarks and visited museums, respectively, while Mona Lisa stands as its most recognizable painting at one.
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