No matter whether you’re learning French or just curious, these fascinating facts about France will provide an excellent way to expand your knowledge! From their fondness for cheese to strange superstitions – discover something new about this fascinating culture!
French has numerous dialects that differ from one another – similar to how Texas, Alabama and New York accents vary from standard American English.
1. The rooster is the national animal
The rooster has long been an iconic symbol of France, appearing everywhere from flags to sports jerseys. Associated with pride, strength, courage, hard work and diligence – it also serves as a wakeup call each morning and warning against potential danger during the night – the Gallic Rooster (coq Gaulois) has become France’s national animal since medieval times.
The Gallic Rooster became France’s national symbol due to a play on words. Latin’s word for coq (“coquerel”) can mean both “rooster” and a citizen of Gaul (France’s former name), making the cockerel an easy way for Roman invaders to mock its inhabitants as well as poke fun at their arrogance and pridefulness. Gradually, however, it came to symbolize all French citizens and their fight against Roman occupation.
Under the Valois and Bourbon monarchs, roosters were used as symbols of France on coins and engravings. After the French Revolution began, their use became even more prominent – appearing on all manner of artifacts representing France as well as becoming one of its key icons. Under July Monarchy and Second Republic rule they would remain important symbols; however Napoleon III did not care for this choice and replaced them with an eagle as his official Imperial emblem.
Today, the French national identity remains strongly tied to roosters – from stamps to the gates of Elysee Palace – featuring this symbol as an integral component. They can even be found gracing everything from stamps and gates of Elysee Palace, stamps and handball shirts, not forgetting Olympic team shirts!
2. France is the largest country in the European Union
French culture is well known for its love of food, wine and fashion. Additionally, they have played an influential role in shaping Europe for centuries; thus it should come as no surprise that France is currently the largest country within Europe.
France is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and writers, such as Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Louvre. Furthermore, 15 individuals have won a Nobel Prize in Literature since 1901!
France stands out as having one of the highest concentrations of roundabouts worldwide with around 30,000. This means there are few stop signs in France and drivers often navigate multiple lanes of traffic at the same time.
France is well-renowned for being family-oriented, with many households consisting of several children. French parents are frequently honored for raising their offspring with dignity – this has even resulted in them receiving medals! Additionally, Champagne wines hailing specifically from this region of France.
France is an influential power in international affairs, holding a seat on the UN Security Council and joining multiple multilateral organizations. Additionally, it ranks amongst one of the most developed nations and is an essential player in global economy.
Even as one of the leading countries in international affairs, France remains an eccentric nation with many peculiar customs and practices. A popular superstition among French citizens holds that turning a baguette upside-down brings bad luck; similarly, their country is widely known for having peculiar laws, including one prohibiting kissing on train platforms.
3. The French are the world’s biggest wine drinkers
France is world-renowned for its delicious cuisine and is widely recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. Their food culture was recognized with inclusion on this list by UNESCO; iconic dishes include French onion soup, coq au vin, tarte Tatin and chocolate souffle; wine is another factor; the French are the world’s biggest consumers; monks were first to study how soil, elevation and climate can impact taste of wine before creating sophisticated systems to classify and create appellations.
Young French adults agree that wine is part of their culture and tradition, even though consumption has decreased slightly in some sectors. They don’t see it as something to drink alone but rather share in convivial moments with family or friends.
An interesting fact about the French is that they’re not native speakers of their language. Instead, like many Romance languages, French descends from Latin via Vulgar Latin rather than from its standard form learned in school.
French citizens take great pride in protecting their forests and are striving to maintain them for future generations. Forests cover approximately 28 percent of France and are so deeply embedded into society that grocery stores cannot throw away edible food that may still be edible; thus resulting in high rates of recycling across France! They have also set up programs to reintroduce animals such as brown bears, storks and wolves who were on their way out due to habitat loss or were endangered species due to climate change.
4. The French love snails
Escargot is a staple in French restaurants and it is estimated that the French consume an estimated annual consumption of 25,000 tons. Escargot are considered delicacies and served cooked with garlic butter and chicken stock as part of this traditional dish. Escargot were so beloved, in fact, that Jeanne Calment – one of France’s 122 year old women from Provence – survived until age 122!
Snails might seem strange at first, but these mollusks are actually delicious and packed with protein and low in fat (unless smothered in butter!). Additionally, snails contain lots of important vitamins and nutrients that can be very beneficial to health.
Snails can be found across the world, but in France, snails are particularly beloved. Their popularity can be traced to Roman traders bringing these tasty Italian treats over two millennia ago; later this practice spread across Europe including France. France was even home to its own form of snail farming known as Heliciculture before Italy had even discovered this technique!
Snails can be enjoyed as an appetizer or starter in many ways and are commonly included as part of soups, stews and gratins. Snails may even be stuffed into pastry for an incredibly flavorful treat called Bouillon de Escargot! For anyone wanting to sample these delectable creatures for themselves there are numerous recipes online; be careful when eating snails as this requires dexterity to grasp and extract them from their shells using snail tongs or two-pronged forks as tongs/forks may help achieve success in doing this task!
5. The French love to be greeted in French
French doesn’t have an equivalent word for hug, so instead people often prefer kissing each other instead, known as faire la bise, with the amount of kisses given depending on one’s relationship to another person; males typically shake hands while females often offer multiple kisses before shaking hands is appropriate for professional or formal settings.
When meeting French people, always begin your greeting by saying bonjour (literally: good day). If you wish to add anything else to the greeting, ca va? (literally “how are you”) is completely acceptable.
One fascinating fact about French is that its country doesn’t adhere to a standard time zone; rather, its schedule differs slightly from Germany and the Netherlands.
As is well-known, French cheese lovers enjoy tasting an impressive 1,600 different types of their delectable products; most popular among these varieties are brie, bleu and goat milk cheddar.
There are many fascinating French facts to discover, such as its ease of learning for English speakers. Learning French will also be of great assistance when taking standardized tests like the SAT and TOEFL. So if you want to get into French, start here by learning these 10 easy-to-learn French phrases, then plan a trip to France so you can practice what you learned – bon voyage!