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10 Fun French Facts

There are a number of interesting and fun facts about the French, the language and the nation alike. Given below are some fun facts associated with both.

The Language:

1.  French is regarded as the most romantic language to be used in the present day, and traces its roots to Latin. While different languages emerged owing to Latin influence, French was the only one which managed to survive.

2.  French is the second most widely used language in the world, after English. Apart from France, its usage can also be seen in African nations like Algiers, Morocco and Tunisia. It is the official language of in excess of fifteen African nations. It is also the official language of Canada along with English.

3.  French is the United Nations’ official language, and the same is also the case with the NATO, the European Economic Community, the International Red Cross, as well as the International Olympic Committee.

4.  Many English words also owe their origin to individuals from French history. Two examples include chauvinism and sadism. While the first owes its origins to Nicola Chauvin (one of Napoleon’s ultra-loyal soldier), the second one is attributed to Marquis de Sade (a nobleman who is said to have led a life writing sadistic novels).

5.  French alphabet letters are the same as the ones used in English. However, no French word uses the letter ‘w’ and its usage is found only in foreign language words.

The Nation:

1.  France is definitely the most sought after tourist destination by travelers from across the globe. In 2007, almost 83 million people visited France for pleasure.

2.  This one might seem particularly strange. While wine is part of almost all French meals, beer is regarded as something of a luxury.

3.  The prevalence of the ‘April Fool’s Day’ across the world is for all to see. Did you know that this custom traces back to France? This is how the story goes. France started following the ‘Gregorian’ calendar in 1564 and the people who weren’t in the know-how of this switch were ridiculed because they continued regarding the 1st of April as the New Year’s first day.

4.  Did you know that the US has France to thank for the Statue of Liberty? The statue was sent to the US in order to honor the country’s centenary celebrations of independence. It was built by Gustave Eiffel and Auguste Bartholdi. Gustave Eiffel, incidentally, was the same man responsible for building the Eiffel Tower.

5.  A number of popular books in English were originally written in French or by French Authors, and this was essentially in between the 18th and 20thcenturies when French literature was at its peak. Examples of some of these popular works include ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘Bluebeard’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and ‘Cinderella’.

This, by no means, is a comprehensive list of the fun facts associated with all things French. There is so much more from where this comes, and you simply need to have the time to savor it all. If you’re planning to take a trip to France, do take some time to learn the basics of the language as this would serve you well. After all, another fact is that not everybody in France understands English.

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abril 23, 2012 - Posted by | french

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