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French Language

French is used as the official language of 22 countries and is the co-official language of
several others, including Belgium, Canada, Haiti, Madagascar, and Switzerland. It is
spoken as a first language by 51 million people in France and Corsica; in Canada by 7.2
million; in Belgium by 3.3 million; in Switzerland by 1.2 million; in Monaco by 17,000; in
Italy by 100,000; and in the United States by nearly 2 million (primarily in Maine and
Louisiana). In sub-Saharan Africa, some 5 million people (in Benin, Burkina Faso,
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cte dIvoire, Djibouti, Guinea,
Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, and Zaire) use French as their
principal international language, as do additional millions in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos,
Cambodia). In addition, French continues to be spoken as a second language by many
people in countries located along the southern and eastern rim of the Mediterranean
that were once French colonies or territories (notably Algeria. Morocco, and Lebanon).

History of French Language


Modern French belongs to the group of so-called Romance languages. Descended
from Latin, these languages may be said to represent living shadows of the ancient
Roman empire, reflecting the divergent histories of regions formerly unified under
Roman rule.
This French language was in fact one of a number of different languages descended
from Latin that were spoken in various parts of post-Roman Gaul. Others included
notably the so-called Provenal language (or langue doc), spoken in much of the
southern half of what is today metropolitan France. However the so-called French
language gained a special status resulting from its association with the dominant feudal
military power namely the court of Charlemagne and his successors whose
territorial reach and effective control of French life grew over time.
The return of the French court to Paris after its move to Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
under Charlemagne -- and the ultimate success of its armies against the Anglo-Norman
occupiers of major parts of northern and southwestern France, led to a territorial
consolidation that guaranteed the future position of French as the official language of a
centralized monarchy (later nation-state). French was so established by the Edict of
Villers-Cotterts in the year 1539.
The grammar of the French language spoken and written today is in its essentials
unchanged from the late 17th century, when official efforts to standardize, stabilize, and
clarify French grammatical usage were institutionalized in the French Academy. The
purpose of this standardization was political: to facilitate the extension of the courts
influence and to smooth the processes of law, administration, and commerce throughout
and even beyond the territory of France, as colonial ventures (as far away as India and
Louisiana) opened new theaters of imperial growth.

Even today, after the decline of French imperial influence, post-World War II, French
remains the second language of a vast Francophone population extending far beyond
Frances remaining overseas territories and dependencies (French Guiana, Martinique,
Guadeloupe, St.-Pierre and Miquelon, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tahiti, Seychelles,
Mauritius, and Runion Island).
Official languages
French

Regional languages
Alsatian; Catalan; Corsican; Breton;Gallo; Occitan; some languages of New Caledonia;
Basque; Dutch(West Flemish dialect); Franco-Provenal; Lorraine Franconian;French
Guiana Creole;Guadeloupean Creole; Martiniquan Creole; Ol languages; Runion
Creole; some twenty languages of New Caledonia, Yeniche, theMaroon creoles and
Amerindian languages of French Guiana

Mainimmigrant languages
Maghrebi Arabic, Portuguese,Spanish, Italian,
Polish, Turkish,Vietnamese[2]

Main Foreign languages


English (34%)
Spanish (13%)
German (8%)
Italian (2%)

Example of French:

Hi!- Salut!
Good morning!- Bonjour! (also used in the afternoon)
Good evening!- Bonsoir! (After 06:00pm)
Welcome! (to greet someone)- Bienvenue!
How are you?- Comment vas-tu?/ Comment allez-vous? (polite)
I'm fine, thanks!- Je vais bien, merci!

Good/ So-So.- Bien / Comme-ci, comme-a.


Thank you (very much)!- Merci (beaucoup!)
You're welcome! (for "thank you")- Il n'y a pas de quoi
I missed you so much!- Tu m'as tellement manqu!
Good night!- Bonne nuit!
Good bye!- Au revoir!
Enjoy! (for meals...)- Bon apptit!

France is one of the world's major economic powers. Agriculture plays a larger role
than in the economies of most other industrial countries. A large proportion of the value
of total agricultural output derives from livestock (especially cattle, hogs, poultry, and
sheep). The mountain areas and NW France are the livestock regions. The country's
leading crops are wheat, sugar beets, corn, barley, and potatoes, with the most
intensive cultivation N of the Loire; the soil in the Central Massif is less fertile. Fruit
growing is important in the south. France is among the foremost producers of wine in
the world.
France's leading industries produce machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metals,
aircraft, electronics equipment, textiles, and foods (especially cheeses). Advanced
technology industries are also important. Coal, iron ore, bauxite, and other minerals are
mined. Tourism is an important industry, and Paris is famous for its luxury goods.
Nuclear energy furnishes 75% of all electricity produced in France.
France has an extensive railway system, the Socit Nationale des Chemins de Fer
Franais (SNCF). The first of a number of high-speed rail lines (TGVs) was completed
in 1983, linking Paris and Lyons. Subsequent lines connected Paris to several other
French cities, as well as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and, via the Channel
Tunnel, Great Britain.
The government at one time had majority ownership in many commercial banks,
some key industries, and various utilities, including the telephone system. The
government has since reduced its holdings in many companies, although it still controls
energy production, public transportation, and defense industries.
Frances economic freedom score is 62.5, making its economy the 73rd freest in
the 2015 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 1.0 point, with particularly large
declines in labor freedom and the management of government spending. France is
ranked 33rd out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is higher than
the world average but below the regional average.
Currency

1 euro (1) = 100-cent

Fiscal year

Calendar year

Trade
organisations

EU, WTO and OECD


Statistics

GDP

$2.846,88 trillion (Nominal; April


2015), $2.580,75 trillion (PPP;
April 2015)[1]

GDP rank

6th (Nominal) / 9th (PPP)

GDP growth

+0.7% Q1,(0.0% Q2),1.2%


for 2015 (forecast IMF)

GDP per capita Nominal : $41,141 (2012) [5]


GDP by sector

Inflation (CPI)

Population
belowpoverty
line
Gini coefficient
Labour force

agriculture (1.9%), industry


(18.3%), services (79.8%)
(2012 est)
0.7%[2]

8.1% (2012) [6]

32.7 (2008)
~30 million (2015)

Labour force by services (71.8%), industry


occupation
(24.3%), agriculture (3.8%)
(2009)
Unemployment

10% (Q2 2015)[3]

Average net
salary

2,157 monthly (2012)[4]

Main industries

machinery, chemicals,
automobiles, metallurgy,
aircraft, electronics; textiles,
food processing; tourism

Ease-of-doingbusiness rank

34th[5]
Public finances

Public debt

89.9% of GDP (2012 est.)

Revenues

$1.341 trillion (2012 est.)

Expenses

$1.458 trillion (2012 est.)

Economic aid

donor: ODA $10.1 billion


(2006) [7]

Credit rating

AA (Domestic)
AA (Foreign)
AAA (T&C Assessment)
(Standard & Poor's)[8]

Foreign reserves US$171.9 billion (31


December 2012 est.)

France is located in the Western Europe which is the largest country


in Europe having its territories all over the lovely planet. France was once known as the
main hub for the luxury items production and their trade which is still continued.
The archaeological history of France is evident that the country had a strong past
of sophisticated cloth making that surely started from animal-skin. More innovations
were adopted by the cloth merchants as new fabrics like silk and linen were introduced.
Tunic-shaped and wool made cloaks over linen made shirts were in common.
Wealthy
people
enriched
their dresses with gold-thread and silverthreadembroidery. Stockings and socks embellished with skillful knitting were quite
popular. Similarly, the elaborate and fascinating shoes were also used.
Magnificent headdresses are significant parts of the traditional French outfits.
Real progressive change occurred in the French clothing during the renaissance
period when home-based small units involved in the silk-weaving business were
established everywhere. Silk fiber resultantly also lead to produce different types of
decorative items for dresses as tassels, fringes, pompoms, silk embroideries and floral
ribbons. Lace making was become the prominent feature of the French textile industry.
Enormous development was made in the women clothes as the fashion of white
colored lace-trimmed blouses and aprons was massively accepted. The outfits were
usually bedecked with brilliant floral patterns. In some parts, white flared bonnets and
dresses with wide elbow-length sleeves were also trendy.
An over garment known as the bleat or bland that was made with woolens, linens
or silks was also acclaimed among the French elite. Bliaut was fit closely from the
shoulder to approximately the elbow, and then widen from the elbow to drape to floor- or
nearly floor-length. Both men and women wore floor length bliaut while some
bliauts included a double wrapped belt as well. This medieval garb was equally popular
in other European countries like England and Germany.
Mantua was also a famous object in the clothing for the French women. In the
beginning, the mantua was actually a cloak like a loose gown, with sleeves cut in one
piece with the back and front. It was pleated at the shoulders and fell to the waist, where
it was held in place by a sash. From there it was folded back into a bustle shape and
worn over a matching petticoat. The dress was gradually become acceptable for women
as a cherished formal costume in France.