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From November 3—9 of this year, the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) celebrated National French Week in every school and community in the United States.

During National French Week, we celebrate francophone wonderful culture through its cuisine, science, technology and professions, arts and crafts, sports, music, dance, and much more. 

It is the ideal opportunity to celebrate the richness of one of the world’s most sought-after languages.

Are you interested in learning some interesting facts about French? Then keep reading!

French is the language of ballet

All ballet schools, no matter which country of the world they are in, use the names of the steps in French: pointé, tendu, pirouette, tour en l’air

The longest palindrome

A palindrome is a word that reads the same backwards and forwards.

In that sense, essasser (meaning “continue rehearsing”) is the longest palindrome in the French language.

Several states in the United States speak French or a dialect of French

You will find French speakers in Louisiana, Vermont, Michigan, Maine, North Dakota, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

It is also interesting to know that there are some states where people have a dialect of French as their native language.

What are these dialects? Métis French, Muskrat French, Missouri French, New England French, and Louisiana French.

“Où”

This is the only French word that contains the accented letter “u”. It means “where” and is very common.

French in the year 2050…

According to the International Organization of La Francophonie, by the year 2050, French could become the most spoken language in the world.

It is currently in fifth position, but thanks to population growth on the African continent, there will be many more French speakers by 2050.

Learn about the history of French

The history of French dates back to the years 51 and 58 with the invasion of the Roman Empire in the territory of the Gauls. It is clear then that French comes from Latin. 

It has, however, undergone many changes before becoming the French of today.

The Gauls were a Celtic people living in the region of Gaul (France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany).

It was the Romans who gave the Gauls the name “Celts.” There were many differences between the northern and southern Gauls themselves, including different dialects and traditions.  

With the arrival of the Romans, however, the well-known Gallic War broke out. Despite resistance, the Roman army, led by Julius Caesar, invaded France, and Latin spread throughout the country, displacing its own language.

Nevertheless, some regions refused to speak Latin, trying to preserve their language, as was the case in Brittany and the southwestern region of France.

How did the French language evolve?

The Roman Empire began to weaken and lose its power, allowing Gaul to be invaded by the Huns, the Franks, and the Visigoths.

Other civilizations entered the territory, leading to a great variety of dialects in different parts of the country, with a marked difference between the north and the south. 

The northern part had been more influenced by the Frankish peoples, while those in the south had more Provençal roots, which led to the emergence of the Oïl languages.

The Oïl languages expanded, including into the capital. Official writings began to be produced in this language and the media contributed to its consolidation.

In France, there are about 75 regional languages and many of them are taught in schools, both public and private. 

One of the most widely spoken languages is Breton, a Celtic language. It is a rather complicated language to understand, as many words change completely and therefore are not understandable for someone who is just starting to learn French.

 

By Andreina Ibarra.

Read also: French Recipes for you to Enjoy

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