Government Type: Republic
Currency: euros (EUR)
Total Area: 248,572 Square Miles
643,801 Square Kilometers
Location: metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Language: French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect).
French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish). overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect). The French government has emphasized the French language so much that almost everyone in France speaks French (99%), despite the different nationalities represented. Even regional dialects have lost their importance in recent years. English is the most common foreign language.
The French People
When meeting someone you would shake hands. An aggressive handshake is considered impolite. However, between women and men, kissing on the cheek (but in fact more like a hug, as there is no contact of the mouth) is very frequent. It can also happen between men in some regions. But this is only between peers, and when non-peers meet, the higher class generally offers first to shake hands. Greetings are usually combined with the person’s name or a title and always precede any conversation or request. First names are used between friends and close colleagues; otherwise, titles are important and customary. When Meeting someone Saying “Bonjour” (means, literally, good day), in general, is neutral. When someone is older or of higher social status, or in higher social classes, one can say “Bonjour Monsieur”. In lower social classes or between very good friends, rather “salut” (more colloquial). One may also say “Bonne soirée” at night time. “Bonne nuit” implies that the other person is about to go to bed.
Where to find more out about France
France Travel Guide
French to English Dictionary
Places to Visit
The Paris Pages