May 17, 2024

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32 Fun facts about France (to become a French expert)

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France is a country full of surprises and unique characteristics. Dive into our list of fun facts about France that highlight its rich history, vibrant culture, and fascinating traditions. Whether you're a Francophile or just curious, these facts are sure to entertain and inform.
Fun facts about France
  1. Let’s start with one of the most impressive fun facts about France: France produces over 1200 kinds of cheese! (Source: French Dairy products website)
  2. French people nickname France “l’Hexagone”, due to its hexagonal shape.
  3. The Mont-Blanc, located in the French Alps, is the highest mountain in Europe (4809 meters/15,774 ft).
  4. Le Louvre in Paris is the most visited museum in the world. In order to take a virtual tour of this museum, this way please.
  5. A French law allows posthumous marriage, if you can prove that your deceased partner intended to marry you before his/her death and if the French President agrees with it.
  6. Frogs and snails are actual food in France (don’t get me wrong though, this is cliché to think that we eat it often!).
  7. Half of all the roundabouts in the world are located in France!
  8. The word “Salut” can mean both “hello” and “goodbye”, depending on the context.
  9. Cheek-kissing people (“faire la bise”) to say hello is not an easy thing to do: the number of kisses depends on the region of France you are! To avoid any weird situation, we usually just ask “C’est combien chez vous?” (“How many kisses in your town?”)while doing it. Check this funny map if you want to know how many kisses according to the department one shall give.
  10. France is the largest country in the European Union (Malta is the smallest one).
  11. Alcohol is prohibited at work, except beer, wine, cider, and perry…which means that you are allowed to drink those beverages while working or at lunch time!
  12. If a non-French serviceman or servicewoman is serving for the French army and has been wounded while he/she was defending France, he/she can ask for French nationality and become “French by blood spilt”.
  13. France is the most visited country in the world since more than 30 years. (Source: Worldpopulationreview)
  14. The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in 1889 for the World Exposition that took place in Paris that year and was supposed to be disassembled 20 years later.
  15. Most workers in France work 35 hours/week and have 5-week paid holidays as per their contract.
  16. Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (“liberty, equality and fraternity”) is the national French motto.
  17. Guess where the word “denim” (same word in French and in English) comes from?! Its origin is the city of Nîmes in France: the fabric came from Nîmes, so “de Nîmes” in French!
  18. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the USA (you can see several Statues of Liberty in Paris as well).
  19. It is highly common to put ketchup on plain pasta in France (Don’t judge me: I do it and I love it!).
  20. Children can’t be disinherited by their parents (mandatory by law).
  21. Child beauty pageants are illegal in France.
  22. France is the country with the most time zones in the world: 13. Don’t forget about overseas territories!
  23. In France, most public swimming pools do not allow board shorts.
  24. You can say “Re-bonjour” meaning “Re-hello” if you are seeing somebody again later that same day.
  25. Oh la la” is what French people say when they are surprised/shocked/happy/sad/or actually any emotion they can feel! The more “la” are uttered, the biggest the reaction is: “oh la la la la la la la la la”.
  26. There is another language inside the French one: le Verlan. It is a slang language, that implies to reverse the syllables. For instance, “fou”, which means “crazy” becomes “ouf” in verlan.
  27. French private radios must broadcast at least 40% of French songs/artists (mandatory by law). (Source: French Audiovisual Council)
  28. In conversations, French people make noises all the time that actually mean something. For example, to express the fact that we don’t know something, we make a “fart like-sound” with our mouth (very classy I know, but very common!).
  29. French egg shells are brown.
  30. The oldest person that ever lived was French. Her name was Jeanne Calment and she died when she was 122 years old (1875-1997). If you want to know more about her story, check here.
  31. The longest land border of France is shared with… Brazil! (Guyana)
  32. The croissant was not invented in France but in Austria, hence “les viennoiseries” (meaning “pastries” in French) come from the word Vienne, the capital city of Austria.

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