We all know that when we think about French, we think about all things romance. As much as it sounds beautiful and is popular, it has some incredible facts, which you should know about. Here are 8 interesting fun facts about the French language:
1) English and its French connection
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French contributes quite a bit towards the English language apart from Latin, 29% to be precise. Historians believe this is due to the invasion of England by the Normans (French) in 1066 A.D.
An estimated 10,000 words have traces of French. Unbeknownst to us, we use some of those words in the English vocabulary, not knowing the fact that they have been borrowed from French.
For example, bon voyage (have a good journey) comes from the French phrase bon voyage, “detour is taken from détour, and fiancé comes from the French word fiancé, to name a few
2) French an Official Diplomatic Language
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French is one of the six different languages of The United Nations. It is also one of the three languages used by The European Union, apart from English and German.
International organizations like UNESCO, NATO, etc., also incorporate French as well.
3) The Canadian connection
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Did you know that French is Canada’s official second language? Also, an estimated 3 million adults whose native language is not French, also speak French as a second language.
According to normandale.edu, an estimated 300,000 children join French immersion programs in Canada. Moreover, Common Law is also practiced in French in the country.
This shows the significance of the French language in Canada.
4) French is a Romance language
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When you think about romance, you think of love, but that’s not what Romance language means.
Romance languages are those that have roots in Vulgar Latin (common Latin) and French is one of those languages. Latin was used by ancient Romans.
Apart from French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, and Portuguese belong to the Indo-European language family group.
What sets French apart from other Romance languages is the fact that the sound of words has substantial changes.
Also, French is the second most commonly taught language after English. This shows its global significance.
5) The longest word in the French dictionary
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If you thought that words can be a mouthful, then you might have to stick to that statement after knowing the longest French word. “Anticonstitutionnellement” takes the laurel for the longest word in French. It basically means “unconstitutionally” in English.
6) Humble beginnings of famous fairy tales
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If it crossed your mind that popular fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge), Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête), and Cinderella (Cendrillon) were in English all along, think again!
They were written in the French language before they were adapted and became famous worldwide thanks to the immensely popular Disney animated and live-action adaptations.
7) Significance of French words in the world of French cuisine
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French cuisine and words have an intimate relationship. By that, it means that French words have a major influence on the preparation of the exquisite French cuisines, which are famous across the globe.
Terms like blanching, concasser, chef, fondre (fondue), frappe(r), etc. are part and parcel of the French culinary language. This is something even a famous personality like Gordon Ramsay would agree with.
8) French is easy to learn
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Learning any language can be an uphill task and you might lose the motivation in your journey to master it. But there is some good news for those who really want to learn French.
According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) School of Language Studies, there are a lot of similarities between French and English. FSI puts French in the category I language (easy difficulty). For those who are English speakers, it’s easy to learn French as a result.
This is also partly due to the Germanic roots of the English language Also, there is a significant contribution of French towards English as well.
So what are you waiting for!
Rohan Khanna is a writer/content creator, who also happens to be a Potterhead. He has a penchant for art, history, and culture and is also a part time artist. Figuring out life one step at a time, he manages to adhere to health and fitness, while going through the trials and tribulations.