French Business Language Culture Communication

French Business Language Culture Communication

Taboos and Things to avoid in France

taboos

  • Presuming that all French should understand and speak English
  • Sitting legs apart
  • Use the informal version of “you” (tu) instead of the polite form “vous”
  • Calling people with their first names (not a taboo but may be considered informal in the first meeting)
  • Trying to refute a French person’s idea and prove him/her wrong
  • Losing temper when being asked questions by the French
  • Caring much about one’s ethnic background
  • Caring much about how much a person makes, one’s wealth
  • Showing off wealth
  • Doing the OK sign (by using the thumb and the index finger)

French Communication style

communication

  • The French are less direct than their North European neighbors; however, they are definitely more direct than Asians, South Americans, South Europeans and Middle Easterners. Therefore French people can be classified as direct and low-context communicators. According to Edward Hall, the following characteristics are usually seen in these types of societies:
  • People usually prefer direct, explicit and formal statements and requests
  • What you say is more important than how you say it
  • What is said is more important than who said it
  • People mean exactly what they say
  • Direct criticism: It is okay to critize or reject one’s point in front of others (e.g. your performance is unacceptable)
  • People are frank and straightforward.
  • Conclusion/main point stated first followed by explanations (choose A because of reason 1, reason 2, reason 3)
  • Less time spent for relationship building and socialising and more time spent discussing details
  • Focus less on people & relationship building and focus more on the task
  • Rules, procedures and the evaluation criteria should be clearly identified at the beginning of a project instead of just following the “common sense”
  • Written communication is as important as or more important than face-to-face communication and face-to-face commitments
  • Business is done between companies not between individuals
  • Power distribution tends to be equal among a group of representatives
  • May need to be updated and/or clarified often during different phases of a project
  • Tend to be mono-chronic (one thing at a time, the present is more important than the past)
  • People do not need to read between the lines or observe the group to understand what is going on
  • Work and social life are separate
  • The task, the procedure and the protocol are more important than relationships, networks and people
  • Tend to be egalitarian. Everyone’s opinion is important regardless of his/her background, social status, power, age, gender, etc.
  • The speaker has to be as direct and detailed as possible to make sure the listener can clearly understand everything
  • Conversations have few analogies, metaphors and embellishments
  • Body language is less important than what is being said
  • Tend to be individualistic and value self-achievement /individual freedom
  • Use inductive logic (if it we see a1, a2 and a3 then there must exist A)
  • Manuals have as much text as images
  • High transparency and information sharing within organizations
  • Only logic and facts should be used to make a decision
  • Business and friendships are seperate things. OK to refuse a friend’s request regarding a business project.

French Negotiation Style

negotiation

  • French are emotionally expressive and confrontional. The french tend to talk a bit more than their counterparts and often question various points the other party makes. As North Europeans they care about logic, rationality and the EU laws. Dr. Lewis indicates that the French have a linear-active negotiation style that has the following characteristics:
  • Occasionally interrupts
  • Gets data from professional resources
  • Plans in advance and in detail
  • Does not display all kinds of feelings
  • Confronts with logic. Often asks questions.
  • Argues in a professional and diplomatic way
  • Each project is considered separately. Focuses on the current project.
  • Sometimes rushes things
  • Subtle body language and facially expressive
  • Does one thing at a time
  • Factual

Famous French Singers

music

  • Charles Aznavour
  • Jean-Jacques Goldman
  • Coeur de Pirate

Famous French Sports Teams

sports

  • Paris Saint Germain (Soccer)
  • Olympique de Marseille (Soccer)
  • Bordeaux (Soccer)

 French Children’s books

beauty-beast

Download French Worksheets for Kids

For more French worksheets click here

Print French Numbers Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Numbers Match

Numbers Match

Print French Numbers Maze Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Numbers Maze

Numbers Maze

Print French Drawing Numbers Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Drawing Numbers

Drawing Numbers

Print French Verbs and Actions Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Verbs and Actions

Verbs and Actions

Print French Coloring Numbers Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Coloring Numbers

Coloring Numbers

Print French Fruit Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Fruit Match

Fruit Match

Print French Coloring Dinosaurs Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Coloring Dinosaurs

Coloring Dinosaurs

Print French Traffic Light Color Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Traffic Light Color

Traffic Light Color

Print French Animals Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Animals Match

Animals Match

Print French Counting Match Worksheet (8 x 11 ”)

Counting Match

Counting Match

For more French worksheets click here

French Songs for Children – French Culture for kids

For French culture click here

Dino Lingo French for kids, DVDs, songs, books, flashcards, French alphabet posters

 
SONGS:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0kgWEDv5s4&w=560&h=315]

1. Ainsi Font.

Ainsi font, font, font / Les petites marionnettes,

Ainsi font, font, font / Trois p’tits tours et puis s’en vont.

Les mains aux côtés / Sautez, sautez marionnettes,

Les mains aux côtés / Marionnettes recommencez.

Ainsi font, font, font / Les petites marionnettes,

Ainsi font, font, font / Trois p’tits tours et puis s’en vont.

Et elles danseront / Les petites marionnettes,

Et elles danseront / Quant les enfants dormiront.

2. Il était une Bergère

Il était une bergère

Et ron et ron, petit patapon

Il était une bergère

Qui gardait ses moutons, ron ron

Qui gardait ses moutons

Elle fit un fromage

Et ron et ron, petit patapon

Elle fit un fromage

Du lait de ses moutons, ron ron

Du lait de ses moutons

Le chat qui la regarde,

Et ron et ron, petit patapon

Le chat qui la regarde

D’un petit air fripon, ron ron

D’un petit air fripon

Si tu y mets la patte

Et ron et ron, petit patapon

Si tu y mets la patte

Tu auras du bâton, ron ron

Tu auras du bâton

Il n’y mit pas la patte

Et ron et ron, petit patapon

Il n’y mit pas la patte

Il y mit le menton, ron ron

Il y mit le menton

3. J ‘ai perdu le do de ma clarinette

J’ai perdu le do de ma clarinette (bis)

Ah si papa il savait ça tra la la (bis)

Il dirait Ohé ! (bis)

Tu n’connais pas la cadence

Tu n’sais pas comment l’on danse

Tu ne sais pas danser

Au pas cadencé

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, au pas

J’ai perdu le ré de ma clarinette (bis)

Ah si papa il savait ça tra la la (bis)

Il dirait Ohé ! (bis)

Tu n’connais pas la cadence

Tu n’sais pas comment l’on danse

Tu ne sais pas danser

Au pas cadencé

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, au pas

J’ai perdu le mi de ma clarinette (bis)

Ah si papa il savait ça tra la la (bis)

Il dirait Ohé ! (bis)

Tu n’connais pas la cadence

Tu n’sais pas comment l’on danse

Tu ne sais pas danser

Au pas cadencé

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, au pas

Tu n’connais pas la cadence

Tu n’sais pas comment l’on danse

Tu ne sais pas danser

Au pas cadencé

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

Au pas, camarade (bis)

Au pas, au pas, au pas

4. Au clair de la Lune

Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot,

Prête-moi ta plume, pour écrire un mot.

Ma chandelle est morte, je n’ai plus de feu.

Ouvre-moi ta porte, pour l’amour de Dieu.

Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit :

« Je n’ai pas de plume, je suis dans mon lit.

Va chez la voisine, je crois qu’elle y est,

Car dans sa cuisine, on bat le briquet. »

Au clair de la lune, s’en fut Arlequin

Frapper chez la brune. Elle répond soudain :

« Qui frappe de la sorte ? Il dit à son tour :

— Ouvrez votre porte, pour le Dieu d’Amour ! »

Au clair de la lune, on n’y voit qu’un peu.

On chercha la plume, on chercha du feu.

En cherchant d’la sorte, je n’sais c’qu’on trouva.

Mais je sais qu’la porte sur eux se ferma.

5. Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques

Dormez-vous ?

Dormez-vous ?

Sonnez-les matines

Sonnez-les matines

Ding, ding, dong!

Ding, ding, dong!

6. Il court le furet

Il court, il court, le furet,

Le furet du bois, Mesdames,

Il court, il court, le furet,

Le furet du bois joli.

Il est passé par ici, (bis)

Il repassera par là. (bis)

Il court, il court, le furet,

Le furet du bois, Mesdames,

Il court, il court, le furet,

Le furet du bois joli.

7. Maman, les p’tits bateaux

Maman les p’tits bateaux

Qui vont sur l’eau

Ont-ils des jambes?

Mais oui, mon gros bêta

S’ils n’en avaient pas

Ils ne marcheraient pas.

Allant droit devant eux

Ils font le tour du monde

Mais comme la terre est ronde

Ils reviennent chez eux.

Va quand tu seras grand

Tu sauras comment faire

Pour lutter vaillamment

Contre la mer et le vent.

8. Colchiques dans les prés

Colchiques dans les prés fleurissent, fleurissent,

Colchiques dans les prés : c’est la fin de l’été.

La feuille d’automne emportée par le vent

En ronde monotone tombe en tourbillonnant.

Châtaignes dans les bois se fendent, se fendent,

Châtaignes dans les bois se fendent sous les pas.

La feuille d’automne emportée par le vent

En ronde monotone tombe en tourbillonnant.

Nuages dans le ciel s’étirent, s’étirent,

Nuages dans le ciel s’étirent commme une aile.

La feuille d’automne emportée par le vent

En ronde monotone tombe en tourbillonnant.

Et ce chant dans mon coeur murmure, murmure,

Et ce chant dans mon coeur appelle le bonheur.

La feuille d’automne emportée par le vent

En ronde monotone tombe en tourbillonnant.

9. Mon petit oiseau

Mon petit oiseau a pris sa volée (bis)

a pris sa à la volette (bis)

a pris sa volée.

Il s’est appuyé sur un oranger (bis)

sur un o à la volette (bis)

sur un oranger.

La branche était sèche la branche a cassé (bis)

la branche a à la volette (bis)

la branche a cassé.

La branche a cassé l’oiseau est tombé (bis)

l’oiseau est à la volette (bis)

l’oiseau est tombé.

Mon petit oiseau où t’es-tu blessé? (bis)

où t’es-tu à la volette (bis)

où t’es-tu blessé?

Je m’ suis cassé l’aile et tordu le pied (bis)

et tordu à la volette (bis)

et tordu le pied

Mon petit oiseau veux-tu te soigner? (bis)

veux-tu te à la volette (bis)

veux-tu te soigner?

Je veux me soigner et me marier (bis)

et me ma à la volette (bis)

et me marier.

10. À la claire Fontaine

À la claire fontaine

M’en allant promener,

J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle,

Que je m’y suis baignée.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

Sous les feuilles d’un chêne

Je me suis fait sécher,

Sur la plus haute branche,

Un rossignol chantait.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

Chante, rossignol, chante,

Toi qui as le coeur gai,

Tu as le coeur a rire,

Moi, je l’ai à pleurer.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

J’ai perdu mon ami

Sans l’avoir mérité,

Pour un bouquet de roses,

Que je lui refusai.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

Je voudrais que la rose

Fût encore au rosier,

Et que mon doux ami

Fût encore à m’aimer

11. Gentil coquelicot

J’ai descendu dans mon jardin (bis)

Pour y cueillir du romarin.

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

J’n'en avais pas cueilli trois brins (bis)

Qu’un rossignol vint sur ma main

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

Qu’un rossignol vint sur ma main (bis)

Il me dit trois mots en latin

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

Il me dit trois mots en latin (bis)

Que les hommes ne valent rien

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

Que les hommes ne valent rien (bis)

Et les garçons encore bien moins !

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

Et les garçons encore bien moins !

Des dames, il ne me dit rien

Mais des d’moiselles beaucoup de bien

Gentil coquelicot, Mesdames,

Gentil coquelicot, nouveau.

12. C’est gugusse

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles

Qui fait danser les filles

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles et les garçons

Mon papa ne veut pas

Que je danse, que je danse

Mon papa ne veut pas

Que je danse la polka

Il dira ce qu’il voudra

Moi je danse, moi je danse

Il dira ce qu’il voudra

Moi je danse la polka

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles

Qui fait danser les filles

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles et les garçons

Mon papa ne veut pas

Que je danse, que je danse

Mon papa ne veut pas

Que je danse avec toi

Il dira ce qu’il voudra

Moi je danse, moi je danse

Il dira ce qu’il voudra

Moi je danse avec toi

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles

Qui fait danser les filles

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles et les garçons

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles

Qui fait danser les filles

C’est Gugusse avec son violon

Qui fait danser les filles et les garcons

13. Dansons la Capucine

Dansons la capucine

Y’a plus de pain chez nous

Y’en a chez la voisine

Mais ce n’est pas pour nous

You !

Dansons la capucine

Y’a pas de vin chez nous

Y’en a chez la voisine

Mais ce n’est pas pour nous

You !

Dansons la capucine

Y’a pas de feu chez nous

Y’en a chez la voisine

Mais ce n’est pas pour nous

You !

Dansons la capucine

Y’a du plaisir chez nous

On pleure chez la voisine

On rit toujours chez nous

You !

14. Une poule sur un mur

Une poule sur un mur

Qui picore du pain dur

Picoti, picota

Lève la queue et puis s’en va.

Une poule sur un mur

Qui picore du pain dur

Picoti, picota

Lève la queue et puis s’en va.

The French Language – French Culture for kids

French WomenFrench is a Romance language spoken by about 265 million people in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the United States, Lebanon, French Guiana, Africa, Madagascar, a number of islands in the Indian Ocean, Haiti and other Caribbean islands, Indochina, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and the French Pacific Territories. The French language came from Latin and first appeared in writing in 842 A.D. The literacy rate is 99% throughout the country of France, with reading remaining as a favorite pastime of French youth today. French is the official language of the United Nations. It is the 2nd most commonly taught language in the world.

Within the country there are many regional languages, yet French remains the national language. English is taught in schools as a second language. 34% of the French people speak English.

 

The Alphabet

French AlphabetThe French Alphabet (l’alphabet francais) has 26 letters, just like the English alphabet. There are uppercase (capitals) and lowercase (small letters).  These letters are pronounced differently from the English alphabet.  You can check out this video and listen to how the alphabet is pronounced.  You can also learn some basic vocabulary words.   Go, to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWNWobUPAtM

Common Words and Phrases

French Couple

The following words and phrases are used in basic conversation:

oui (yes)

non (no)

S’il te plaît. (Please) Informal

S’il vous plaît. (Please) Formal

Merci. (Thank you)

Merci beaucoup. (Thank you very much)

Je t’en prie. (You’re welcome) Informal

A Little Bit about French Culture – French Culture for kids

French Flag

Geography, historical events and the different foreign people who have claimed this country as their home have shaped the country of France. When you think of France, high culture, decorative art, cinema and fashion come to mind. Paris is the leading capital of fashion and design. Some of the world’s biggest fashion houses like Chanel have their headquarters in France. The French have adopted foreign fashions of jeans and tennis shoes amidst their normally stylish clothing.

France

France is home to the French Alps, the Jura Mountains and the Pyrenees. The country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Its capital of Paris is home to over 2 million people in the overall country’s population of 60 million people (including the island of Corsica).

You might also think of French cooking, cheeses and wines. French cooks love to make quiche, soufflés, mousse, pate, croissants, crepes and French bread. There are more than 300 French cheeses with Camembert, Brie and Roquefort some of the most popular. The French perfumes of Chanel, Dior and Givenchy are well known throughout the world. Did you know that the hot air balloon, the submarine, parachute and metric system were also invented in France? France is also known for their French car companies. Renault, Citroen and Peugeots are popular (and expensive).

French Map

At the start of the 20th century, most of France was largely rural but in the most recent years with more industrialization, they have become more urban. 20% of the people in France live in Paris, the capital and largest city. That means that 1 out of every 5 people live in this city. Today, only about 6-7% of the people make a living by farming. The majority of people have always been Roman Catholics.

France at one time was divided into provinces, each with its own regional culture. The provinces were dissolved, yet many still appear in regional or departmental names. French people refer to a certain province as their family origin. There are great differences in lifestyle, socioeconomic status and the worldview between Paris and the other areas of France. France is made up for former colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana in the Caribbean and Mayotte and Reunion in the Indian Ocean. There are additional overseas collectivities and overseas territories that also belong to France.

The foods are different in each of the regions of France. But no matter where the French people live, they usually eat a simple breakfast of coffee or tea and then bread or breakfast croissants or other pastries. Lunch and dinner include more formal meals of an appetizer, salad, main course, and then cheese or a dessert. In many cases, fruit or yogurt is also served for the dessert. France is one of the oldest wine producing regions in Europe. The country produces the most wine by value in the world. Bordeaux wine, Bourgogne wine and Champagne are important agricultural products.

Football is the most popular sport in France. Other sports include rugby, cycling, tennis, handball, basketball, and sailing. France has won the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup in 1998 and holds the annual cycling race Tour de France and the Grand Slam tournament French Open each year. The Tour de France has 100 professional bike racers from all over the world compete in cycling races over a 2000-mile long course in 3 weeks in July. Additional popular sports include the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the world’s oldest sports car race), skiing, fencing, parkour (a form of martial arts), table football and kite surfing.

There are many famous French painters. The Louvre in Paris is one of the most famous and largest art museums in the world created in 1793 in the former royal palace. It holds some famous pieces like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and classical Greek Venus de Milo, and ancient works of culture and art from Egypt and the Middle East. French impressionist painters, Monet, Cezanne and Renoir have their paintings displayed here.

Folk music from immigrant populations of Africa, Latin American and Asia is popular. In the field of classical music, France has produced many composers of great fame. France is the birthplace of cinema with famous films covering all sorts of romantic, comedic, society, historical and political themes. Film festivals are held throughout the country all during the year. France has more cinemas than any other country in the world!

Film

Many people use mass transportation of the subway or the high speed rail network in the city and to get to most areas of France. They also can connect to other cities throughout Europe. In the rural areas, people have their own cars for transportation.

The national flag of France is a tricolor featuring three vertical bands colored royal blue, white, and red. It is known to English speakers as the French Tricolor or simply the Tricolor. The three colors are said to represent the three parts of the revolutionary motto: liberté (freedom – blue), égalité (equality – white), and fraternité (brotherhood – red).

There are some important laws in France that were passed to make sure the French language remains the national language. These laws are called the Toubon Laws. All advertisements in France must have a French translation of the foreign words. 40% of all songs on the radio must be in French. In government workplaces and schools that are paid for by the government, French must be the language that is used. These laws were passed to keep the French language a strong language in France. The Institut de France has a French Academie was formed to employ forty ministers whose job is to protect the French language. They are in charge of publishing an official dictionary of the language.

10 Popular French Travel Destinations – French Culture for kids

Paris

Paris is known as the City of Lights for its many talented inventors and scientists. Major well-known sites to see include the Louvre (the largest art museum in the world), the Eiffel Tower (a steel structure built in 1889), the Notre Dame Cathedral, and of course the small outdoor cafés.

Other areas to visit include the Latin Quarter, Montmartre (area where artists paint), and the George Pompidou Center.  Paris is also one of the most visited places in the entire world!

Chamonix

As host of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, Chamonix will always be remembered. Its main attractions are Mont-Blanc (Western Europe’s tallest mountain at 4807 meters and 15, 771 feet located in the French Alps) and the many ski areas that face the Chamonix Valley.  France has more ski hills than any other country in the world.  For the most part, their steep slopes and the country’s extreme weather conditions are probably better for more advanced skiers, but there are also runs for beginners.

Nice

Nice has a cosmopolitan Riviera feeling. Many tourists enjoy exploring its fashionable boutiques and restaurants. You can also enjoy the popular beaches. Walk up to Castle Hill for a beautiful view of the city, the Bay of Angels and view the bright blue water that gave the Cote d’Azur its name. You can check out Old Town and see the national museum and the Marc Chagall library.

Cannes

Galas, regattas, and the famous Cannes Film Festival describe this city.  Large yachts, lovely beaches and the town live up to its motto “Life is a festival.” People-watching is the activity that brings most visitors to Cannes, and the hotel-lined La Croisette provides a fine place to watch.

Strasbourg

Visit Strasbourg where you can have the best of French and German cuisine, including the wines. The entire central island is a World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the 12th-century cathedral or the storybook “la Petite France” neighborhood.  You can also tour the Cathedrale Notre Dame.

Birarritz

A stylish beach town on France’s southwestern coast, Biarritz was once the vacation spot for kings and queens.  Today it is Europe’s surfing capital. Summers are busy with lots of tourists and vacationers from France. In this city, you’ll hear a mixture of French, Spanish and Basque languages.  You might enjoy a tour of the old port city after a day at the beach.

Bordaux

Controlled by the British for 300 years, Bordeaux now looks like a typical French city. What was once a sleepy city (literally nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty” in French), Bordeaux is now a thriving tourist destination and gathering place for wine enthusiasts. A mix of tourists and the university population draws the excitement of this city.

Avignon

Avignon charms visitors with its ancient streets, restored medieval sections and the immense Gothic architecture of the Palais des Papes (Palace of Popes, the papacy was based here in the 14th century). The annual Festival d’Avignon, a major arts festival, attracts hundreds of visitors for theater, dance, film and street performances.

Lyon

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has 2,000 years of history. Explore Vieux Lyon (one of Europe’s most extensive Renaissance neighborhoods) and Lyon’s two Roman amphitheaters, which stage rock concerts. Lyon is a popular area for travelers with its well-known university, shopping areas, antique markets, variety of theatre and music festivals, and a range of interesting museums. These include the International Puppet Museum and the Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets.

Saint-Malo

Saint-Malo, originally built as a walled citadel. It was for centuries home to feared pirates. Today, it’s a very popular city to visit. Walk the busy streets of the reconstructed old city and the endless beaches, making sure to stop at the Grande Porte, Porte St-Vincent, and the town’s castle with its Musée de la Ville and the Grand Aquarium.

Inventions for Kids: French Inventions, DID YOU KNOW???

  • AQUALUNG: a breathing apparatus that supplied oxygen to divers and allowed them to stay underwater for several hours. It was invented in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
  • BAROMETER: a device that measures air (barometric) pressure. It measures the weight of the column of air that extends from the instrument to the top of the atmosphere. There are two types of barometers commonly used today, mercury and aneroid (meaning “fluidless”). Earlier water barometers (also known as “storm glasses”) date from the 17th century. The mercury barometer was invented by the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli.
  • BATTERY: a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Each battery has two electrodes, an anode (the positive end) and a cathode (the negative end). An electrical circuit runs between these two electrodes, going through a chemical called an electrolyte (which can be either liquid or solid). This unit consisting of two electrodes is called a cell (often called a voltaic cell or pile). It was invented by Alessandro Volta.
  • BICYCLE: a wooden scooter-like contraption called a celerifere; it was invented about 1790 by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France.
  • ELECTRIC IRON: The electric iron was invented in 1882 by Henry W. Seeley
  • MAYONNAISE: invented in France hundreds of years ago, probably in 1756 by the French chef working for the Duke de Richelieu, The first ready-made mayonnaise was sold in the US in 1905 at Richard Hellman’s deli in New York.
  • METER (and the METRIC SYSTEM): Was invented in France. In 1790, the French National Assembly directed the Academy of Sciences of Paris to standardize the units of measurement. A committee from the Academy used a decimal system and defined the meter to be one 10-millionths of the distance from the equator to the Earth’s Pole (that is, the Earth’s circumference would be equal to 40 million meters). The committee included the mathematicians Jean Charles de Borda (1733-1799), Joseph-Louis Comte de Lagrange (1736-1813), Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827), Gaspard Monge (1746 -1818), and Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, the Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794).
  • PENCIL: invented in 1564 when a huge graphite (black carbon) mine was discovered in England. The pure graphite was sawn into sheets and then cut into square rods. The graphite rods were inserted into hand-carved wooden holders, forming pencils.

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Historical French Figures: From Disney to Helping the Blind See

William the Conqueror actual French name is Guillaume le Conquérant, and he was Duke of Normandy, a large area of northern France.  He is a historical figure of France because in 1066 he took his army across the Channel, and killed the English King, Harold, and most of the English nobles in the Battle of Hastings. He conquered England and put his Norman followers as leaders. His knights built strong castles like Dover, and his bishops built fine cathedrals like Canterbury. For 300 years, the King of England and all the important people in the country spoke only French. Today, English still has thousands of words which come from French.

Claude Monet is an artist, the leading member of the Impressionist painters. His most famous painting is the “Water-lillies” which he painted in the elaborate garden he had made for himself.

Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer whose work is often linked with the Impressionist painters. He is famous for piano pieces such as “Children’s Corner” and his orchestral work “The Afternoon of a Faun” (“L’apès-midi d’une faune”).

Alexandre Dumas wrote the two historically known adventure classics “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

Victor Hugo credited forDisney film and video “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The original novel was written by Victor Hugo and is known in France as “Notre Dame de Paris”.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is theauthor of “Le Petit Prince” a well- known French children’s book.

Napoléon Bonaparte was a famous French general who became Emperor of France in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Napoleon was responsible for introducing measures which form the basis of many of France’s institutions that still exist today, including an educational law to set up state grammar schools (lycés) which aimed to provide well-trained army officers and civil servants. During Napoleon’s reign France was constantly at war. Napoleon built a huge empire, so that by 1812 he controlled the greater part of Western Europe. Eventually he was defeated when France was invaded by Russian, Prussian, Austrian and British armies. Finally, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. He managed to escape and ruled France again for just a hundred days before being defeated by Wellington at Waterloo. He was sent as a prisoner to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

Louis Blériot is credited as a French airman who became the first person to fly the English Channel. On 25 July 1909 he flew from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

Louis Braille is credited towards inventing the system of raised dots which form letters for the visually impaired to read. Louis was blinded in an accident at the age of 4. He was sent to one of the first schools for blind boys in Paris, where they were taught simple skills to help them earn a living without begging. Without being able to read, it was difficult for blind people to have much education. The system is now used everywhere in the world.

Ferdinand de Lesseps is credited towards building the Suez Canal – regarded at the time as the world’s greatest engineering triumph, and tried but failed to build a Panama Canal.

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Age 1 and Beyond, Popular French Children’s Books

Ages 1 to 4:

-          Adele la sauterelle

-          Adrien le Lapin

-          Benjamin le lutin

-          Camille la Chenille

-          Cesar le lizard

Ages 5 to 8:

-          Caroline a la ferme (Probst, Pierre)

-          Babar a la fete de Celesteville (Author: Brunhoff, Jean De)

-          Les amis de Martine a la maison (Author: Marlier, Marcel)

-          N 01 Petzi construit son bateau (Author: Hansen, Carla Et Vilh.)

-          Tom-Tom et Nana # 1et l’impossible Nana (Author: n/a)

Ages 9 to 11:

-          Alice a la reserve des oiseaux (Author: Quine, Caroline)

-          Bagarres du petit Nicolas – Histoires inedites vol 8 (Sempe-Goscinny)

-          Dernier seigneur (Le)   (Author: Milan Poche Histoire)

-          Atchoum! (Author: Seuil Jeunesse)

-          Petit Prince- cassette (version originale) (Author: Saint-Exupery, Antoine De)

Ages 12+

-          Hana Yori Dango t. 1 (Author: Kamio)

-          Harry Potter a l’ecole des sorciers (Author: Rowling, J.K.)

-          Louison et M. Moliere (Author: Andersen, Hans Christian)

-          Je suis un garcon (Author: Arnaud, Cathrine)

-          Belle et la bete (La) (Author: Folio Cadet)

 

Top 5 French Names for Boys and Girls: Is it Yours???

-          Stephanie: The name Stephanie is a girl name. The name Stephanie comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Stephanie is: The female version of the Greek name Stephan.

-          Abella: The name Abella is a girl name. The name Abella comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Abella is: Breath.

-          Julia: The name Julia is a baby name. The name Julia comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Julia is: Youthful.

-          Nicole: The name Nicole is a girl name. The name Nicole comes from the French origin. In English the meaning of the name Nicole is: the feminine form of the boy name Nicholas.

-          Madeline: The name Madeline is a girl name. The name Madeline comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Madeline is: Diminutive of Madeleine: Woman of Magdala Tower.

-          Sydney: The name Sydney is a boy name. The name Sydney comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Sydney is: Variant of Sidney: From Saint-Denis (place name). This name has recently become popular for girls as well as boys.

-          Avery: The name Avery is a boy name. The name Avery comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Avery is: Rules with self-wisdom.

-          Tristan: The name Tristan is a baby boy name. The name Tristan comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Tristan is: Tumult; outcry. From the Celtic name Tristan. In Arthurian legend Tristan was a Knight of the Round Table and tragic hero of the medieval tale Tristan and Isolde.

-          Aubrey: The name Aubrey is a boy name. The name Aubrey comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Aubrey is: Blond ruler, elf ruler. From the Old French Auberi, a form of the Old German Alberich meaning elf ruler.  Although once common as a boy’s name, today it is almost exclusively given to girls.

-          Mason: The name Mason is a baby boy name. The name Mason comes from the French origin. In French the meaning of the name Mason is: Stone worker.