French Culture Reference Guide
One popular greeting in French is the ‘la bise’ (kiss on both cheeks) and the most common conversational ways to greet someone in French are: Salut. (Hello; Hi.) Bonjour. (Hello; Good morning.) Bonsoir. (Good evening.)
When entering a shop or restaurant, you should always greet with a bonjour or bonsoir, depending on the time of day. When leaving, you should always say merci and bonne journée or bonne soirée.
Not greeting is considered rude. Respect is shown in verbal greetings by referring to the person as “Madam,” (‘Mrs’) “Monsieur” (‘Mr’) or “Mademoiselle”. The formal form of ‘you’ is known as ‘vous’ . The informal address known as ‘tu’. Both of these words mean the word “you” in English.
French communication tends to be very direct because people are not afraid to share their opinions and argue for their positions. Sometimes this direct style of communicating is misunderstood as rudeness by other nationalities.
Personal space and touching
The French generally value their personal space. Touching during a conversation is acceptable only if you are familiar or have intimacy with the person that you are talking to.
Eye contact and gestures
Maintaining a direct eye contact is understood as a form of respect and It is considered to be extremely rude not to make it. In a restaurant for example If you want the check just make a writing gesture and they will get it.
Thumbs up means “okay.”
A circle with the thumb and forefinger means “zero.”
French Population in the United States
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It is often referred to as Standard French or International French. Usually this is the dialect taught to those looking to learn French as a second language.
Marseillais French is considered unique due to its rhythmic intonations. It tends to be spoken very quickly. Every syllable is strongly noticeable, including a final “e,” so “France” becomes “France-er.”
Even though there is a strong Dutch influence in the country almost half of the population in Belgium speaks French. The Belgian French accent is very comparable to the French accent due to the proximity of these countries.
North American French
Vowels and nasal intonation are intense and It is where you will notice more the differences between Standard French and Québec French.
It is said that the pronunciation of Canadian French is more similar to that of the 17th century than the current French of France.
Occasionally the sound "e" at the end of the word is pronounced "a".
It is a language that is a mixture between French and African languages and it has a very distinct sound from Standard French.
Now it’s believed that the Colonial and Acadian dialects have merged into modern Louisiana French but persist different from Louisiana Creole.
It is the last remnant of the form of French once spoken widely in the region known as the Illinois Country, which was colonized as part of French Louisiana.
Vietnamese French is spoken in Vietnam and it has the largest French speaker’s population in Asia.
Nowadays, the number of French-speakers in Vietnam and the number of students taking the language decreased significantly.
Cambodian French is still used as a second language in some schools, universities and government offices, but most of the business settings and younger generations choose to learn English.
Lao French is the diplomatic language of Laos and Nowadays It is possible to notice a decline in the Lao French language after the country's independence.
There are three characteristics that make this dialect unique:
What is most characteristic of Algerian French is the pronunciation of r. Some letters (like d, t, l and n) are different in many cases.
Algerian French is influenced by Arabic words and pronunciations.
It is the accent that sets this dialect apart from Standard French. Grammar and words are similar.
In spoken Haitian French words are spelled out in a different way. For example, the word ‘yes’ is ‘oui’ in Standard French and “wi” in Creole).
Countries Where French is the Official Language
French is the official language of 24 countries.
Check out the countries that have French as one of the official languages:
Democratic Republic of Congo
The state of Louisiana is considered to be the region that most speaks French in the country.
The sates with the highest French population are:
The Cajun, also Known as Acadian, is the name of the group of people living in Louisiana and speaks the language.
In the states of Maine and Vermont, French is the second most spoken language after English and it is considered the third most spoken language in the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.