This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

Note Culturelle


undefined, object
copy deck
Bienvenue dans le monde francophone!

Welcome to the French-speaking world!
French is spoken in France as well as in many other places.

About 1/3 of Canadians speak French, mostly in the Quebec province (le Québec). In the U.S., about 375,000 people in New England (la Nouvelle-Angleterre), whose ancestors immigrated from Canada, speak or understand French. French is also an official language in the state of Louisiana (la Louisiane).

French is the official language of France's overseas possessions. These include the islands of Martinique (la Martinique) and Guadeloupe (la Guadeloupe) in the Caribbean Sea, French Guiana (la Guyane française) in South America, the island of Réunion (la Réunion) in the Indian Ocean, and several islands in the Pacific Ocean. French is also spoken in Haiti (Haïti).

Over 20 African countries have retained French as an official language. Many people in West and Central African countries speak French. Although Arabic is the official language of some North Africa countries, French is used in many schools across North Africa and in parts of the Middle East.

Several of the countries bordering France use French as an official language. It's the 1st or 2nd language of many people who live in those countries.
French-speaking people use TU (you) when the talk to a friend, a family member, or a person their own age or younger.
Counting with your Fingers, the French way
The French way is to start counting with your thumb as number 1, your index finger as 2, and so on.
La Bise
In France, girls kiss both girls and boys on the cheek when they meet or say good-bye. The number of kisses varies from 2 to 4 depending on the region. Boys shake hands with one another. Teenagers may kiss adults who are family members or friends of the family, but they shake hands when they greet other adults.
Mme,Mlle, et M.
To address adults who aren't family members, teenagers generally use the titles MADAME, MADEMOISELLE, or MONSIEUR. MME, MLLE, and M. are written abbreviations of these titles.
Gestures: Super, Comme ci, comme ça, and Pas terrible
When you say SUPER, use a thumbs-up gesture. When you say COMME CI, COMME ÇA, hold your hand in front of you, palm down, and rock it from side to side. When you say PAS TERRIBLE, shrug your shoulders and frown.
Favorite Activites
In general, teenagers everywhere enjoy the same kinds of activites you do. However, some activites do tend to be especially popular in certain areas, such as badminton and hockey in Canada, dancing and soccer in West Africa, and soccer and cycling in France. In many francophone countries, students have a great deal of homework, so they do not have very much leisure time after school. Of course, people are individuals, so their tastes vary. In French, you might say "Chacun ses goûts!" (To each his own!)
In France and other countries that follow the French educational system, the grade levels are numbered in descending order. When students begin junior high (le collège) at about 10 or 11 years of age, the grade they are in is called SIXIÈME. Then they go into CINQUIÈME, QUATRIÈME, and TROISIÈME. The grade levels at the hugh school (le lycée) are called SECONDE, PREMIÈRE, and TERMINALE.
Le Baccalauréat
Le baccalauréat, or le bac, is a national exam taken at the end of study at a LYCÉE. Not all students take the BAC, but those who plan to go on to a university must pass it. It's an extremely difficult oral and written test that covers all major subjects. Students spend the final year of LYCÉE, LA TERMINALE, preparing for this exam. There are 3 major categories of BACCALAURÉAT exams: LE BAC GÉNÉRAL, LE BAC TECHNOLOGIQUE, and LE BAC PROFESSIONNEL. Each category is divided into a more specialized series of exams, depending upon a student's chosen field of study. For example, a student specializing in literature would take the BAC GÉNÉRAL LITTÉRAIRE, or simply LE BAC L.
Grading System
The French system of grading is based on a scale of 0-20. A score of less than 8 isn't a passing grade. Students are usually pleased with a score of 10 or higher. They must work very hard to receive a 17 or an 18, and it's very rare to earn a 19 or a 20.
In large stores in France, customers are expected to place their items on the conveyer belt and then remove and bag them as well. Most stores provide small plastic sacks, but many shoppers bring their own basket (un panier) or net bag (un filet). Since space is limited in small stores and boutiques, browsing inside stores is not common. Instead, items and their prices are placed in window displays. Most people window-shop until they are ready to make a purchase. A store that reads ENTRÉE LIBRE welcomes browsers.
Food in some French Expressions
Many French expressions involve foods: ON EST DAN LA PURÉE (We're in trouble); C'EST PAS DE LA TARTE (It's not easy); C'EST DU GÂTEAU (It's easy; It's a piece of cake)
Supermarchés, Hypermarchés, Epiceries, et Marchés en plein air
Many people in francophone countries grocery shop in supermarkets (supermarchés) or hypermarkets (hypermarchés) because it's convenient. Others prefer to shop in small grocery stores (épiceries) or outdoor markets (marchés en plein air), SUPERMARCHÉS are similar to their American counterparts. HYPERMARCHÉS are very large stores that carry just about anything you can imagine--all under one roof! Americans may be surprised to learn, however, that stores are not open 24 hours a day or even late in the evening. ÉPICERIES are usually closed between 12:30 P.M. and 4 P.M. and all day on either Sunday or Monday.

Deck Info