In many places besides France people speak French! I wanted to share a bit about one of the French-speaking countries in Africa (learn more about all of them here), because of a fun custom there (scroll down to find out!).
In Senegal, greetings are a very important part of their culture. A greeting in Senegal is unlike one in America, where you may have a short salutation (Hello/How are you?) without much response given or expected. In Senegal, greetings can take up to 15 minutes (and sometimes even longer!). That is because they not only say hello and how-are-you, but, they also ask about your family and how they are as well, and they really want to hear your response.
There are many countries in Africa where the official language is French, along with other dialects. There are hundreds (even thousands!) of different dialects all over the HUGE continent. It’s fun to learn about other languages and cultures, n’est-ce pas?
Maybe, like Madame, you don’t really care a whole lot about keeping up with the latest fashion fads, but you do have to choose what clothes to wear! 🙂
The French people are rather fashionable- they are well known for their fashion and in fact, la mode, (French for fashion), is used in English…have you heard “apple pie à la mode”? It means apple pie with ice cream, which is “in style”.
A “boubou” is a flowing robe worn in Western (and Northern) Africa. It is more commonly worn among men, but in Senegal and a few other countries in Africa, women wear them. This may be called a “m’boubou”.
Have you ever worn anything as a tradition or that represents your family’s culture?
Have a great two weeks off! If you are inspired to continue “French is Fun” at home, check out some of the links on this page or elsewhere on the internet (check out this resources page for a starting point!).
Bonnes Vacances…On se voit en deux semaines!
Have a great vacation…We’ll see each other in two weeks!
Parce que Français est amusant, n’est-ce pas?! French is Fun. Right now we are having fun learning French; some basic words from the language, as well as information about France, other French-speaking countries, and other cultures.
You will have your own reasons you may choose to learn French in the future. Here are some you may not have thought of:
Fashion, or “la mode”, in French, is important to many people across the world. Even if you do not personally care about name brands or what’s in style “chic”, you still have to wear clothes! We will be learning more about French fashion, but first I wanted to share some trends I saw at some clothing stores recently (2014!)
If you look hard enough, you may also find shirts or other clothing with either French words on them, like “bonjour” or “je t’aime”, written on them. It’s been and continues to be a trend to have something to do with France or its capital, Paris.
Did you see the opening ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Olympics? Did you notice that on our American broadcast we heard the English, Russian (as would be expected), and…en français (in French)?!
That’s because French, along with English, is one of the official languages of the Olympics. It is also one of the most common languages used in Europe.
Wikipedia explains how they announce the participants in the Olympic “Parade of Nations”: “Announcers announce each country’s name in English and French, as they both are the official languages of the Olympics, and the dominant language of the area of the host city, if neither English nor French are the dominant languages.”
Joyeuse Saint Valentin! Valentine’s Day is celebrated in France, similarly to in America, with the giving of cards, gifts, chocolates, and flowers. Paris, the capital of France, has several nicknames, one of which is: “The City of Love.”
Interesting facts: The first Valentine’s Day card issaid to have been written by the young French Duke of Orleans to his wife from his imprisonment in the Tower of London, in 1415! (You can see it here)