Useful Notes / France
Vive La France!

"Toute ma vie, je me suis fait une certaine idée de la France."Translation 

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)
French Republic's motto

France, officially known as the French Republic (French: République française), and its predecessors. For those who don't know, France is a Romance country in Western Europe, with non-Romance ethnic minorities living on the borders: Celtic Brittany, Germanic Alsace and Lorraine (and a few other pockets), and some Basques in the extreme southwest (Gascony). The name "France" comes from the Germanic Franks, who ruled the region formerly known to the Romans as Gallia ("Gaul" was, despite popular belief, not what Romans called the region), but the people living there were not, for the most part, ever Germans. Religiously, or rather non-religiously speaking, France was estimated as the fourth most atheist country in the world by a 2012 study, with roughly 30% of non-believers.note  Another third of the population consider themselves "non-religious", with the rest being Catholics (about 13 million), Muslims (around 3 million), Protestants and Jews (500,000 each), and Buddhists (150,000). Keep in mind though, that since French law forbids ethnic or religious censuses, these numbers are based on opinion studies and their results can vary wildly depending on the criteria.

France is the second-largest economy in Europe, second only to Germany itself, although the position of number two is sometimes contested between France and the UK. It is sometimes called "The Hexagon", because it is roughly hexagonal. France also has several oversea departments and territories all around the world, with the former (Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Mayotte and Réunion) being considered an integral part of the country. La France Métropolitaine is the term most commonly used to refer to mainland France and Corsica.

French Popular Culture & Beyond

French Geography French History and Politics The French national anthem

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé. (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils et vos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens !
Formez vos bataillons !
Marchons, marchons,
Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons !

Let us go, children of the motherland,
The day of glory has come!
Against us, the tyranny's
bloody flag has been raised. (bis)
Can you hear in the countryside,
These ferocious soldiers bellowing?
They come all the way into your arms
To arms, citizens!
Form your batallions!
Let us march, let us march,

It was written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle as a military song during the 1792 war against European royalists. The "impure blood" is a topic of controversy: one interpretation is that it designates the blood of the patriots who sacrifice themselves for freedom, opposed to the self-proclaimed "pure blood" of the nobles. Another, opposite one, is that it is the blood of the enemy.

This is the first verse of seven (in the final version). Rest assured: they are all equally violent.

The French flag
The Tricolor was conceived during The French Revolution, and its design and/or colors have since been copied by other countries undergoing revolution. Blue and red are traditional colors of Paris, associated with Saints Martin and Denis, Bishops of Tours and Paris, respectively; white was the color of the monarchy, Marquis De Lafayette added to (supposedly) symbolize the nation.