While living France I want to learn not only the language but also it’s history and geography, it’s inhabitants and culture. In the process, I’ve also picked up on some fun French facts about “the Hexagon” as France is known based on its rough shape approximation.
1) The French Army was the first to use camouflage. This occurred in 1915, during World War I. We knew those French were fashion forward.
2) In France you can marry a dead person – for real. You just have to convince the President that said dead person had intended to marry you in life and just didn’t get around to it.
3) In a quest to preserve the French language at least 40 percent of the music on private radio stations must be in French. Apparently Canada has a similar law but since Justin Bieber AND Celine Dion are from Canada is there anyone else to listen to really?
4) France has won more Noble Prizes for Literature than any other country (15). Also, French writer Marcel Proust holds the record for longest novel. It was published in 13 volumes and changed forever the way people think about madeline cookies.
5) France produces nearly a billion tons of cheese per year.
6) In 2010 the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was the French 1947 Cheval-Blanc. It went for $304,375. Granted it was 6 liters but still….c’mon. With that kind of money, if you drank one bottle of Trader Joe’s Two buck chuck per week that amount of money would keep you in wine for 2000 years.
7) France is bordered by 8 countries.
8) During the French Revolution (which was shortly after America’s) only about a third of the population spoke French as their native language.
9) The oldest recorded human voice is French – a 10-second fragment of the song Au Clair de la Lune (1860).
10) Snails must have their own tickets to ride a high-speed train in France. This is just one of a slew of really weird French laws (along with #2). Check back later for more!
Which of these is the most surprising to you?