France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history.
France, the second-largest country in Europe, is partially covered central, north and west by a relatively flat plain that’s punctuated by some time-worn low rolling hills and mountains.
Rugged cliffs front its coastline along the English Channel. There, to the northwest of Caen, the Cotentin Peninsula shields the Channel Islands, while a bit further to the west, the Brittany Peninsula juts into the Atlantic Ocean. Assorted coastal islands dot the western coastline south of Brest, where white-sandy beaches stretch along the Atlantic Ocean to the border with Spain. A few scattered islands are found along the pebbled beaches of the Mediterranean coast. Corsica, a mountainous island and the country’s largest island, is located 160 km (99 miles) southeast of Nice. Mountains dominate eastern, south-central and southern France, including the snowcapped Alps that stretch along its border with Italy, then on into Switzerland and across southern Europe. The country’s highest point, and the second-highest point in Europe is located here; Mont Blanc at 15,770 ft. (4,807m). Further to the north the limestone peaks of the Jura range front the country’s eastern border with Switzerland. The heavily forested Vosges Mountains in the far-northeast stretch along the Rhine River valley. In the far-southeast, directly to the west of Nice and dissected by the Verdon River, stands the Gorges du Verdon. This spectacular and massive canyon is up to 700 meters deep in places, and about 11 miles long. Volcanic in origin, the Massif Central is a mountainous plateau divided by steep canyons and valleys. These mountains (or Massifs) stretch south toward the Mediterranean Sea. The Pyrenees, a jagged mountain range, covers the entire southern borders with Andorra and Spain.
The country is drained by dozens and dozens of rivers. The longest river in France is the Loire at 630 miles (1,020 km) in length. Other significant rivers include the Garonne, Lot, Rhine, Rhone Seine, each with many smaller tributaries.
Key cities in France include: Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Dijon, and Nantes.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
In ancient times France was part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or Gallia. Its present name is derived from the Latin Francia, meaning “country of the Franks,” a Germanic people who conquered the area during the 5th century, at the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
Major religions practiced in France include Christianity (Catholicism, various branches of Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Armenian Christianity), Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism amongst others, making it a multi-confessional country.
Historically, French culture was influenced by Celtic and Gallo-Roman cultures as well as the Franks, a Germanic tribe. France was initially defined as the western area of Germany known as Rhineland but it later came to refer to a territory that was known as Gaul during the Iron Age and Roman era
Brief Country History
France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe, with a number of overseas regions and territories. France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third-largest in Europe as a whole, extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. Save for Morocco and Spain, it is the only country that has both an Atlantic and Mediterranean coastline.
As one of the oldest countries in the world, France has a long and eventful history. Today it stands as one of the world’s major powers, with strong cultural, economic, military and political influence in Europe and around the world.
After a long and storied history, one filled with seemingly one major conflict after another, today France is considered one of the world’s most highly developed and well-run nations. It is also the most most-visited country in the world, with nearly 79.5 foreign visitors annually. France possesses the world’s ninth-largest economy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Europe’s second-largest economy by nominal GDP. In terms of aggregate household wealth, France is the wealthiest nation in Europe and the fourth-largest in the world. The citizens of France enjoy a very high standard of living, a superior educational system and one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed France as having the world’s “best overall system of health care.”
Language (s) Written & Spoken
French, the official language, is the first language of 88% of the population. Most of those who speak minority languages also speak French, as the minority languages are given no legal recognition. 3% of the population speak German dialects, predominantly in the eastern provinces of Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle.
Like all languages, French has evolved considerably in the course of time; the oldest known document written in a form of French, rather than late Latin, is the “Serments de Strasbourg”, written in the year 842.
Important Types of Commerce in France
The leading industrial sectors in France are telecommunications (including communication satellites), aerospace and defense, shipbuilding (naval and specialist ships), pharmaceuticals, construction and civil engineering, chemicals, textiles, and automobile production.
Language Services US and others will provide working with France
Doing business in France needs perfect communication with clients and partners in the French language. There is no other official language as progressive and as spoken in the French Republic as the French language. In order for foreign companies to establish there or to settle down for business, there is a requirement for translations to be carried out in French because without the translation of the documents or marketing materials you will be missing out on those that only speak French. Professional translation companies often have the ability to guarantee fairly quick returns without compromising the quality of work.
Looking for a French translation company? Look no further. American Language Services (AML-Global) offers certified translations, native interpreting services, and turn-key localization solutions for any language.