French Language Blog
Menu
Search

Did you know? Posted by on Jun 14, 2022 in Culture, Vocabulary

I keep a file where I collect ideas for future blog posts. Sometimes these ideas turn into full posts, sometimes they find their way into longer posts as bonus content … and somtimes enough of them build up that I think “ok, let’s get these out into the world!” This week I’m sharing a round-up of these items in a little post I’m calling Le saviez-vous?1Did you know? in French uses the imperative. You can read more about it, and about the differences between the verbs savoir and connaître in the posts linked at the bottom of today’s post.

Le saviez-vous?

Photo CC0 from www.pexels.com

Saviez-vous que le jeu de société Risk a été inventé par un Français?2Did you know that the board game Risk was invented by a Frenchman? Originally called La conquête du monde3Conquer the world, Risk was first developed by the French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse (of Le Ballon rouge/The Red Balloon fame … you can watch it here.) before being licensed first to French game maker Miro and then to Parker Brothers. Learn more here.

Les quartiers d’Auteuil, Passy, Les Batignolles, Montmartre, La Chapelle, La Villette, Belleville, Charonne, Bercy, Vaugirard, et Grenelle n’ont pas toujours faites partie de Paris. Le saviez-vous?4The neighborhoods of … were not always part of Paris. Did you know? It wasn’t until 1860, under Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann (whose grand works we’ve discussed before), that these communes were incorporated into the city, growing Paris from 12 arrondissements to 20.

Mini-grammar minute! Did you notice the two different forms of Did you know? in French? In English, the pronoun it is implied in the question and so can be omitted while in French you have to include it. At the start of a complete question (like Saviez-vous que le jeu de société…) you don’t need it/le but when you are asking simply Did you know (it/that)? in French, you have to say Le saviez-vous?

The English words gargoyle and dandelion come to us from the French. Le saviez-vous? The French word for gargoyle is gargouille and comes from the French verb gargouiller … which means to gargle!

The English dandelion is thought to come from the French dent-de-lion/lion’s tooth though today in France, dandelions are more commonly referred to as des pissenlits. The name pissenlit comes from the fact that eating the leaves of dandelions serves as a diuretic. If you eat too many pissenlits you are likely to literally wet the bed!

Aimez-vous les chevaux? Saviez-vous qu’il y a un championnat du monde de cheval … à deux pattes?!!5Do you like horses? Did you know that there is a world championship for … two-legged horse riding?!! First developed in Finland and imported to France in 2017, les competitions de cheval à deux pattes (or hobby-horse racing) include three rounds: la reprise de dressage, le saut d’obstacles, et le hennissement6dressage/choreography, jumping, and neighing.

You can read more about the history and the events as well as see some quite interesting videos from previous competitions here on the organizations’ official website.

Et maintenant … vous savez! And now you know!

 

Zazie . . . bis!*

French Grammar – Past imperfect

  • 1
    Did you know? in French uses the imperative. You can read more about it, and about the differences between the verbs savoir and connaître in the posts linked at the bottom of today’s post.
  • 2
    Did you know that the board game Risk was invented by a Frenchman?
  • 3
    Conquer the world
  • 4
    The neighborhoods of … were not always part of Paris. Did you know?
  • 5
    Do you like horses? Did you know that there is a world championship for … two-legged horse riding?!!
  • 6
    dressage/choreography, jumping, and neighing
Keep learning French with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


Leave a comment: