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An A-Z Dictionary of France


Quartier Latin
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    Photo - the "Quartier latin" in old Paris 

A dictionary of France, including institutions, places, significant people, French specialities, and a selection of other useful or intriguing expressions....


QG, Quartier général : headquarters of an operation or force, command post.

Quai d'Orsay - part of the left bank of the River Seine in Paris, in the 7th Arondissement; location of the French Foreign Office (ministry). By extension, the expression "Le Quai d'Orsay" is used to mean the French Foreign Office, in the same way as "Downing Street" designates the office of the British prime minister.

Quai des Orfèvres : road beside the Seine on the Ile de la Cité, in central Paris, famous as the headquarters of the Paris police. The Paris equivalent of Scotland yard.

Quartier : word implying a district or area of a town, as in le Quartier Latin, the Latin quarter. See the quarters of Paris

Quartier Latin : Covering part of the 6th arrondissement, and also part of the 5th, this is the traditional student quarter of Paris, centered on the Sorbonne and the Panthéon. The narrow pedestrian streets are full of cafés and restaurants, and the busy boulevards, particularly the Boulevard Saint Michel, known as the Boul'Mich, have bookshops, cinemas and other shops

Quatorze Juillet - 14th July : Bastille Day, the French national holiday, celebrated by a big military parade down the Champs Elysées in Paris, in the presence of the President, and firework displays in the evening in most towns and cities.

Que Choisir? French consumer magazine, similar to the UK's Which? magazine.

Queen Mary 2 : World's largest ocean liner, built in the Chantiers de l'Atlantique at Saint Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire, and launched in 2003. 

Quinté: Form of betting on horses, involving selecting the first five horses in a race. See Tiercé and PMU.

Quinzaine, une : A fortnight, two weeks. 

Quinzaine commerciale, two-week period when shops in a town or shopping centre put on special offers. These special offer periods cannot be called 'Sales', since the wordSoldes, meaning 'sales', can only be used at specific times of the year designated by the government.

Quotient familial - QF : factor applied during calculation of the income tax due by a French household. The QF is 2 for a couple with no children, 2.5 for a couple with one child, 3 for a couple with 2 children, and therafter one point extra per additional child.


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