Photo top of page: T is for T
When did the first TGV
run in France ? What is TF
1 ?And when was the Tour
Eiffel built ? And what is the Tiercé ?
Answers to these questions and plenty more on this page of the
dictionary of France.
brun - Brown tobacco :
(Also called black
tobacco in English) Until the 1980s, most of the cigarettes smoked in
France were French brands, made with brown tobacco, a stronger more
pungent version of tobacco than the classic blond tobacco of the new
world. The tobacco was either grown in France, or imported from the
Near East (Turkey in particular). The three most popular brands were Gauloises, Gitanes and Disque
Bleu. Brown tobacco was popular throughout southern Europe. Today, in a
country that is more health conscious and where smoking
bans are in force, brown tobacco has gone out of
favour; the once famous French brands are now no longer
manufactured in France.
press : France does not have a "tabloid press" in
the way that the UK has the Sun the Daily Express or
or Germany has Bild Zeitung. There
are no national daily tabloids, since the daily press in France is
largely a regional press, with one or at most two middle-of-the range
regional dailies per region. The main national newspapers, such as le Monde
and le Figaro, are quality dailies, with relatively
low circulation. No paper in France has the massive
circulation, and thus influence, of the British or German tabloids. The
nearest French equivalents to "the tabloids" are France
Dimanche and Ici Paris, which are more
"people" weeklies than "tabloid
press." For more information
see article on Daily
newspapers in France.
- Suspension bridge across the estuary of the Seine, near Le Havre.
When it was opened in 1959, it had the longest central span
in Europe (608 metres)..
Flamboyant French businessman, former owner of Adidas and the Olympique
Marseille football club. Tapie was also for two short periods (1992 -
93) Minister for Towns in the Socialist government of Pierre
Tapie also had several run-ins with the law for financial and fiscal
reasons, and received a prison sentence in 2005 for tax fraud.
Jacques (1907 -1982) - French film director, best
remembered for his comedies, notably Les Vacances de Monsieur
Hulot (1953) and Trafic (1971).
residence tax, one of the local taxes due in France. Monies
raised from this tax go to local authorities, and are divided between
the different levels of these. Since 2005, the television licence fee (redevance) has been
billed to people with the tax on their principal residence.
land tax, rates.
- Transport Express
or Train Express
Régional. Express regional transport services,
trains but also coach services. Since 2002, following pilot projects in
certain regions, the planning of TER services and the fixing of ticket
prices has been devolved from central government to the Conseils
Régionaux. Regional management of the
has led to a considerable development of services in many regions, to
new train sets, and to the upgrading, at the regions' behest,
of many regional or inter-regional routes. TER services, much used by
commuters and young people, are heavily subsidised.
1 - the most
popular commercial French TV channel, formerly the first channel of the
state television network, before it was privatised.
Vitesse : High speed train. France
has Europe's oldest and most extensive network of dedicated high-speed
railway lines. The TGV entered service in 1981, and the
Paris-Lyon dedicated line was largely completed in 1983, bringing
journey times betwen the two cities down to just 2 hours. At
present (2019), the network consists of 2814 km (over 1600 miles) of
dedicated high-speed track, comprising four routes radiating out from
Paris. An "interconnection" route round the south and west of Paris
allows high-speed connections between the routes, notably allowing
north-south TGVs to avoid the centre of Paris. Depending on the stock
and the route, TGVs travel at speeds up to 270 km/hr or 320 km/hr. The
TGV holds the current officially recorded world rail speed record, of
574.8 km/hr (357.2 m.p.h.).
the high-speed train service linking Paris, Brussels and
Amsterdam. The carriages are painted maroon.
Bernard, leader of the CGT
trade union from 2009 to 2013.
five hour week.
See trente-cinq heures, below.
popular form of betting on horse-races in France. The Tiercé
guessing the first three horses in a race, and money is paid out to
those who get the result ‘in the order’ or
‘out of order’. There is
also prize-money for getting two out of the three. Since its
introduction, a version involving the first five horses, called the
Quinté, has supplanted the tiercé as the most
popular form of betting
in France. The Tiercé is managed by the PMU.
for people paying their income-tax in three payments, the first annual
payment, whose amount is calculated on the basis of the total
tax paid the previous year.
(1907-1989)- Lawyer and right-wing nationalist politician who was a
candidate in the presidential elections in 1965, where his campaign
manager was Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Térritoires d'Outre Mer.The last four
French colonies, namely French Polynesia, New Caledonia,
Wallis and Fatuna, and the French Antarctic
- word used
to describe a number of different cheeses in France, particularly
pressed cheeses. Examples tomme des Pyrénées, or
Tomme de Savoie.
biggest oil company, and the fourth largest oil company in the world. A
CAC-40 company. Prior to 2003, Total was called Total-Fina-Elf,
indicating the three historic oil companies in the group. Total is the
largest capitalisation on the French stock exchange.
Port city, and capital of the Var department (83), Toulon is the site
of the main French naval base on the Mediterranean, and home of the
Mediterranean fleet. ►
de France - the
premier Cycling race. ►See Tour de France.
Eiffel : The
Eiffel Tower, Paris, a monument built by the engineer Gustave Eiffel,
for the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889. The 325 metre high tower
has become the
symbol of Paris, and is the world's no.1 paid-entry tourist
attraction, with over 6 million visitors in 2007. ► See Eiffel tower.
November, All Saints Day. a public holiday in France. On this
day, the French traditionally visit the graves of their ancestors, and
decorate them with flowers.
Name applied to the Paris suburban transport network, Transport
for the Ile
heures, les : (see also RTT) In
the year 2000, the socialist government of Lionel Jospin
reduced the statutory working week in France from 39 hours to 35 hours
- without loss of salary. Though the measure was accompanied by other
changes in workplace legislation, including greater flexibility for
employers and employees, and though the productivity of labour in
France increased by over 4% as a result, the introduction of the
35-hour working week was not a good move for the French economy,
particularly at a time of increasing globalization, and the rapid
development of imports manufactured in low-labour-cost countries.
The conservative Raffarin and Villepin
governments tinkered with reform of the system that was much decried by
employers, but failed to take any major action for fear of the trade
unions and of hostile public reaction. It was not until the Sarkozy
presidency that the official 35-hour working week legislation
was to all intents and purposes rendered obsolete.
of the judiciary whose specific purpose is to hear complaints brought
by citizens against public bodies and administrations. Examples include
investors suing la Poste, the French Post Office,
for having given them flawed investment advice, or students complaining
about irregularities in the organisation of exams in the Education
correctionnel. The most common form of criminal
court, for the hearing of cases involving minor offences. See also Cour
de Grande Instance. The main civil courts in the
French legal system.
: The lowest level in the hierarchy of the French courts system, for
the hearing of small cases. The Tribunal d'Instance is the French
equivalent of a UK Magistrate's Court, except for the fact that a TI is
overseen by a juge,
a stipendiary magistrate (i.e. a trained jurist, paid for the
job) , not by Justices of the Peace (unpaid volunteer
citizens). The concept of Justice of the Peace, as found in
many English-speaking countries, does not exist in the French legal
The French flag, composed of three equal
vertical bands or blue, white and red. Originally, the red and the blue
were the colours of the Paris national guard, and the
white was the colour of French royalty. The design of the flag is
generally attributed to General Lafayette in 1789.
Vallées, les :
The biggest interconnected skiing
area in France, and in the world, lying in the middle of the
French Alps. Les Trois Vallées is based on three
resorts, Courchevel, Val thorens and Les Menuires.
de la Sécu, de la
Sécurité Sociale. The gaping
perennial deficit in the French health service budget. See
notably in French university , commuting for one or two days a
week to ensure teaching commitments in a provincial university.
nineteen-seventies express diesel multiple-unit trains, designed to
improve and speed-up train services on major rail routes in France that
were not equipped for electric traction.
: To use the pronoun tu
rather than vous - a concept that English-speakers
often find hard to master correctly, tutoyer means
addressing someone using the familiar singular tu
form of the second person pronoun, rather than the more formal vous
form. Fifty years ago, in formal family circles, children would address
their parents using vous rather than tu;
this practice has now more or less completely disappeared, and tutoiement
is the common form of address within families and within groups of
friends or workplace colleagues who know each other. The change is
generational, and President Sarkozy has brought tutoiement
right into the formal surroundings of presidential affairs. Vouvoiement
(using vous) remains the norm in formal
circumstances, when addressing a hierarchical superior, a stranger or
someone with whom one has only occasional working relations - though
the French are now quite used to speakers of other languages, notably
English-speakers, getting it wrong.
Usage in France varies from usage in
Quebec, where speakers often use "tu" as a singular form of "vous" to
address each other even in a business context or between strangers.
Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée. French
Value Added Tax, or sales tax. The main rate in 2019 was 20%, and the
reduced rate 5.5%. As is the custom throughout Europe, prices
displayed at retail level, i.e. in shops, restaurants,
hotels, domestic e-commerce websites, always include TVA, so there is
nothing to be added to the price indicated when the customer comes to
pay. On the other hand, prices listed for B-to-B (business to business)
sales are normally indicated "hors taxe", i.e. excluding tax, since
businesses will pay the tax but then reclaim it (if
registered for VAT in France), or else be billed without tax
in the case of cross-border sales to companies VAT registered
in another European Union country
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Dictionary of France, please contact About-France.com. Dictionary
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