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To The French From France :)

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interesting ... the only dialect I know is Alsacian dialect since my great-grand-father was from Alsace and he often swore in Alsacian so that locals (in the South West) could not understand. I recently learned that he had served in the French army during WW2 with the English troops in Dunkerque and Flanders (in 1940) against the Germans and his brother (who was Alsacian and had remained in Alsace ... do you still follow me? :P ) fought for the Germans ... but had been forced to. After the war, my great grand-father's brother literally hated the Germans for making him join their Army ... he lived near Strasburg, 10 km from the French-German border, but always refused to cross the border. Or, when there were Germans who were asking for directions, or information (because the little village is quite touristic), he pretended not to understand German and only spoke French, although he was fluent German ...

Funny story that of Alsace. Again, my great-grand-father was born in 1911, a time when Alsace was German ... so he had German nationality and he went to German school. Then, in 1918, he became French ... had French nationality and went to French school ... However, speaking German saved his life during WW2. After coming back from Dunkerque, he lived with his family in South West France. One night, a little Jewish girl knocked at their door and asked for shelter. My great-grand-mother let her in and hid her. The Germans arrived several minutes after. They were asking questions, threatening the family, but when they saw my great-grand-father spoke German (perfectly ... hence they may have thought he was German), they gave up ... I was told the little girl went to Israel after the War ... apparently, she wrote them letters until their death. Her sister however, was not as lucky ... she was shot on the streets by the Germans ... Now, a grave is in the middle of a Catholic graveyard. It shall stay there in rememberance of her. My great-grand-mother used to place flowers on her grave ... my mother does it ... and it seems I have carried on the tradition ... :P

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Interesting story :P

It's sad what happened to the Jews those days and before. Luckily Flanders had a military regime for the most part during the war, so few Jews were deported or killed here compared to other countries. My grandmother also hid a family for a few days here, though they moved further since the Germans came here often and an officer was stationed here (an anti-Hitler one though). Never knew what happened to them.

As for Alsac, well that has always been a strange situation. Would have been better if they just made it independant after WW1 instead of constantly using it to fight over. The German region in Belgium which used to be part of Alsac-Lothary (don't know the correct Englis term), also used to be German before WW1. Again a stupid situation created to satisfy the leaders of Belgium, ending up in a region that isn't keen on being Belgian, nor wanting to become German again.

Strange you only know one dialect. I know around 20 or so :P

Each city has its own dialect, and so has each province. Inside the provinces dialects can differ too. For example the town where I live has a totally different dialect of the town east of us, as well as the town west of us. That is mostly because standardisation only start in the 70s on a local scale. Before it only used to be in universities, and before Dutch wasn't even an official language, only French was.

Btw, if you're interested in some other languages like French you should check out Walloon. It isn't an official language, rather considered as a dialect, though if you hear or read it there's a huge difference between French and Walloon.

This is a site dedicated to it:


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  • 2 weeks later...

First - Happy birthday, nouvelle France! I actually watched the parade on the Champs-Elysees for about half an hour that day, three weeks back.

I was very moved to hear your stories about saving Jews during WW2, Curufinwe & Klaas.

The Israeli national holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, commemorates those who have risked their lives to save Jews during the holocaust. In Israel these are called khasidei umot ha'olam, or "the righteous among the nations". If you ever want to commemorate your family members' noble deed, this is how.

On another note,

It's is strange that you French celebrate the 14th of July instead of the 4th of July.
Not all countries have the same holidays as America does. And why should the French bother celebrating an American-only holiday?
Because it's the law! Heh heh just kidding.

It may surprise you that not only does the Israeli national holiday not occur on July 4th, it is not set for any specific date on the calendar we know (which is called the Gregorian calendar). Instead, it is set to the 5th of Iyar, which is a date on the Hebrew calendar, and turns out on a different Gregorian date every year.

(Just for trivia: The Gregorian date of the declaration of Israel's independence is on May 15th).

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Here in Quebec, we have that strange situation where there are two national days. Well, there is the Canada day, well celebrated in big cities, but there's also that Quebec's day that is celebrated in each single village some way. Because the Government of Canada turned the Canada day to be canadian-nationalist, some Quebecers don't want no more to celebrate it (at most, most Quebecers will celebrate the federation, not a nation... Even the most federative government of Quebec will say Quebec is a nation on its own). As for SJB, it is a very nationalist celebration, and people that aren't French-speaking and "de-souche" tend not to celebrate. And the best about this? THey are seperated by six days and fall on the same day of the week.

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