Languages of France

Of the languages of France, the national language, French, is the only official language according to the second article of the French Constitution, its standardized variant is by far the most spoken. Several regional languages are spoken to varying degrees as a secondary language after French, such as German dialects, Celtic languages and other Gallo-Romance languages; some of these languages have been spoken in neighbouring countries, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Italy or Spain. The official language of the French Republic is French and the French government is, by law, compelled to communicate in French; the government, mandates that commercial advertising be available in French. The French government, does not mandate the use of French by private individuals or corporations or in any other media. A revision of the French constitution creating official recognition of regional languages was implemented by the Parliament in Congress at Versailles in July 2008; the 1999 Report written for the government by Bernard Cerquiglini identified 75 languages that would qualify for recognition under the government's proposed ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Of those languages, 24 are indigenous to the European territory of the state while all the others are from overseas areas of the French Republic. Although ratification was blocked by the Constitutional Council as contradicting the Fifth Republic's constitutional provision enshrining French as the language of the Republic, the government continues to recognise regional and minority languages to a limited extent and the Délégation générale à la langue française has acquired the additional function of observing and studying the languages of France and has had et aux langues de France added to its title; the category of languages of France is thus administratively recognised if this does not go so far as to provide any official status. Following his election as President, François Hollande reasserted in 2012 his campaign platform to ratify the European Charter and ensure a clear legal framework for regional languages; the regional languages of France are sometimes called patois, but this term is considered derogatory.

Patois is used to refer to purely oral languages, but this does not, for instance, take into account that Occitan was being written at a time when French was not and its literature has continued to thrive, with a Nobel Prize for Frédéric Mistral in 1904. It is estimated that at the time of the French Revolution in 1789, only half of the population of France could speak French, as late as 1871 only a quarter spoke French as their native language; the topic of the teaching of regional languages in public primary and secondary schools is controversial. Proponents of the measure state that it would be necessary for the preservation of those languages and to show respect to the local culture. Opponents contend that local languages are non-standardised, of dubious practical usefulness and that the curriculum and funding of public schools are too strained; the topic leads to wider controversial questions of autonomy of the régions. Regarding other languages, Spanish and German are the most studied foreign languages in French schools.

In April 2001, the Minister of Education, Jack Lang, stated formally that for more than two centuries, the political powers of the French government had repressed regional languages, announced that bilingual education would, for the first time, be recognised, bilingual teachers recruited in French public schools. Some of the languages of France are cross-border languages, some of which enjoy a recognised or official status in the respective neighbouring state or territory. French itself is a cross-border language, being spoken in neighbouring Andorra, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland. According to the 2007 Adult Education survey, part of a project by the European Union and carried in France by the Insee and based on a sample of 15,350 people, French was the mother tongue of 87.2% of the total population, or 55.81 million people, followed by Arabic, Portuguese and Italian. People who spoke other languages natively made up the remaining 5.2% of the population. French The regional languages of Metropolitan France include: Breton Alsatian French Flemish: West Flemish dialect of Dutch Lorraine Franconian Corsican Oïl language: Berrichon Bourguignon-Morvandiau Champenois or Campanois Franc-Comtois French Gallo Lorrain Norman Picard Poitevin and Saintongeais Walloon Angevin Manceau Mayennais Occitan language: Vivaroalpenc Auvergnat Gascon including Béarnese and Landese Languedocien Limousin Nissart Provençal Catalan Franco-Provençal: Bressan Dauphinois Forèzien Jurassien Lyonnais Savoyard Gallo Italic Ligurian language Basque There are several languages spoken in France's overseas areas (see Administrat

Armand Dufaux

Armand Dufaux was a Swiss aviation pioneer who became famous for flying the length of Lake Geneva in 1910. His mother was Noémie de Rochefort-Luçay, daughter of French politician Henri Rochefort and his father was Swiss artist Auguste Frederic Dufaux, known as Frederic. Armand was one of three children, his older brother Henri Dufaux was an aviation pioneer. Their maternal grandfather Henri Rochefort financially supported his grandsons' initial aeronautic experiments He and his brother, were natives of Geneva, their first design was a model helicopter weighing 17 kg, which achieved flight in April 1905. This was followed by a triplane, unable to fly a third design that crashed on its first flight; the Dufaux 4 was their first successful craft. On 28 August 1910, Armand flew it from St. Gingolph to Geneva (about 40 mi in just 56 minutes and 5 seconds, winning the Perrot-Duval prize of 5,000 Swiss francs for the feat; that year, the brothers established an aircraft business, in 1911, sold their Dufaux 5 to 18-year-old Ernest Failloubaz.

The Dufaux 4 is today on display at the Swiss Transport Museum. In 1997, Armand Dufaux was honored on a Swiss postage stamp, as one of four pioneers of Swiss aviation. Media related to Armand Dufaux at Wikimedia Commons Swiss Museum of Transport info on Dufaux Geneva air pioneers page, with timeline Full biography

Ojimaya Station

Ojimaya Station is a railway station in the city of Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, operated by East Japan Railway Company. Ojimaya Station is served by the Echigo Line, is 32.4 kilometers from terminus of the line at Kashiwazaki. The station consists of two ground-level opposed side platforms serving two tracks; the platforms are connected by a footbridge. The station is unattended. Suica farecard cannot be used at this station; the station opened on 20 April 1913 as Yoita Station. It was renamed to its present name on 1 October 1915. With the privatization of Japanese National Railways on 1 April 1987, the station came under the control of JR East. Washima Post Office former Kashima village hall National Route 116 List of railway stations in Japan Bunsui Station information