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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 07:57

Business Culture 1

Undersanding Canadians et Canadian Business Culture

(adapted from career advice on Monster.ca)


Canadians are overall a polite people, and slightly more reserved than the Americans. They are relaxed and happy to help. they worship respect, peace and good government. 

Meeting and Greeting

  • A firm handshake is the usual contact when first meeting a business associate. Both men and women greet with a handshake, although women may acknowledge you with a nod of the head rather than a handshake.
  • In Quebec, friends or acquaintances will kiss on both cheeks when meeting and leaving. This happens between female friends and between men and women, but not between male friends. 
  • In informal settings, such as a party or bar, most young people will simply exchange greetings such as "Hi!" or "How are you?"


  • Introduce people in business based on rank not gender.
  • In Canada, a person's authority is related to his or her position and responsibility. Women occupy the same range of positions as men and have the same kinds of authority. People do not have authority just because of their name, status, social class or sex.

Behaviour to consider for business transactions and life in general:

  • Eye contact is important when conducting business and should be held while speaking to someone, but be careful not to stare. Lack of direct eye contact signifies boredom or disinterest. 
  • There is little casual touching during conversation and most people will stand approximately half a metre apart when speaking. 
  • People stand in line when waiting for the bus, to buy tickets, at the store or bank. It is considered very rude to jump the line or go ahead of someone who was there before you. 
  • Smoking is not allowed in offices, most restaurants, and even bars.
  • Be on time. Canadians will not wait more than 10 to 15 minutes for someone who has arranged to meet them for business. If you are going to be late, phone and advise the person expecting you. 
  • People usually set up meetings or arrange visits. It is not common to just arrive without an invitation.

Customs and Protocol

Canadian businesspeople are conservative in manner, speech, and dress. Business customs are similar to those in the U.S. or the U.K., but etiquette is very important. Excessive body contact, gestures in greeting, or loud conversation generally are frowned upon. 


Businesspeople negotiating with Canadians should be well informed and knowledgeable about the details of their proposals. Thoroughness is appreciated and directness is also valued. Evasive answers are not viewed positively by Canadians. You should appear like you're mastering every detail of your proposal. Do not exagerate and speak clearly and precisely.


Please visit this link to read the complete version


You can also find interesting ideas here: http://www.students.ubc.ca/international/international-students/before-you-arrive/understanding-canadians/


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30 novembre 2012 5 30 /11 /novembre /2012 07:49


     The reading for this lesson explains why countries trade with each other.  Even when countries can produce what they want on their own, they often choose to specialize. They import some things and export others.  People specialize for the same reasons that countries specialize.  


     Pretend for a moment that there are just two countries in the world, the United States and Canada (or any others as you wish).  Pretend also that they produce only two goods, shoes and shirts. The resources of both countries can be used to produce either shoes or shirts. Both countries make both products, spending half of their working hours on each.  But the United States makes more shoes than shirts, and Canada makes more shirts than shoes. This situation is shown in Table A.

                                       TABLE A




United States









     Now, the sensible thing to do would be for each country to specialize.  The United States should make only shoes and Canada should make only shirts.  What will happen when each country spends all its working hours making one product?  It will make twice as much of that product and none of the other, as shown in Table B.

                                                        TABLE  B



United States









     The world now has both more shoes and more shirts.  The United States can trade 100 units of shoes for 100 units of shirts, and both countries will benefit.

     In this example, the United States could make more shoes than Canada with the same resources.  Economists say that it has an absolute advantage at shoemaking.  Canada, on the other hand, had an absolute advantage at shirt making.

Comparative Advantage

     Now suppose one country has an absolute advantage in both products.  Is trade a good idea under these circumstances?  Table C shows what production might be like if the United States had an absolute advantage at making both shoes and shirts.

                                            TABLE C



United States









     In this case, the United States can produce more of each good with the same set of resources than Canada can.  The opportunity cost of choosing to produce more of one of the goods with the available resources will be the loss of some of the other good.  The United States could produce either 200 units of shoes or 160 units of shirts.  Canada could produce either 160 units of shoes or 150 units of shirts.  If the United States produces only shoes, it gives up 80 units of shirts to gain 100 units of shoes.  If Canada produces only shoes, it gives up 75 units of shirts to gain 80 units of shoes.  The opportunity cost of producing shirts is higher for the United States, and the opportunity cost of producing shoes is lower.  The opportunity cost of producing shoes is higher for Canada, the opportunity cost of producing shirts is lower.  Economists would say that the United States has a comparative advantage in shoemaking and Canada has a comparative advantage in shirt making.  Table D shows what happens when each country specializes in the product in which it has a comparative advantage.

                                                        TABLE D



United States









     By specializing in this way, the United States and Canada have increased the production of shoes by twenty units over what they produced before, from 180 to 200.  But the world has lost five units of shirts, going from 155 to 150.  (See Table C.)  Production in the United States could be adjusted to make up the difference.  For example, if the United States gave up 10 units of shoes, it could produce 8 units of shirts.  Table E shows the results of such a tradeoff.

                                                            TABLE E




United States









   In this way, the total production of both goods could be increased.

Terms of Trade

     What will be the terms of trade in this situation?  Before specialization the United States produced 100 fewer units of shoes.  The opportunity cost of choosing to produce 80 units of shirts was the 100 units of shoes that could have been produced with the same resources.  In the like manner, Canada's opportunity cost of producing 80 units of shoes was 75 units of shirts.  In the terms of trade each reduce each country's opportunity cost of acquiring the good traded for, trade will take place.  In this example, Canada will not accept fewer than 80 units of shoes for 75 units of shirts and the United States will not pay more than 100 units of shoes for 80 units of shirts.  Both countries must benefit for trade to occur.

     The real world is much more complex than this two-country, two-product mode.  Trade involves many different countries and products.  And it is not always clear where a country's comparative advantage lies.


Please read also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage and http://www.tutor2u.net/economics/content/topics/trade/comparative_advantage.htm

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29 novembre 2012 4 29 /11 /novembre /2012 07:47

International trade

Trade has been a major part of human history. The early days of simple barter between groups of people are long gone. Now trade is largely facilitated by electronic money, takes place between a wide range of businesses, consumers and governments and involves an immense variety of products ranging from a synthetic rubber shoe sole to a passenger jet. Products can be exported and imported from the same country before delivery to the marketplace. For example, logs are exported from the United States to countries such as Japan, Mexico and Germany to be processed and shipped back to the United States to be sold. Products as seemingly simple as shoes can be produced piece by piece in a variety of places and countries, assembled in another nation and shipped to yet another. Trade is no simple matter these days.

International trade has expanded rapidly since World War II, and even more so in the 1990s. In 1950, total merchandise exports in the world were $58 billion. In 1990 that figure was $3.5 trillion, and in 1997 it was $5.3 trillion. In 1997, world exports grew by over 9.5%, three times greater than world output growth of 3%. Over 3/4 of the world trade is in merchandise or goods ­ primarily industrial equipment, consumer goods, oil and agricultural products. Almost 1/4 of world trade is in services, mostly in banking, insurance, transport, telecommunication, engineering and tourism. Since the 1950s, transportation costs, based on cheap oil, as well as communication costs, have steadily declined. This has helped fuel the explosion in global trade.

Trade is based on specialization. The logic is clear: trade what you make the best and exchange it for what others make the best. Trade competition among countries is much more complicated. Much of it depends on the resources or factors of production available in a certain area or country. In general terms, countries or areas will have a resource focus to their economy and consequently to their exports. A country can be labor intensive, where its competitiveness is based on cheap and available labor. These countries are often poorer and have large populations. Or a country can be capital intensive where its competitiveness is based on the productivity and skill of its labor force with high levels of education and/or available technology and machinery. Or a country can be land intensive, where its competitiveness depends more on an abundance of valuable natural resources such as timber, minerals and farmland.

A central debate for many years has concerned the virtues of free trade versus protectionism. In simple terms, free trade means the absence of restriction on trade. Essentially, a government pursuing free trade removes barriers to imports and encourages exports. The following arguments for free trade are often made: 1) that more imports will lead to more choices for consumers; 2) that competition from imports makes domestic businesses more competitive which leads to lower prices and better quality for consumers; 3) that imports can provide valuable and/or cheaper inputs for businesses; 4) that welcoming imports can promote trade relations with other countries making it easier for the US to export; and 5) that increased exports will lead to more income and jobs in export industries.

Traditionally, protectionism has meant using barriers to imports that compete with domestic industries. Current arguments for protectionist measures in the US show this definition is expanding, as reasons to limit imports are not just confined to protecting domestic industry. Arguments for protectionism include: 1) protecting import-competing companies and their workers; 2) encouraging local production to substitute for certain imports and therefore keeping more money and jobs in local communities; 3) reducing direct environmental costs: the energy and packaging used to transport goods over long distances; and 4) disagreement with the country where certain imports come from because of its human rights record, labor practices, lax environmental protection, etc. Protectionist measures include tariffs (taxes on imports), quotas (monetary or quantity limits on imports) and non-tariff barriers (restrictions on imports such as standards enforced on imported goods, special tests or markings required on goods and time delays in clearing goods for importation).

Free trade agreementshave aimed to reduce these barriers. Free trade is dominating trade policy in the 90s as more and more agreements are being negotiated or considered to increase trade among countries. The most well known and influential has been GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, started in 1947. Through several rounds of talk since then, tariffs have been significantly reduced among the over 70 member nations that account for over 80% of world trade. NAFTA, started in 1993, has significantly reduced tariffs between the US, Canada and Mexico. In the 1990's, the European Union (EU) has removed almost all trade barriers among its member nations.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), established in 1995 to administer and enforce agreements made at the Uruguay Round of GATT, has taken free trade to a new level. Many recent rulings by the WTO have been aimed at removing non-tariff barriers, in particular health and environmental standards on imports, claiming that these represent unfair trade barriers. Many critics suggest that free trade under the WTO is challenging the sovereignty of nations affected by their rulings.

Who's in control of this increasingly complex world trade system and the trade organizations that govern it? Multinational corporations are becoming less loyal and responsible to any one nation and its laws. Various multinationals have moved operations to countries where production costs are lower or because of lax environmental and labor laws. Where laws are stronger, multinationals may make an effort to change or circumvent those laws. A recent ruling at the WTO serves to demonstrate this trend. In March 1997, the WTO ruled that the European Union must open its markets more to bananas from Latin American countries, mostly Chiquita bananas. The European Union has favored bananas from Caribbean nations mostly grown on small, family farms. Many Caribbean economies depend largely on these exports. The United States had brought this case to the WTO at the urging of Chiquita. Chiquita is based in Cincinnati, Ohio but most of its 45,000 workers are in Guatemala and Honduras where the bananas are harvested. Carl Lindner, the CEO of Chiquita, was a major donor to the Democratic Party. Multinational corporations, like Chiquita, were created by law in their nations of origin but as their global reach has extended, so too has their ability to influence international trade agreements and organizations like the WTO.

In addition to issues of national sovereignty, there is also concern over how certain imports are produced and the impact such production has across borders. Health, environmental and social standards in poorer countries that export to the US are often considerably below those of the US. Human rights violations in China and Nigeria, devastating pollution in Korea and China and extremely low wages in Indonesia are examples that reflect these different standards. By buying from these countries, some argue we are supporting their policies. In other cases, the actual production of goods exported to the US has had a direct effect on the health and environment in the US. During a visit to Tijuana in 1997, Carl Pope, Director of the Sierra Club, pointed out that pesticides banned in the US are made in California, used in Mexico and then shipped back to the US on fruits and vegetables. More recently on a visit to Tijuana Mexico, Pope learned about hazardous industrial wastes discharged into a local river from electronics factories that largely export to the US and Canada. Not only has this harmed the health of those who live in Tijuana (producing, for example, a high incidence of birth defects) but this river flows to Imperial Beach, California where many others surf and swim. Another report in Time magazine (May 1997) revealed high incidences of serious birth defects in Brownsville, Texas from 1988 to 1992. This was also a time when US companies like General Motors, Kemet Electronics and Trico, a windshield wiper manufacturer, set up factories across the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico. It is widely believed that pollution from these factories led to this health crisis. Differences in environmental regulations between the US and Mexico have been a central concern of those opposed to NAFTA.

A final concern about the expansion of the global economy is that many countries, especially the United States, are becoming more (and too) dependent on imports. This condition of interdependence, while predicated on countries specializing in what they produce most competitively, can leave trading partners vulnerable. In a world rife with civil wars in distant places, subject to sudden changes in their economies and shifts in government authority, anticipated exchanges may go awry. With these concerns among others, there is a growing school of thought suggesting we restrict what we import. This "protectionism" does not have to come about through government measures like higher tariffs or quotas. Rather, a coordinated effort to support, invest in and boost local production of essential products could lead to a gradual replacement of imports. With a focus on essentials like food, shelter and energy, this would leave communities less vulnerable to the risks involved in relying on products from hundreds and thousands of miles away. This is part of Michael Shuman's thesis in his 1998 book, Going Local. Shuman further argues that replacing imports with local products can improve the local economy by creating jobs and keeping income in the community. Limiting imports of essential goods to protect local communities from outside forces also reduces the environmental costs of transportation over great distances. While import replacement does not eliminate trade, it may help to constrain trade when it does not promote a better quality of life.


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27 octobre 2012 6 27 /10 /octobre /2012 12:00

What is International Trade?

A definition from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_trade

International trade is the exchange of capitalgoods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP). While international trade has been present throughout much of history (see Silk RoadAmber Road), its economic, social, and political importance has been on the rise in recent centuries.

Industrialization, advanced transportationglobalizationmultinational corporations, and outsourcing are all having a major impact on the international trade system. Increasing international trade is crucial to the continuance of globalization. Without international trade, nations would be limited to the goods and services produced within their own borders.

International trade is, in principle, not different from domestic trade as the motivation and the behavior of parties involved in a trade do not change fundamentally regardless of whether trade is across a border or not. The main difference is that international trade is typically more costly than domestic trade. The reason is that a border typically imposes additional costs such as tariffs, time costs due to border delays and costs associated with country differences such as language, the legal system or culture.

Another difference between domestic and international trade is that factors of production such as capital and labor are typically more mobile within a country than across countries. Thus international trade is mostly restricted to trade in goods and services, and only to a lesser extent to trade in capital, labor or other factors of production. Trade in goods and services can serve as a substitute for trade in factors of production.

Instead of importing a factor of production, a country can import goods that make intensive use of that factor of production and thus embody it. An example is the import of labor-intensive goods by the United States from China. Instead of importing Chinese labor, the United States imports goods that were produced with Chinese labor. One report in 2010 suggested that international trade was increased when a country hosted a network of immigrants, but the trade effect was weakened when the immigrants became assimilated into their new country.


What is a trade agreement?

From http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/291349/international-trade/61709/The-terms-of-trade-argument#toc61711


The term trade agreement or commercial agreement can be used to describe any contractual arrangement between states concerning their trade relationships. Trade agreements may be bilateral or multilateral—that is, between two states or between more than two states.

International Trade explained on FactMonster (after clicking the link, visit the 'import export why bother?' where you'll find a terrific example with tables)


The fundamental reason for foreign trade is quite simple: Some nations are better at producing certain things than others. This means that they will all be economically better off if they specialize in what they do best and exchange a portion of what they produce for the goods of other nations who also specialize in what they do best.

In a way, the rationale for international trade follows the same line of logic that caused a worker in a medieval village to specialize in butchering or baking or candlestick making, and then exchange her goods with other specialists. International trade works the same way, only on a larger scale.


How to find a supplier for the good you need to import?

From http://importexport.about.com/od/ChoosingImportProductSupplier/a/Importing-How-To-Find-A-Supplier-For-The-Product-You-Want-To-Import.htm


To find suppliers of the product you want to import, you'll need to consult some specialized online resources.

These four are a good start: AlibabaGlobalSourcesThomasNet and Kompass. When you travel internationally, provided you set aside time to do a little shopping, you can always stumble upon a product you like and find out who the manufacturer is (look on the package). 

To save time in your quest for a supplier, you might also try searching the Internet with specific key words, for example, "Japan, gourmet food product manufacturers," to see what is currently available online. Plan to attend a trade exhibition in your industry such as Foodex, Japan's largest food show, to locate a supplier. Alternatively, to contain costs, look into local trade shows that feature an "international hall" to source a supplier.


Finally, a website from About.com focusing on Import-Export. You'll find everything you need to know there: http://importexport.about.com/

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I found a very interesting website today while surfing for information about business relationships in foreign countries.

Here you will find a list of countries. Let's compare!




. French business emphasizes courtesy and a fair degree of formality. 
. Wait to be told where to sit. 
. Maintain direct eye contact while speaking. 
. Business is conducted slowly. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled by the strict adherence to protocol. 
. Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure tactics. It can be counterproductive. 
. The French will carefully analyze every detail of a proposal, regardless of how minute. 
. Business is hierarchical. Decisions are generally made at the top of the company. 
. The French are often impressed with good debating skills that demonstrate an intellectual grasp of the situation and all the ramifications. 
. Never attempt to be overly friendly. The French generally compartmentalize their business and personal lives. 
. Discussions may be heated and intense. 
. High-pressure sales tactics should be avoided. The French are more receptive to a low-key, logical presentation that explains the advantages of a proposal in full. 
. When an agreement is reached, the French may insist it be formalized in an extremely comprehensive, precisely worded contract. 





Arrive on time for meetings since time and punctuality are so important to Americans. In the Northeast and Midwest, people are extremely punctual and view it as a sign of disrespect for someone to be late for a meeting or appointment. In the Southern and Western states, people may be a little more relaxed, but to be safe, always arrive on time, although you may have to wait a little before your meeting begins.

Meetings may appear relaxed, but they are taken quite seriously. If there is an agenda, it will be followed. At the conclusion of the meeting, there will be a summary of what was decided, a list of who will implement which facets and a list of the next steps to be taken and by whom. If you make a presentation, it should be direct and to the point. Visual aids should further enhance your case. Use statistics to back up your claims, since Americans are impressed by hard data and evidence.

With the emphasis on controlling time, business is conducted rapidly. Expect very little small talk before getting down to business. It is common to attempt to reach an oral agreement at the first meeting. The emphasis is on getting a contract signed rather than building a relationship. The relationship may develop once the first contract has been signed.



And England

 If you plan to use an agenda, be sure to forward it to your British colleagues in sufficient time for them to review it and recommend any changes. 

Punctuality is important in business situations. In most cases, the people you are meeting will be on time. Scots are extremely punctual. Call if you will be even 5 minutes later than agreed. Having said that, punctuality is often a matter of personal style and emergencies do arise. If you are kept waiting a few minutes, do not make an issue of it. Likewise, if you know that you will be late it is a good idea to telephone and offer your apologies. 

How meetings are conducted is often determined by the composition of people attending:

  • If everyone is at the same level, there is generally a free flow of ideas and opinions.
  • If there is a senior ranking person in the room, that person will do most of the speaking.

In general, meetings will be rather formal:

  • Meetings always have a clearly defined purpose, which may include an agenda.
  • There will be a brief amount of small talk before getting down to the business at hand.
  • If you make a presentation, avoid making exaggerated claims.
  • Make certain your presentation and any materials provided appear professional and well thought out.
  • Be prepared to back up your claims with facts and figures. The British rely on facts, rather than emotions, to make decisions.
  • Maintain eye contact and a few feet of personal space.
  • After a meeting, send a letter summarizing what was decided and the next steps to be taken.


from http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html


What do you think?

It is always very important to look at information we find not as TRUTH but information we should compare, analyze, discuss...

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4 octobre 2012 4 04 /10 /octobre /2012 08:00


French fight franglais with alternatives for English technology terms 

As English has words for everything – including the latest technological terms – French speakers have decided to hit back by coming up with a few of their own. Metro investigates.

By Tamara Hinson - 1st October, 2012

OMG. Oh mon dieu. An increasing number of linguists believe the French language is being put at risk due to an influx of English words. Their solution? Invent new ones. 

Some of the world’s top linguists gathered recently in Quebec to discuss how the French language is increasingly becoming peppered with English words, with technology being cited as one of the main causes.

Words such as ‘tweet’ and ‘hashtag’ now form part of the French language and those who attended the French Language World Forum believe it’s high time French equivalents were invented.

These linguists claim English words are dominating digital and economic parlance and that the lack of French equivalents is putting the language at risk.

‘Borrowing too many words from English opens the door to a mishmash of French and English,’ said a spokesman for the Office Québécois de la Langue Française, which is responsible for promoting correct use of the French language.

‘This can have an impact on French word formation, phonetics and grammar, not just terminology.’

Experts at the OQLF believe it’s essential that French speakers have words which adequately express their thoughts and that this is crucial to keeping the language alive.

This is because French isn’t just spoken by the French. There are 220million speakers globally.

Recent studies have shown that French is the third most commonly used language not only on internet and social media networks but also in international trade.

It’s estimated that by 2050, Africa alone will account for 80 per cent of French-speakers and linguists claim that making the French language more effective is key to improving business links between Francophone countries.

While there’s an endless selection of English words which are internationally recognised, the same cannot be said for French.

In Quebec, there are many words which simply aren’t used or heard of outside of the region. The word ‘pourriel’, for example, which means ‘spam’ in Quebecoise French, is almost unheard of outside the city, and the same applies to ‘baladodiffusion’ for ‘podcast’ and ‘clavardage’ for ‘chat’.

Promoting these types of words within other French-speaking countries, say linguists, is key to the language’s survival.

One example is the word ‘mot-clic’, which has successfully been introduced by linguists as an alternative to ‘hashtag’.

‘There’s nothing French about the structure or pronunciation of a word like hashtag, which does not spontaneously mean anything to a French speaker,’ said the OQLF spokesman. ‘That’s why we have proposed the term mot-clic, which actually means something in French. After all, what does hashtag actually mean? It’s used to describe a word preceded by a hash sign. This symbol invites the reader to click on the following word to access more information on the topic in question, and the latter is exactly what mot-clic means.’

Carol Sanders, Emeritus Professor at the University of Surrey, believes that French’s versatility should not be underestimated.

‘In the domain of texting, French has shown itself particularly adaptable,’ she said. ‘Though briefly LOL was used, people now write MDR (mort de rire), and make maximum use of numbers, letters and symbols to text – CU becomes A+ (from à plus tard).’

The OQLF spokesman said: ‘Our goal isn’t to convert the whole world to French. The borrowing of foreign words will always be one of the ways in which languages expand. But we need to make sure that borrowing foreign words adds to a language instead of replacing existing words.’

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/newsfocus/913781-french-fight-franglais-with-alternatives-for-english-technology-terms#ixzz28MDMfYNz

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14 juillet 2011 4 14 /07 /juillet /2011 08:50



And what about Bastille Day?

Bastille Day is a day of celebrations of French culture. Many large-scale public events are held, including a military parade in Paris, as well as communal meals, dances, parties and fireworks.

What do people do?

Many people attend large-scale public celebrations. These often include:

  • Military and civilian parades.
  • Musical performances.
  • Communal meals.
  • Dances.
  • Balls.
  • Spectacular fireworks displays.

There is a large military parade in Paris in the morning of July 14. Service men and women from various units, including cadets from military schools, the French Navy and the French Foreign Legion, participate in the parade. The parade ends with the Paris Fire Brigade. Military aircraft fly over the parade route during the parade. The French president opens the parade and reviews the troops and thousands of people line the route. Other people spend the day quietly and eat a celebratory meal or picnic with family and close friends.

Public life

Bastille Day is a public holiday in France so post offices, banks, and many businesses are closed. Restaurants and cafes outside of tourist areas may also be closed. However, bakeries and some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open.

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Roads in the centers of villages, towns and cities (particularly in Paris) may be closed for parades and other large public events.


The Bastille is a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. Many people in France associated it with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy in the late 1700s. On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. This was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. Fête de la Fédération was held on July 14, 1790. This was a way to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France.

Official celebrations were held in Paris on June 30, 1878, to honor the Republic of France. On July 14, 1879, more official celebrations were held. These included a military review in Longchamp near Paris and celebrations all over the country. A politician named Benjamin Raspail proposed that July 14 should become a holiday in France in 1880. The law was enacted on July 6, 1880. Bastille Day was a public holiday for the first time on July 14, 1880.

The military parade in Paris has been held every year since 1880, except during World War II. The Free French Forces paraded on this date in London, England from 1940 until 1944. Jean Michel Jarre held a concert in Paris that attracted one million people, then the largest recorded crowd at an outdoor concert, in 1979. Special celebrations were held for the 200th anniversary of the French revolution in 1989. The French football team became world champions on July 12, 1998. This sparked celebrations throughout France on Bastille Day.

Bastille Day celebrations are held in French communities and the Institut de France around the world. Such events in the United States are held in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. There are festivals of French culture in Franschhoek, South Africa, and Hungary.


The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the French national flag, or tricolor, are important symbols of Bastille Day. The French national flag is one-and-a-half times as wide as it is tall. It consists of three vertical bands of equal width colored blue, white and red. The same colors are displayed in bunting and banners of many shapes on Bastille Day. People may also wear clothing or face paint in these colors.

extracted from http://www.timeanddate.com



Does it exist in other countries?

Some celebrations in other countries and cities!

in New York

In London, UK

In Sydney, Australia





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4 juillet 2011 1 04 /07 /juillet /2011 07:58

Voici une petite vidéo de 2mn pour vous entrainer à la compréhension orale!


Et voici la transcription:

Hi, I’m Kitty Nicholson.  I’m supervisory conservator at the National Archives in Washington, 


In 1952 the Declaration of Independence came to the National Archives.  It was on display 

constantly through the intervening decades.

There was a need to do a major renovation of the National Archives buildings.  We knew it was 

our one window of opportunity to go in and to take the documents off display, do conservation 

treatment and design new encasements.

There was no manual on how to open the encasements. They’d been sealed with the intention 

they’d be sealed in perpetuity.

We were able to use a sharp cutting tool to cut through a lead ribbon that held the top and bottom 

pieces of glass together.

Then there was a free-floating piece of glass directly against the parchment.  Will something 

stick to the glass?  You don’t know when something’s been in contact for 50 years.  Is it going to 

stick, is it not?  But it lifted off cleanly.

And as we lifted off the inner glass we saw the Declaration again for the first time in almost 50 


And the new encasement design, the document rests on a platform.

The platform is black and the encasement interior is black and so the effect is that the parchment 

is floating in this black surround.

There is a mystery on the Declaration of Independence, at the bottom left corner, right here. You

can see fingerprints, there’s the faint gray impression of a hand, a handprint.  And we really 

don’t have any good historical evidence for whose handprint it is or when it happened.

And we would love to see a large 19


-century photograph of the Declaration to see if that 

handprint was there.

So if you’ve got an old photograph kicking around let us know!  And if you can come and see 

with your family, see that handprint, that is the true mystery of the Declaration.

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