What do you know of France?

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

map of France

France; for under 35 year olds

Given that France is one of our closest neighbours and our cultures and histories have been intertwined for over a thousand years, how much do we know about the geography of the country?
Given research done recently by cottages4u recently, the answer is not a lot. Or at least the younger ones of us don’t. There survey was aimed at under 35’s, the group that has been taught French in schools since they were almost old enough to go to school in the first place. Yet 10% of the responders couldn’t even tell you that Paris is in France. More people believe that Milan is in France. Goodness knows where they thought Paris was. Surely they couldn’t just think that it was some Californian reality star and hotel connected heiress’s first name and only that?
The survey also pointed out that nearly three quarters of all those replying had never been to France. What, no school trips? No sporting club visits? Are all those who responded based in the far north of Scotland and so have less likelihood of getting there?
I bet if you asked the male element of this group to name the top French football clubs or who some of the top French footballers play for you’d get a better answer. Rugby supporters will certainly be able to name Toulouse,(one of the most successful clubs anywhere) Perpignan, (where Welshman James Hook plays) Stade Francais and Toulon where six Englishmen play including Jonny Wilkinson play. And with Bradley Wiggins do so well they should know that the Tour de France takes place in France. Or maybe they don’t!
So is the survey accurate? Are we really so ill-informed? The answer to the latter question is probably yes. A few years ago, there was a survey which showed many didn’t know where major places in our own countries were. Still, for the French Tourist Board, there is some good news; 25 % of people said they would visit France if they knew more about it. All we need to do know is find a way of telling them about the country since schools don’t seem to be able to do it!

For a quick guide to France that CD-Traveller published last year, click here.

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