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The purity of the language is officially protected by the Académie Française established by Cardinal Richelieu in the seventeenth century, whose forty members rule over the inclusion of new words in the language.
While tied to the mainland of Europe, the country is open to the Atlantic to the west.
It also has coasts on the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the English Channel to the north.
It gradually was introduced as a more widespread term to denote that territory, formerly known as Gaul, after the Frankish invasion and the retreat of the Romans.
The name "Francia" was applied to various territorial units until the Middle Ages, when it came to signify the kingdom of the French sovereign.
The population has more than doubled since the mid-nineteenth century, when it was 28.3 million.
The post–World War II period saw fertility increases in the French version of the baby boom, but the birthrate began to drop in the early 1970s. At the turn of the twentieth century and after World War I, migration accounted for half the total population growth. The official language is French, which is by far the majority language, having been imposed on the regional populations since the nineteenth century.France takes a highly assimilationist approach to its immigrant populations.The social position of Beurs (the children of North African immigrants) is an ongoing issue.Overseas territories ( territoires d'outre-mer ) include French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis, and Futuna.France borders Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, and Switzerland.While most of the country is in a temperate zone, the Mediterranean area is considered to have a subtropical climate.The four main rivers are the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne, and the Rhône. France has a low population density compared to other countries in Western Europe.Regional languages and dialects such as Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, Alsatian, and Flemish are still in use, and some are taught in regional schools.The law of 11 January 1951 permitted the teaching of regional languages in regions in which they were in use.Known as the tricoleur, the flag is blue, white, and red.White is associated with monarchy, red with the republic, and blue with Charlemagne, Clovis, and other early rulers.