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Here's all the French election lingo you'll need to know

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Here's all the French election lingo you'll need to know
All photos: AFP
14:33 CET+01:00
In case you'd hadn't noticed, there's an election around the corner in France - and to really understand what's going on, you'll need to know a lot of new words.
Here's a guide to the terms that you will come across over the next few months in the French media, or at the water cooler in your office.
 
In no particular order....
 
Président de la République française - France's President
 
This is who it's all about. France's will soon get its 25th president since Napoleon III, who was inaugurated in 1848 and considered to be the first president of France.
 
LINGO FOR THE CANDIDATES
 
Candidat - Candidate
 
Ok, this was an easy one to translate, but we may as well start off simply. 
 
Here are the names of the five main candidates in the order they appear in the image below: Francois Fillon, Benoit Hamon, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
 
But to officially qualify as a candidate they all need 500 parrainages or sponsors from elected officials (élus) around the country to be able to join the race.
 
 
La Gauche - The left
 
Those on the left (the political left, that is) include Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon and hard-left (extreme gauche) candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon who leads the France Insoumise movement (Unsubmissive France),
 
La Droite - The right
 
On the right we have Francois Fillon of the Les Républicains party and Marine Le Pen of the far right (extrême droite) National Front.
 
Au nom du peuple - In the name of the people
 
This is Marine Le Pen's campaign slogan
 
Ni droite, ni gauche - Neither right or left
 
Emmanuel Macron bills himself as being on neither side of the political spectrum with his centriste En Marche! (On the move!) movement. 
 
"Fake news" - Fake news
 
A new term for the 2017 election that is rarely translated from English although "Fausses nouvelles" has been used.
 
Un revenu universel (d'existence) - Universal basic income
 
Here's a term you might have heard in recent weeks. It's tied to Benoit Hamon, who is pushing to pay everyone in France a living wage in what he says will make a fairer economy. Read more about it here
 
SCANDALE - SCANDAL
 
Another easy one, but another important one. The election race has been full of scandal so far,  the main one being the Affaire Fillon (Fillon Affair) here are a few terms you might need to know. 
 
 
Emploi fictif - Fake job
 
The Affaire Fillon is all about (allegations of) emplois fictifs.
 
Marine Le Pen has been hit by similar allegations, though within her team and not her family. 
 
Mise en examen - Formally investigated
 
While you might not think lingo about a police investigation and a presidential election should be on the same page, you'd be wrong this time around. 
 
Fillon could yet be formally investigated (basically "charged") or mise en examen over the scandal, although he has vowed to fight on and believes he is victim of a media and political lynchage (lynching)
 
Fonctionnaires - Public sector workers
 
All of a sudden fonctionnaires are the focal point of the election whether it's because Fillon wants to scrap 500,000 of them or Marine Le Pen is issuing veiled threats to them over their investigations into her party's own fake jobs scandal.
 
THE LEAD UP TO THE ELECTION
 
Sondages d'opinions -- Opinion polls
 
So who's going to win? Keep your eyes on the "sondages" to see who is leading the race (but don't put too much stock in it, we all know what happened with Trump (and Brexit). 
 
The poll below shows Marine Le Pen is among the poll leaders for the first round, followed by Macron, then Fillon. 
 
 
 
Financement des campagne - Campaign financing
 
This is a term that is widely these days due to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy getting into legal trouble about over spending in his 2012 campaign because he went over the "plafond des depenses" (spending limits).
 
Débat - Debate
 
Well, this one was pretty self explanatory but good to know, nonetheless. The presidential debates are set to heat up in the coming months, all in the lead up to the voting. The debates will be held on 20th and 23rd of March on French TV.
 
Premier tour - First round
 
This refers to the first round of voting and is sometimes written "1er tour".
 
It will be held on the 23rd of April. It's extremely unlikely that anyone will win an outright majority (and hence will become president after one round). Which means there will be a deuxieme tour (second round).
 
THE VOTING PROCESS
 
It's time to vote for the first round! The French will head down to their polling station (local bureau de vote), enter the polling booth (isoloir), fill in a ballot paper (bulletin de vote) and drop it in a ballot box (urne de vote)
 
Unless that is they vote by procuration, which means "by proxy". In other words giving someone the permission to vote for you.
 
These votes will then be counted in a process called "dépouillement" (extra points if you can pronounce that correctly.) 
 
 
Faire barrage à -- To block (a candidate)
 
France is no stranger to tactical voting, and this election will be no exception. You will probably see headlines at the time of the second round about people calling to block Marine Le Pen's chances of winning by voting for anyone else. 
 
This is often referred to as to "faire barrage au Front National..."
 
The other term you might see or hear that refers to keeping the Front National out of power is le Front Republicain or Republican Front, which is the united front to keep out the far right.
 
 
Le taux de participation - Voter turnout
 
How many people voted? The taux de participation will reveal how many voters turned up to have their voice heard.
 
Electeurs / votants - Electors/voters
 
The most important people in any election of course. To be eligible to vote you'll need to be a French citizen over the age of 18.
 
Un mandat de cinq ans - A five-year mandate

The president will be around for five years, so vote wisely. 
 
Les elections legislatives - parliamentary elections
 
But it's not all over over on May 7th of course, because there is arguably a far more important vote in June - the parliamentary elections, where the president will hope to gain a majority in the Assemblée Nationale.
 
But as well as understanding the language it's also important useful to compare the presidential candidates to cheeses to get a more in depth knowledge of them.
 
Luckily we've done it for you.
 
 
 

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