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French word of the day: Manif

The Local France
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French word of the day: Manif
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond"

If you've spent much time in France, you will undoubtedly have encountered one of these.

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Why do I need to know manif? 

It's a key concept in France. 

What does it mean?

Manif is short for manifestation, which means 'protest'.

France, known worldwide for its bloody 1789 revolution, has a longstanding tradition of social protest.

And if you talk to French people - especially young ones - you will undoubtedly hear someone talk about la manif - 'the protest', or 'the demo' - at some point.

READ ALSO: Don't ask 'why are the French always striking' but look at what the strikers have achieved 

 

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If you tap it into your Google search engine, it suggests to translate manif to 'strike.' But, while strikes nearly always bring along one or many manifs, going to a manif does not imply being on strike.

A manif is used to show strength by numbers. In France, bringing people to the capital in one big street protest has long been used as a tool to put pressure on politicians to achieve something. 

During the December mass-strikes in France against the government's proposed pension reforms, there was a big manif every week or so, an attempt by unions to flex their muscles.

This week, there was a huge manif in France to protest against police violence and alleged systemic racism by the country's law enforcement.

Use it like this

On va à la manif samedi ? - We going to the demo on Saturday?

Tu as vu le monde qu'il y avait à la manif contre les violences policières ! - Did you see how many people there were at the demo against police violence!

J'en peux plus des manifs, on dirait qu'il y en a une tous les weekends. - I'm sick of protests, seems like there's one every weekend.

Pourquoi il y a une manif ce weekend encore? C'est la France. Il y a toujours une raison de manifester. - Why is there another protest this weekend again? It's France. There's always a reason to protest.

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