French Level 2 Lesson 9



1. «Je suis né dans le sud-ouest de la France, à côté de la ville de Bordeaux
I was born in the South-west of France, next to the city of Bordeaux»

​2. «Je m'appelle Anne et je viens du Nord de la France.
I'm called Anne and I come from the North of France.»

Why is the capitalisation of these 2 general regional descriptions different- du Nord de la France, mais le sud-ouest de la France? Is there an explanation or is it a typo? Interestingly in the English translations both regional descriptions are capitalised - which would not be necessary where I come from unless the regions were formally, or at least fairly specifically, recognised. 


Salut MCK !

Thank you for your question!

Indeed, in English the points of the compass can be either capitalized or not capitalized, depending partly what they refer to and partly on the writing style chosen, but French doesn't have this ambiguity: these words are not capitalized when they refer to directions. Because of that, in the sentence Je m'appelle Anne et je viens du Nord de la France, the capitalized Nord would refer to the French department with this name. Since this isn't reflected in the translation, however, and since this leads to confusion for learners, I will ask the French team to see that it is made lowercase, to simply mean "north."

Thank you very much for pointing this out to us, and our apologies for the confusion caused!

À la prochaine,


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