The French (French: Français) are a nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be legal, historical, or cultural.
Descending from diverse peoples of Celtic (Gauls) origin (except the French Basques, the Corsican people and the French Catalans), later mixing with Romance (Romans, mainly in the South-East of France), and Germanic origin, which is a minority per genetic evidence (Franks, mainly in the Northeast of France), whereas the ethnonym that referred to German-speaking Franks survived to be applied to modern French. France was still a patchwork of local customs and regional differences in the late 19th century. Most French people speak the French language as their mother tongue, but certain languages like Norman, Occitan, Auvergnat, Corsican, Basque, French Flemish, Franconian and Breton remain spoken in certain regions (see Language policy in France).
Modern French society can be considered a melting pot, since it experienced a high rate of inward migration from the middle of the 19th century, and the government, defining France as an inclusive nation with universal values, used to advocate assimilation through which immigrants were expected to adhere to French traditional values and cultural norms. Since the mid-1980s, the government has let newcomers retain their distinctive cultures and traditions and required from them a mere integration but French citizens have equated their nationality with citizenship however, as French law still does so.
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