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France (French : IPA : [fʁɑ̃s]) , officially the French Republic (French : République française, IPA : [ʁepyˈblik fʁɑ̃ˈsɛz]) , is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and that also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other continents.[11] Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea , and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean . French people often refer to Metropolitan France as L'Hexagone (The "Hexagon ") because of the geometric shape of its territory.

France is bordered by Belgium , Luxembourg , Germany , Switzerland , Italy , Monaco , Andorra , and Spain . Due to its overseas departments , France also shares land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana ) , and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin ). France is also linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel , which passes underneath the English Channel .