The Pokémon franchise first reached France when the anime was dubbed into French in 1997 and began to air across the country.
Pokémon Video Games
Pokémon Red and Blue was released on October 9, 1999, along with the rest of Europe. The versions that went to France were translated into French. Also, Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were translated into French as well.
The names of the Gym Leaders were changed drastically, possibly due to translations of the games. In Pokémon Red and Blue, some examples would be that Blaine would be changed into Auguste, and Brock would be changed into Pierre. This also occours in the other Pokémon games.
To get Mew in France, a player had to take a picture showing that a player caught all 150 Pokémon and then send it to their website at the time (pokemon.tm.fr). Then, if the website approved of the picture, a player would have to send their game to Nintendo France and they would get it back, with Mew and a certificate of authenticity.
The original series started airing on April 1, 1997. The Advanced Generation series started to air on November 21, 2002. The Diamond and Pearl series started airing on September 28, 2006.
Ash was voiced by Aurélein Ringelheim. Professor Oak and Gary was voiced by Jean-Marc Delhausse. Misty was voiced by Fanny Roy. Officer Jenny and Max were voiced by Guylaine Gibert. Jessie was voiced by Catherine Conet. James was voiced by David Manet. Meowth was voiced by Nessym Guetat. Nurse Joy was voiced by Lydia Cherton. Brock was voiced by Laurent Chauvet. Tracey was voiced by Bruno Mullenaerts. May was voiced by Maia Baran. Dawn was voiced by Alexandra Corréa.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
The cards were basically English cards only translated into French. The backside is the same as the English version, like the other cards released in Europe.