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The term (101) was first introduced by the University of Buffalo in 1929. It was used as a course catalog, the first known usage of the term by Oxford English Dictionary. Based on this usage, the term "101" has been extended to mean an introductory level of learning or a collection of introductory materials to a topic.

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101_(topic)

[See also the thread: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/14265/what-does-something-101-mean]

I encountered this French article: Électronique d'Imagerie 101 : Compréhension des Capteurs de Caméra pour les Applications de Vision Industrielle. [Available here: https://www.edmundoptics.fr/knowledge-center/application-notes/imaging/understanding-camera-sensors-for-machine-vision-applications/]

1) Is this usage of 101 colloquial in French?

Furthermore 101 has also the meaning of "showing the most basic knowledge about a subject". [See: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/fr/dictionnaire/anglais/101]

E.g.

You should know how to boil an egg - that's cooking 101.

Can we use 101 in this way (i.e. as an adjective) in French? If not, what are some colloquial ways to convey a similar idea?

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The term 101 is not used at all in French with this or any specific meaning.

The closest expression would be B.A.-BA, or béaba already mentioned here:

https://french.stackexchange.com/a/17003/1109

b a ba, /beaba/ or /bøaba/?

e.g.:

Tu devrais savoir faire cuire un œuf dur, c'est le b.a.-ba de la cuisine !

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