what does a downvote/upvote do?
Sometimes when a question is asked and an answer given, the thread no longer has a purpose and can be removed. Downvoting is a way to do that. I don't agree that that's appropriate in this case. You're probably not the only one with this question.
Additional: It could also be that you posted the question in the French forum rather than the general forum and people don't like threads unrelated to French.
Upvotes show that the upvoter found what you said to be correct, amusing, or otherwise good. They don't really do anything besides make you feel happy that other people liked what you said.
Downvotes show that the downvoter considers what you said to be off-topic, incorrect, or otherwise not good for the Forum. If a post receives 5 downvotes, it will be hidden from the forum, though you can still find it with your followed list or a link to it.
Hope this helps! Happy learning!