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FRENCH LANGUAGE AND ITS WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION




Today, 20 March, we celebrate one of the fastest growing languages in the globe… Today is French Language Day

Many would describe it as exotic or vibrant, others even as the sexiest language in the world… In one way or the other, French is certainly a symbol of culture and creativity, and it is not only one of the richest languages when it comes to its cultural presence, but it has laid its roots in a number of industries across the globe, making it a universal language.


WHERE DO PEOPLE SPEAK FRENCH AROUND THE GLOBE?


French is an official language in 29 countries and is partly spoken as a mother tongue in 7 other countries. The French language (native name: français, langue française) has its roots in the Indo-European language family.


As a percentage of the total population, the largest share of around 94 percent is in France. Furthermore, 20% of EU citizens report knowing how to speak French, making it the third most understood language in the continent. How many people speak French? The simple answer is “about 300 million”. However, within the 300 million are not only native speakers, but also partial speakers and speakers of numerous French dialects and creoles (stable natural language developed from a mixture of different languages.)


WHAT COUNTRIES HAVE FRENCH AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE?


As we have mentioned, French is the official language in 29 countries, which makes it the second-most used official language behind English. Here they are:

  • France

  • Congo (DRC)

  • Canada

  • Cameroon

  • Belgium

  • Ivory Coast

  • Madagascar

  • Haiti

  • Senegal

  • Burkina Faso

  • Benin

  • Guinea

  • Mali

  • Togo

  • Congo (RC)

  • Niger

  • Chad

  • Switzerland

  • Central African Republic

  • Gabon

  • Burundi

  • Rwanda

  • Luxembourg

  • Djibouti

  • Equatorial Guinea

  • Comoros

  • Vanuatu

  • Seychelles

  • Monaco


In addition, France continues to have political influence over certain overseas territories, known as “Départements et territoires d’outre-mer”, or DOM-TOM. These include territories such as Guyana, Guadeloupe and French Polynesia.

Happy French Language Day to you all!



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