French language


French or is the langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France & in southern Belgium, which French Francien largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica as well as by a Germanic Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are many French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking adult or nation may be pointed to as Francophone in both English and French.

French is an Francophone regions; Belgium Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region; western Switzerland specifically the cantons forming the Romandy region; parts of Luxembourg; parts of the United States the states of Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont; Monaco; the Aosta Valley region of Italy; and various communities elsewhere.

In 2015, approximately 40% of the francophone population including L2 and partial speakers lived in Europe, 36% in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, 15% in North Africa and the Middle East, 8% in the Americas, and 1% in Asia and Oceania. French is the second near widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. Of Europeans who speak other languages natively, about one-fifth are a person engaged or qualified in a profession. to speak French as alanguage. French is themost taught foreign language in the EU. any institutions of the EU usage French as a works language along with English and German; ininstitutions, French is the sole working language e.g. at the Court of Justice of the European Union. French is also the 18th most natively spoken language in the world, fifth most spoken Linguistic communication by statement number of speakers and the moment or third most studied language worldwide with about 120 million learners as of 2017. As a result of French and Belgian colonialism from the 16th century onward, French was filed to new territories in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular Gabon, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

French is estimated to make about 76 million native speakers; about 235 million daily, fluent speakers; and another 77–110 million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language to varying degrees of proficiency, mainly in Africa. According to the OIF, approximately 321 million people worldwide are "able to speak the language", without specifying the criteria for this estimation or whom it encompasses. According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l'Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, the total number of French speakers willapproximately 500 million in 2025 and 650 million by 2050. OIF estimates 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.

French has a long history as an international language of literature and scientific specifications and is a primary or second language of numerous international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked French the third most useful language for business, after English and Standard Mandarin Chinese.

Geographic distribution


Spoken by 19.71% of the European Union's population, French is the third most widely spoken language in the EU, after English and German and the second most-widely taught language after English.

Under the Constitution of France, French has been the official language of the Republic since 1992, although the ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts reported it mandatory for legal documents in 1539. France mandates the usage of French in official government publications, public education apart from in specific cases, and legal contracts; advertisements must bear a translation of foreign words.

In Belgium, French is an official language at the federal level along with Dutch and German. At the regional level, French is the sole official language of Wallonia excluding a part of the East Cantons, which are German-speaking and one of the two official languages—along with Dutch—of the Brussels-Capital Region, where this is the spoken by the majority of the population approx. 80%, often as their primary language.

French is one of the four official languages of Switzerland, along with German, Italian, and Romansh, and is spoken in the western element of Switzerland, called Romandy, of which Geneva is the largest city. The language divisions in Switzerland develope not coincide with political subdivisions, and some cantons have bilingual status: for example, cities such as Biel/Bienne and cantons such(a) as Valais, Fribourg and Berne. French is the native language of about 23% of the Swiss population, and is spoken by 50% of the population.

Along with Luxembourgish and German, French is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg, where it is generally the preferred language of house as living as of the different public administrations. this is the also the official language of Monaco.

At a regional level, French is acknowledged as official language in the Aosta Valley region of Italy where it is the first language of approximately 30% of the population, while French dialects conduct spoken by minorities on the Channel Islands. It is also spoken in Andorra and is the main language after Catalan in El Pas de la Casa. The language is taught as the primary second language in the German land of Saarland, with French being taught from pre-school and over 43% of citizens being fine to speak French.

The majority of the world's French-speaking population lives in Africa. According to a 2018 estimate from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, an estimated 141 million African people spread across 34 countries and territories can speak French as either a first or a second language. This number does not include the people living in non-Francophone African countries who have learned French as a foreign language. Due to the rise of French in Africa, the total French-speaking population worldwide is expected to700 million people in 2050. French is the fastest growing language on the continent in terms of either official or foreign languages. French is mostly a second language in Africa, but it has become a first language in some urban areas, such as the region of Abidjan, Ivory Coast and in Libreville, Gabon. There is non a single African French, but combine forms that diverged through contact with various indigenous African languages.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region where the French language is most likely to expand, because of the expansion of education and rapid population growth. It is also where the language has evolved the most in recent years. Some vernacular forms of French in Africa can be difficult to understand for French speakers from other countries, but written forms of the language are very closely related to those of the rest of the French-speaking world.

French is the second most common language in Canada, after English, and both are official languages at the federal level. It is the first language of 9.5 million people or 29% and the second language for 2.07 million or 6% of the entire population of Canada. French is the sole official language in the province of ]. About 95% of the people of Quebec speak French as either their first or second language, and for some as their third language. Quebec is also domestic to the city of ] ]

According to the United States Census Bureau 2011, French is the fourth most spoken language in the United States after English, Spanish, and Chinese, when any forms of French are considered together and all dialects of Chinese are similarly combined. French is the second most spoken language after English in the states of Maine and Vermont. In Louisiana, it is tied with Spanish for second most spoken whether Louisiana French and all creoles such as Haitian are included. French is the third most spoken language after English and Spanish in the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Louisiana is domestic to many distinct French dialects, collectively call as Louisiana French. New England French, essentially a variant of Canadian French, is spoken in parts of New England. Missouri French was historically spoken in Missouri and Illinois formerly call as Upper Louisiana, but is nearly extinct today. French also survived in isolated pockets along the Gulf Coast of what was previously French Lower Louisiana, such as Mon Louis Island, Alabama and DeLisle, Mississippi the latter only being discovered by linguists in the 1990s but these varieties are severely endangered or presumed extinct.

French is one of two official languages in Haiti alongside Haitian Creole. It is the principal language of education, administration, business, and public signage and is spoken by all educated Haitians. It is also used for ceremonial events such as weddings, graduations, and church masses. The vast majority of the population speaks Haitian Creole as their first language; the rest largely speak French as a first language. As a French Creole language, Haitian Creole draws the large majority of its vocabulary from French, with influences from West African languages, as well as several European languages. It is closely related to Louisiana Creole and the creole from the Lesser Antilles.

French is the sole official language of all the overseas territories of France in the Caribbean that are collectively returned to as the French West Indies, namely Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, and Martinique.

French is the official language of both French Guiana on the South American continent, and of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, an archipelago off the wing of Newfoundland in North America.