More than 220 million people speak French on all the five continents. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, taught on every continent.
France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.
The ability to speak French is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.).
WHERE IS IT SPOKEN?
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African, Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte, d'Ivoire, DRC, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic, of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Vanuatu.
NUMBER OF SPEAKERS
THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT FRENCH
1. French Wasn’t Popular in France
This is probably the strangest of these French language facts. The French language wasn’t widely used across France until after the French Revolution. Before this period, France had pockets where various dialects were used. In fact, until the 19th Century, French was used more in Germany and Holland.
2. 29% of English Vocabulary Comes From French
English is indeed a collage of other languages. And while it shares strong similarities to German, its French influence cannot be denied. This is a result of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. This invasion resulted in a lengthy infusion of the two languages. Presently, roughly 50.000 English words come from French. In addition to this influence, there are many modern French loanwords in English as well. A few examples of these are “café,” “déjà vu,” “décor,” “naïve,” and “restaurant.”
3. French Culinary Words are Global
French cuisine is undoubtedly famous and popular. Their world-renowned dishes are of exceptional quality. However, it’s not just the food that’s globally famous. French words have defined the way food is prepared. Chef, blanching, sautéing, and julienne are some of the cooking terms that originate from French.