8 Facts About The French Language
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Ready to learn a few interesting facts about the French language?
1. French is spoken in 29 countries worldwide in regions in Europe, Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean. French is estimated to have about 76 million native speakers and about 235 million daily, fluent speakers and another 75 to 110 million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language.
2. It is the second most commonly taught foreign language after English, and it is taught
in almost every country in the world. There are over 100 million foreign students studying the language worldwide.
3. A few years ago Natixis a French investment bank made a projection that French could have 750 million speakers by 2050 with over 80 percent of them coming from Sub-Sahara Africa which is one of the fastest growing regions in the World. Some suggest French may surpass English and Mandarin as the most spoken language in the world in years to come.
4. French is a Romance language which descended from Latin making it easy for speakers of
other Romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian to learn. French is one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn also with the two sharing 27% of vocabulary between them.
5. At the time of the French Revolution, 75% of French citizens did not speak French as a mother tongue. Until the 19th century, French was spoken more widely in the Netherlands and Germany than in some parts of France.
6. French is a mother tongue to 1.6 million Americans and it is estimated that 6 to 11 million Americans speak French fluently as a second language as well.
7. Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s second largest French speaking city, after Paris, before the likes of Montreal and Brussels.
8. French is the most taught foreign language taught in the UK and it is the second most taught language in the US after Spanish. There are over 500,000 Americans employed by French companies, therefore even having a small knowledge of French can set you apart
on the global stage.