About the French language
French is one of a number of languages, the Romance languages, which stem from Latin. It has also become an important language in Africa because of the colonisation of large parts of the continent by France. For a long time, French was also the language of the elite in Europe. Many French words have also been borrowed into the English language. French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. See below for some general facts about French.
Facts about the French language
Countries in which French is spoken include France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada, and many countries in Africa.
French is spoken in many countries outside of France, such as Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Italy (Aosta Valley), Ivory Coast, Laos, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and the United States (Louisiana).
Approximately 130 million people speak French as their mother tongue. The standardisation of the French language is carried out by the Institut Français www.academie-francaise.fr.
The French alphabet is Roman. The language is a member of the Indo-European language family via the Romance branch. Corsican is closely related to French. Less closely-related languages include Italian, Spanish, Catalonian, Portuguese, Latin, Romanian, and Papiamento.
Around 130,000,000 people have French as their mother tongue. The French language is regulated by the French Institute (www.Academie-francaise.fr).
The French alphabet is Roman and the language classification is Indo-European to Roman to Gaelic.
One language that is strongly related to French is Corsican. The following languages are also related, although to a lesser degree: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Romanian, and Papiamento.
Nicolette van Neer
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