Promoting french worldwide [fr]
French is spoken by 220million people throughout the world. It is the sixth most widely spoken language. It is a tool of international communication, serving as a working language in African, European and multilateral forums (e.g. UN, WTO, OECD, ILO).
With over 220 million speakers, it ranks as the sixth most widely spokenlanguage in the world, after Chinese, Hindi, English, Spanish and Arabic.
A language which is present on every continent.
French is an official language of 32 States and governments, with a total population of over 400 million. It is firmly established in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean. It is shared by the 57 member states and governments and 20 observers of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF).
A language of international institutions.
French is an official language of the United Nations(UN) and many UN bodies. It is a working languageof the European Union and other regional organizations, such as the African Union. It is also one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games.
A language learnt worldwide.
French is taught as a foreign language in almost every national education system. It is the most widely learnt language after English. It is taught by half a million teachers to 120 million pupils.
A language of culture and knowledge.
French-language films and literature are the most widely distributed after English-language works. With its wealth of cultural sites, particularly museums, France has become the world’s leading tourist destination. Its universities rank third in terms of their foreign student numbers. France also has the largest network of international schools.
A language of the international economy.
The French economy is the fifth largest in the world. The French-speaking world accounts for 15% of global wealth and 12% of international trade.
Gathered in Dakar as part of the XVth Francophonie Summit, the Heads of State and Government members of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) have officially designated today the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean as new Secretary General, she thus succeeds to Abdou Diouf and became the first woman to head the organization.
- Michaëlle Jean élue Secrétaire générale de l’OIF. Elle devrait prendre ses fonctions en janvier 2015
About Michaëlle Jean :
Governor General and Commander in Chief of Canada from 2005 to 2010, Michaëlle Jean has occupied since October 2010 the position of UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti. Great Witness of La Francophonie at Olympic and Paralympic Games London 2012, she has since that same year Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, the largest bilingual university (English, French) in the world. Born in Haiti, Michaëlle Jean, 57, is married to filmmaker and French-born philosopher Jean Daniel Lafond. The couple has a daughter, Marie-Éden, also born in Haiti.
More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, comprises 77 member States and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.
French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for close on a million learners.
The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and third-ranking destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner.
French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon and Zinedine Zidane.
France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79,5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.
Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government grants to enroll in postgraduate courses in France in the discipline of their choice and qualify for internationally recognised degrees.
French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.
After English and German, French is the third most widely used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all over the world and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).
French is an easy language to learn. There are many methods on the market that make learning French enjoyable for children and adults alike. It does not take long to reach a level where you can communicate in French.
French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.
First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.