What is the French Speaking population across the globe? What are the countries where it is spoken?
This article will answer some questions about the Francophone world, geographical distribution, official status, and importance on the international stage.
When it comes to learning foreign languages, French is a popular language worldwide. And the main reason is the vast number of French speakers globally.
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Foreign Languages in the Modern era
Speaking a foreign language has become an integral part of achieving one’s socio-economic and career objectives in today’s world.
As globalization forces bring the world together under the auspices of a bilateral relationship, learning a new language becomes a critical factor in measuring positive competitiveness.
From career choices involving languages and immigration to cultural aspects and moving abroad, there are many reasons one would like to learn French.
While the reasons vary nonetheless, learning French can open a fascinating world.
The population and number of speakers are keys to choosing a foreign language to learn, and some of the most popular tongues are Spanish, French, Arabic, and Mandarin.
French Speaking population has a universal touch
English, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, and Spanish are among the world’s most populous languages.
French is an exotic, beautiful, widespread, vibrant, international language.
The French language belongs to the group of romance languages like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Catalan.
French is the only language other than English to be spoken in all five continents worldwide, in virtually every nation.
The tongue is ranked the 6th most widely spoken language — just after Chinese Mandarin, English, Hindi, and Spanish, including Arabic.
How many people speak French in the world?
Currently, there are over 280 million French speakers spread over the world.
The number also includes 71 million partial speakers and speakers of numerous French dialects and creoles.
Of the 71 million French speakers, the majority have learned French as a foreign language.
While the Indian Ocean and Sub-Saharan Africa account for 36.03% of the French-speaking population, the Middle East and North Africa share 15.28%.
The Caribbean and America account for 7.66% while Asia and Oceania boast 1.1%. Europe is home to an enormous number of French-speaking people, with 39.87%.
Belgium plays host to the most significant French-speaking population with 45%, followed by Switzerland with 20%.
77% of Canada’s Quebec’s population are native Francophones, and 95% speak French as their first or second language.
It is estimated that by 2050, the number of French speakers will rise above 700 million — 80% of them in Africa.
French is spoken in how many countries?
It is an official, co-official, or de facto national of 33 countries. The number of French-speaking countries in the world is based on a study by FERDI in 2013.
French is spoken in over 50 countries, making it one of the most widely spoken languages globally. As a result, french-speaking nations are called “Francophone.”
Let’s consider officials and countries with a significant French population (at least 20%) by applying this approach. We have 33 countries in the French-speaking world.
It includes Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, France, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, France, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Israel, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, DRC (the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rwanda, Senegal, Switzerland, Chad, Togo, and Tunisia.
An academic language taught throughout the world
After English, French is the only foreign language being taught and accepted in the educational system of most countries of the world.
The language is being taught in more than 50 countries worldwide, with over 500,000 language teachers and 120 million students.
French is taught to over 2 million pupils as a bilingual option and hundreds of establishments sponsored by France worldwide.
French – An international language of reference
The French language is among the few working languages of the United Nations.
It also doubles as a procedural language of the European Union and the only language used in deliberation in the European Union Court of Justice.
French also serves as the only language used in all dealings of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
It is also a working language of the World Trade Organization (WTO), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), International Labor Organization (ILO), ECOWAS, WADA, FIFA, and more.
As a result of its political and economic strengths, French is not only one of the most widely spoken languages globally.
But also the fourth most commonly used on the Internet (after English and German).
French is fortunate to be the 4th most used language on the Internet, 3rd in business, 2nd in general information, and the media.
Besides, it is the 2nd working language of most international organizations and the 2nd most learned language globally, an asset for those who can speak it well.
The French-speaking population in the world is quite immense and growing northward.
French is one of the most common European languages. You should consider learning it because of its widespread use and vast benefits.