The French is a Romance Langue spoken in France, in which it is originating (the “Langue of oil”), like in French-speaking Africa, with the Canada (mainly with the Quebec, the New Brunswick and in Ontario), in Belgium (in Walloon region and with Brussels), in Suisse, with the Lebanon, in Haiti and in other areas of the world, on the whole in 51 countries of the world for the majority having belonged are to the old empires colonial French and Belgian.
The French language is an attribute of Souveraineté in France: it is the language of the French Republic (Article 2 of the Constitution of 1958). It is also the principal vehicle of the thought and the French Culture in the world.
Spoken by approximately 265 million people according to the official estimates.
The January 7th 1972, the French government promulgates the decree n° 72-9 relating to the enrichment of the French language, envisaging the creation of departmental committees of Terminologie for the enrichment of the Vocabulaire French.
The maintenance of the French language is followed by: the French Academy, the General delegation with the French language and the languages of France (DGLF), the Service of the French language (Belgium), the Québécois Office of the French language (OQLF), the Superior councils of the French language of France, Belgium and Quebec.
Council of Turns
- Oaths of Strasbourg
- Sequence of holy Eulalie
- Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts
- French foreign language
Approaches linguistic French
VocabularyThe majority of the French funds lexical comes from the Latin (as a language-mother) or is built starting from the graeco-latin roots. Many terms have a synonym, one coming from the old Latin root, the other being popular. These doublets are especially present with a name (popular) and the derived adjective (erudite): mother/maternal, brother/fraternal, hair/capillary, faith/faithful, cold/ice-cold, eye/ocular, safety/safety, etc
The Francique, as a superstratum, left some important words and the loans are numerous: initially with the English, then with the Italian , the others Romance Languages, the Germanic Languages such as the German or the Dutch, etc
EtymologyThe Francien, dialect of Language of oil spoken in Ile-de-France with the Middle Ages, is at the origin of French of today. This term was created in 1889 by Gaston Paris, a French linguist, to indicate the medieval dialect.
French spoken today car his name about this dialect, which evolved slowly to a speech suprarégional from 10th/11th/12th centuries: franceis > François > French.
Some Néologisme S French are made up starting from the roots Latin are or Greek:
- Wandering created to replace the English walkman and diskman .
- Email created to replace E-mail
- Livrel or Bouquineur created to replace Kindle
See also: lexical Loan
One estimates at less 13 % (either: 4200 words) the shares of the words of foreign origin in the current French language is approximately them: 35000 words of a dictionary of use. : 1054 of these words are of origin English E, 707 Italian S, 550 of the Ancien German, 481 of the old gallo-Romance languages, 215 Arab S, 164 of the German , 160 of the old Celtique, 159 Spanish S, 153 Dutch, 112 Perse S and Sanskrit S, 101 of the languages of the Indians of Americas, 89 of various Asian languages, 56 of various Afro-Asian languages, 55 of Slavic Langues and the Baltic, 144 of other various languages
See also: French Grammar
One of the characteristics of French grammar with respect to many Living languages is the richness of its times and modes. One can however note that this richness tends to be reduced to the oral examination. For example, certain times, the such preterit, are hardly more than with the writing and the past anterior is generally reduced to a simple play of oratorical “style” with expressions various but all built around the only verb to be (I be…, it had been…).
One can also note that a considerable part of French grammar (plurals, people in the conjugation), is notable only with the writing (example: they play, it plays).
The French language is illustrated by large grammairiens like Claude Favre de Vaugelas (first half of the 17th century) and Maurice Grevisse (1895 - 1980), grammairien Walloon, author of the grammar of reference the Good use .
Mr. Léopold Sédar Senghor, first French-speaking personality of nonFrench nationality to the birth to enter to the French Academy, vice-president of the High-Council of the Francophonie, was also the first titular African of the aggregation: in grammar (1935).
See also: Semantic of the French language
The French language has a very rich Sémantique. It lends itself to Word games, flashes of wit, riddles, Contrepèterie S…
This characteristic is important for the Data processing in the Databases (semantic Web).
Regional varieties of French
The regional variation, in French, can be approached in two manners:
- by considering that French is a synonym of the Langue of oil, which implies that all the Romance dialects of the field of oil are dialectal varieties of French (see the article Langue of oil);
- while limiting itself to what is called “regional French”, together of regional varieties in the world, which remain very close to standard French. These is the direction which is developed here.
Certain neologisms can also be borrowed from the Vocabulaire of regional French. One calls “regional French” the words or the expressions employed in certain areas of the Francophonie, but not retained in the dictionaries academic S of French or who is not used in the whole of the Francophonie. It is not a question of familiar language, but well of French who evolved/moved in a different way.
In part of the northern half of the France for example, the meal of the morning is called “breakfast”, that of midday the “lunch” and that of the evening the “dinner”, the “Souper” indicating the soup which was tasted around 10 p.m. in certain mediums; to the Quebec, in the remainder of the Canada, in Swiss Belgium and , one says “lunch”, “dinner” and “Souper”. In Swiss Belgium and , one says “Seventy” (70) and “Ninety” (90) while in Suisse one says “Huitante” (80) but only in certain cantons (the form old and now obsolete of “huitante” was “Octante”). To the Quebec, in the remainder of the Canada, in Swiss, Belgium and in certain French areas, one says “sometimes” where French of Paris but also African French uses “presently”; with the Quebec also, “to store” “to make races” (to avoid the Anglicism “making shopping”). In Senegal and in French-speaking Africa, one speaks sometimes about “essencery” to avoid the English neologism of “service station”, in Quebec and often in the remainder of Canada, one also says “to have a blonde” instead of “having a boyfriend” or “to have a girlfriend” etc
They are only some examples and French is rich lexical differences in his regional alternatives.
See also: French of France
Parisian French already replaced at the majority of the speakers of the zone of oil the local varieties of Francilien (it is not a question here of what is called sometimes of the “patois”, i.e. dialects of the language of oil, and not easily understandable with Parisian, but of varieties of French close to Parisian in which the local elites were already bilingual under the old mode). The differences between French of a Norman young person and a Parisian young person, for example, will be in the majority of the tiny cases in comparison with the diversity which existed historically in France in the francilien even.
Parisian French constituted for a long time the standard of French for the whole of the French-speaking people in the world, and continuous to exert an influence without similar on the French language sound recording entirety. For this reason one often takes Parisian French as point of reference with which one can compare other varieties of French.
However, certain recent evolutions of Parisian French compared to the traditional standard of French, who is accepted in France and even ratified in the dictionaries (of which the near total are published in France), do not pass unperceived abroad. This is true particularly in Canada, the French-speaking area where the influence of Parisian French is the least strong. As regards the pronunciation, one can think for example of the suppression of the L geminated in colleague , the addition of the T in August, or the homophony of brown bit and .
The same applies to certain lexical characteristics such as hard shoulder “hard shoulder” or aprèm “afternoon”. A regionalism characteristic of French of France is sometimes called francism . See also the Debate on the standard of Québécois French.
With the Quebec in particular, French-speaking linguistic space was not nourished any more in a way privileged by the contributions of the metropolis nor subjected to its influence, since the English Conquest in 1760 until the 20th century approximately. French preserved at it his lexical influences borrowed from the vocabulary of the navy of the 18th century (“to bar” a door “to lock”, for example), but also of the antiquated forms which were maintained in North-American French : one says “at present” for “currently” (it is a false-friend, because the term “at present” in France and Belgium means “there, now, immediately”); one says “beverage” for “drink”, that is to say the same nuance which exists in English between the Beverage American and the British drink , the Québécois term having preserved the same neutral direction as in old man-French (drink), while elsewhere in the francophonie (including in France) the word took a pejorative connotation of “bad drink” or, still, of a “Philter” witch in the tales for children; the American word Beverage is remainder, itself, resulting from old man-French and preserved the initial and neutral drink direction.
Since second half of the 20th century, it is true a linguistic engineering which took part of the evolution of Québécois French, in particular by inventing Québécois equivalents with Anglicisms. One says “croustilles” for chips ; “email” for e-mail ; “end of the week” to avoid the Anglicism weekend , etc
The Québécois Office of the French language (OQLF) is, in its missions of terminological day before, the Québécois equivalent of the French Academy in France: its role is at the same time advisory and normative. Within the world francophonie, the considerable influence and relatively news of the OQLF and Québécois lexical matter French (francized words, neologisms, etc) are important even apart from Quebec. For illustration, the French Academy “imports” and integrates from now on much Québécois lexical contributions (recommended by the Québécois office with regard to the use of the language to Quebec), enriching international French and allowing the diffusion of these terms in the world Francophonie; for example, after “markbeing initially marked” like Québécismes, terms as “email” from now on are regarded as standard words for the French-speaking people worldwide (“French international”) and “are not necessarily any more differentiated”. Québécois French takes part in the standard of international French, more largely than of other regional varieties of French (French of Belgium, for example, or that of Switzerland) whose influence out of their national borders remains limited.
The goal of OQLF in the terminological matters is not to deviate from the international standard of French (grammar, etc), but to frame its North-American alternative, in the compliance with the common rules of the French language (common corpus); in that, the lexical activities of the Office contribute to enrich international French by a Québécois contribution, Quebec being the French-speaking territory most influential in the world after France.
French is spoken mainly in the provinces about the south about the country - the Walloon region - like in Brussels, the capital, but there are still many families which speak French in North, that it is in the Flemish middle-class but also in the French-speaking families of the Périphérie of Brussels.
The regional Romance languages like the Walloon or the Picard were replaced by French progressively of the instruction of the popular class, so that they are not used almost any more. The children who went to school learned the language from the administration and the middle-class.
In certain areas (Liege, Namur…), there remained about it typically local words of the vocabulary like Walloon words such as macrale (Witch), oufti (typically of Liege untranslatable, it would be a kind of “Diantre! ” but resolutely more “popular”, potchî foû (to be irritated), “clinche” (handle of door) and of the expressions idiomatic such as “falling low from its clicotes” (Potchîr foû of its clicotes, the expression supplements to be irritated), “Petèye-crompîre” (petée Potato. I.e., with the skin, wrapped in aluminum and passed with the furnace, or old, without aluminum, and directly in embers), “Tesse to Po! ” (Thus Keep silent yourself a little!) and “It is todi the small ones which one språtche” (They is always the small ones which one crushes). There is the same phenomenon in other areas as in Tournaisis or in Brussels.
The strong Italian minority produced a contribution of Italian words, like bye (ciao) (goodbye).
Certain typical terms are included in the law or perceived like depending, at the very least, of the good language such as chicory (endive), crolles (ringlets), ninety (90), seventy (70), burgomaster (mayor)…
See also: Pronunciation of French
Writing of French textsFrench is written (mainly) with the basic Latin alphabet (26 letters) extended by some signs diacric (obligatory) and bindings (used conventionally but according to a less respected convention). The writing of French in Latin writing has been the object for several centuries of rather precise orthographical standards, published, taught, generally recognized and accepted but always not respected very well (these standards evolved/moved and adapted more or less well with time).
Other writings are possible to write French, in particular with the Alphabet Braille (which requires an adaptation of the existing French orthography, because the Braille is more restrictive and brings specific constraints to its use).
The purely phonetic transcriptions use the API, but they are only used to specify the pronunciation (generally only in the phonological plan to allow a sufficient mutual comprehension, and not the exact transcription phonetic which depends on L `regional accent of the speaker).
The transcription is rather easy also in the Greek alphabets and Cyrillic thanks to the existence of standards (used for the official transcription of the toponyms and French names), but more delicate and vague with the Semitic writings (in the languages which use these writings, the standardized French writing is generally preserved.)
Standardized Latin orthography of FrenchThe French Academy and of the similar institutions of other French-speaking countries approved a series of orthographical corrections suggested in 1990 by a report/ratio of the Superior council of the French language. These corrections relate to less 3 % of the vocabulary. Moreover, the French Academy stresses that these corrections are not obligatory, but which they are recommended. These proposals are described in the article: orthographical Corrections of French.
Let us note that, at all times, the orthography of French underwent many corrections, but that the literary practice to adapt the works in the official orthography of the moment gives an impression of continuity to us that the written French language, in fact, forever have.
Alphabetical order of FrenchThe algorithm of sorting is multilevel, in accordance with the specification of the standardized algorithms of scheduling UCA (of Unicode):
- Initially, the differences of breakage and accents are ignored, just as, for certain types of sorting, all the separators of words and the punctuation. The French alphabet uses digraphs and trigraphes to note certain letters, however they are not regarded as letters distinct from the alphabet (as it is the case in Breton). All the Latin letters are not used, but can appear in imported words (in particular of the proper names and toponyms not translated, but generally transcribed litéralement since another writing): one then classifies these words, which contain additional letters (like þ , etc) after those containing the other letters; however certain dictionaries can classify these additional Latin letters according to their transliteration in the basic alphabet, like þ , the Scandinavian letter thorn, classified like HT ). French
- (as into Breton), the secondary differences (of accents mainly) will be normally sorted by initially comparing the last characters of the texts or words to be classified, and not the first letters of these texts.
- Finally the separators of words, the punctuation, the symbols and the differences in breakage and are considered in the normal direction of reading.
The French orthography uses the whole of the basic letters of the Latin alphabet (on green bottom below) and their alternatives (on white zone) and the orthographical separators (in yellow, of which space; the other symbols of punctuation are treated as space); the mathematical and monetary symbols (on orange bottom) are classified before the figures. The numbers are written with the decimal digits arabo-Europeans (on blue bottom).
The table below (in conformity with the table of scheduling owing to lack of Unicode ( DUCET ), only adapted for the French basic alphabet and the particular case of binding æ which is not regarded as a French letter of the alphabet but a recommended typographical form; scheduling owing to lack of Unicode classifies already the specifically French binding œ like two letters) does not list any other letter borrowed from another language: other specific characters can be as employed such as purely typographical bindings not differentiated in the alphabetical and orthographical plan, various technical symbols, additional punctuation marks, and letters borrowed from other languages as French. The characters ignored during the first levels of sorting (or treaties for this level as if they were other characters indicated in italic and treaties for this phase as these separate characters) are marked of a gray bottom for these phases.
Continuation of the table:
Continuation of the table:
Continuation of the table:
Continuation of the table:
French typographical specificitiesSeveral typographical conventions often have the orthographical force of convention in French, and are the subject of frequent corrections, intended to specify the written text.
Spaces and indents separating the paragraphs, the sentences and the wordsWithin the same paragraph, the sentences must be finished by final punctuations (which are the point, the point of exclamation, the question mark). Two of the same paragraphs levels are normally not separated if those end in a comma, a semicolon or a sign two points; these signs bind together two sentences which are complementary mutually, and a simple and sectile space follows these separating punctuations but not finales.
Except for the paragraphs of titles, when they do not form a complete sentence, and paragraphs introducing a list (which should be finished by a nonfinal punctuation, i.e. generally a sign two points, sometimes a semicolon), all the paragraphs must be finished by a final punctuation. The same sentence should not be crossed in two distinct paragraphs.
However, in the lists with chips or numbered, one can separate the subparagraphs constituting the elements from the list and finished by a comma or a semicolon, if the whole list supplements the sentence started in a paragraph preceding this énumérative list (it should not have there within this introductory sentence or of the list no punctuation final (apart from the quotations which must be framed). The lists, which they are énumératives or not, should not comprise any element not finished by a punctuation, this would be only one comma or a semicolon; the last element of the list will always end in a point (except if the sentence continues in the following paragraph after the list itself, which of it is only one part and which should be limited to a simple enumeration).
Between two sentences of the same paragraph, the space which separates the first sentence (finished by a final punctuation) from the following sentence is preferably a simple and sectile space (contrary to English conventions typographical which prefers a space increased, or two simple spaces in the typed texts) . If a semantic separation is really necessary in French, one will prefer to separate the sentences in two distinct paragraphs, in the other cases, a separation by a space widened is not necessary in the French texts.
Between the words of the same sentence, or after a comma, before or after a quotation within a sentence, one uses a sectile simple space. One should put no space between a word and a simple punctuation (comma in medium of sentence or not at the end of the sentence), the two elements being inseparable even in the event of caesura.
The only punctuations which can be preceded by a simple space are the opening punctuations (brackets, hooks, accodances, quotation marks, or indent em quadrat of aside); this simple space is even necessary if this punctuation is not at the head of introduced paragraph but and separates a subparagraph in the medium or the end from an other sentence.
No space separates the hyphen connecting the words from the same made up word; it is the same for the indent en quad separating the two terminals from an interval (of distinct date, or places).
Space French indivisible fine (in the numbers in figures and with the punctuations)
See also: Space fine
This Espace fine indivisible Frenchwoman should always be placed before all punctuation marks comprising two glyphes separate (inside the double quotation marks, and before the semicolon, the two points, the point of exclamation and the question mark).
Space indivisible fine should also be used as separator of grouping of figures, such as the thousands in the cardinal numbers or the phone numbers or of identification (instead of simple space often considered to be too broad because it can allow the insertion of a figure in space left vacuum, even of a decimal point if the number is initially written without decimals, but especially because this space is sectile and the caesura of the numbers is generally undesirable except where it is explicitly used for the very great numbers). It should be noted that the years are ordinal numbers (not cardinals, because they do not indicate a quantity but an exact row) and one should not thus separate the figure there from the thousands by a space (this interpretation is not obligatory for the years prehistoric or future very remote because they are quantitative scientific estimates).
French rules of caesura
See also: Caesura
The caesura of a long text can be done everywhere where figure a sectile space between two words. It leaves this space at the end of the line, and begins the following line directly with the word which follows this space. It is thus allowed to cut the sentences.
If that is not sufficient, the French caesura in the middle of a word is written with a small indent of caesura (sembable to the hyphen of the made up words) only after the first part of the cut word, and any indent at the beginning of the following line where the word continues. Typographical conventions strongly disadvise the caesura if this one leaves a syllable of only one letter or two separated from the remainder of the word (that this syllable is at the beginning of the word and at the end of the line, or at the end of the word and at the beginning of line), because that makes the reading more difficult. Certain editors allow to impose other typographical constraints, by increasing the number of sufficient letters to detach a syllable of a mot.
The rules of caesura seem rather easy in French for the native speakers who can recognize the syllables: one can carry out a caesura only between two syllables. However that must correspond to the morphological syllables and not with the phonetic syllables which can attach two distinct morphemes composing the same mot. Moreover of the caesuras is considered to be undesirable if the word thus cut can be interprêté like two made up words taking another direction (for example “ consacré ” cannot be crossed in “ idiot-sacré ”. That thus requires a dictionary of caesuras or the knowledge of the language to find the many exceptions to the rule simple phonetics.
In the same way one can carry out a caesura after the hyphen connecting the words of a compound word, or after the indent en quad separating the terminals from an interval (without adding any additional indent for the caesura itself).
The caesura is prohibited before or after an apostrophe of elision placed between two attached words units, and whose letters before and after the apostrophe form the same phonetic syllable.
The French apostrophe
See also: Apostrophe (typography)
French does not differentiate normally (orthographiquement) the three typographical forms different from the apostrophizes, however the highly recommended typographical form is directed and not vertical, using the same sign (generally in form of small 9 full by exposing, sometimes as in the shape of fine corner directed towards the base of the character on its left, i.e. like a high comma) as the simple sign of punctuation on the right of a short quotation. However the French keyboards often do not make it possible to seize it: the typing apostrophe (in the shape of vertical corner directed downwards) is thus very often present in the French texts.
The French apostrophe marks the elision grammatical of last the dumb letters of very current words whose E final is normally not dumb (but becomes it before the following word whose initial one is a vowel or a H dumb not aspired): this contextual elision is obligatory at the end of the words “ this, of, until, it, when, me, since, that, te ” and removes not to only them E final, but also the space which separates it from the following word, replaced by this apostrophe of elision (one observes a similar rule of elision marked by the apostrophe in Italian). The elision is also used in certain made up words like “ large' rue ” or the formerly made up word “ aujourd'hui ” (become inseparable and a single word, the term “today” of old French having completely disappeared everywhere else in modern French).
The use of the apostrophe as a punctuation mark is very thus strongly disadvised in French (except for some technical documents adopting of specific syntactic conventions); it is the same for the sign of opposite direction (in the shape from small 6 or corner leant towards the base of the following letter), although this last does not represent a French apostrophe correctly.
Quotations and quotation marks
See also: Quotation mark
To frame the quotations, French uses the double quotation marks (out of rafters for the principal quotation, in the form of double high apostrophes for the internal quotations) which should be separate text quoted by a Espace fine indivisible Frenchwoman (of which the width should be of at least a sixth of EM , contrary to the English typography or this fine does not exceed a eighth of EM, and can thus be omitted if English fine is not supported: it is often the case because the punctuation marks which require this space fine include already this space sufficient in the glyphe present in the font faces used). However, it is allowed to use in French a nonbreaking space normal.
Writing of the simple numbers in the French textsFor the positive or null whole small numbers (exprimables by only one word) it is of use to rather write them in all letters than in figures in the texts (of “ zéro ” with “ seize ”, “ vingt ”, “ cent ” and “ mille ”, even “millet” for the ordinal number only), however the Roman numbers (in Latin letters capital S) are systematically used for the ordinal numbers representing an order of reign, and often also for a number of volume, volume, or chapter.
Capital letters and written letters in capitals
See also: Capital and capital
The distinction between small letter and capital letter (or small capital) is not semantic but typographical according to the very strict French conventions dictated by grammar (contrary to the English where these typographical conventions vary according to the countries and the sources) .
Semantic distinction between capital letter and small letter revêt an obligatory and single French character (but also in English); it is used as significant distinction in the French dictionaries whose main entrances write all the small letters (semantic) in small letters (typographical) and all the capital letters (semantic) in capital letters (typographical):
the capital letter (semantic) is used systematically for the only initial letter of the significant words of the proper names (family names, first names), Toponyme S, titles of works, and certain honoric designations placed before the name (Monseigneur) or their abbreviation (for example M gr. for Monseigneur), except for the definite articles and adverbs which can be articulated and to contract. The other letters of the components of proper names are all of tiny (semantic). One differently uses as the capital letters for all the letters of the unpronouncable Acronyme S as letter with letter.
- the French common words are spelled entirely without any capital letter whatever the context.
The small letters (semantic) are written normally in small letters (typographical) everywhere where it is possible in French (but can be also written in small capitals for certain paragraphs using this style), and only in certain very precise cases in capitals: a small letter (semantic) will be written in capital if and only if it is initial first word of a sentence (or of a principal title) and in this case one should not write it either in small capital (English is much more permissive and authorizes the capitalization of all the tiny initial ones of all the words or only of certain words, and even no) .
The capital letters (semantic) are always written in capital letters, never in typographical small letters (it is then an orthographical error in French), and normally never in small capitals (except sometimes if all the paragraph is written in small capitals, but it is highly recommended even in this case to preserve the capital writing of all the capital letters).
Literature in French language
Among major works, one can quote:
- Sequence of holy Eulalie , first literary text " français"
- the Song of Roland (characters: Roland, Charlemagne, Olivier, Ganelon);
- the Romance of Renart (characters: Goupil, Ysengrin);
- novels of Christian of Troyes;
- Gargantua of François Rabelais;
- the Odes of Pierre de Ronsard;
- Defense and illustration of the French language of Joachim of Bellay;
- the Tests of Montaigne;
- the Discourse on Method of Rene Descartes;
- Thought of Blaise Pascal;
- Cid and other parts of Pierre Corneille;
- Miserly the and other parts of Molière;
- Phèdre and other parts of Jean Root;
- Ingenuous of Voltaire;
- the News Héloïse of Jean-Jacques Rousseau;
- the Barber of Seville of Beaumarchais;
- dangerous Connections of Choderlos de Laclos;
- Jacques the Fatalist and his Master of Denis Diderot;
- Red and the Black of Stendhal;
- the Father Goriot of Honore de Balzac;
- the Mémoires of in addition to-fall from Chateaubriand;
- Flowers of the evil of Charles Baudelaire;
- Mrs Bovary of Gustave Flaubert;
- the Poor wretches of Victor Hugo;
- Germinal of Emile Zola;
- With the research of time lost of Marcel Proust;
- the Small Prince of Saint-Exupéry;
- the Plague of Albert Camus;
- the Words of Jean-Paul Sartre.
French Place du in the world
Bleu dark: language maternelle
Bleu: language administrative
Bleu clearly: language of culture
Vert: minorities francophones
French is the Official language of many countries, It is largely used in a certain number of other countries. Part of the nations using this language is gathered within the “Francophonie”. Exceeding, the only Language Service, the High council of the francophonie is a platform of exchanges implying a third of the countries of planet. This movement confirms a redefinition of the place of French in the world. A recent estimate evaluates to approximately 265 million people able to speak in French in the world.
French, international language
Child of the Latin , French replaces it as an international language at the 17th century. In 1685, Pierre Bayle can thus write that French is “the point of communication of all the people of Europe”. The main cause of this French hegemony holds with the precision of the language, engraved by the French Academy since 1635. The March 6th 1714, the Traité of Radstadt marking the end of the War of succession of Spain is written only in French. French par excellence remains the international language until in 1919. Georges Clémenceau accepts that the Traité of Versailles enclosing the First World War is written in French and English. Since then, English nibbles on French. At the beginning of the 21e century, French still preserves many his prerogatives. If the international authorities can accept several official languages, only one language must be the language reference in the event of conflict. In this field, French resists. Let us quote for the example the attempt to impose English on the place of French as language of reference of the International Olympic committee which was rejected. The rule 24 of the Olympic charter always specifies: “The official languages of the CIO are French and English. (…) In the event of divergence between the French text and the English text of the Olympic Charter and any other document of the CIO, the French text will be taken except provision contrary written express. ”. There exist even international organizations where the only official language remains French: the Universal postal union in particular. On the other hand, English is clearly preferred with French as regards scientific publications or speech to the platform of UNO, for example. If French manages to maintain his positions institutional, its use with the daily newspaper as working language is lost, reinforcing the image of decline which is real since 1919.
French remains one of the Official languages of many international organizations.
French is the second Official language of the Economic Cooperation organization and Development, whose seat is with Paris. He appears among the six Official languages of the United Nations and UNESCO (with English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic).
French is also official language of the European Union, of the European Union of radio-television, the European space agency, the African Union, the international Secrétariat of water, the international hydrographic Organization, the Universal postal union (where it remains the principal official language), of the International office of the weights and measures, of the International association of political science, of the the International Court of Justice, NATO, the World Trade organization, the International penal court, Interpol. International Olympic committee, FINA, FIFA, TRUSTED, and of the world Agence antidopage,
French also appears among the two working languages of UNO, as well as all his agencies. The French language is one of the three working languages of the African Union. It is also one of the two principal working languages of the European Union (with English), although the German became the third working language of the Union.
It is also the language which progresses most quickly on the whole of the African continent (like official language or foreign language). French is taught in many universities everywhere throughout the world and he enjoys a radiation in particular in the worlds diplomatic, journalistic, legal and university. French is the second foreign language most taught in the schools of the European Union (with equality with German; Spanish arriving only far behind in 4th position). With the entry of the Romania and Bulgaria in the European Union since January 2007, French passes by again in front of German as a foreign language the most taught in the Union after English. In a general way, French remains the language most taught in the world after English and only with English with being learned on the five continents.
Because of the particular case of an important Spanish-speaking linguistic block in Latin America, only continent where one finds to a significant degree the Spanish language (with share Spain even), the the United States are the only large anglophone country of the world where French is not the first taught foreign language, it is Spanish here (since the Années 1980; previously it was French). In other anglophone countries (Ireland, anglophone Canada, etc), French preserves the privilege to be the first foreign language taught and far in front of the other languages.
See also: Distribution of the French-speaking people in the world, regional Variations of French
In 1998, the High council of the Francophonie considered the French-speaking people “real” at 112,6 million for which it is advisable to add 60,6 million French-speaking people described as “partial” or “occasional”, that is to say 173,2 million French-speaking people. Moreover, 100 to 110 million “francizing”, which, quote the official report here, “French learned during several years and kept a variable control of it or which are brought to practice it, even partially, for their trade. ” The same type of study had been carried out by this same organization in 1989 (report published in 1990) with 104,6 million listed French-speaking people “real” more 54,2 million “partial”, that is to say 158,8 million French-speaking people. The recorded progression is important with a profit of 14,4 million in 9 years. Two million these “new” French-speaking people is French, demography obliges, but large battalion is provided by the unintermitting African. By extrapolating these figures, one can estimate the number of the French-speaking speakers at officially some 183 million In 2005 and the full number of people ready to express themselves in French to approximately 265 million
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