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French

A language of France

ISO 639-3fra

Population  53,200,000 in France (2005). Population total all countries: 67,838,450.
Region  Also in Algeria, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Guadeloupe, Guinea, Haiti, India, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Niger, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Réunion, Rwanda, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
Language map  Andorra and France
Alternate names   Français
Dialects  Standard French, Norman (Normand), Angevin, Berrichon, Bourbonnais, Bourguignon, Franc-Comtois, Gallo, Poitevin, Santongeais, Lorraine. Lexical similarity: 89% with Italian, 80% with Logudorese Sardinian [src], 78% with Romansch [roh], 75% with Portuguese, Romanian [ron], and Spanish, 29% with German, 27% with English.
Classification  Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French
Language use  National language. 50,000,000 L2 speakers.
Language development  Fully developed. Bible: 1530–2000.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  SVO. Intensive agriculturalists; industry workers, marketers. Christian.

Also spoken in:

Algeria

Language name   French
Population  111,000 in Algeria (1993).
Region  Mostly cities.
Language development  20% can read and write French.
 

Andorra

Language name   French
Population  2,400 in Andorra (1986).
Language use  National language.
 

Belgium

Language name   French
Population  4,000,000 in Belgium (Harris 1987).
Region  Hainaut, Namur, Liège, Luxembourg, Brabant-Walloon provinces, southern hills, and bilingual part of Brussels. Lorraine in Luxembourg Province south.
Language map  Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands
Alternate names  Français
Dialects  Lorraine.
Language use  Official language.
Comments  The following municipalities have minority rights for Dutch-speaking persons: Comines-Warneton, Mouscron, Enghien, Floubecques; and for German-speaking persons: Malmèdy, Weismes, Welkenraedt.
 

Benin

Language name   French
Population  16,700 in Benin (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Burkina Faso

Language name   French
Language use  Official language.
 

Burundi

Language name   French
Population  2,200 in Burundi (2004).
Language use  Official language.
 

Cambodia

Language name   French
Language use  Language of wider communication. Still a L2 for older Cambodians.
 

Cameroon

Language name   French
Region  Used mainly in the Littoral, West, Center, South, East, Adamawa, North, and Far North provinces.
Language use  Official language.
 

Canada

Language name   French
Population  6,700,000 in Canada (2001). 300,000 speak Acadien, 500,000 speak Franco-Ontarien.
Region  Québéco in Quebec; Franco-Ontarien Ontario; Acadian Caraquet; Shippagan, east coast of New Brunswick, pockets in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Some Québécois in Manitoba and Newfoundland.
Alternate names  Français
Dialects  Québécois, Franco-Ontarien, Acadian (Acadien), Shippagan.
Language use  Official language. All domains. Most also use English.
Comments  Difficult intelligibility Québécois and Acadian speakers, for speakers not fluent in Standard French. Québécois used more vigorously than Acadian. Christian.
 

Central African Republic

Language name   French
Population  9,000 in Central African Republic (1996).
Region  Widespread.
Language use  Official language.
 

Chad

Language name   French
Population  3,000 in Chad (1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Comoros

Language name   French
Population  1,700 in Comoros (1993).
Language use  Official language.
Comments  Language of all formal education except Koranic.
 

Congo

Language name   French
Population  28,000 in Congo (1993).
Language use  Official language.
Comments  Sole language of formal education.
 

Côte d’Ivoire

Language name   French
Population  17,500 in Côte d’Ivoire (1988 census).
Language use  Official language.
 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Language name   French
Language use  Official language.
Language development  Taught in secondary schools.
 

Djibouti

Language name   French
Population  10,200 in Djibouti (2006).
Language use  Official language.
 

Equatorial Guinea

Language name   French
Region  Mostly cities.
Language use  Official language. 75,000 to 100,000 L2 speakers in Equatorial Guinea. Commerce, government.
Comments  Declared an official language in 1997. Increasingly becoming a language of wider communication.
 

French Guiana

Language name   French
Language use  National language.
 

French Polynesia

Language name   French
Population  25,700 in French Polynesia (2000).
Language use  Official language. 50,215 attend French schools, L2 users (1978).
 

Gabon

Language name   French
Population  37,500 in Gabon (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
Comments  The only language of formal education.
 

Guadeloupe

Language name   French
Population  7,300 in Guadeloupe (2004).
Language use  Official language.
Comments  There is a variety on the northwest end of St. Barthélemy, west of but not including Gustavia, similar to Cajun French [frc] of the USA.
 

Guinea

Language name   French
Language use  Official language.
 

Haiti

Language name   French
Population  600 in Haiti (2004).
Language use  Official language. 400,000 L2 speakers.
 

India

Language name   French
Population  12,000 in India.
Language use  Official language.
Comments  An official language of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) but not recognized as official language by the national constitution.
 

Italy

Language name   French
Population  100,000 in Italy (Harris 1987).
Region  Aosta Valley.
Alternate names  Français
Language use  Official regional language status.
 

Lebanon

Language name   French
Population  16,600 in Lebanon (2004).
Language use  Official language. An estimated 20% of the population speak French [fra] in their daily lives, and up to 65% of the population can read and converse in French. A number of government and private universities teach in French. Language of instruction in most schools.
Language development  Taught in primary and secondary schools.
 

Luxembourg

Language name   French
Population  13,100 in Luxembourg (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  National language. Used mainly by intellectuals, professionals, authorities. Taught in school as L3. Used for streets, shops, travel tickets, hotel registries, menus.
 

Madagascar

Language name   French
Population  18,000 in Madagascar (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Mali

Language name   French
Population  9,000 in Mali (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
Language development  Taught in primary and secondary schools.
Comments  Official language for instruction in schools.
 

Martinique

Language name   French
Population  9,000 in Martinique (2004).
Language use  National language.
 

Mauritius

Language name   French
Population  37,000 in Mauritius.
Language use  Official language. Stores. Widely used by young people as L2. Older adults tend to use creole.
 

Mayotte

Language name   French
Population  2,450 in Mayotte (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Monaco

Language name   French
Population  17,400 in Monaco (1988).
Alternate names  Français
Language use  Official language.
 

New Caledonia

Language name   French
Population  53,400 in New Caledonia (1987).
Region  Mainly Noumea.
Language use  Official language.
 

Niger

Language name   French
Population  6,000 in Niger (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Réunion

Language name   French
Population  2,400 in Réunion (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  Official language. 160,500 L2 speakers.
 

Rwanda

Language name   French
Population  2,300 in Rwanda (2004).
Language use  Official language.
 

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Language name   French
Population  5,110 in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (1967 census). Ethnic population: 5,235.
Language use  Official language.
 

Senegal

Language name   French
Population  20,000 in Senegal (2006).
Language use  Official language.
 

Seychelles

Language name   French
Population  980 in Seychelles (1971 census).
Language use  Official language.
Comments  Spoken by French settler families, ‘grands blancs’.
 

Switzerland

Language name   French
Population  1,490,000 in Switzerland (2000 census).
Region  West.
Language map  Liechtenstein and Switzerland
Alternate names  Français
Dialects  Franche-Comtois (Jurassien, Fribourgois).
Language use  Official language. 33% of the population of Switzerland speak French daily (1990 census). Used for education in French-speaking areas.
 

Togo

Language name   French
Population  3,000 in Togo (1993).
Language use  Official language.
 

Tunisia

Language name   French
Population  11,000 in Tunisia (1993).
 

United Kingdom

Language name   French
Population  14,000 in United Kingdom (1976 Stephens).
Region  Channel Islands.
Language map  Ireland and United Kingdom
Dialects  Jerriais, Dgernesiais.
Language use  Official language on Channel Islands. 11% of the population of Channel Islands, mainly older adults.
 

United States

Language name   French
Population  1,640,000 in United States (2000 census).
Region  Massachusetts, Woonsocket Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Manchester New Hampshire, Vermont.
Dialects  Québécois, Acadian (Acadien).
Comments  This variety is considered threatened. Christian.
 

Vanuatu

Language name   French
Population  6,300 in Vanuatu (1995).
Language use  Official language.
 

Wallis and Futuna

Language name   French
Population  120 in Wallis and Futuna (Johnstone 1993).
Language use  National language.