• Fast French Facts 

    • French is spoken on 5 continents and is the official language in 29 countries
    • Half of the world's French speakers live in African countries
    • The closest countries to the U.S. that use French as an official language are Canada and Haiti.
    • There are French-English dual language schools in 34 states in the U.S.
    • French is recognized as a cultural language in both Louisiana and Maine.


    Why is French spoken in so many places?

    France colonized many areas of the world, including many areas of southeast Asia and Africa. Although many colonies gained independence after World War One, France still had a strong influence in some countries in Africa and southeast Asia up until the 1960s, when most countries in the French Empire gained independence. A result of the colonial era is that many countries still use French as a national language, even though they are no longer ruled by France.

    What does this mean? Well, it means that francophone [French-speaking] cultures and countries are incredibly unique, complex, and diverse. 

    It's important to realize that the French language and French Empire were incredibly violent and destructive to the people and cultures who now speak the language. When we are learning French, we should try to avoid the perspective that the French language is inherently superior or that France is the center of the French-speaking world.













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