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Why Learn French?

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French is one of UNO's working languages, one of the two official languages of the International Olympics committee, the postal services' only universal language, the African Union's main language. In the fields of aeronautics, rail transport, food, luxury and fashion industries, it combines with high levels of expertise, technology and modernity. Its impact can be measured by its status on the international scene and the extent to which it is used in decision-making and creative environments. Although less widely spoken than Chinese or Hindu, alongside English, it is the only language present on all our continents. Furthermore, the demographic growth of Southern hemisphere countries leads us to anticipate a new increase in the overall number of French-speakers.

Click here for a full list from OIF, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie Organisation Internationale de la francophonie | www.francophonie.org | © OIF

According to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are, throughout the world today, a little over 180 million French speakers (whose native or second language is French) and 82.5 million people learn French as a foreign language learn French as a foreign language in their national educational systems, and 650,000 of them, through networks of French cultural and educational overseas bodies.

FRENCH SPEAKING COUNTRIES (OFFICIAL)
Belgium 1. Belgium Comoros 9. Comoros Haiti 17. Haiti Seychelles 25. Seychelles
Benin 2. Benin Congo 10. Congo Luxembourg 18. Luxembourg
Switzerland 26. Switzerland
Burkina Faso 3. Burkina Democratic Republic of Congo 11. Congo, Democratic Republic Madagascar 19. Madagascar
Togo 27. Togo
Burundi 4. Burundi Ivory Coast 12. Cote d'Ivoire Mali 20. Mali
Vanuatu 28. Vanuatu
Cameroon 5. Cameroon Djibouti 13. Djibouti Monaco 21. Monaco Vietnam 29. Vietnam
Canada
6. Canada France 14. France Niger 22. Niger    
Central African Republic 7. Central African Republic Gabon 15. Gabon Rwanda 23. Rwanda
   
Chad 8. Chad Guinea 16. Guinea Senegal 24. Senegal    

Click here for a full list from OIF, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie Organisation Internationale de la francophonie | www.francophonie.org | © OIF

Some statistics courtesy of www.francophonie.org ( © OIF)
200 million French speakers worldwide 
There are an estimated 200 million French speakers worldwide, including 72 million partial French speakers.
French is the 9th most widely spoken language on the planet 
French is the 9th most widely spoken language on the planet and the only one, together with English, to be spoken on all five continents.
60% of French speakers are under 30 years old 
In most of the IOF member countries, 60% of the population is under 30 years old.
French is the 3rd most widely used language on the Web 
French is the 3rd most widely used language on the Web with 5% of Internet pages, after English (45%) and German (7%) and ahead of Spanish (4.5%).
900,000 French teachers worldwide 
There are an estimated 900,000 French teachers worldwide.
96.2 million French-speakers in Africa 
Africa is the continent with the largest number of French speakers, with 96.2 million French speakers in the IOF member countries.
March 20, 1970 : the birth of an intergovernmental organisation of French-speaking nations 
March 20, 1970 saw the birth an intergovernmental organisation of French-speaking nations, with the creation in Niamey (Niger), of the Agency of Cultural and Technical Cooperation. This organisation adopted a new Charter of Francophony in 2005 and was renamed the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) as it is still known today.
The IOF : 70 States and governments 
The IOF has 70 States and governments (including 14 observers) across the five continents.
IOF’s community : 870 million people 
In 2008, the IOF’s 70 States and governments represented a total of 870 million people, or 13% of the world’s population.
The IOF : over one-third of the UNO’s member states 
The International Organisation of La Francophonie’s 70 member states and governments represent over one-third of the United Nation’s member states.
The French-speaking zone accounts for 19% of world trade in goods 
With 18.9% of world exports and 19% of world imports, French-speaking countries account for 19% of world trade in goods
French is an official language in 32 member states 
French is either the official language, or one of the official languages in 32 of the IOF’s member states, governments or observers.
French is the 2nd most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union 
French is the second most widely spoken mother tongue (16%) after German (23%) and ahead of English (15.9%) in the European Union
French is the 2nd most widely spoken foreign language in the European Union 
French is the 2nd most widely spoken foreign language (19%) after English (41%) and ahead of German (10%) and Spanish (7%) in the European Union.
TV5 is broadcast in 202 countries 
TV5MONDE, the multilateral French language television channel, has the 3rd largest international television network and is broadcast in 202 countries.
207 million homes : TV5’s audience 
TV5MONDE broadcasts French productions 24 hours a day to an audience estimated at over 207 million homes.
IOF has partnerships with 31 international and regional organisations 
The IOF has signed cooperation agreements with 31 international and regional organisations including the UNO, the European Union and the African Union.
All IOF’s members signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child 
All of the IOF’s members signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
77 French-speaking parliaments or interparliamentary organisations 
The Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie comprises 77 parliaments or interparliamentary organisations.
710 French-speaking establishments for further education and research 
The Academic Agency of La Francophonie federates 710 establishments for further education and research in 85 countries.
The International Association of Francophone Mayors represents 184 cities in 37 countries 
The International Association of Francophone Mayors comprises 184 cities and 19 city associations from 37 countries.

 

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