A report on French language

Knowledge of French in the European Union and candidate countries
Distribution of native French speakers in 6 countries in 2021
French language spread in the United States. Counties marked in lighter pink are those where 6–12% of the population speaks French at home; medium pink, 12–18%; darker pink, over 18%. French-based creole languages are not included.
Town sign in Standard Arabic and French at the entrance of Rechmaya in Lebanon
A 500-CFP franc (€4.20; US$5.00) banknote, used in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna
Varieties of the French language in the world

Romance language of the Indo-European family.

- French language
Knowledge of French in the European Union and candidate countries

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Overall

The West Germanic languages

German language

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West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, mainly spoken in Central Europe.

West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, mainly spoken in Central Europe.

The West Germanic languages
The Germanic languages in contemporary Europe
German language area and major dialectal divisions around 1900.
The widespread popularity of the Bible translated into High German by Martin Luther helped establish modern Standard High German.
Ethnolinguistic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910, with German-speaking areas shown in red.
Map shows Austria and South Tyrol, Italy.
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Bilingual German-English sign at a bakery in Namibia, where German is a national language.
Self reported knowledge of German as a foreign language in the EU member states (+Turkey), in per cent of the adult population (+15), 2005
Selfreported knowledge of German within the nations of the European Union
The national and regional standard varieties of German
The Low Franconian dialects
The Central German dialects
The Franconian dialects (Low Franconian, Central- and Rhine Franconian, and High Franconian)
The Upper German and High Franconian (transitional between Central and Upper German)
Volume 1 "German Orthography" of the 25th edition of the Duden dictionary
42nd edition of the Österreichisches Wörterbuch ("Austrian Dictionary")
The Deutsches Wörterbuch (1st vol., 1854) by the Brothers Grimm
Austria's standardized cursive
Germany's standardized cursive
A Russian dictionary from 1931, showing the "German alphabet" – the 3rd and 4th columns of each half are Fraktur and Kurrent respectively, with the footnote explaining ligatures used in Fraktur.
The approximate extent of Germanic languages in the early 10th century:
Old West Norse
Old East Norse
Old Gutnish
Old English (West Germanic)
Continental West Germanic languages (Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old Dutch, Old High German).
Crimean Gothic (East Germanic)
The German language in Europe:
 German Sprachraum: German is the official language (de jure or de facto) and first language of the majority of the population
German is a co-official language but not the first language of the majority of the population
German (or a German dialect) is a legally recognized minority language (squares: geographic distribution too dispersed/small for map scale)
German (or a variety of German) is spoken by a sizeable minority but has no legal recognition

The majority of its vocabulary derives from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, while a smaller share is partly derived from Latin and Greek, along with fewer words borrowed from French and Modern English.

Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria, not on socio-functional ones. FP: Franco-Provençal, IR: Istro-Romanian.

Romance languages

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The Romance languages, less commonly referred to as Latin languages or Neo-Latin languages, are the various modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the 3rd and 8th centuries.

The Romance languages, less commonly referred to as Latin languages or Neo-Latin languages, are the various modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the 3rd and 8th centuries.

Chart of Romance languages based on structural and comparative criteria, not on socio-functional ones. FP: Franco-Provençal, IR: Istro-Romanian.
Romance languages and dialects
European extent of Romance languages in the 20th century
Number of native speakers of each Romance language, as fractions of the total 690 million (2007)
Romance languages in the World
Length of the Roman rule and the Romance Languages
Romance languages in Europe
Romance languages in the World

The six most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish (489 million), Portuguese (283 million), French (77 million), Italian (67 million), Romanian (24 million), and Catalan (4.5 million).

Map of the pre-Roman Iron Age in Northern Europe culture(s) associated with the Proto-Germanic language, ca 500–50 BCE. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture.

Dutch language

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West Germanic language spoken by about 25 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting most of the population of the Netherlands (where it is the only official language countrywide) and about 60% of the population of Belgium (as one of three official languages).

West Germanic language spoken by about 25 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting most of the population of the Netherlands (where it is the only official language countrywide) and about 60% of the population of Belgium (as one of three official languages).

Map of the pre-Roman Iron Age in Northern Europe culture(s) associated with the Proto-Germanic language, ca 500–50 BCE. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture.
Area in which Old Dutch was spoken
The Utrecht baptismal vow
Title page of the Statenvertaling (1637) reads: Biblia ... Uyt de Oorspronckelijcke talen in onse Neder-landtsche tale getrouwelijck over-geset. (English: From the Original languages into our Dutch language faithfully translated.
The location of Suriname in South America
The Dutch Caribbean at both ends of the Lesser Antilles, lining the Caribbean Sea
Standard Dutch used in a 1916 ad in South Africa before Afrikaans replaced Dutch for use in media
The distribution of Afrikaans across South Africa: proportion of the population speaking Afrikaans at home
The 27-letter compound hemelwaterinfiltratiegebied (rainwater infiltration area) on a traffic sign in Zwolle, Netherlands
Dutch uses the digraph IJ as a single letter and it can be seen in several variations. Here, a marking saying ("line/route" + "bus"; the tram lane also serves as bus road).
The distribution of the primary Germanic languages in Europe in around AD 1:
North Germanic
North Sea Germanic, or Ingvaeonic
Weser-Rhine Germanic, or Istvaeonic
Elbe Germanic, or Irminonic
East Germanic
Lighter-colored areas denote areas of either mixed settlement, such as between East-Germanic and Balto-Slavic peoples, or possible settlement, such as the Istvaeones within the Roman Empire or the Ingvaenes in Northern Denmark.

However, the dialect variation was a serious disadvantage in the face of the standardised francophony.

Latin

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Classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages.

Classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages.

Latin is classified as extinct according to the criteria of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. There are no living native speakers of this language.
The linguistic landscape of Central Italy at the beginning of Roman expansion
The Lapis Niger, probably the oldest extant Latin inscription, from Rome, c. 600 BC during the semi-legendary Roman Kingdom
The Latin Malmesbury Bible from 1407
Most 15th-century printed books (incunabula) were in Latin, with the vernacular languages playing only a secondary role.
The signs at Wallsend Metro station are in English and Latin, as a tribute to Wallsend's role as one of the outposts of the Roman Empire, as the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall (hence the name) at Segedunum.
The polyglot European Union has adopted Latin names in the logos of some of its institutions for the sake of linguistic compromise, an "ecumenical nationalism" common to most of the continent and as a sign of the continent's heritage (such as the EU Council: Consilium).
Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico is one of the most famous classical Latin texts of the Golden Age of Latin. The unvarnished, journalistic style of this patrician general has long been taught as a model of the urbane Latin officially spoken and written in the floruit of the Roman Republic.
A multivolume Latin dictionary in the University of Graz Library in Austria.
Latin and Ancient Greek at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, 2014.
The Duenos Inscription, from the 6th century BC, is one of the earliest known Old Latin texts. It was found on the Quirinal Hill in Rome.
A modern Latin text written in the Old Roman Cursive inspired by the Vindolanda tablets, the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. The word Romani ('Romans') is at bottom left.

Currently, the five most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.

Arabic

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Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.

Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.

Safaitic inscription
The Namara inscription, a sample of Nabataean script, considered a direct precursor of Arabic script.
Arabic from the Quran in the old Hijazi dialect (Hijazi script, 7th century AD)
The Qur'an has served and continues to serve as a fundamental reference for Arabic. (Maghrebi Kufic script, Blue Qur'an, 9th-10th century)
Coverage in Al-Ahram in 1934 of the inauguration of the Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo, an organization of major importance to the modernization of Arabic.
Taha Hussein and Gamal Abdel Nasser were both staunch defenders of Standard Arabic.
Flag of the Arab League, used in some cases for the Arabic language
Flag used in some cases for the Arabic language (Flag of the Kingdom of Hejaz 1916–1925).The flag contains the four Pan-Arab colors: black, white, green and red.
Different dialects of Arabic
Arabic calligraphy written by a Malay Muslim in Malaysia. The calligrapher is making a rough draft.

Arabic is also an important source of vocabulary for languages such as Amharic, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Berber, Bosnian, Chaldean, Chechen, Chittagonian, Croatian, Dagestani, Dhivehi, English, German, Gujarati, Hausa, Hindi, Kazakh, Kurdish, Kutchi, Kyrgyz, Malay (Malaysian and Indonesian), Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Rohingya, Romance languages (French, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Sicilian, Spanish, etc.) Saraiki, Sindhi, Somali, Sylheti, Swahili, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Turkish, Turkmen, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Visayan and Wolof, as well as other languages in countries where these languages are spoken.

Quebec

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A depiction of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, 1844
Three Huron-Wyandot chiefs from Wendake. New France had largely peaceful relations with the Indigenous people, such as their allies the Huron. After the defeat of the Huron by their mutual enemy, the Iroquois, many fled from Ontario to Quebec.
Montcalm leading his troops into battle. Watercolour by Charles William Jefferys.
The Province of Quebec in 1774
The Battle of Saint-Eustache was the final battle of the Lower Canada Rebellion.
George-Étienne Cartier, creator of the Quebec state and premier of Canada East
Maurice Duplessis, premier of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and during the Grande Noirceur
"Maîtres chez nous" was the electoral slogan of the Liberal Party during the 1962 election.
René Lévesque, one of the architects of the Quiet Revolution, and the Premier of Quebec's first modern sovereignist government
Map of Quebec
Michel's falls on Ashuapmushuan River in Saint-Félicien, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
Köppen climate types of Quebec
Baie-Saint-Paul during winter
The Parliament Building in Quebec City
The seventeen administrative regions of Quebec.
The Édifice Ernest-Cormier is the courthouse for the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Map of aboriginal communities in Quebec, this includes reserves, settlements and northern villages.
The Institut national de la recherche scientifique helps to advance scientific knowledge and to train a new generation of students in various scientific and technological sectors.
Quebec's exports to the international market. The United States is the country which buys the most Québécois exports by far. (2011)
The Beauharnois generating station, operated by Hydro-Québec
A mockup of the Airbus A220 (formerly the Bombardier CSeries), originally developed by Bombardier Aerospace
The Château Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world.
In 1969, Héroux-Devtek designed and manufactured the undercarriage of the Apollo Lunar Module.
The ferry N.M. Camille-Marcoux, of the Société des traversiers du Québec
The show Dralion, Cirque du Soleil, introduced in 2004
La chasse-galerie (1906) by Henri Julien, showing a scene from a popular Quebec folk legend.
La Cavalière by Charles Daudelin, 1963, installed in front of the pavilion Gérard Morisset of the Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec City
Maison Routhier in Sainte-Foy. This kind of Canadien-style house remains a symbol of Canadien nationalism.
A classic poutine from La Banquise in Montreal
The Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre
St-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations at Maisonneuve park in Montréal
The Fleurdelisé flying at Place d'Armes in Montreal
Canada in the 18th century.
The Province of Quebec from 1763 to 1783.
Lower Canada from 1791 to 1841. (Patriots' War in 1837, Canada East in 1841)
Quebec from 1867 to 1927.
Quebec today. Quebec (in blue) has a border dispute with Labrador (in red).
Different forest areas of Quebec. 1. Middle Arctic Tundra
2. Low Arctic Tundra
3. Torngat Mountain Tundra
4. Eastern Canadian Shield Taiga
5. Southern Hudson Bay Taiga
6. Central Canadian Shield Forests
7. Eastern Canadian Forests
8. Eastern Forest/Boreal Transition
9. Eastern Great Lakes Lowland Forests
10. New England/Acadian Forests
11. Gulf of St. Lawrence Lowland Forests

Quebec (, sometimes ; French: Québec ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.

The area of langues d'oïl can be seen in shades of green and yellow

Langues d'oïl

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The area of langues d'oïl can be seen in shades of green and yellow
The Oïl languages have literary traditions, as for example seen in this 19th-century collection of Jèrriais short stories
Bilingual street sign for market square in French and Walloon
Signage in Gallo in the metro of Rennes

The langues d'oïl are a dialect continuum that includes standard French and its closest autochthonous relatives historically spoken in the northern half of France, southern Belgium, and the Channel Islands.

Franz Bopp was a pioneer in the field of comparative linguistic studies.

Indo-European languages

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The Indo-European languages are a language family native to the overwhelming majority of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and the northern Indian subcontinent.

The Indo-European languages are a language family native to the overwhelming majority of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and the northern Indian subcontinent.

Franz Bopp was a pioneer in the field of comparative linguistic studies.
Indo-European family tree in order of first attestation
Indo-European language family tree based on "Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis of Indo-European languages" by Chang et al
Scheme of Indo-European language dispersals from c. 4000 to 1000 BCE according to the widely held Kurgan hypothesis. – Center: Steppe cultures 1 (black): Anatolian languages (archaic PIE) 2 (black): Afanasievo culture (early PIE) 3 (black) Yamnaya culture expansion (Pontic-Caspian steppe, Danube Valley) (late PIE) 4A (black): Western Corded Ware 4B-C (blue & dark blue): Bell Beaker; adopted by Indo-European speakers 5A-B (red): Eastern Corded ware 5C (red): Sintashta (proto-Indo-Iranian) 6 (magenta): Andronovo 7A (purple): Indo-Aryans (Mittani) 7B (purple): Indo-Aryans (India) [NN] (dark yellow): proto-Balto-Slavic 8 (grey): Greek 9 (yellow):Iranians – [not drawn]: Armenian, expanding from western steppe
Some significant isoglosses in Indo-European daughter languages at around 500 BC.
Blue: centum languages
Red: satem languages
Orange: languages with augment
Green: languages with PIE *-tt- > -ss-
Tan: languages with PIE *-tt- > -st-
Pink: languages with instrumental, dative and ablative plural endings (and some others) in *-m- rather than *-bh-
Countries where Indo-European language family is majority native
Countries where Indo-European language family is official but not majority native
Countries where Indo-European language family is not official

Some European languages of this family, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, and Spanish, have expanded through colonialism in the modern period and are now spoken across several continents.

French colonial empire

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The French colonial empire (Empire colonial français) comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward.

The French colonial empire (Empire colonial français) comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward.

French colonial empire 17th century-20th century
Map of the first (green) and second (blue) French colonial empires
The French colonial empire in the Americas comprised New France (including Canada and Louisiana), French West Indies (including Saint-Domingue, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago and other islands) and French Guiana.
French North America was known as 'Nouvelle France' or New France.
1767 Louis XV Colonies Françoises (West Indies) 12 Diniers copper Sous (w/1793 "RF" counterstamp)
Arrival of Marshal Randon in Algiers in 1857 by Ernest Francis Vacherot
French and other European settlements in Colonial India
The British invasion of Martinique in 1809
Animated map showing the growth and decline of the first and second French colonial empires
Queen Pōmare IV in 1860. Tahiti was made a French protectorate in 1842, and annexed as a colony of France in 1880.
The last photograph of Napoleon III (1872)
French trading post on Gorée, an island offshore of Senegal
The French expedition in Syria led by General Beaufort d'Hautpoul, landing in Beyrouth on 16 August 1860
The French conquest of Algeria
The Presidential Palace of Vietnam, in Hanoi, was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina.
Central and east Africa, 1898, during the Fashoda Incident
The captured rebels of Raiatea, 1897
Comparison of Africa in the years 1880 and 1913
French colonial troops, led by Colonel Alfred-Amédée Dodds, a Senegalese mulatto, conquered and annexed Dahomey in 1894.
The gradual loss of all Vichy territory to Free France and the Allies by 1943. [[:File:Vichy france map.png|Legend.]]
Captured French soldiers from Dien Bien Phu, escorted by Vietnamese troops, walk to a prisoner-of-war camp
Capture of Saigon by Charles Rigault de Genouilly on 18 February 1859, painted by Antoine Morel-Fatio
Napoleon III receiving the Siamese embassy at the palace of Fontainebleau in 1864
Map of the first (green) and second (blue) French colonial empires

Rebuilding an empire rebuilt French prestige, especially regarding international power and spreading the French language and the Catholic religion.

Koine Greek

Lingua franca

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Language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.

Language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.

Koine Greek
The Hispanophone and influential areas
Status of Arabic language map
Areas where Russian is the majority language (medium blue) or a minority language (light blue)
Areas (red) where Hindustani (Delhlavi or Kauravi) is the native language, and the much wider area of the Indo-Aryan language group (gray), where it is lengua franca
Countries where Malay is spoken
Geographic extent of Swahili. Dark green: native range. Medium green: official use. Light green: bilingual use but not official.
Areas with significant numbers of people whose first language is Persian (including dialects)
Rough territorial extent of Hand Talk (in purple) within the US and Canada
English language distribution
Regions where English is a majority native language
Regions where English is official or widely spoken, but not as a primary native language
The Francophone World
States where French is the majority native language
States where it is an official or administrative language but not a majority native language
States where it is a minority or secondary language
States that have a local francophone minority
The Lusophone worldNative language
Official and administrative language
Cultural or secondary language
Portuguese-speaking minorities
Portuguese-based creole languages

Likewise, Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian serve similar purposes as industrial and educational lingua francas across regional and national boundaries.