The French language is spoken by roughly 270 million people globally, with around 80 million native speakers and 190 million secondary speakers. It is the primary language of 29 countries, the majority of which are members of the Francophonie, a group of French speaking countries.
French speaking nations are commonly referred to as “Francophone,” and France is officially recognized as the world’s biggest Francophone nation, with roughly 60 million native speakers. This is also the country which is where the language was born, and it is the country with which French is most generally identified.
Here is a list of the top French speaking countries in the world:
French, the official and national language of France and it is the first language of 88% of the population. In addition, because minority languages are not legally recognized, the majority of individuals who speak them also speak French.
German language is spoken by 3% of the people, mostly in the eastern part of the country of Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle. Furthermore, in France every official governmental job, educational institution, medical health, publication all are followed by the French language. Almost every citizen except the immigrants speaks French in France.
In Canada, French is spoken by around 7 million native speakers. French is an essential language to know in Canada, with 17.9% of Canadians able to communicate in both English and French in 2016, the highest level ever. Through concerted French education programs and policies, the two languages have progressively attained a greater degree of equality in most provinces.
Although there are pockets of French-speaking populations in every province in Canada, New Brunswick is the only one that has deliberately chosen to become legally bilingual. Furthermore, many official errands are done in French in Canada. They consider it their second language.
In terms of speaker numbers, it is Belgium’s second national language, with 4.5 million people speaking it as their first language. In addition, The majority of Belgians who speak French live in the southern Wallonia area, including in Brussels, the capital.
Although there are considerable distinctions in vocabulary and pronunciation between Flemish Dutch and Standard Dutch, the French spoken in Belgium is essentially comparable to that spoken in France.
Moreover, these distinctions are significant enough that if you were offering English to French translation services for a customer conducting business in Belgium, you would most likely want to hire a Belgian translator rather than a French translator.
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In Switzerland, the French-speaking population accounts for about a quarter of the total population. Since around 2018, around 1,912,135 Swiss people speak French, accounting for 22,9% of the population. In Switzerland, multilingualism and cultural variety are encouraged and safeguarded by legislation, which may explain why the French-speaking population is growing.
Although the French-speaking region of Switzerland and its cantons have their own languages, with their own vocabulary and phrases, written and spoken French is extremely similar to standard French, with very few distinctions. They consider French as one of their dominant languages.
The Congolese language is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo is the world’s biggest Francophone country, with over 33 million Congolese educated in French, accounting for one-third of the country’s population.
Two-thirds of the people of Kinshasa, the capital, speak French. Many educational institutions follow the French curriculum here. Some of the Universities have major courses in French.
Thirty percent of the Congolese population speaks French. According to a survey by Omar Massoumou, 88 percent of individuals over the age of 15 in Brazzaville can write basic French sentences.In addition, the ordinary public did not speak French very well. Many Congolese, particularly in urban areas, speak many ethnic languages and use their own as well as two or more trade languages on a daily basis.
In Brazzaville, a variety of ethnic languages, as well as trade languages and French, are commonly spoken. Approximately the majority of the population in this group can speak four languages. More than a quarter of those polled in Brazzaville communicated primarily in a trade language. Only a small percentage of the population spoke French as their primary language.
In Madagascar, French is the primary medium of education for better scores, and it is largely spoken as a second language by the educated people. Over 4 million Malagasy people speak French, with 5% of the population being totally Francophone and another 15.4% being somewhat Francophone.
Furthermore, in Madagascar they use French in many sectors. Such as international trade, business, education, health sector etc.
8. Côte d’Ivoire
Majority of the people of this country doesn’t speaks French but in Abidjan a city of this country speaks French. It is their official language. During the colonial period, the French language was introduced. Along with Dioula, this language is taught in schools and serves as the citie’s global language. They follow all of their curriculum in French.
In Cameroon, French and English are co-official languages. Cameroon’s population of slightly over 10 million people speaks French, accounting for 40% of the country’s population. All the kids here learn French in their pre-school. In their education sector, it is mandatory for kids to learn and educate themselves in French. In Cameron the publication also followed French.
10. Bamako, Mali
With a population of 3,637,000 people, Bamako is Mali’s capital and one of the largest cities in West Africa. Mali’s official language is French. French is the other primary language in the educational system, alongside Arabic. In every sector, Mali has to adapt to the French language. It is mandatory here to learn French.
To conclude, because of the impact of the Kingdom of France throughout the Seventeenth Century, the French language became a global language. It replaced Latin as the global language of educated Europe around the 17th century, and throughout the 18th century, it became the primary language of diplomacy and European courts.