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No strategy and a beige suit

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

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FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

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FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

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THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

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#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

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IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

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  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

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  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

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  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

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  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

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  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

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  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

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  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

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  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

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  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

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  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

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  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

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  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

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  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

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  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

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  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

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  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

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  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

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  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

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  • Syrian refugees surpass three million, UN says

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  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

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  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

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France

Will French be the world’s most-spoken language by 2050?

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-26

If the consensus seems to be that France is in a bad mood these days, one thing might cheer the country’s citizens up: despite reports to the contrary, their language is alive and well.

A recent study by French investment bank Natixis suggests that French could be the most-spoken language – ahead of even English and Mandarin – within 40 years.

That projection, which estimates 750 million French speakers by 2050, is based on the fact that the language is spoken in the fastest-growing areas of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.

The methodology of the study has been disputed, notably by Forbes, since it counts all inhabitants of countries in which French is an official language as Francophone.

Still, the report comes as good news for defenders of the French tongue, which remains an official language of major international bodies like the UN, EU and Olympics Committee.

The Natixis report comes on the heels of a New York Times article about a French-language renaissance in New York – at least in public schools, where bilingual French-English curriculums are becoming increasingly common and popular.

Date created : 2014-03-26

  • FRENCH-SPEAKING WORLD

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  • FRANCE

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  • CULTURE

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