Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Alpha Condé reacts to Dadis Camara's bid to return home

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'We need an American in every train compartment'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

When China Sneezes: World markets rattled by bubble burst (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Desperate to get to Europe: How to handle migrant surge? (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Behind the scenes of France's National Assembly

Read more

#TECH 24

Saving water, one shower at a time

Read more

FOCUS

Katrina, ten years on: Young survivors still grapple with trauma

Read more

ENCORE!

Has New Orleans got its groove back?

Read more

REPORTERS

Meet the French troops hunting jihadists in Sahel

Read more

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

    Increased African literacy boosts number of French speakers in world

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    'Au revoir' to English, demands French PM

    Read more

  • CULTURE

    Govt urges youth to say 'non' to English words

    Read more

COMMENT(S)