Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 18 killed in Abidjan floods from heavy rains

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's anti-Merkel Twitter tirade

Read more

THE DEBATE

Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

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

  • CULTURE

    Govt urges youth to say 'non' to English words

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    'Au revoir' to English, demands French PM

    Read more

COMMENT(S)