Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Luxleaks: Will Europe crack down on tax evasion?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dacian Ciolos, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Read more

ENCORE!

Music Show: Beyoncé, David Guetta, Eminem and Iggy Azalea

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violent repression in Bahrain and Rio favelas that regret gang rule

Read more

ENCORE!

Michel Hazanavicius on life after 'The Artist'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Booing of Juppé by Sarkozy supporters underlines UMP divisions

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Hollande's industrial policy under scrutiny during Florange visit

Read more

WEB NEWS

Barbie book sparks online outrage

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)