Bonjour everyone! Today, let’s talk about French.
French counts around 270 million speakers, 80 of which are native. French is the official language of France, and of other 29 countries! Also, people speak it in many other countries. Canada is the second-largest French speaking country, counting 7 million speakers. Following are Belgium, Switzerland and several African countries like Congo, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. French is also spoken in the Middle East and in some islands such as French Polynesia. French is one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations, and it is also a primary language of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World trade Committee and of course, the EU. According to an article published by Bloomberg in 2011, French is the second most useful language for conducting business. This is one of the main reasons why creating content in French should be a priority. But there are other reasons.
- The French are proud of their language. Even if they study English in school from a young age and almost 30% of the French population does understand/speak English, they will relate to content written in French with more pleasure.
- Considering the multitude of countries in which people speak French, investing into translating your website/marketing campaign/content into French will allow you to reach many markets and customers.
- According to W3Techs, French is used by 2.6% of all websites of which we know the content language. Considering that the percentage of internet users that are French speakers is 3.5%, there is an opportunity there!
- The number of French speakers is predicted to double to 500 million by 2025 and, so far, only 4% of the internet has French translation. Therefore, there is a good opportunity to reach many more users and possible customers having content translated into French.
A BIT OF HISTORY
French descends from Vulgar Latin. In the 2nd and 1st cent BC, when the Romans conquered ancient Gaul, its inhabitants were speaking Gaulish, a Celtic language. In the 5th cent. AD the Franks, a Germanic tribe, invaded Gaul. They were also romanized. The mix of these three languages originated Old French. Of its various dialects, Francien, spoken in Paris and area around it, became the standard language. This because of Paris’s increasing importance in the political and cultural scene. French became the official language of France in 1539.
1. Paris is not the largest French-Speaking city in the World.
Kinshasha, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just recently surpassed Paris in population. This means that with its 11 million inhabitants it became the largest francophone urban area in the World!
2. In French many words have multiple meanings even if they sound the same!
This gives the chance to create several fun tongue-twisters like:
- Un ver vert verse une verre vers un verrier vers vingt heure (A green worm pours a glass towards a glassmaker towards the hour). Check it out here.
3. French is the language of love, food, and ballet.
French is a language known for being romantic but also, it is the language of food and ballet. In fact, several French words are used worldwide in these two worlds. For example, chef, omelette, vinaigrette, baguette, cafè au lait. Or pirouette, barre, ballet.
For more information about how we can help you get the best French translations, contat us!