| Share
 

French language

Introduction

French language, member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is spoken as a first language by more than 70 million people, chiefly in France (55 million speakers), Belgium (3 million), Switzerland (1.5 million), former French and Belgian colonies in Africa (5 million), and Canada (6.5 million). French probably ranks next after English as a second tongue. Having served as an international language in diplomacy and commerce as well as among educated people during the last few centuries, it still enjoys great prestige culturally and is one of the languages used officially by the United Nations.

Sections in this article:

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Language and Linguistics

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring