What future for the Francophonie ?

Dernière mise à jour : 8 févr. 2019

In an era of globalization with its globish as a universal lingua franca and polyglottism, seeking to speak French outside its country of origin seems to have become obsolete.

However, this is not the case and this is what we will see through impressive facts and figures that testify the greatness of the French-speaking world.

History of the French-speaking world

If France is the cradle of the French language (formed from Latin, Germanic Franconian and to a small extent Gaulish), the colonization of past centuries has logically exported French around the world.

This language was also used as a tool of diplomacy by the European courts of the 18th century with the cultural and political influence of the "Ancien Régime."

The French-speaking world has also distinguished itself brilliantly with well-known representatives such as the poet and academician Léopold Sédar Senghor.

What does the Francophonie represent today?

French is spoken in several dozen states as a language of use, administration or culture and is also the official language of 29 of these countries. There are speakers in Senegal and Romania where this language is widely studied, but also Vietnam, Canada (especially with Quebec) and many others.

Today, there are more than 300 million speakers around the world, making it the 5th most spoken language in the world. It is also in the top 3 most learned languages.

March 20 is the International Day of the Francophonie and every two years, a Summit of Francophone countries is held.

Objective of the Francophonie

There is an official institution called the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) with 88 members countries. Its objective is in particular to promote the maintenance of good international relations between concerned governments, while maintaining their cultural diversity.

The future for the francophonie

With the demographic explosion that is still one of the main characteristics of our modern age, it is expected that by 2050, no less than 700 million people will be speakers of Molière's language!

The international mobility - especially of young people - of Francophones makes it possible to find one's way in many places, thanks to a common culture, a foundation on which to rest and to exchange with greater or lesser ease.

However, the current and future challenge will be to maintain the integrity of this international community with a cordial understanding between nations, not always obvious or self-evident.

The emergence of other languages becoming more and more prominent and popular, such as English of course but also Russian, Mandarin or even Hindi could eventually make French obsolete and turn it into a second-rate language in countries where it is already well established.

The coming decades will be crucial in order to know whether the French language will remain credible and taken very seriously, despite the ever-increasing number of speakers. It seems that everything will be decided at a political level, while maintaining the will to promote this language.

Finally, here is a Youtube video that illustrates the French speaking reality very well: