Where is French spoken in the world?

Credits: Alix Piot. From this article.

French is spoken in France (another good website about France) in the French "Overseas departments, regions and collectivities", and in countries belonging to the "Francophonie". 

Overseas France.

Credits (larger photo)

Overseas departments and regions:

- Guadeloupe

- Guyane française,  

- Martinique

- Mayotte

- and La Réunion

Administratively speaking, they have different statuses, but to make it simple they are the same as departments like Paris (Paris is a city, but it is also a department), or Gironde (where Bordeaux is), la Manche (where D Day beaches are), or Yvelynes (where Versailles is).

Overseas collectivities and territories:

- Nouvelle Calédonie

- Polynésie française (this is where Tahiti and Bora Bora are),

- Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

- and Wallis-et-Futuna are collectivities, 

All the collectivities are semi autonomous, except New Caledonia which is autonomous and where people also have the New Caledonian citizenship.

- and the "Terres australes et antartiques françaises" is a Territory.


French is also spoken in many countries in the world as their national or official language, even if it is not the only language in the country. France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada (especially Quebec) and many North and West African countries, which are ancient French colonies, are French speaking countries. 

This is what we call in French the "Francophonie". 

Nowadays, less people speak French in the ancient "Indochina" (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, also ancient colonies), although they still belong to the Francophonie organization. 

French is also the official language of Vanuatu, which is situated near New Caledonia.

You can see on this map the full members in purple, the "observing" members in green, and the "associated" members in orange. 

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                                                                       Credits: Hachette FLE                                               

Nowadays, the estimated number of people who speak French in the world is between 279 millions and 300 millions.

So learning French does not only open doors to the culture(s) of France and of its overseas territories, but also to many other cultures and countries!

French learnt as a foreign language

Many people learn French as a foreign language in the world. It is actually the second most studied language after English. 

The map below shows you the percentage of people learning French or already speaking French as natives in the world.

Credits (and larger map) You can also enlarge the map on the website.

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