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The French language in figures:

  • 5ᵗʰ most-spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, and Arabic

  • 300 million French speakers worldwide (up 9.6% since the last census in 2014)

French is an international language:

  • 2nd most-used language in diplomacy, particularly European and multilateral diplomacy, after English;

  • French is the 2nd most useful language for business after English. The top three are Mandarin, French, then Arabic;

  • The French-speaking world now accounts for over 15% of global wealth;

  • Canada is the biggest trading partner of the US and Montréal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world;

  • French is one of the official languages of many international organizations: the UN, UNESCO, NATO, the EU, the Olympics;

  • French and English are the only two languages spoken on 5 continents.

French is a modern language:

  • 4th most used language on the Internet, which now brings together over 4 billion users;

  • 2nd language of international information in the media;

  • France is a world leader in science and technology. For example, the Human Genome Project is located in Paris; U.S. Coast Guard helicopters are made by Aérospatiale; Airbus is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of airplanes; and we have these recent inventions thanks to the French: the “smart card,” the Minitel (the precursor to email and the Internet), HDTV, high-speed rail, and more!

French is a living language:

Source: The French Language in Figures, France Diplomacy