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Spread of the French language

This smaller map removes the countries where French is dominant. This map therefore only shows 30.3% of all speakers of French. The territories omitted are France and Monaco.

Click the map for a larger image.

French is spoken as a first language by around 70 million people in at least 46 territories. It is derived from Latin, the language of ancient Rome, and by the seventeenth century French was the dominant language of Europe in politics and culture. It also moved further afield, to the Caribbean, and with European settlers in Canada, where it remains a major language, most notably in the province of Quebec. There was also a large French empire in Africa in the nineteenth century, and hence is still used there as an official language in some countries, and by an educated elite.

France has established an organisation known as La Francophonie, a community of French-speaking nations.

Territory size shows the proportion of all people who speak French as a first language that live in that territory.

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