The Francophonie and the Beneficial Reasons to Learn French

Sun, 27 Jun 2021

What’s your motivation to learn French? Does it because you want to live in the beautiful city of Paris or you want to flirt with your crush with this most romantic language?

Well, those aren't the wrong reasons. But, do you ever heard about the francophone and the Francophonie? Do you know that francophone not only exists in France? Let's level up your motivation to learn French by finding out these facts about the francophone and the Francophonie!

What’s the meaning of the Francophone and the Francophonie?

According to the Collins English Dictionary francophone is someone who speaks French, especially as their first language or as a member of a French-speaking population. After you know about the francophone, make sure not to confuse that term with the almost similar term: the Francophonie.

The Francophonie or la Francophonie is an institution organizing relation between countries that have the French language in common. In other words, The Francophonie is an organization of French-speaking countries.

The facts about the Francophonie.

The Francophonie's logo.

Léopold Sédar Senghor, Habib Bourguiba, Hamani Diori, and Norodom Sihanouk were the founding fathers of the Francophonie institution. It was created in 1970 in Niamey under the name Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agency. It became the Intergovernmental Agency of La Francophonie in 1998 and then the International Organization of La Francophonie—also called Organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF) in 2005.

The Francophonie aims to promote the French language and to develop cooperation between its members. These goals established in the Charter of La Francophonie approved at the Hanoi Summit in 1997 and amended at the Antananarivo Ministerial Conference in 2005.

Read on other facts about the Francophonie that could elevate your motivation to learn French below!

  • 88 States and governments

World map of the Francophonie.

The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) has 54 Member States and governments (France, Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Senegal, Vietnam, etc.), 7 Associate Members (Cyprus, Ghana, Kosovo, New Caledonia, Qatar, Serbia, United Arab Emirates), and 27 Observer Members (Argentina, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Thailand, etc.).

  • 80 million people taught in French

About 80 million people in the world learn French after their native languages. France is an important world supplier of agricultural and industrial products, one of the highest rates of economic growth in Europe, and such a favorite travel destination in the world. Hence, many people around the world learn French, either for business, study, or traveling purposes.

  • 300 million French language speakers

The Francophones in the world.

The Francophonie has over 300 million francophones all around the globe, spread in different countries and continents. The majority of the Francophones live in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Indian Ocean. In Europe, French is the official language in France, Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Belgium. Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean countries such as Senegal and Madagascar speak French as their official language or second language. The French language was brought to the African continent through colonialism.

  • 5th most-spoken language in the world

The French language has spread its influence far and wide, spoken in various parts of the world, from the rest of France, some European countries, some parts of Canada to numerous African countries. Hence, French get nominated as the 5th most-spoken language in the world after Spanish as the 4th, and English as the 1st.

  • Four wholesome main missions

The Francophonie's missions.

The Francophonie (OIF) has four main missions to accomplish with the members:

1. Promote the French language and cultural and linguistic diversity on the international stage and in the member countries through targeted cooperation programs;

2. Promote peace, democracy, and human rights by acting as a partner in dealing with crises and conflicts in the Francophone area;

3. Support education and vocational training (teacher training, bilingual teaching);

4. Develop cooperation for sustainable development (advocacy, technical support in international negotiations).

  • Many countries celebrate the cultural diversity of the French-speaking world every year

The Month of the Francophonie.

Francophonie Month is celebrated every year in March. The date of March 20 was chosen to celebrate the International Francophonie Day (Journée Internationale de la Francophonie) as an anniversary of OIF that was born on March 20, 1970, in Niamey, Niger. The celebration provides an opportunity for French speakers to celebrate the French language in all its diversity.

The six interesting facts about the Francophonie which have been described previously will surely give you more considerations to learn French. The myriad amount of Francophonie's members, the wholesome missions of the Francophonie, and a large number of French speakers worldwide show that learning this language will give you so many advantages.

By learning French you would be able to connect with more people, learn new cultures, and gain new knowledge from numerous countries.

Besides, learning French will open new doors to many travel options! Of course, you can still travel to countries where you don't speak the language, but being able to communicate in the native language will enrich your experience. You will be able to get around not only in Paris and the rest of France, but even other fantastic vacation destinations such as Québec, French Polynesia, or Switzerland!

Therefore, learning French is absolutely beneficial to elevate your education, career opportunity, and life experience.

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