Have you ever heard the word " lingua franca "? It means a common language and is a language that is accepted as a trade language because it is spoken by many people . Lingua franca today is in English .

However, the lingua franca actually means " French ".

While much is said about the British Empire, the fact that France also built a prominent colonial empire is often forgotten. It was mainly in Africa and parts of South America , the Oceania Islands , etc., but at that time it occupied a large area, so the language used for meetings with people from other countries was French.

Let's talk about history later and look at French and how to learn it.

Check out some interesting facts about France .

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 To speak french

As we all know, French is a Romance language derived from Latin . Therefore, many French words are similar to Romance languages ​​(so-called European dialects). English does not share many of its characteristics, but some English words and expressions still originate from French. So it's relatively easy for an English speaker to learn French.

Commonly used French phrases such as " déjà vu ", " je ne sais pas' " and " 'c'est la vie' " are also commonly used in English conversation.

French words ending in " tion' " or " sion' " are almost exactly the same as English spelling, and usually have the same meaning. It's great for learners.

If you want to learn French, you need to understand gender, verb conjugation, and nasal pronunciation . Also, some vowels have accents , and some commonly used verbs are classified as "irregular." In fact, the more you learn, the more you will find that there are exceptions to the conjugation rules for all verbs.

The following are the most common verbs.

  • être – is, becomes
  • avoir – have, get
  • aller – go / forward
  • venir – come

Learning French will make it easier for you to learn other languages ​​such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Catalan .

French speaking country (Europe)

When you think of a French speaker, you can imagine Paris , a bucket, a small cafe, a stone house, and so on. However, there are other places in Europe where French is the official language.

Belgium

Belgium finally became independent in 1839 , when the Netherlands was divided into what is now the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg . This was shortly after 1814, when the Netherlands left France (the Netherlands became part of France after the French Revolution).

The region was largely in its history, with various powers fluctuating and people speaking a mixture of Dutch, French and German.

Belgium is divided into the Dutch-speaking area (Flanders) in the north and the French-speaking area (Wallonia) in the south. Both Dutch and French are official languages.

French spoken in Belgium is very similar to that spoken in France, and there are only a few variations. The most notable difference is how to count 80 and 90. In Belgium they are octante and nonante, but in France they are counted as quatre-vingts and quatre-vingt-dix. Belgium is the birthplace of Tintin's creator, Hergé, and French fries.

Luxembourg

Adjacent to Germany, France and Belgium, Luxembourg is one of several small sovereign states in Europe with a population of 576,249 .

Luxembourg has a long history dating back to 963 AD. Luxembourg once dominated a vast territory. The territory was the Holy Roman Empire for some time, and many emperors were born here. After becoming part of the Netherlands, it was placed under Belgian rule. During the rebellion in Belgium in 1839 , the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg became an independent country.

The official languages ​​of Luxembourg are French, German, and Luxembourgish (some people think that it is a dialect of German because it is closely related to German, and some people think that it is one language in itself). Luxembourg is one of the hubs of the European Union.

Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is the second mini-state with French as its official language. Located along the French Riviera on the Mediterranean coast , its monarchy dates back to the 13th century. French has become the main language spoken by 38,400 inhabitants . There is also a local language, Monaco.

Regarding the remaining two mini-states in Europe, German is mainly spoken in Liechtenstein, but in Andorra , Catalan is the official language, but many speak French . And don't forget the Vatican.

Vatican

In the Vatican, the French-speaking population may not be large, but French has become one of the official diplomatic languages .

Switzerland

Switzerland has three official languages . French , Swiss German, Italian . Switzerland has developed a loose federal system (“Pactors”) within the Holy Roman Empire since the Middle Ages. It became independent in 1648 .

The majority of Swiss residents are bilingual speakers . I am learning at least one other language at school. French is most often spoken in the West , with about 20% of Swiss speaking French.

In two French forts in England

Sark
Sark is part of Guernsey. Some inhabitants still speak a variant of the French dialect spoken in Normandy. Photo courtesy of James.Stringer (VisualHunt.com)

Many people speak French in Guernsey and Jersey on the Channel Islands, near France . It is a Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom near the Normandy coast and is not officially a member of the European Union. English is the official language, but Sark, the Norman dialect (French spoken in Normandy), is spoken on Sark .

French speaking country (Africa)

In French history, there have been two waves in colonial expansion . The first wave is colonization in the Americas . However, much of it was abandoned due to the aftermath of the French Revolution and the financial need of Napoleon. The second wave occurred in 1830 , some time after that . However, it has become one of the largest colonization movements in the world.

After the war between Vietnam and Algeria, most colonies were decolonized very peacefully in the 1960s . Most of them are on the African continent, and in some countries French is still the official language due to the influence of colonial rule.

West African colonies

At its peak of colonial expansion, France dominated a large area of ​​Northwest Africa, extending to Central Africa. It all started in 1624 when France set up a factory on the coast of what is now Senegal . In the 19th century , France worked to expand its territory , dominate the Senegalese river basin, and trade gum arabic, peanuts, and slaves . The French slave trade was smaller than Portugal and the Netherlands.

Below is a list of West African countries where French is still the official language or is spoken by many inhabitants.

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Togo
  • Central African Republic
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Chad

French-speaking East African country

However , it is not only the West that speaks French in Africa . French is spoken in some countries in East Africa and some islands in the Indian Ocean (Madagascar is the largest), though not  many. Below is a list of French-speaking East African countries.

  • Burundi
  • Rwanda
  • Djibouti

Of the islands of the Indian Ocean near the mainland of Africa , the following are the places where French is mainly spoken.

  • Madagascar . During its time as an independent kingdom , it was invaded in 1883 and officially annexed in 1896. The royal family was banished to Reunion Island. Completely independent in 1960 .
  • Comoros . An archipelago located between Madagascar and Mozambique. Colonized in 1841 and became independent in 1975 . Mayotte Island remained a French territory.
  • The 115 islands of Seychelles have French , English and Creole as their official languages. In 1756 France claims ownership, but in 1794 the French governor surrenders and becomes part of the British Empire. It was returned at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Madagascar
Madagascar has been an independent country since the 1960s, but French is still spoken. Photo courtesy of David Darricau (VisualHunt)

French-speaking Sub-Saharan & Saharan African countries

In some countries in North Africa , French is still spoken, and French is the administrative language (not the official language). Examples are Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia . Lebanon is still a French speaking country.

French speaking country (USA)

France had a vast territory in the Americas, but it was parted from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century . The influence of that occupation remained in those areas, and French is still spoken.

Haiti

Haiti is a sovereign state located in the western part of Hispaniola Island in the Caribbean (the remaining territory of the island is governed by the Dominican Republic) . Spain first claimed ownership, but France began occupying the western part of the island. In 1625, Spanish territory is transferred to France. France imported African slaves and worked them on sugar plantations. With Charles X recognizing Haiti as a sovereign state in 1825 , Haiti became one of the first French colonies to gain independence (although Haiti's suffering continues). Haiti is one of the original member states of the United Nations.

There are two official languages, French and Haitian Creole.

Canada: Quebec and New Brunswick

For parts of Canada , France claims ownership in 1534 by explorer Jacques Cartier . This colony was less profitable than other lands, and the territory of New France was transferred to England in 1763 after the Seven Years' War . Quebec (then also known as Quebec), which became a new colony under the Royal Proclamation of 1763, was granted a number of administrative freedoms and certain autonomy . This increased tensions in the 13 colonies in the south and was one of the triggers for the American Revolutionary War.

Quebec city
French is the official language of Quebec. Photo courtesy of: simplethrill (Visualhunt)

Canada takes several steps to become independent of the United Kingdom. However, during that time, the cultural characteristics of Quebec have not been impaired, and Quebec French (a type of French) has been maintained and is now the official language . New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba have a large number of French speakers.

Traces of the Louisiana Purchase

In 1803 , the newly founded United States acquired Louisiana . This makes the vast territory west of the Mississippi River American. English is now spoken in this area, but there are districts where a type of French ( Louisiana Creole ) is spoken . You can hear the word on YouTube. This video is an example. Like many other Creole words, verbs often take the form of artificial words (and conjugations of special verbs), and the words "quoi" and "que" are often used.

Read also 10 interesting facts about France .

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French-speaking country (Oceania)

Most of the French-speaking islands in the Pacific are still French territory. However, Vanuatu , the island nation of Melanesia, which France claimed ownership in 1880, declared independence 100 years later . French is still the official language , along with English and Bislama, the Pidgin language of Vanuatu (Pidgin is the official language because there is no one native language in Vanuatu and there are more than a hundred dialects). It has been.

Regions of Pondicherry and Chandan Nagar in India

Unlike the British Empire, France did not establish a solid position in India, but there were times when it dominated some parts of India . It is the area known as Pondicherry, Karlaikkar, Mahe and Yharnam . In 1962, all districts became Indian territory under the Union Territory of PondicherryThe same is true for the second region, Chandannagar . French is the official language in these areas .

DOM-TOM (French overseas prefectures and territories)

Moreover, because it is still a formal French territory , there are many regions in the world whose native language is French. France has named those areas DOM-TOM (overseas prefectures / territories) . DOM-TOM stands for Départements d'Outre-Mer – Territoires d'Outre-Mer. While DOM has exactly the same status as the mainland prefecture (administrative district) , TOM has a slightly lower status because it does not have the right to vote (excluding local elections). In 2007 , the COM (Overseas Region) was formed and replaced the old TOM position. COM attends the French parliament, but is not part of France and maintains a certain degree of autonomy . For example, of the COMs, only St. Martin is a member of the EU and only the Atlantic COMs use the euro.

DOM

The following areas are considered to be overseas departments in France .

  • Reunion - an island near the coast of Madagascar
  • Mayotte - Island near Madagascar
  • Guadeloupe - Caribbean island
  • Martinique - Caribbean island
  • French Guiana - Northeast of South America, between Suriname (west) and Brazil (south)

TOM

In 2003 , the last TOM became COM (Saint Pierre and Miquelon, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte). The exceptions are the French Southern and Antarctic region, which consists of uninhabited islands near Madagascar, south of the Indian Ocean, and Adélie Land, an Antarctic continent that France claims to occupy . There is no fixed population in these exceptional areas, and most of the visiting researchers and others speak French. It is governed by the Governor (Préfet).

COM

Each COM ( Collectivités D'Outre-Mer ) has a slightly different position. All COMs are semi-independent , but French is one of the official languages. Below is a list of COMs.

  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Archipelago on the Canadian coast)
  • St. Martin (Caribbean Island)
  • Saint Barthelemy (Island of the Antilles)
  • New Caledonia (Archipelago of Oceania, north of Australia)
  • Wallis and Futuna (Archipelago northeast of New Caledonia)
  • French Polynesia (118 islands in the Pacific Ocean)
map
Clipperton Island is an isolated island in the world's most spectacular sea and is currently an uninhabited island. However, visitors here speak French. Photo courtesy of EVS-Islands (VisualHunt)

Clipperton Island, a small island thousands of kilometers west of the Mexican coast . It is considered to be the farthest isolated island on earth from land. This atoll is under the direct jurisdiction of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France. In the past, phosphate and guano were cultivated, but now resources are exhausted and no one lives .

One way to join a large group of French speakers is to provide tutoring to help you learn French. If you search for Japanese French lessons with Superprof, you will get a lot of search results. And with online French lessons , you'll find even more options.

Which country teaches French?

According to French experts , French is offered in more than 900 schools and colleges around the world (called lycées français), not only in French-speaking countries, and is attended by approximately 350,000 students.

According to statistics from the language learning website app Duolingo , English is still the top language learned in the world, followed immediately by French and Spanish.

Duolingo says, "French is in 58% of the world, and Spanish is in 46% of the countries, making it one of the top two languages. However, in terms of overall user numbers, Spanish is better. That's better. 17% of all Duolingo users are learning Spanish, compared to only 11% in French. Also, Duolingo has two more base languages ​​to learn French than Spanish. , French has an advantage. "

We also know that many Duolingo users who learn French are from Nigeria and Sierra Leone in Africa. At these locations, more than half of Duolingo users are learning French.

Great place to learn French outside of France

The best place to learn French -it's France! You might think. But that's not the case.

Given that French was the most widely spoken language in the world in the 18th century and is an official language in 29 countries on three continents, it is very attractive to study French abroad besides France. There are many places. What's more, you can learn French without going abroad!

Below you will find information on the countries where you can learn French and how to comfortably learn French at home.

Belgium

Belgium is often overlooked as a destination for study abroad . Recommended if you are looking for a reasonably priced place to stay in Europe and get an education . In a small country, there are three official languages, so you can meet different cultures and different types of people.

Belgium is an original member of the European Union and is a hub for many international organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and is important from an international language perspective. Moreover, geographically, it is very easy to travel between cities because it is located in the center of Europe .

The most popular location for learning French in Belgium is also the Belgian capital, Brussels . Brussels has more than 12 universities and several private language schools. In other cities, Liege , which has seven colleges, is also popular.

Haiti

Haiti is the most popular location for those who want to learn French while enjoying the beach . Located in the center of the Caribbean, Haiti's French is surprisingly similar to standard French (with subtle differences in Creole tones).

Most students who want to learn French choose Port-au-Prince , which has a population of about 1 million and has seven universities .

Switzerland

フランス以外でフランス語を学ぶ人気の海外渡航先として、スイスが挙げられます。スイスでは、4つの公用語の一つがフランス語ですが、場所によっては生活費がとても高くつくことがあります。標準フランス語とスイスのフランス語とは、違いがほとんどありません

ヨーロッパの中央に位置し、湖や山に囲まれるスイスは、スキーやアウトドアが好きな人には最適です。

ジュネーヴは、おそらくスイスでもっとも学生数が多い場所です。12以上の大学といくつかのランゲージスクールがあります。近くのアルプスからの観光客があり、様々なタイプの人々がこの地を訪れることから、ジュネーブはとても多文化的な都市となっています。

また、サリーヌ川沿いに位置するフリブールはジュネーブほど人の行き来が多くなく、スイストップの大学の一つがあります。

セネガル

アフリカでもフランス語が学べます。セネガルはその例です。

セネガルはフランス語を学ぶのに最適なだけでなく、独自性があります。フランス語が公用語なので、安く海外でフランス語を学べる場所と考えられています。

セネガルには多くのランゲージスクールがあり、大学で4週間のフランス語イマージョンクラスを受講したり、全学期を通して学ぶことができます。

中でも、セネガル最大の都市で首都である、ダカールを選ぶ学生が多くなっています。ダカールより静かなサン=ルイもエキサイティングで、17万5千人の人口を抱え、セネガルで5番目に大きな都市です。

Superprof でフランス語を話せるようになる

海外でフランス語を学ぶ経済的余裕がない、あるいは、自国で学歴を修了させたいなどといった場合、日本を出る必要は全くありません。フランス語を学ぶには、家を出る必要すらないのです!

自分の住んでいる場所をベースに検索し、自宅を訪問してくれる先生を探すことができます(その逆で、生徒が先生を訪問する場合もある)。または、メールや電話、ビデオ通話で、サービスを提供してくれる先生もいます。

一対一の個別指導は、クラスでの授業よりもやりがいやモチベーションが高まります。個別指導でのフランス語学習は料金は高めですが、数々の大きなメリットが得られます。 

個別指導者を探すなら、フランス語がネイティブの先生が良いでしょう。フランス語に流暢な日本語話者でも構いませんが、その場合、ネイティブのようにフランス語を学習したことのある人にしましょう。例えば、幼少のころからフランス語の学校に通い、フランス語が自然に身についている先生などがオススメです。

ぜひ、今ブログをお読みの Superprof でフランス語の先生を探してみてください。Superprof の先生の多くがフランス語レッスンを初回無料で提供していますので、その先生が合うかどうかや、よい関係性の中で学べそうかを判断できます。利用してみてください。

Superprof でもしも最適な先生が見つからない場合、他にも方法はあります。

You can also fly out at a nearby university to find students learning French. Students will help you learn French to earn some pocket money . And they will teach you by making use of the grammar you learned at school. However, don't forget that the content may not be as accurate as a professional teacher or native speaker.

If you have been learning French as a second language for a long time and want to be able to speak more fluently, you may want to look for a language partner student or register to find a pen pal. It is very useful to keep in touch with French speakers on a regular basis, as "continuation is power".

 

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